Note: These recaps mainly focus on Thomas and Jimmy, but they keep getting more involved. I cover everything. Apologies for the tangent on American orange production.
Sad Bates strolls out of the cottage with his cane and lack of limp. Sad Anna gathers herself for the day in her quarters in the house. She comes down the stairs to see Bates waiting for her and says she doesn’t understand why he waits for her. He wants to be first to greet her in the morning. She says there’s no need. He starts to talk, sees someone, stops, and starts again, saying there’s every need. He says he’ll continue until she explains what the hell is up. Bates says his life was perfect and now it’s nothing. He wants an explanation. Enter Baxter, the new lady’s maid, who happens up on them. Bates greets her warmly and Anna gives her a weak smile. Baxter has a sewing machine and no electric sockets in her room. Ah, the transitional period of electricity. I know Thomas has sockets, he’s got a lamp. If anyone needs sockets, it’s a lady’s maid. Anyway, she wants permission to use her machine in the servants’ hall and wonders if Mrs. Hughes will let her. Bates says she should ask Mrs. Hughes. Which, yeah, duh. Well, she’s new.
Bates asks Anna what she makes of Baxter (looking wary) once she leaves. Anna says she seems nice.
Bates: Which prompts me to wonder what she sees in our friend, Thomas?
Anna: You know the old saying, there’s nowt so queer as folk.
Har har. And damn, it’s a good thing that quote became a thing after this episode because I rewound it three times trying to decipher it to no avail.
Pity Jimmy didn’t walk by just then.
Anna says they’re about to miss breakfast, and looks like she’s about to burst into tears.
Bates looks sad.
Servants’ Hall: Mrs. Hughes is looking at the Daily Card (daily schedule) at breakfast- it looks almost identical to the one in The Chronicles of Downton Abbey except for the part where I read “valet” as “dalek” for a mind boggling second. It would also be very useful for a date but it was too blurry for me to read- I think it said April though? Patmore is asking Hughes if she can teach Alfred some cooking and Hughes says she should ask Carson.
For the love of PETE- you would think the hierarchy would be very clear in this time and place in history but no one in this house seems to know who to ask what.
But Carson is right there and Hughes poses the question. Patmore says Alfred hasn’t been accepted yet but he should be ready if he’s accepted for the test. Carson says it’s alright (whilst heaving a dramatic sigh) and says Alfred is a hard worker after all. This is when I notice a background maid shooting Alfred a smile- she looks so proud and happy for him! I assume it’s an eager background person (Note: Marge! Vany says it is Marge, not to be confused with Madge), my head canon says she is the silent Alfred-crusher, falling in below Daisy on the long-shot list. Patmore is pleased and says she was just checking, not “inciting a revolution.” Heehee.
A bell rings, Carson and everyone else leap to their feet. Well, they stand quickly. It’s Lady G’s bell because Thomas exchanges a little look with Baxter as if to say, “That’s your cue, kid. Don’t fuck this up.”
Lady G’s Room: Baxter is serving Lady G her breakfast. She oh so meekly suggests Lady G check it before she leaves. Lady G says it’s perfect but is flummoxed by the liquid orange concoction. Baxter says she thought since Lady G is American she might like some orange juice because that’s one of those weird American things Americans like. But that’s cool, I didn’t know orange juice was an American thing, at least back then. Actually, I would have guessed orange juice as a breakfast beverage to come into popularity anywhere much later. You’d think I’d know, I’m in California, land of the oranges (shut up, Florida). Actually, I wonder who’s got more oranges now; Cali or Florida? Or is it some other state entirely? Are you asleep yet? Okay, moving on. Note: I actually looked this up. Florida grows most of the oranges for juice, and Cali grows for fruit eating. But the #1 orange grower in the world is Brazil. I know you were on pins and needles.
Lady G is off her head with quiet glee at the orange juice. “That is so considerate, Baxter.” And whoever said McG sounds a little bit valley girl was right. I think it’s the proximity of the orange. You see! Obviously, oranges imported from California. They turn you all valley (I went to school in the valley- still tons of orange trees around).
Baxter leaves as Robert enters. Lady G is delighted with her orange juice and with Baxter. Tom and Mary want to meet Robert in the library. “They have an idea,” Robert says gravely. He’s wary, since he had to look up the word “idea”in the dictionary and all. “I hope it’s nothing you’re going to fight about,” Lady G says, drinking her orange juice as if it’s been spiked with a euphoric sedative. Or maybe Baxter made her a Mimosa. Or a Screwdriver!
