01 February, 2011

Finally, Bates' secret! And war too!

Socially-Aware-Sybil is very interested in politics. Handsome Irish Driver takes her to political rallies. When Daddy Earl finds out, he forbids her to leave the house until she is 30 or married, whichever comes first. Well, not really, but he says, “No more political rallies.” Of course, she’s dying to find out how the by-elections turn out, so she tricks H.I. Driver into taking her. He thinks he’s taking her to an Upper-Class-DoGooders-Meeting. At the meeting, a group of drunken toughs show up, there’s a fight, and Sybil gets clocked on the head. By some miracle of television writing, Cousin Matthew happens to be there, and he and Handsome Chauffeur get her home. Daddy Earl comes theeeees close to firing his driver, but Sybil threatens to run away if he does. By now it is completely obvious to anyone with eyes that Irish is falling in lurve with Sybil, who is making sheep’s eyes at Cousin Matthew.

O’Brien and that scheming Gay Thomas accuse Bates of stealing the wine that Thomas actually stole. They talk dumb Daisy, who is still making googly eyes at Thomas (“Oh Thomas, I’d do anything for you…simper, simper, simper”) into saying that she had seen Bates with the keys to the wine cupboard. Carson brings Bates in and confronts him with his accusers. He, of course, denies it, and Anna backs him up.

Sweet William’s mother gets very ill, and the family give him time off to go home and say his goodbyes. She dies, and William comes back, grieving. He’s basically giving up on Daisy, since she is exhibiting such terrible taste in footmen.

For reasons I am somewhat unclear on, Daisy decides that lying about Bates was not a good thing to do, and she confesses to Carson. Bates says not only did he not steal the wine, but if anyone thinks back, he’s never touched a drop of booze since he came to the house, BUT (and it’s a pretty big BUT) he confesses to Carson, Anna, and Mrs. Housekeeper that in the past he was a drunk, a thief, and he did a spell in the big house. Shock! Confusion! Carson says he’s going to have to think this over. Anna says she doesn’t give a damn!

Matthew proposes to Mary, but she wants to take a few months to think about it. When the news comes out that after 18 years, Lady Cora has a bun in the oven, everyone goes into a spin. If her baby is a boy, Cousin Matthew will be turfed out as heir. Dame Grandma Maggie Smith tells Mary to marry Matthew anyway, but she listens to her stupid Aunt Rosalind and tells him she has to wait to find out about the baby. She says she loves him but needs time to think. Mary, as I have mentioned before, is a bitch, and stupid to boot.

Remember Mr. Napier, the dull fellow that brought Poor Dead Mr. Pahmuk to Downton Abbey? Well, he comes to call on Mary and tells her that Sister Edith is the one who told the Turkish Ambassador that slutty Mary was seen dragging a corpse out of her room.

Dame Maggie Smith’s maid is selfishly leaving her service to get married. When she tells Cora how selfish her maid is and how horrid it is to have to find a new maid, I got the giggles. Nobody does upper crusty whining like Maggs! Cora is helping her Mama-in-Law find a new maid, but O’Brien gets the wrong end of the stick and thinks that Cora is replacing her. She’s full of spite and doesn’t care who knows it.

Poor Mrs. Padmore’s eyes are so bad that they are going to retire her, she thinks. She’s just beside herself, because it’s not like she is going to get an Old Age Pension. The Earl announces that The Family has decided to send her to see an eye specialist in London, and Anna will accompany her. “I am afraid I am going to have to sit in your presence, milord,” says Mrs. Padmore. “Of course,” says the Earl.

Bates and Anna almost kissed, but were interrupted. I swore aloud. No one believes Bates is a thief. Anna is determined to find out what Bates was accused of/in prison for, because she doesn’t believe he was a thief, even if he confessed. I just love Anna and Bates.

The family decides to have a telephone installed. The Dowager Dame is dismayed about these newfangled things: “First electricity, now a telephone. Sometimes I feel that I am living in an H.G. Wells novel,” she says, hilariously. When the phone is installed, Sybil hears of a job with British Telecom, or whatever they were called, and next thing you know, Gwen has a job as a Secretary. Yay Gwen!

Cousin Matthew’s valet saw Thomas messing about with Carson’s wallet in his coat and he reports it to Mr. Carson. Carson and Daddy Earl decide that Thomas is going to have to go, but they will wait until their annual Garden Party is over before they give it the boot.

Anna went to London with Mrs. Padmore and while she was in London she discovered that Mr. Bates went to prison for a crime his wife committed. She stole something, he confessed to it, and went to prison. Anna meets Mother Bates. Bates is still married to the bad wife, who has not been seen in some years. Dammit. We have to find that wife and get rid of her!

Gay Thomas is weaselly. He is trying to figure out what he could do in the inevitable war to get ahead. He volunteers to join the medical service to keep himself from being drafted into the army.

The phone is put in. Carson, in a hysterical scene that could have been part of the Cheerful Charlies, practices answering the phone. He tries out different wording, different tones of voice. Funny stuff.

While Lady Cora, PREGNANT Lady Cora is bathing, she drops the soap on the floor. O’Brien leaves soap on the floor under the bath ON PURPOSE, and Cora slips on it and miscarries of the long-hoped-for heir.

Dammit. Dammit.

O’Brien finds out that she is NOT being replaced, and realizes that she is really a guilty evil, person.

William attacks Thomas for complete assholish behavior. I think Thomas needs to go NOW! Daisy now realizes that Thomas is not the shining Knight she thought he was, and she tells William that she’s right off Thomas. She also apologizes for how mean she has been.

The Doctor lets Thomas  know he’s been approved for his volunteer position at the garden party. Thomas let’s Carson he know he’s leaving, and Carson is thrilled, since that saves him firing him.

The phone rings and everyone is afraid of it. Much funniness!

Mary will not marry Matthew, so he decides that he will leave Downton Abbey. He is still the heir, but feels like he cannot stay near Mary. He truly loved her, but she wasn’t brave enough to marry him not knowing of his future income.  Mary is sad, and I hate her.

Mary ruins Edith’s chance of getting a proposal of marriage. I really feel for Edith. Mary is such a bitch, and she’s spent her life in Mary’s shadow. If I were Mary, I’d watch my back around Edith.

A letter comes at the Garden party, and the Earl makes the announcement that England is at war with Germany.

May I add that Rhea Fiken of MPT has had so much plastic surgery that she’s starting to look like a space alien. She’s scarey!

This show ended with more loose ends than an unfinished sweater. I sure hope they are already working on Season 2!

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