Let’s Talk ‘Downton Abbey’

By Karen

Since Adele’s last post seems to have segued into Downton Abbey, let’s go there.

I’ve watched from the beginning and, like the rest of the world, let out a hearty WTF?! last year when the miniseries ended just as things were bubbling and World War I started.

It was like pulling the plug on Gone With The Wind after 20 minutes, at the Twelve Oaks barbecue.

Fortunately, viewer outrage spawned a Season 2 — which has been all too brief and ends next Sunday — and Season 3, which I believe is filming right now.

Discussion points…

Mr. Bates has always been my favorite, and it was so nice to see him finally reward Anna’s unwavering patience and kindness with a wedding ring. But will the vengeful Vera Bates reach out from the grave to destroy their happiness? She was last seen dead on the floor, presumably from rat poison Mr. Bates bought. Did he lose it when she gave him a black eye and do her in? Did she commit suicide? Was she murdered? If so, by whom? Could it be yet another unholy plot by Thomas and O’Brien to ruin Bates?

Will we find out Sunday, or have to wait for Season 3?

WHAT WAS LORD GRANTHAM THINKING? We really didn’t see enough of Jane the maid to feel the attraction that made Grantham lunge for her, completely out of character. Are they trying to juice up his story as consolation for giving him nothing to do in the war but walk around in a uniform?

And what would the Dowager Countess say if she caught her son sucking face with a servant?

The sisters…

Lady Mary spells disaster for any man who crosses her path, yet seems oblivious that she’s about to unleash it on herself if she tries to dump Richard Carlisle for cousin Matthew.

Sybil and her chauffeur got Lord Grantham’s blessing and seem destined to live happily and boringly ever after — unless some disaster brings Sybil back to Downton.

That leaves Edith and the disappearing Patrick Gordon. Did he miraculously survive Titanic, or is he a master con artist? Was that peculiar little moustache wipe Lord Grantham noticed genuine, or something he learned from the real Patrick? Will Edith track him down and get to the truth?

The staff…

Will Cora’s evil lady’s maid O’Brien ever admit to leaving that bar of soap on the floor, which caused Cora’s miscarriage that robbed Downton of its rightful heir?

And what will become of Thomas, now that he’s broke after being outsmarted by even bigger crooks in the black-market? Will he be wanting his old job back at Downton?

The relatives…

The other plot twist that seemed contrived was Matthew regaining use of his legs (and, presumably, what’s between them), just before his fiancé Lavinia kicked the bucket to leave the way clear for him to end up with Mary.

Will war refugees really be enough to keep Isobel Crawley at bay, or will she decide Downton needs her more, just as Cora’s mother (Shirley MacLaine) arrives in Season 3?

The BBC can’t understand why Americans are so hooked on Downton, but they have a lot of theories.

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7 Responses to Let’s Talk ‘Downton Abbey’

  1. adele says:

    I’m a little surprised that the BBC is so puzzled by Downton’s success. After all many of the old Masterpiece Theater’s series were very popular, and hasn’t the U.S. always had a love affair with English actors. I remember one awards season, years ago, where the majority of major nominations were for British films or actors.

    I think ZM may be onto something. Vera Bates was either murdered (of course not by Mr. B.) or was engaged in something so nefarious that suicide was the only way out. If we had any idea that Thomas was in London, I know what I’d be thinking.

    And I fear that Sybil’s husband, who’s planning to fight for Irish freedom will be jailed or killed. Don’t know what’s to become of Lady Mary and Carlisle, but there’s trouble brewing — will Mary marry and then have an affair with Matthew, causing a scandal, or will she not marry Carlisle, thus letting all of England know of her Turkish delight, causing a scandal? Wither Edith and Patrick Gordon?

    Lord Grantham,I suspect, was going through the upper crust version of male menopause. He felt marginalized during the war,neglected by Lady Grantham, who found meaning for her life, and was ripe to fall for an admiring housemaid. I wonder if we’ve seen the last of Jane.

    As far as the staff goes, my biggest curiosity is about Daisy. I understand that she’s a righteous young thing, upset by the sham marriage to William, but I don’t understand why she’s so violently opposed to giving William’s father some comfort. She seems too decent not to.

    I was going to invite some friends for dinner next Sunday, but I decided not to, in case they weren’t Downton enthusiasts.

  2. Zappa's mom says:

    Lady Sybil will return to DA,babe in arms,after her husband is killed in the Easter uprising.The baby,conveniently a boy.will be considered a possible heir.

    Cora’s mother,a lush,will find a soulmate in Moseley the drunk.

    Is anyone watching “Mob Wives”?

    ZM

  3. catsworking says:

    ZM, your predictions are absolutely uncanny. Sybil having a boy baby…sounds perfect.

    I was reading an interview with Hugh Bonneville (may have included the link somewhere) and he theorized that Lord Grantham was depressed (male menopause, Adele?), that he and Cora were growing distant, and that’s why he went after Jane.

    I figured the reason neither he nor Elizabeth McGovern won their Emmys was because their plotlines were too tame.

    They’ve got to have something scandalous in mind for Shirley MacLaine to do. Moseley’s a possibility, but what if Carson falls like a ton of bricks for her?