Crawley House: Isobel and Clarkson drinking tea. Isobel wants to find a job for some kid named Pegg, which would also help his mother. Pegg is a gardener, which Isobel doesn’t need. Clarkson suggests she ask if they could use someone at Downton or Dowager House, since we know Violet takes her garden very seriously. Btw, I really like this room ( I never really noticed before) with the lovely big window and the garden in front. Pretty.
Library: Tom and Mary are discussing the death of a tenant with Robert. The family have been tenants of Downton since forever. But the rent hasn’t been paid in ages, according to Mary. They’re saying it’s time to foreclose the lease and farm the land themselves. Robert’s bummed (no evil comments about Robert on this from me, this is when he gets to shine). Mary’s like, “Eh. Them’s the breaks.” Then Robert abruptly changes subjects by showing her the announcement of Gillingham’s engagement to Maybe She’s Born With It Maybe It’s Mable Lane Fox (OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO APPRECIATE THAT ONE COME ON NOW). Mary says she’ll write to congratulate him with all the genuinely happy magnanimity of Leonardo DiCaprio clapping for another actor’s Oscar win.
You know…if I thought Robert was so strategic, I might suspect of him going to that meeting with them armed with the engagement announcement specifically to take Mary down a notch in the middle of a business discussion…
Mary walks away, obviously shaken.
Servants’ Hall: Baxter is sewing on a beeeeeuuuuutiful old Singer. I mean I don’t sew at all but I like the way antique sewing machines look- my mom was a quilter, and she had an old Singer from her grandmother- the kind that’s like a full little wooden desk with the iron-work foot peddle attached. It’s a thing of beauty. Not that she ever used it to sew, her working machine looked like a frigging Starfleet shuttle.
Anyway, Alfred, Thomas, Bate and Daisy are watching her sew.
I guess Jimmy is doing a thing somewhere.
Daisy: But if it’s electric aren’t ya afraid it’s goin’ to run away with itself and sew your fingers to the table?
Heheheh. Baxter says she hopes not, and Alfred asks her how she works it (foot peddle).
Patmore is HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS of this newfangled gadget. Like she acts as if its power by demon folk.
Thomas: (holding his tea with gusto) Mrs. Patmore is not what you’d call a futurist.
Anna walks in, is noticed by Bates, and immediately leaves. Hughes tells Bates she’s keeping Anna too Busy. If you look over Bates’ shoulder right here, you will see Thomas paying close attention. UGGGHHHH, so much potential for something awesome there. I’m just gonna assume it won’t happen so I won’t be angry (HAHAHAHAHAH).
Baxter asks Daisy if she wants to use the sewing machine and Daisy nods and is very adorable.
Hallway: Anna is walking down the hall alone and Hughes whispers after her. Anna walks back, lit very darkly. Hughes says she doesn’t know why Anna is so hard on Bates, at least Anna knows she’s not pregnant (and a million Downton fans unclenched). Anna confirms this.
Hughes: Then can’t you start to get past it and tell him something?
Get past it?? One of the few times Hughes has been wildly tone deaf.
Anna says Bates can read her like a book and would know if she were lying. Hughes says she wishes Bates could get her out of this “veil of shadows.” Anna repeats her fears that Bates would kill a guy. Grave music plays. Hughes says it’s Anna’s secret but it’s a mistake. Anna walks back into the shadows.
Alas, Bates was listening in as the shot reveals.
Crawley House: Isobel is interviewing Pegg who is a novice gardener. Isobel promises to find little Pegg a job. Pegg is grateful. He’s shown out and Clarkson stands at the window. Isobels says Pegg will be disappointed to find she’s ordinary. Er…I don’t think he cares much about that. Clarkson says she’s seen as one of the family. Isobel says they’re all very kind but she’s not one of them, so everybody who guessed that quote was Branson (as did I) is out a quid. Clarkson says, “If it serves you to think yourself unloved than nothing I say will make any difference.” Isobel says that harsh. Dude, you know by that he means you ARE loved, crazy woman?
St. Michael’s Graveyard: The funeral of that tenant guy. His son finds Robert. Did we get this guy’s name? I’m trying to pay close attention and I haven’t noticed it. The guy doesn’t want to move, he wants to take on the tenancy. The first time I watched, I thought this was tangled up in Pegg’s plot line, I thought that was same family. Anyway. Robert says the notices have already been served so the guy is about to be foreclosed. Yow, that is rough news to hear AT the funeral. Robert says, “It’s no good painting me as Simon Legree.” You know…maybe references to Uncle Tom’s Cabin aren’t so great the season you bring in your first black character. Jesus, at least Jack’s not in this episode. I mean of all the books…
I’m just spit balling here.
