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Say cheese... (c) ITV1

Say cheese… (c) ITV1

Stuff I wrote on my laptop during last night’s episode…

Barrow back at work
Carson opens the episode with the characteristic bluntness we have come to love about him: ‘Thomas, you’ve missed lunch, but look, clear it up anyway.’

Rose and Russian Slippers
‘They talk about the old days and they have holes in their shoes,’ Rose squeaks mournfully. This is the point where she should have announced she’s holding a house sale of Downton’s shoe collection and distributing the proceeds to every formerly rich Russian she happens to lay eyes on. She doesn’t do this, of course, because she couldn’t care less about the Russians and their shoes.

Tom thumbs the reference books
Taking a stroll with Lord G and Mary, Tom uses the word ‘dwellings’ and we can’t help but envisage Julian Fellowes thesaurus-ing the word: ‘house’.

Downton Darklight
Mrs Crawley and the Dowager see poverty for the first time ever, it seems, visiting the Russians in their dungeons. We try to concentrate on what they’re saying but mostly we’re thinking: just because they’re new to poverty do they have to live in tunnels like moles? Can’t impoverished aristocrats afford daylight?

Anna [the] Christie
Anna hints once again she knows Bates is a murderer.
‘Do the Sergeant’s enquiries bother you?’ she innocently (shrewdly) asks her husband.
‘No,’ he replies, ‘he doesn’t bother me.’
You know what Bates? YOU bother me.

Glorious revelation
Isn’t it enough for us to know that Daisy is learning stuff, do we really have to have it spelled out that she’s studying the Glorious Revolution of 1688? Or is it just that, once again, Fellowes feels the need to educate us by bringing to our attention there was a revolution in 1688?

Love is in the…title
If someone offered you their hand in marriage you’d probably dispense with formal titles, wouldn’t you? Not if you’re Mrs Crawley you wouldn’t. Her ‘Lord Merton this’ and ‘Lord Merton that’ would have continued had he actually gotten down on one knee and, as predicted, not gotten up again.

Laying the breadcrumbs
Lots of divorce chat about Prawny (or was it Shrimpy?) and then Lady G mentions Bricker and it’s clear divorce is in the air.

Thomas and his treatment
I’m too upset to think about what Thomas might be trying to do to himself and have now decided he might be my favourite character.

Seen and not heard
Is George and Cybie’s only contribution to each episode to be paraded around the hallway so Fellowes can prove to us he’s not forgotten about them?

Hearts bleedeth for Edith
Not only is Edith pitied by virtually every character but she’s then presented as a stalker – hiding behind walls and diving into hedgerows to catch a glimpse of the bouncing Marigold. Is there no end to this character’s torment and humiliation?

Blake’s Back
How exciting Mary’s infinitely more handsome suitor, Charles Blake, returns to raise eyebrows at her across catwalks and take her out for un-chaperoned dinners in London. Hope she remembered her Dutch cap, if only to match her fetching red one.

Sitting room
What happened in the sitting room? I’m not quite sure. What didn’t happen in the sitting room?
1.) Edith talks to the Dowager about Marigold and family duties.
2.) Lady G and Bricker flirt away in the corner and Lord G throws a wobbly.
3.) Dowager talks divorce to Prawny and something about never taking sides, which is possibly the most controversial thing she has said all season.
4.) And fucking Bunting comes up yet again, so I throw my sock at the television.

Brick-a-brack
In saucy, arty conversation with Lady G, Bricker talks about his need to ‘burst’ and – boom – in BURSTS Lord G. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Oh wait…

Mary had a little man
The alternative break-up chat:
Lord Gill: Am I bad lover?
Mary: It’s like I was in a dream.
Lord Gill: How flattering. We go to bed together and then you wake up.
Mary: At least one of us was ‘up’.

Dinner
What happened over dinner? I’m not quite sure. What didn’t happen over dinner?
1.) Lady G and Bricker sit next to each other and flirt away in baby voices.
2.) Bunting makes a bloody nuisance of herself and the television gets smacked by my other sock.
3.) Daisy and Mrs Patmore are wheeled in liked fools and then questioned like criminals in a scene reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition, which I reckon is what Mrs Bunting will be teaching Daisy about in next week’s episode.
4.) Lord G huffs and puffs and blows his house down – or was it his napkin, and also his candle?

Bolshy in beddies
Lord G’s: ‘You were flirting and twinkling with that ghastly travelling salesman’ was quite possibly his most hysterical comment to date, and for the first time ever, I actually agree with him.

Curiosity kills the courtship
Anna’s curiosity may well be the undoing of her husband; at last we can raise our mugs of cocoa to the long-awaited departure of this evil, evil man.

A truly extraordinary episode where so much happened I don’t quite know what happened. The only surprising element, really, was that the ghost of Matthew Crawley didn’t appear from down the chimney to chase Miss Bunting out of the house with a hot poker. Then again, there’s always next week.

8/10

By Beenie Langley

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