Down with Downton: Part III

Alright, you’ve done the homework and memorized the org chart, now it’s time to reap the rewards! Sit back in your swivel chair, and get lost in the soapy splendor that is Downton Abbey.

Good heavens, what am I sitting on?

April, 1912: The Titanic has sunk, and the heir to the Crawley fortune went with it. Mary was also engaged to him, but she isn’t all that upset about this development, except that it means she is no longer going to inherit the house, title, money etc. The next person in line for the inheritance is Matthew Crawley, a third or fourth cousin whom they don’t really know. Matthew comes to the village and is all handsome and stuff, but Mary automatically hates him because he’s common, and because she is just contrary for the sake of being contrary.

Meanwhile Mr. Bates has come to Downton as Lord Crawley’s valet, and Thomas the Evil Gay Footman is pissed because he wanted the job. He gets his croney, O’Brien, to help him sabotage Poor Mr. Bates and make him look like a fool.

This pretty much only succeeds in making people hate Thomas and O’Brien, and making them fall in love with Mr. Bates. Especially Anna, the head housemaid.

Matthew and his mother are clashing with the family a bit over mundane things like not wanting any servants, keeping their day jobs, etc. The Dowager Countess does NOT like Isobel at all, but is convinced that Matthew and Mary should get hitched, so that all this lovely money stays in the family. Matthew and Mary are less than pleased with this plan.

So Mary invites a different potential suitor to spend the weekend at the house, and he brings a super hottie (Mr. Pamuk) with him. All the ladies are immediately smitten, including Mary. He later finds his way into Mary’s bedroom and basically date rapes her, and then dies in her bed. Scandal! Mary wakes up Anna and freaks the frak out, and Anna is like “we have to tell your mom” – which, no. But they do, and the three ladies manage to carry the body back to his own bedroom, where he can be discovered the next morning. All this is witnessed by Daisy.

Sidebar, Bates sees Thomas stealing wine, and doesn’t say anything, but squints at him menacingly. Thomas figures the only way to not get in trouble is to accuse Bates of being a thief. He steals some snuff boxes from Lord Grantham and hides them in Bates’ room, but Bates is too clever for that, so the plan backfires. Anna is impressed by all this, and tells Bates she has feelings for him (even though he’s too old and unattractive for her – she doesn’t say that, but I do). Bates mysteriously says he’s not free to love her, but won’t get into it.

Daisy, the hapless kitchen maid, is feeling all torn up about what she saw, and O’Brien senses that Daisy knows something. She coerces Daisy into telling Lady Edith what she knows, and when she does you can SEE the evil plan hatching in Edith’s head. Too bad Edith, we all wanted to like you.

While Lady Sybil is busy attending raucous political rallies with the chauffeur, Branson, Edith is writing letters to the Turkish ambassador, telling them about Mary killing Mr. Pamuk with her sweet sweet lovin’. The rumor spreads like wildfire and suddenly Mary is no longer an eligible bachelorette. Edith is like “WELCOME TO THE SPINSTER CLUB, BITCH!” Not so fast Edith.

Mary and Matthew have been getting friendly, and are warming up to each other. One night, over finger sandwiches and wine (the way all great romances start), he proposes to her.

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She sort of wants to say yes, but she feels like she should probably tell him about her lethal vagina before they agree to anything binding. Lady Cora is all like “really? Do we HAVE to??” Mary agrees to take some time to think it over.

In that time though, Robert and Cora learn that they’re expecting a baby! Which isn’t weird at all, since Cora is easily 45 yrs old! If the baby is a boy, this will mean that Matthew is no longer the heir, and if Mary agrees to marry him she’ll basically just be a lawyer’s wife forever. Hm, what to do? While Mary contemplates this conundrum, she finds out that Edith wrote the letter that ruined her and swears revenge.

We also find out that Mr. Bates is secretly married, which is why he can’t love Anna, and Carson realizes that Thomas is the real thief, which means he’ll have to be fired. Thomas figures this is about to happen, so immediately volunteers to join the army as a medic, just so he can say “you can’t fire me, I quit!” O’Brien thought she was going to be fired too, so just to be mean she causes Cora to slip as she was getting out of the bathtub. Cora suffers a miscarriage as a result, and suddenly the baby is no longer an issue in deciding Mary’s fate. She basically says that she can’t marry Matthew now, because neither of them will ever be sure if she would have done it anyway. Oh the drama!

Just as the season is drawing to a close, Robert gets a telegram that England is officially at war with Germany. The times, they are about to change!

And scene! There you have it folks, the abridged first season (non-consequential plot lines have been eliminated)! Same channel tomorrow, for the full season 2 recap.

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  1. […] got all that, right? Because it will be important when we start with the season recaps. Hold on to your livery, boys and […]

  2. […] a primer to the recaps to come, please take a few moments to get acquainted with the […]

  3. […] last we left Downton Abbey, Mary and Matthew were on the outs, Edith was a conniving spinster, Mr. Bates refused to be with […]



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