Oh, and the family’s name is Drew.
Robert says they gave his father a lot of time to try to straighten things out. Drew says they’ve been farming there since the Napoleonic wars. Robert says he’ll meet with him but he’s not very optimistic.
Kitchen: Daisy is teaching Alfred how to cook something. It involves casings. Ah, it’s tarts with an egg and cheese filling. Mmmmm. Patmore says it smells good. Patmore says they could be the savory for the family’s dinner. Alfred goes to get eggs. Daisy admits it’s kind of a drag that she’s teaching him what to do to leave them. Patmore says, yep, and that’s the way it should be. Alfred comes back and Patmore says Daisy can help him enrich the (something something).
Main Hall: Carson is doing a thing. In the background, Jimmy opens the door for Mary and Edith, which is almost all of his screentime this episode and I know he’s really had a lot this season but I love the guy okay. Carson has the mail and Edith asks if there’s any mail for her. Nope. So no word from Germany. Lady G says he’s probably busy.
Library: Mary has been writing to Gillipants which is, apparently making her cry. OH WHATEVER. I don’t buy that in the least. Lady G speaks of the engagement.
Edith: I am surprised, I thought he was rather keen on you.
Mary: Not the first time you’ve gotten the wrong end of the stick.
I’m so over their rivalry. Jesus. Yeah, yeah, I know. The Pamuk shit. But it was ten years ago. I just think it’s sad.
Rose enters. Lady G thought he was Robert and since he’s not there, Edith says they should discuss his upcoming birthday. Mary says they should have a party; a “small one.” Hoo boy.
Dowager House: Violet does, in fact, need another gardener. The last one ran off to “a frightfully grand rectory.” Isobel asks her to take on Pegg. “I wonder your halo doesn’t grow heavy,” Violet says, “it must be like wearing a tiara round the clock.” Heh. Isobel says they’d all be grateful and Violet says Isobel’s gratitude never lasts long before she asks another favor. Violet finally agrees, as she often does when it’s helping someone, so long as it’s not going to put her out too much. I love Violet.
Nursery: Mary enters to find BRANSON PLAYING ON THE FLOOR WITH SYBBIE AND GEORGIE OMFG. Mary says she thought she’d get in some play time before the gong. Apparently, Sybbie says there’s going to be a hurricane. Laugh it up, fuzzball, but you won’t be laughing when Sybbie turns out to be a storm-making mutant under the tutelage of one Professor Charles Xavier.
I’m trying to pay attention to this scene but I’m distracted by the cute little toy castle on a table with a teddy bear inside it, looking out on his royal subjects. Anyway, they’re getting all the animals sheltered for the big storm and apparently the nanny is doing laundry. Mary dandles George on her knee. Mary notes the nanny is very relaxed.
Hippie stoner nanny.
They both note that their kids’ childhoods are very different from theirs and Mary asks Tom if he thinks the kids are getting a good childhood. Tom says they’re doing their best, which doesn’t seem good enough to Mary. Tom knocks over some blocks.
Kitchen: Carson has a letter for Alfred. It’s the letter that will tell Alfred if he can test for the cook’s training and there’s a close up of The Ritz’ stamp on the envelope. Daisy and Patmore are very excited. Bates and Baxter are at the door. Jimmy is REMARKABLY unimpressed. He looks utterly bemused by Alfred’s excitement/nervousness. Alfred says he wants it so much he can’t bear to find out he was rejected. Ivy also looks happy/nervous. Patmore takes the letter and reads it. He did get into the test, but it’s just two days away even though the letter is postmarked ten days ago. She says it must have gotten lost. Bates says he’ll be fine. Anna enters and asks what’s up. “Alfred’s got his test. At the Ritz,” Jimmy says, snarkish. Anna says she’s happy for Alfred and Bates starts to talk to her just as the gong sounds (Which we don’t actually hear very often, do we? Have we ever?). Anna flees. Patmore tells Bates he shouldn’t worry.
