Monday, September 10, 2012

Summer TV Rewind: Downton Abbey 1.07

“I think this is black and white. Do you love me enough to spend the rest of your life with me?”
- Matthew

While Jen is busy with work and catching up after the Olympics, I’m tackling the Downton series 1 finale. Hard to believe so much could happen in 7 little episodes. We’re in 1914 and not much time has passed since the last episode, although the Archduke of Austria has been killed so World War I is not far off.

Downstairs, Matthew has returned from his visit to his mother and is slowly grieving her death. Of course Thomas has to give him crap. And things are still unresolved for Bates. Ms. O’Brien made friends with the lady’s maid of one of Bates’ former commanding officers and found out about what exactly he did to get him tossed in prison. Carson brings it to Bates and he doesn’t deny the contents. But Robert still isn’t exactly convinced of what happened. And he’s got way more to deal with right now than just Bates. Mrs. Patmore’s eyesight is getting worse and there’s only so much she’ll let Daisy do to compensate. So, Robert asks Matthew if they can borrow their cook while they send Anna and Mrs. Patmore off to London to an eye center. Guess they knew how to do cataracts back in the 1910s. Things are a bit tense before they leave between Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Bird (Matthew and Isobel’s cook) and Mrs. Patmore leaves Daisy with instructions to make the food “not taste nice” so the family will be extra happy when Mrs. Patmore returns.

While in London, Anna gets the address for Bates’ mother and goes to have a chat. She learns that it wasn’t Bates that stole, but his wife Vera. She’s a piece of work and while we don’t see any of her this series or hear much about her, get ready because she’s going to play a huge part comer series 2. When Anna and Mrs. Patmore return to Downton, Anna is relieved to be able to relay the truth to Robert and Bates isn’t upset with her for what she did. But he says she doesn’t know the whole truth. Only his mother’s version.

Upstairs, there is drama abounding with the Crawley girls and with Lord and Lady Grantham. Somewhat unexpectedly, Cora discovers she is about 4 months pregnant. Robert is rather shocked since it’s been 18 years since she was last pregnant and it appears they’ve still been sharing the same bed (and sleeping together). This of course, changes everything. Mary has stayed on in London with her Aunt Rosamund (Robert’s sister) for a while and she’s still debating whether to accept Matthew’s marriage proposal or not. Her aunt seems to be trying to convince her to say no. Or at least put things off until the baby is born. A boy could throw everything into chaos and make her marriage to Matthew pointless to protect the family title. Meanwhile, Mary learns that Edith sent post to the Turkish Ambassador about Mr. Pamuk so things are going to get ugly. Edith doesn’t deny what she did and in the end, Mary works it so that Sir Anthony is no longer interested in Edith.

Matthew is somewhat concerned by the news of baby as well. He considers going back to Manchester and resuming his life there if the baby turns out to be a boy. And he confronts Mary about why she keeps putting him off. He’s not the only one. Violet thinks Mary is putting him off too long as well. She urges Mary to accept now, telling her that Matthew will love her forever. But if she waits until the baby arrives, it will look like she’s just after Matthew for his position. Which is very true. And kind of sweet given whom it’s coming from. Violet has her own issues to deal with this episode. Her maid is leaving, off to get married. Cora offers to help put ads in the newspaper to hire a new one. Unfortunately, while Cora and Robert are talking about the Bates matter, Cora makes an off-hand comment about sacking O’Brien. This sends her and Thomas off the rails. It will not end well. Well, okay so it kind of ends all right for Thomas. He decides he wants to join the medical core if there is a war coming and he gets help from the doctor to sign up. As for O’Brien, during Cora’s bath, she kicks a piece of soap onto the floor (after Cora drops it) and Cora ends up slipping and miscarries the baby (which was a boy). At least O’Brien is somewhat horrified by what she’s done. Thomas on the other hand doesn’t really give a crap which leads to a much needed pummeling by Williams.

We have a brief bit to wrap up Gwen’s storyline. As Mr. Carson is telling the telephone installer where he wants the new telephones, Sybil bumps into him and gets the man talking. She promises to get Gwen’s application in and ultimately, Gwen gets the job. So we’ll need a new maid for series 2. I have to say I will miss her. She was sweet. And we see more of the early days of Sybil/Branson relationship. Mrs. Hughes warns Branson to be careful or he may end up with no job and a broken heart.

Things don’t end well with Mary and Matthew. At the garden party (which Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Patmore put together), Matthew tells Mary he’s no longer interested in why she’s giving him the run around and he’s going to leave Downton. Mary is understandably upset that he won’t give her another chance because she does really like him. She was just unsure what the right course of action should be. Isobel is worried that Matthew is making a mistake now since there is no potential conflict of heirs. Mary ends up crying in Carson’s arms just as Robert gets news from Carson. It turns out tensions have boiled over in Eastern Europe and England is now at war with Germany.

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