Monday, January 31, 2011

Downton Abbey wrap-up

So, I watched last night, oddly absorbed in the twisted lives of these fictional people.

Glad to learn that Bates is as great a guy as I had hoped, from the start. Did we know that he had been married?

Thomas sees service in WWI as his best way to escape from his co-workers, who now hate him. I bet once he gets to the Flanders front, he'll wish he was back stealing wine.

Mary - you blew it, and your sister will never like you (and is secretly brushing up on her Turkish, to maintain that edge during dinner conversations).

I don't get the miscarriage scene - what was going on with the two bars of soap under the tub? Did O'Brien sabotage things? Did I miss some clue? Since she's a smoker (and a friend of Thomas), we know she's capable of ANYTHING.

Happy to see the two cooks collaborating, after their initial frosty relationship. I was afraid that an entire sub-plot of recipe sabotage was about to start, and life is too short for that, with WWI approaching. Maybe it was a metaphor for the upcoming alliance between the English and the French. Just joking - there's no logical explanation for that (after centuries of killing each other).

Daisy - still largely clueless after all these episodes.

Is it anachronistic to see the servants smoking cigarettes? I had thought that it was soldiers returning from WWI that popularized them, and that they were quite uncommon prior to the war. Also, they made a big deal about putting in the first telephone. Is that true for the period, or was it just an opportunity for the head butler to have a comic scene (and why haven't they shown him dancing, reprising his former life as a vaudeville performer)?

Maggie Smith: still the best eyebrows and pursed lips in the business.

Did anyone else recognize the actress who plays Mrs. Crawley as the mother in 'Shaun of the Dead'? I spotted her from the start and still keep confusing those two roles.

Final question: did Hosni Mubarak watch last night, too, to take his mind off other things?


Liz said...

O'Brien moved the other half of the bar of soap out from under the tub so Lady Grantham would slip and fall and miscarry. She nudges the soap with her toe, then leaves the room to fold sheets, then looks at herself in the mirror and says, "This isn't who you are," tries to get back to the bathroom to pick up the errant soap, but too late. So she's a murderess (causing the death of an unborn child, which I'm sure will haunt her for the rest of her Catholic life), as well as a totally miserable excuse for a human being.

The actress who plays Mrs. Crawley is named Penelope Wilson and she was also in the movie "Calendar Girl."

Daisy at least found her conscience, long misplaced due to the malevolent influence of Thomas, who I hope comes back wounded in the groin and shell-shocked. She seemed to finally take notice of William at the end of episode 4.

Now we have to wait god knows how long before Masterpiece will air the next four episodes...feeling like a puppet on a string, anyone?

Barry in Portland said...

Yeah, someone else explained the soap scene - I hadn't remembered her mirror scene. Maybe guilt will make her a better person in the future, but I doubt it.

Wouldn't it be ironic if Thomas returns a decorated hero, and sweeps Daisy off her tired feet?

Have there only been 4 episodes? I feel like I've known these people for so long (which, as I recall, was also true for my all-time-fave series, "Brideshead Revisited").