Daisy takes Alfred’s tarts out of the oven and gushes about them. Patmore tells Alfred to take them up and say he cooked them. Alfred says he just couldn’t omg no it’s so EMBARRASSING MOM WHY ARE YOU SO UGH. She says Carson can then. “And what are they supposed to do?” Jimmy snarks. “Hang out the flags?” “Oh, don’t grudge him his success!” Patmore says.
Jimmy: I don’t. I just can’t see the fun in a life chained to a stove.
Wow. Idiot says this TO the cook and a room full of people who love cooking. In the kitchen. Dick! Whatever, Jimmy. It only makes me love you more.
Carson sweeps in asking for the savory.
Dining Room: Robert likes the tarts and tells Alfred so. Lady G says she’ll be sorry to lose Alfred. Robert wishes him well. Carson clears his throat, telling Alfred, yeah yeah, back to your place. Edith mentions she’s going to Gregson’s office in London the the next day.
Servants’ Hall: Thomas is skulking. I guess the fireplace was packed. Baxter is sewing. Thomas finds her alone.
Thomas: All alone?
Baxter: Seem to be. Don’t know why.
Thomas: How you getting on with her Ladyship?
Baxter: Pretty well. I think.
Thomas: You’ve done American and praised Lady Sybil?
Baxter: Have I not? You name it, I’ve said it.
Thomas: She’ll be eating out of your hand.
Baxter: That’s the intention.
Thomas: No enemies downstairs neither. (he looks so proud) That was Miss O’Brien’s mistake. Nobody liked her so nobody told her anything.
Baxter: They don’t like you much.
Thomas: That’s why you’re here. To rectify that failing on my part.
Baxter looks…uncertain about this.
I’m gonna say that Baxter just means Thomas has no trusted friends (I mean, who knows, Jimmy could be NOT THAT WE WOULD KNOW). Anyway. No one seems to actively dislike him at this point though- although I think the Bates’ would always be wary, barring some major bonding experience perhaps. And Bates likely still thinks Thomas had the nanny fired for no good reason, and there was that thing with Anna and the scarf. But other than them…
Mary’s Room: Mary asks if Anna has moved back in. Mary suggests she go back to the cottage. Anna say she “hasn’t gotten around to it.” Mary wants to know what’s wrong. No good.
Kitchen: Alfred is in his goin’ out suit, to say goodbye. Country boy wants to know if there’s anything he should know about London and Patmore’s all, “Anything you should know?! Hoooo boy, lemme tell ya bout the time ole Elsie n’ I picked up some Yankee sailors down at the docks. I even let a Portuguese lad feel my garter on the wharf. If ya go to a pub called The Forking Hog’s Hoof in Greenwich, tell em’ Beryl sent ya. And don’t drink anything with a worm in it.”
Carson’s like, “Can we not?”
Patmore’s all uptight because Lady G is going to come downstairs. Daisy immediately notices a tear in Patmore’s apron. Enter the ever so helpful Thomas, who asks what’s up? Patmore’s like, “OMG MY APRON I CAN’T AND TIM GUNN SAYS WE HIT THE RUNWAY IN THIRTY SECONDS MY TEAM HAS LET ME DOWN.” She says she probably caught it on a nail. Yes, I am assuming Thomas sabotaged Patmore’s apron so Baxter could fix it, although when does that woman ever take off her apron? So, sure enough, she gives the apron to Thomas to give to Baxter to mend.
Outside Downton: Alfred is catching a ride with Edith since they’re catching the same train. Edith says they all wish him luck as Jimmy holds the door, likely thinking, “I COULD KILL YOU ALL WITH THE POWER OF MY PRETTY. I CHOOSE NOT TO. THAT’S HOW NICE I AM. AND NO ONE APPRECIATES IT.” Alfred mentions it’s his first trip to London which Edith says is exciting and is nobly able to do so without sounding condescending. “Exciting’s one word for it,” Alfred says, and gets in the car. Jimmy flees this scene before his head explodes. The car takes off.
Library: Drew can’t pay all the thingies he has to pay. Drew says, “I am a Yorkshireman! This is where I belong.” Robert says they’re in partnership, which he means in a good way. Robert says he’ll see what he can do. Drew twists his hat in his hands, which is Downton Body Language for, “I am at my lowest and only someone of higher status or class can save me now.” Happens a lot. Robert says he’ll pay a thingie and shakes his hand. Awww. Good Robert!
Hughes’ Office: Carson asks Hughes if Alfred’s got a shot at this cooking thing. Carson wants to higher Molesley to take Alfred’s job if he’s likely to leave. Carson is positive Moles will be up for it.