    ZM, I haven’t watched Mob Wives. The 3 shows that have my attention at the moment are Being Human and Lost Girl (both on SyFy) and Smash (on NBC, I think). Since the pilot of Smash was On Demand, I felt confident I could catch the second episode there, so didn’t bother to tape it Monday night. But no. Verizon has removed it so I’m screwed.

    Verizon should rename On Demand “On Our Whim.” Last week they inexplicably removed the 4th episode of the 2 SyFy shows I named when I was ready to watch them. But then last night, Voila!, episodes 4 were back, along with episodes 5. Now I’m paranoid about cramming them all in before they go poof again.

  4. adele says:

    ZM, I love the idea of Lady Sybil returning to Downton with a baby boy, but the Easter Rising was in 1916, so Branson, if he’s killed,will be killed in another skirmish. I can’t remember when the Irish Free State was granted — 1920, maybe, but that led to basically a civil war for several years between the supporters of the Free State and those who would only settle for an Ireland that was united, north and south.

    I saw one episode of Mob Wives; I think I could get hooked, but I’m trying to wean myself away from Real Housewives type shows.

    Shirley MacLaine with either Mossley or Carson — how delightful!

    Karen, Comcast On Demand is a little capricious — mostly it’s pretty reliable, but every so often, an episode of a show that’s supposed to air 24 hours after the original showing, doesn’t show up until 4 or 5 days later. Smash and Being Human have both gotten good reviews, and I keep meaning to give them a try.

  5. catsworking says:

    Hugh Bonneville said that Season 3 begins in the spring of 1920, a few months after Season 2 leaves off. So that would give Sybil time to get pregnant.

    I’ve only seen the pilot of Smash (twice, since they passed it off as the first episode after it sat out On Demand for a while), and what hooked me was that the production numbers and original songs for the show within a show, Marilyn: The Musical, were actually close to Broadway-caliber.

    Being Human is in its 3rd season, and I think it would be a little hard to pick up now. It’s about a werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost who live as roommates, but try to be as human as possible. (I know, it sounds stupid, but it’s really good.) The ghost is invisible, but she just discovered how to possess people and feel human again. The whole series is getting darker by the minute this season. It’s a take-off on a British show with the same name and a similar plotline, but that one hasn’t come back. I like them both.

    I just started with Lost Girl, which is about a “fae” (aka fairy) who didn’t know what she was until recently. I learned about the fae from reading all the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris that the HBO series, True Blood, is based on. Sookie is half fae. But I lost interest in True Blood after the first 2 seasons.

  6. Zappa's mom says:

    Adele,a gold star on your forehead! The Easter Uprising was indeed in 1916. We are leaving DA in 1919,yes?
    What about Matthew and Lady Edith? She had an unrequited crush on him and now that he is feeling defeated,he will allow her affections.Once Mary is unhappily wed to Carlisle,the sisterly fireworks will ignite multi-tiered drama.

    Karen,”Being Human” looks like fun,but I have a lot of tv commitments right now.My latest is “Inkmaster”. It’s “Top Chef” with tattoo artsts and Dave Navarro as Padma. “True Blood lost me mid-season 3.It got too bloody,I know its vampires and werewolves,but really? Yuck.

    My Sunday evenings are DA and Mob Wives.The challenge on Monday is to say “muthafucka” all classy like, Google the Mob Wives character Big Ange.Im going as her this Halloween.

    If you are looking for juicy,BBCAmerica has a show called “Mistresses” I watched the first two seasons on DVD and am now watching season 3 on Xfinity. It’s scandalous!

    ZM

  7. catsworking says:

    ZM, good call! Yes, if Mary is forced to marry Carlisle to protect the family’s honor, will the bitchy Edith swoop in (just because she can) and make a play for Matthew? Could very well happen, especially if Patrick Gordon is revealed as a fraud.

    And I’ve been thinking about my Thomas/O’Brien murder plot for the first Mrs. Bates. They are the most likely suspects because, now that Thomas has learned he’s no good at black marketing, what was the other job he really, REALLY enjoyed? Being Lord Grantham’s valet. If they can get Bates put away, the job’s open.

    I lost interest in True Blood about the same time and for the same reason. Too much blood.

    Never heard of Mistresses, but will have to check that out. Right now I’m hoping to get my hands on Lilyhammer, an original Netflix series starring Silvio from The Sopranos as a gangster who’s been relocated to Norway. (I know, it sounds WTF?, but I have a thing for Norway.) It’s streaming, but I only have a DVD subscription, so I hope they cut some DVDs and make it available.

    I managed to miss every episode of Top Chef Texas after they booted the chef from Royal Caribbean Cruises in the 2nd episode, but I caught a snippet online the other day and was stunned it’s STILL ON. This season had, what, 187 episodes?

    I’ve watched Face Off, which a competition between makeup artists, but it’s a one-trick pony and I got bored with it. I also like Next Great Work of Art, which is a competition between artists, but they really put out some garbage and call it art.

    And I’ve caught episodes here and there of some shows where mommies are trotting their daughters around like Jon Benet Ramsey wannabes. Truly sick.

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