Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Downton Abbey, Episode You Gotta Have Friends

Hey DA friends!  This is me chiming in late to the latest DA installment, but Sunday night didn't feel very indulgent as my stomach was a raging inferno of hate.  I felt semi-human again last night and caught up on the goings on.  If you were waiting with baited breath for my take (sarcasm font), here goes.

The theme of this episode could be Reconciliations, New Pairings and Unlikely Allies. To wit:

Thomas and Ms. Baxter: I'm just gonna go all Freshman Honors English and scream REDEMPTIVE FIGURE.  Ms. Baxter has been refined by hardship and suffering and the one person in the house she has received the worst treatment from is the very person she is supporting.  She makes Thomas go to the doctor and stop taking the rubbish injections and exhorts him to put his mind to some greater goal, as he works so hard at schemes.  Thomas just needs Jesus, people.  I'm sorry, but yeah.  He needs some unconditional love and I'm glad he's found a friend in Ms. Baxter.

Molesly and Daisy:  A sweet moment where Molesly shares that he had to quit school at 12, but always dreamed of teaching.  If he can't escape, Daisy should, and he offers to help tutor her.  For all the soapy elements in this series, it does it's best work in the small, ordinary moments.  That's where all the most special things seem to happen in life.

Mabel Lane Fox and Charles "The Fox" Blake: Oh, these kidders. They remind me of a B plot in any Shakespearean comedy. The unlikely duo team up to woo Tony Gillingham back to MLF by arranging for Tony's former love to enter a co-ed riding tournament. They played the dramatic DA theme during the race and I was thinking to myself that this felt like a Bonnie Blue Butler moment from Gone With The Wind. We can't handle anymore lead characters not long for this world.  The riders thankfully finish the race intact.

As it is such a long journey home for MLF, of course she is invited to stay at the Great House.  Mary wants nothing more for MLF to have her man, but she reminds her that she can't make it too easy.  She's determined to remind both men that she is the most pretty princess.  She's got a new flapper inspired haircut and her hairdresser quietly retorted after she leaves that while the look reminded him of a skinned cat, she could at least pull it off.

A "de-frumped" Mary

Everybody's a critic, even if the style is rather jolly

Anna and Bates:  Bates finds the erm, unusual device and literature that Anna has been hiding for Lady Mary.  He accuses her of lying, that she never wanted his child.  He finally lays it out on the table that she doesn't want a murderer's baby.  He confesses that he knew Greene attacked her, and did intend to kill him.  He realizes that killing the man would mean the noose for him, and he couldn't do that to Anna.  He keeps the un-torn return ticket, a key piece of evidence that has most likely been discarded by Mrs. Hughes in an effort to keep the trip secret.

Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson: Oh, so sweet.  Instead of asking Mrs. Hughes out to dinner, Carson asks if perhaps they could buy an investment property together-- purely for business purposes, you understand--to build a nest egg for retirement.  Basically, he wants to grow old with her and this is his clumsy overture in my estimation.  This needs to happen. They are my very most favoritest couple on the show.

Cora and Robert: Cora schools Robert, informing him that if he has never let a flirtation go too far, he should remain in his own quarters. If not, get your hind end back in our room.  The end.  Go Cora Girl!

Violet and the Prince:  The Prince reveals to Violet that he has never loved his wife as much as she did and still does love her.  He remarks that she must feel it is ill-bred to admit to being unhappy in a marriage.  She implies that he does know her well.  It's great to see a new vulnerability in Violet.

Edith and Maribel:  We finally get the news that Gregson has been killed by a Nazi mob and it has taken a year to find his body.  He has left Edith his publishing company and she takes her child away from the foster family (heartbreaking, too much to analyze in this post, but man, the power of a mother's love, both Edith's and the foster mother's.  It was like the Solomon story.) Edith slips away with Maribel, saying goodbye to Tom only, and checks into a London hotel, promising her daughter ice cream and that they would be as happy as they wished.  Edith smiled for perhaps the first time this season and it was a very fitting end to an satisfying episode.

I give it two snaps. 

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