Dining Room: (luncheon) Mary’s annoyed that Robert made a deal with Drew without talking to her and Tom. Robert says, “I told him I’d think about it.” Well, also he paid the thingie.
Robert: If we don’t respect the past, we’ll find it hard to build our future.
Violet: Where did you read that?
Robert: I made it up. I thought it was rather good.
Violet: It’s too good. The one thing we don’t want is a poet in the family.
Isobel: Would it be so bad?
Violet: The only poet peer I am familiar with is Lord Byron. And I presume we all know how that ended?
Yadda yadda, farmers and partnership. Isobel’s all for it. Violet calls her “queen of the rebels.” Isobel thanks her. I love them. Mary asks Tom if he agrees? Of course, Branson is on the farmer’s side. And magically Tom agrees with Robert on something! Awww. Robert charges Mary with telling Drew the happy news.
Boot Room: Anna is polishing heels, Bates plops some boots down next to her. Bates tries to get her to talk again and tells her he loves her. Anna starts to say, “But I don’t-” She stops, gathers herself, and says she’s going to Ripon. “Well…at least I know you’ll be back before the gong.” She leaves.
Servants’ Hall: Baxter is mending Patmore’s apron as she watches, impressed by the speed of the machine. Baxter finishes and Patmore is thanks her. Enter Thomas. He says Lady G is coming. Patmore leaves.
Thomas: Another one roped to the chariot?
Baxter: I’m grateful for this job, Thomas, and we both know why (REALLY?! TELL US!). But what’s it all about?
Thomas: (lighting a cigarette) Well, there’s going to be changes at Downton. There’s bound to be.
Baxter: I’m sure.
Thomas: So I want to now about any plans upstairs. Any detail, no matter how small. (oi) Understand?
Baxter: Did the other Lady’s maids keep you informed?
Thomas: Miss O’Brien. Yes. (I swear he looks wistful) But we fell out.
Baxter: What about Mrs. Bates? Is she an enemy? She knows what’s going on.
Thomas: No, she’s not an enemy. But she’s incorruptible. So we have nothing in common.
Baxter: She’s also silent. Haven’t had four words out of her since I arrived.
Thomas: Just get them all to trust you. And tell you everything.
Oh man…I’m really starting to have stupidly high hopes that this will lead to Thomas helping Bates. How dumb of me.
Thomas leaves and the camera follows him, stopping at Patmore who is arguing with Lady G about, what else, new fangled gadgets. Cora wants a fridge. I am not covering Cora Wants a Fridge in great detail but it comes down to Patmore not wanting to wear a corset anymore.
Violet’s Garden (that sounds dirty): Pegg’s name is John. According to Isobel he is keen to learn. Violet says he must do everything Paley or Peeley or whatever the gardener’s name is tells him. Ugh, Violet’s garden is gorgeous. I want to take a nap there. Violet and Isobel bicker about the intensity of Isobel’s fervor. They walk away and Isobel says, “You care about these things as much as I do.” “Nobody cares about anything as much as you do,” Violet says. Then she gives this little laugh and then this AWESOME delayed little laugh and it’s very amusing.
London: Edith in a car. It pulls over to a grey stone building. She gets out and trots up the steps of a Dr. T. Goldman. Foreboding!
The Ritz Chef Training School for Ambitious Gingers: Giant white room full of young dudes in chef outfits, including Alfred. Comical “oh gosh, isn’t this serious!” music is playing. French Joel Gray (that’s what I’m calling him anyway) paces in front of the trainees and gives his speech. He is the Sous-Chef for The Ritz. French Joel Gray asks the trainees a bunch of questions about soup and shit. Alfred doesn’t know any of the answers. French Joel Gray has elf ears. He tells them to start their
potions mixing cooking.
Library: Enter Evelyn Napier! He greets Mary warmly. He’s “working on a government thing.” Boy, more than anyone else, Napier always seems so convincingly period to me. Something about his voice. I think they went back in time to find him for Downton. Like if he calls someone “dear old fellow” or says “I say, good show, old chap” I totally buy it. Mary rings for tea and Napier tells Mary she’s been in his thoughts a lot since “the whole ghastly business.” He is the most British guy ever. He says she looks lovely. Aw.
