Bullet Points: Downton Abbey 03:01

Image Credit: Nick Briggs

Oh thank God! The wait is finally – FINALLY – over!

Violet and Co. are back, y’all and they are all looking good!

Julian Fellowes’s much beloved riff on Upstairs Downstairs, has returned to the US shores and I have much to say about it, especially in light of (a) the time period, (b) in light of the events of this season (which can be found online if you where to look), and (c) the much-anticipated addition to the cast.

But enough of this: we’ve got some re-capping to do. So grab your gifts, send out letters from the dead, break out our copies of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” and get ready for the wedding of the (early 20th) Century.

  • Speaking of that wedding, oh thank God it finally happened; though not for lack of trying on Matthew and Mary’s parts to try and self-sabotage things once again. What with him about to inherit the dead Lavinia’s father’s fortune, and her lack of one (thanks to Lord Grantham’s bad investment choices), the two of them need to get over themselves tout suite. Still they managed to make it down the aisle and return from their honeymoon in Paris, so all is safe. For now…
  • Speaking of the family fortunes, poor Lord Grantham. The sooner he can hand over the estate to Matthew, the better.
  • Can we all take a moment to swoon over the wedding? It was great seeing everyone (Sybil, poor dear, looked poor. But then again when you have the hotness of Branson as your husband who cares about money). Sybil is preggers, Edith is a whiny brat who needs to get laid and give up on Sir Anthony, Mary & Matthew are themselves, Cora is under stress, and Violet controls everything. Well expect the visiting dignitaries…
  • And now, SHIRLEY MCLAINE…. I mean, MRS. MARTHA LEVINSON IS IN THE HOUSE, Y’ALL! As delightful as it was to see her (and I could watch Shirley McLaine and Maggie Smith trade barbed commentary to each other all season and say it was Emmy-worthy), I have to cry foul with Julian Fellowes’s treatment of her. Mind you, the whole point was to show that the Americans are more “modern” (read: crass) then the British (and to provide Violet with opportunities for eye-rolling and cutting remarks), but at the same time having her sitting at the dinner table talking with her mouth full was a bit much. The Levinsons would be on par with some of the bigger families of the time in America (think the Carnegies, the Mellons, etc.) and would have money and breeding (so much so that Cora would attract the attention of a British Earl), so to see Martha as being socially inept is a bit much to take. That said, it was that American pluckiness that helped her solve the problem of the dinner party complete with indoor picnic and musical interlude (which she NAILED, by the way).
  • Okay enough about upstairs, let’s go downstairs. The Poster Child for “Women Who Love The Wrong Man And Turn Into Ninnies Because Of It” (a.k.a. Anna) is still with Bates, who’s still in prison. Daisy is crankier than ever (so much so that #CrankyDaisy has become a Twitter meme), and Thomas is plotting against another valet, but this time it’s a mistake because said valet it Anthony, the nephew of one Miss Sarah O’Brien. Which means that the epic bitchfight we have been waiting for from Violet, Dowager C(o)untess (you can drop the O and it still makes sense) and Mrs. Martha Levinson means that instead it will be transferred to the former friends (and soon to be enemies) Thomas and O’Brien. If I had to choose who will win, while I would side with Thomas, let us never underestimate the true evil that is O’Brien’s Bangs!
  • My only complaint is that there is never enough Isobel for my tastes, but then again, I think that if Martha and Isobel were to join forces, poor Violet would be in in-law hell!
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