Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Downton Abbey: Season Five, Episode FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! (5)

Hey there, DA friends.  It's Tuesday, so it's already been two days since the last episode aired and I'm going to lose all my blogging cache and personal investment if I don't put down a few thoughts before the next installment.

I had a wild hair to put on an English-style head adornment and make a video blog (a vlog, as the internets calls them), but my youngest began throwing up at 3 a.m. Monday, and in the car, and my son is losing a tooth and having tummy troubles, so I didn't get around to it when it was 9:30 and I was folding Mt. Santized Sheets and wearing my UF sweatshirt, baggy middle-aged jeans and greasy hair.  I thought it might even be fun to thrown my now clean pink robe over the whole thing and go ahead and stick the feathery concoction in my hair, but then I remembered there are things you can't unsee and maybe it'd be best not to humiliate myself on the youtube.

Basically, I wanted to do this.

Still.  I think the idea has potential.  Maybe for the big finale.

Sooooo.  THE FIGHT!  Rumble in the jungle (gilded bedchamber!)  I mean, whoa.  That was pure soap how the audience saw Robert climbing the stairs, just back from his trip and Mr. Bricker has sauntered in to Cora's dressing room, all slicked back hair and silk smoking jacket like Pepe Lepew.  It's nice to see Cora get more of a story line in this episode because she's mostly set dressing in this series.  She seems vapid and obilvious (the scene where Edith, Violet, and Rosamund are discussing what to do with Maribel while Cora walks in unexpectedly made me sad for her as a mother... how can you not see your child is that unhappy?) but in a previous episode where she talks about growing up in America and how different her life is as a great Lady made her more interesting.  She's had some great lines over the past few seasons, particularly when Sybil died and when she comforted Edith after being gilted.  My favorite of her lines: "I'm an American. Have gun, will travel" when the estate is in danger of being lost after Robert (surprise) has lost all the money she brought to the marriage really made me root for her.  Obviously, marriages are made up of two flawed people, and Cora and Robert are no exception.  I've always enjoyed how the show underscored that there is real affection and tenderness in the marriage that has weathered years and tragedy.  It will be interesting to see how THE FIGHT impacts their relationship.

Now, we return you to THE FIGHT after that short character and marital anaylsis.  It was all kinds of awkward to see Robert full-on lunge upon Bricker and pummel him.  Dudes were rolling on the ground.  Poor Cora is ever the put-upon lady, telling them to hush while she dismisses Edith at the door:"It's nothing, poppet," she assures her, sensitive to her baby but clueless that her child HAS A CHILD and is confused and miserable.  These few episodes have highlighted that Cora and Robert are drifting and though I'm sure they will stay together (tradition, status, and mutual affection), it was sad to see Cora trying so hard to draw Robert out at the cocktail party and him stonewalling her.  It was so stereotypically English to see him totally retreat after the scuffle with an "I'm going to sleep in my dressing room" as if he had a headache and had not put the beat down on a rival for trifling with his woman.  No more was said about it immediately, which honestly might be wise, but a radio silence in a marriage is never a good thing.

So many more plot points to recap, so many child-rearing details to attend to, so I'll meta-recap:

Mary's Love Life:  Charles Blake continues to be in Mary's vocabulary, yummy.  He casually invites Lane Fox to dinner with Mary to encourage Miss Fox not to be stupid, that she still loves Tony, and to just go pick up the pieces of his broken heart.  To which she retorts that she doesn't need Mary's leftovers and that Tony dumped her flat the minute Mary crooked her finger.  To which I say,  two snaps, Miss Fox.  I like you.  I think you and Mary could honestly be great snark sisters were it not for your mutual involvement with one Mister Tony Gillingham.  Drat.  As to Mr. Blake,  he is, in my estimination, playing out that classic maxim from Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus:  He's emotionally snapping away like a rubber band, acting like just an amused third party at the Mary-Tony shenanigans, but makes himself indepensable to Mary, making her, ultimately, choose him.  Just a guess.  He's not Mathew, a paragon of virtue and Mary's One True Love, as any Downton romantic would espouse (like me), but he is all kinds of cute and smart and I believe, kind, and Mary will meet her match in him.  Stay tuned.

Edith's Situation: Edith is sick that she has been effectively shut out of her child's life and as the episode ends, we see her phoning London, a clue that she plans to run away with her child.  And maybe magically Griegson will find her and they'll elope, tra la la la la, all's well that ends well.  I hope, anyway.

Bates and Anna:  They are hoping to have a child.  Anna has such a pure heart.  I really admire her character.  The pressure is being applied from Scotland Yard and while I don't think we'll see another trial/prison sentence, their fate is precarious.

Molesly, Ms. Baxter, and Barrow:  I also really enjoy Ms. Baxter.  She is a survivor.  Her friendship with Molesly continues to grow.  Barrow is tormented by the treatment he is undergoing (which has interesting parallels to the recent movie, The Imitation Game).  Barrow is such a complicated character.  He makes it so hard to pity him for long.  He is so unhappy and unloved that he the only sort of pleasure he finds in life is by making trouble for his rivals, in this case, Mr. Bates.

Isobel and Violet and their suitors: Violet has been searching for information on the Prince's missing wife and has news of her location.  Isobel and Lord Gray grow closer and she is close to a decision.  Even Dr. Clarkson admits they seem well suited.  DOUBLE WEDDING, folks!

Lady Rose meets a nice, cute, and (obviously) rich young man who happens to have Jewish ancestors.  That's sure to make for another intersting dinner party.

Lastly, Tom and Miss Bunting.  She loves him, she knows she can't have him, and she leaves.  He admires her and kisses her goodbye.  Tom's a good guy.

Thanks for reading and TTFN, dear DA friends!

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