Kitchen: “Hello!” Jimmy says to Ivy, all chipper and making me growl. “Lady Mary wants tea for four.” Ivy totally ignores him. Jimmy is flummoxed and says, “I’ll start again? Hello? Lady Mary wants tea for four in the library?” It amuses me that he doesn’t attempt a “please.” Ivy finally says it’s not right the way he speaks against Alfred. Jimmy says he’s sorry but he can’t imagine not having been to London. “Dearie me,” he says. “I’ve not been to London!” Ivy protests. “And for me it just goes to show…” (not sure what she means by that) If Jimmy falls for Ivy so he can sing “A Whole New World” and take her to see the sights on magic carpet or whatever I may die. Actually die. She says it might be a daunting prospect and all but at least Alfred has ambition. She admires that. “Good,” Jimmy says, “because I’ve got plenty of ambition where you’re concerned. Ivy says, “Don’t be so soft.” I’ve felt more warm and comforted about life watching Takashi Miike movies. PLEASE DON’T DO THIS THING, JIMMY.
Library: Lord and Lady G are having tea with Mary and Napier. Whatever Napier’s working on, it’s very “hush hush.” He’s doing some kind of study on estates post-war to see if they’re likely to survive. He says…some of them are. It’s “interesting and incredibly depressing.” He can’t say which estates in Yorkshire he’s studying. HMMMM. But he says Downton is definitely not “in serious trouble.” Mary says they’d love his opinions on what they’re doing at Downton. “We don’t want to add to his labors,” Robert says. Pfft. Mary asks him where he’s staying: a hotel in Ripon, he thinks. She pushes for them to stay at Downton. But his boss, Charles Blake, will be coming along.
Huh… If he’s telling the truth, even if Downton isn’t in “serious trouble”, it could be in some sort of trouble…which could lead to the sorts of changes our Mr. Barrow might be interested in hearing about… I doubt he only wants to know who Lady Rose is snogging this week. Hmm… I feel like Baxter could go in several possible directions.
Ritz Training School for Ambitious Weasley Squibs: French Joel Gray is trying Alfred’s dishes. He shrugs and says Alfred’s done “quite well.” Alfred tries to talk himself up (he’s just too humble) and attempts to excuse his lack of experience with backstory we don’t get to hear- I think he said his mother died? I don’t remember that. Did we know that? Anyway, it’s too bad Alfred’s potential doesn’t come with Jimmy’s bravado- he’d really have something. Still though, Alfred is too proud to say that being a footman has made him unhappy. French Joel Gray does not seem impressed.
Hughes’ Office: Bates sits down with Hughes. He wants her help. Hughes is all, “Whoooo me?” Bates says he heard them talking and he knows she knows something. She says she does know something but she’s not sure he should know what she knows. Oi. Anyway, Bates threatens to leave. Which is obviously a bluff, because that would be batshit crazy. Dark Bates! As if he would leave Anna. You’d think Hughes would see through it. Bates claims Anna no longer loves him yadda yadda. I have to think all of this is a manipulation, wonder what you guys think? He can’t be blind enough to think it’s something he’s done or whatever- if he knows Anna so well, he must know something horrendous happened that traumatized her, but he’s using this I’m-out-of-here business to get info from Hughes. Doesn’t matter, I suppose. Hughes was really dying to tell him. The bluff just gave her an excuse. Bates goes as far as to get up and say he’s leaving and Hughes stops him. She’ll tell him.
Dowager House: Violet enters her sitting room to find young Pegg watering the flowers. He apologizes for being around for her to see his ugly mug. She says she left a letter on her desk. Violet goes to her desk- something is missing. She asks Pegg if anyone else has been in there. He doesn’t know. She is highly suspicious. Pegg looks guileless.
Hughes Office: Hughes has told Bates. Bates wants to know when it happened. He guesses the night of the party. He says he now knows who it was. Dude is trembling with rage. Coyle attempts to cry later- it’s awful. But his Rage Tremble is pretty great. His jowls are all a’ quiver. I can see the adrenaline in his veins, man. Good job, Coyle. See! I can speak positively of Bates/Coyle! Anyway, Bates is positive it was Green. Hughes is all, “What? Who? I…what…not..familiar with that name…” Basically.
Bates demands she swear to it. On her mom. On her mom’s grave. On her mom’s Bible. On her mom’s favorite knickers. Anyway. Hughes swears. But Bates knows now.
Hallway: Brendan Coyle attempts to cry. It does not go well. (Look, I just have a thing about actors who just make lame crying sounds because they can’t summon tears which IS very difficult- now you take Rob James-Collier..that dude can cry. Freaking Laura Carmichael after the jilting! There was some sobbing for ya.)
