Well after all the excitement of the last episode, you would think that those Crazy Crawleys would settle down and get on with dealing with things at hand, right?
This episode was very much a case of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. And this is a fault that I lay at Julian Fellowes’s feet. He resolves things way to quickly without giving them any time to develop. Also his attempts at character development by giving his characters foibles devolve into keeping his characters stagnant, and not exploring the ramifications of their actions, and make them look like hateful ninnies.
But enough of that. We’re running late for a very important wedding, picnic, and doctor’s appointment.
- First off, the award for “most shat upon member of the family” has to go to Edith. For once, I actually felt sorry for the Jan Brady of Downton. It’s bad enough everyone treats her poorly, it’s bad enough that she has to defend her choice of fiancé with Sir Anthony (rightly saying that most men of her age are dead – though I would have loved for her to say “What, he’s good enough for the trollop Mary but not me?” and “Well, at least I’m marrying someone with a title and not a chauffeur or solicitor.”), but to have Sir Anthony jilt her at the altar is a low blow. Mind you I still think Edith is wretched, but seeing her glow in the rush of bridal planning was awesome, and it really hit home how much everyone treats her poorly. She deserves better.
- Great line of the episode: Mary to Edith “I know we haven’t always got along, and I doubt that will change much, but right now I wish you all the luck in the world!” Cruel, but effective in showing that she comes from the same lineage as Cora and Violet.
- And for the record Crawley bitches, Edith had the better wedding dress! So there!
- Meanwhile Robert is planning on selling the house after the wedding and moving the family into a smaller place (“Downton Place” as Cora cheerily named it). But salvation comes in…
- Lavinia’s father’s letter to Matthew saying “My daughter told me on her deathbed you were a great guy so here’s my money.” Who in their right mind would do that? No wonder Matthew thought it was a forgery (and almost accused Mary of it). Thankfully Cranky Daisy saved the day and verified that, Yes, It’s true!
- Meanwhile, poor Mrs. Hughes. Who doesn’t believe a word of it about “a benign something-or-other” (to quote Mrs. Patmore)?
- Side note: Cora was surprisingly tender to both Mrs. Hughes and Edith. I was shocked in a good way.
- Meanwhile, that whole bit with Bates trying to be set up. *Yawn* Please let’s have an end to this!
- Finally in the Thomas vs. O’Brien war, Thomas manages to get a big shot in at our evil-banged friend, by making everyone believe she’s leaving Downton. Word of advice, Thomas – just stay away from soap bars and bathtubs.