Upstairs: Edith and Robert are coming down for dinner. They talk about Napier and Edith asks if he’s “still in pursuit of Mary.” Wait…like was he in pursuit of her again at some point within the last ten years? I mean that was so long ago. I don’t know. I do have friends that mention things that happened ten years ago as if it was last year. Fine then. I don’t even know what the hell with the Downton timeline sometimes. I think time passes for some characters and not for others. And for fuck’s sake if you’re trying to tell me Napier never got married or didn’t at least come close within the last ten years my eyes will roll back so far I may lose them. WHAT HAS HE BEEN DOING? He must have married! Did she die of the flu or what? Okay. Anywaaaaaay. Robert says he doesn’t know if Napier is in pursuit of Mary. He seems somewhat annoyed at the question.
Library: Lady Rose wants to know if Robert is going to have a birthday party. She has..an idea for that. CUTIE DRAWERS (by which I mean Jack). Robert enters- they’ve agreed on dealing with Drew. This leads to Branson saying he’s been thinking and stuff and feeling like “an intruder.” Branson says he feels like he’s living where he doesn’t belong.
Edith: Welcome to the club.
Mary: Oh, stop moaning.
Guh- that bums me out, I have to say. I wish they’d resolve their shit.
Robert asks him if he’d feel at home in Ireland. Branson says no because they’ve changed him too much. He’s used to wine, gross lady’s maids, and song. Good food. Silken sheets. No longer having to have strong convictions. All the better things. His arms are no longer able to even pick up a sack o’ potatoes. He has to have a footman do it. Branson says he is a man without a home. He says he has family in America who are doing well and it might be better for Sybbie. Like maybe he knows some bootleggers in Atlantic City… Okay, okay. Mary says they don’t want to lose him.
Carson’s Office: Carson has offered Moles the job of footman. Moles is indignant. Oh, Moles. Carson is indignant at Moles’ indignation. Moles says he’ll give him an answer later.
Boot Room: Anna is scrubbing. Bates enters and Anna seems exponentially more exhausted just by him walking in- not a knock at Bates- a compliment to Frogatt’s acting- I felt like I could see physical weight descend on her shoulders. Apparently it’s nearly midnight and she’s been brushing shoes forever. Great shot of Bates putting his hands over hers and taking the shoe away. He says, “I know.” Anna’s bottom lip goes apeshit. Bates says Hughes told him because he forced her. Anna starts to freak. Anna asks what Hughes said exactly, trying valiantly to hold it together. He says: “How…how it happened. When it happened…” Bates has a hard time getting the words out. “I asked if it was Green.” Anna says softly, “Who?” Bates goes on and Anna is an astoundingly good liar considering how upset she has to be. She nods along as he retells Hughes’ tale of the mystery rapist. “Because if it was the valet…he is a dead man.” DUDE. He’s gotta know better than to say that! I guess cause he’s obviously upset too. Exact wrong thing to say. Anna actually defends Green, trying to be convincing. Jesus. Anna insists they have no way to find the culprit. Anna does at least look mildly relieved that this much at least is out between them. But then she starts to cry about her “shame” having nowhere to hide. GAAAAH. Bates is like WTF. Anna says she’s “spoiled” for him.
Then Bates says: “You are not spoiled. You are made higher to me and holier because of the suffering you’ve been put through.”
I understand what Bates-fans interpret this to mean. I know it’s supposed to sound great. I…guess?
I hate that line…SO MUCH. But I’ve ranted on that already. So, moving on…
Okay, okay, but then he says: “You are my wife and I have never been prouder nor loved you more than I love you now at this moment.”
I’m just gonna accept this all as generic love-speak because if I start trying to apply logic to it, my brain is going to implode (like okay, he feels incredibly protective which is very loving, I’ll just go with that, otherwise it makes me think Bates loves his wife even more now because she’s fucking miserable and I know that’s not what Julian meant…that’s just my own aggravation with Bates talking). Like I love big sweeping love speeches too (you don’t even know how much I love big soppy love speeches) but they should have logical thoughts behind them that make sense. Brownie points if they make sense and are profound. This wasn’t.
Anyway! It was the right thing to say to Anna who cries and hugs him.
Yard Behind the House (morning): Postman rides up on his bicycle. Jimmy Kent is all leaning and smoking and looking like he’s waiting for the 1950’s to start so he can join a gang. A very well groomed gang. A show-tune-singing gang (Like the Sharks perhaps…or maybe the Jets). Jimmy’s getting the mail…
Servants’ Hall: Carson has Alfred’s letter from The Ritz. Jimmy asks Alfred if that’s the result? Alfred confirms this, looking happy about it and Patmore asks if he wants her to open it. Alfred opens the letter with EVERYONE watching which I would not do in a million years. I would open it alone in a dimly lit room with a bottle of whiskey nearby. Alfred reads the letter and says he didn’t get it. Ivy says she’s sorry. Jimmy looks…well, he looks very suspicious to me. Alfred says they tell him he was nearly in the top four but not quite. “I expect they say that to everyone,” Jimmy says, twisting the knife. Ivy looks mildly disturbed by that comment. Carson shuts him up and tries to be encouraging to Alfred. Moles enters. Oh, Moles. Carson stands so everyone stands and Moles asks for a word.
Then there is a shot of Jimmy just smirking his punk ass off. He’s either off his head with glee that Alfred failed or he FUCKED WITH THE LETTER. I don’t know, man, I just feel like there was a reason we saw him get the mail. And yeah, maybe he fucked with the first letter too? Held onto it so it got delayed. He did somethin’. That kid is no good. I love him so much.
Plot twist: Daisy messed with the letter. No way, it would be wildly OOC, but it had to have occurred to you, no? Bigger plot twist: Daisy and Jimmy secretly talk about boys late into the night and Jimmy messed with the letter for Daisy’s sake and next episode Daisy will lock Thomas and Jimmy in the cellar until she hears shagging noises.
And if you tell me, but how did Jimmy Kent fake a letter from The Ritz? Did he type it? Did he steam open the envelope? Why, it’s impossible! I shall say, guys… POISON PIE.
Besides which, maybe that sort of letter might’ve been handwritten at the time? Maybe not everyone had a Gwen yet, Idk.
Or there was no mucking about with letters at all but that would be boooooring.
Hallway: Moles has been thinking. Moles’ father was disappointed. Moles, with much hesitation, wants to be a footman. Carson is kind of a dick. Like I know Moles is being a little difficult, but I feel like Carson is being a dick about it. Man has his pride. Anyway, Moles is screwed. Can you picture Carson being cool with being a footman? I cannot.
Carson finds Sad!Alfred and tries to cheer him up. Alfred says he reckons Jimmy’s right about the letter telling everyone they came close. Dude… Jimmy Kent isn’t right about ANYTHING. Except that you can’t lose a fortune playing snap. He may have a point there. Also everybody DOES like dancing. If your friends don’t dance they’re no friends of mine. Or Jimmy Kent’s.
Anyway, Carson tells Alfred to keep at it.
Dowager House: Violet is telling Isobel and Clarkson that Pegg stole a valuable paper knife that was given to the Late Lord Grantham by the king of Sweden. Dude…like you can’t get a new one at IKEA? Violet says she won’t let Pegg back in the house, but won’t sack him. Clarkson want to set up some kind of stake-out on Pegg next time he comes in the house. Oi vay, does this sound like a snore.
Drew’s Farm: Drew is thankful to Mary. Mary’s like, “Omg, so not my idea.” Drew spills the beans that Robert loaned him the money. Mary and Tom do not appear to like the sound of that. Drew goes back to his cottage. Mary and Tom walk by some lovely sheep. Mary says though that she’s not upset, because it means Robert is a decent man. Tom accepts this and gets in the car before Mary which my dad found upsetting and unchivalrous.
Hughes’ Office: Anna enters. She knows Hughes told Bates etc. Anna thinks Bates believes it wasn’t Green. She’s moving back to the cottage. Anna says they’re going to put the whole thing behind them which, especially the way Frogatt delieers the line, I think is totally wishful thinking on Anna’s part. Hughes says she hates the idea of Green getting away but maybe it’s for the best. EEEESH, Elsie! Like you think that’s the first time he’s done that???? Or the last?!
I guess she’s trying to be comforting though.
Hallway: Daisy is happy Alfred isn’t leaving. Anna and Bates smile at each other. Hughes finds Bates. Hughes is happy that everything is just peachy now. Bates says “Nothing is over and done with.” Scary Music of the Dark!Bates plays. Bates says he wouldn’t add to Anna’s burden, so he’s pretending everything’s cool. Hughes swears again that she doesn’t know who it was and Bates doesn’t press her. Bates says, “Nothing is over.”
Next week: Napier! Blake! Gregson is MIA! Shenanigans!
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