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3-3: 2013.01.20


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#1

Quilt Fairy

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 10:42 PM

A decent episode; all the major storylines were moved forward. I really find Mary insufferable.

Edited by Quilt Fairy, Jan 20, 2013 @ 10:43 PM.

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#2

AnalogHeart

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 10:48 PM

Mary is going to boss Matthew around until the day he dies, isn't she? Lord. And I admit I cried for Ethel choosing to give up Charlie
Agreed, decent enjoyable episode.



Edited by AnalogHeart, Jan 20, 2013 @ 10:48 PM.

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#3

jane08

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 10:50 PM

I kind of find myself not caring about the storylines this season, and tonight kind of bored me.

Irish Tom is the most annoying character for me right now, and I used to like him. I just find his uber-patriotism tiresome (even though I guess it sounds bad to say it).

Mr. Bates is a bore; he needs to get out of jail soon because seeing him in his cell is Just not that interesting. That storyline seems to be going nowhere fast.

The maid turned prostitute... Another yawn. She's been gone for a while so its hard to be emotionally invested in her situation.

And the new footman reminds me a lot of Simon Baker!

Edited by jane08, Jan 20, 2013 @ 10:51 PM.

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#4

quarks

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 10:56 PM

So, to add to his other flaws, we now learn that Lord Grantham is bigoted against Catholics, can't do his only job which is, you know, managing the estate, and is somehow shocked, shocked, shocked, to learn that Tom wants to burn aristocrats like him to the ground.

I was thinking that Daisy was doomed to never catch a break, but Edith finally had a small moment of triumph that she earned all on her own, so perhaps Daisy still has hope.
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#5

laward

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

Personally I found Robert rather insufferable in his view of the Irish conflict. First he speaks of being anti-Catholic and then he was so mortally offended by the Anglos who lost their castle in Ireland without any sense in him that the reason Anglos were in charge in Ireland was a long history of dispossessing Irish-Catholics. I would think 'I am American' Cora might have some sympathy with people revolting against Britism imperialist rule (and in fairness she might. We don't often hear her views on anything outside of Mary's prospects)

Also casting Robert in unflattering light was his trying to shut down Edith's letter to the editor about suffrage.

And to top it off, from the sound of what Matthew is saying, Robert doesn't just suck as a stock investor. He just straight-up isn't good with money, period.

All in all a bad night for Robert.

Edited by laward, Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:09 PM.

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#6

peridot16

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:01 PM

Alfred seems to be kind of flaky. I felt bad for Daisy, she liked Alfred for a while and even brought him up to her former father-in-law.

Charlie's grandfather was a bastard, but he was cute with the baby. I must have missed something, why did Isabel feel that Ethel was making a mistake? It wouldn't be good for the baby to grow up seeing strange men come in and out of his house.

Mary was annoying, first Matthew wasn't doing enough and now he's doing too much.

Glad to see Edith doing something.
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#7

laward

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:01 PM

Oops. Double post.

Edited by laward, Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:03 PM.

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#8

stillshimpy

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:03 PM

I enjoyed it too. Congratulations to the show for making me care about Anna and Bates again, I'd missed that. Plus, I liked that Edith seems to be finding something to do.

Tom Branson's character is just problematic. He was in England for too long, by his own choice, to take much of this "I can't be away from Ireland!" very seriously. Plus, he ran to the home of an Earl, for goodness sake. I wish that if Fellowes was going to take on Ireland at all, that he'd included a more sympathetic and believable character.

Branson looked like a tool, talking about how he felt bad once he saw the people turned out of their beds. I wish the show had done more to present both sides of the conflict with Ireland, leading to the formation of Northern Ireland and Ireland. Robert is firmly in the wrong (in my opinion) but Branson just seems so petulant and difficult to empathize with because of how long he spent at Downton. It's an interesting subject and having Branson as our only window into it is not working well for me. I don't like him and then for once I agreed with Robert (on one subject only), leaving Sybil to fend for herself (in the days before there was any kind of reliable emergency service) was unconscionable. Then it rang rather hollow to have Sybil talking about how it was her idea, when Tom was saying things like, "That's a lot of musts."

I used to like Branson and I really used to like Sybil. I'd like to again.

I take it Mary is having trouble getting pregnant, which would be a huge blow.

Poor Daisy, she can never seem to fancy the footman who fancies her. First it was her pursuit of Thomas, then it was William who loved her, but she wasn't interested romantically. Now apparently Alfred simply doesn't think of her in that way. I hope she's not unkind to Ivy because of it.

Finally, for all that I thought I didn't care about Ethel's story, that little boy was so adorable my heart was breaking for them both. I'm glad that it seems as if he'll be truly loved, but I did agree with Ethel. They don't live in a world where having his mother's love would make all the difference in the world. Also, since Isobel views everything from her stance of privilege, I do wish she'd stop with the passive-aggressive bull. "I don't want to say anything now that it's done." Gah, you just did and you don't know what it's actually like to be that poor, Isobel.

Besides, they could withdraw the support at any point. As painful as it was to watch, I think Ethel did the best thing for her son.

Edited by stillshimpy, Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:08 PM.

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#9

Jschoolgirl

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:05 PM

I love Mr. Mason!

He was about all I loved about this episode.
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#10

truther

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:10 PM

The Ethel-Charlie storyline was heartbreaking. Otherwise, though, I agree with some of the other comments that these storylines were meh. Boring. Irish Tom needs to go. Bates needs to go. Mary has no business demanding that her husband come to DA's financial rescue then butt out of DA's ongoing finances; you can't have it both ways. Daisy's really poor timing was interesting but otherwise the staff stuff, and especially the endless feuding, gets tiresome.
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#11

Giadana

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:15 PM

I got the feeling Mary wanted the handsome footman hired as eye candy for herself & not the maids. Married a few short months & already bored with Matthew.

Edited by Giadana, Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:15 PM.

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#12

Quilt Fairy

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:18 PM

I loved Mrs. Hughs' toaster! It was trully a work of art. I wonder how much something like that would cost today?
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#13

Shanna Marie

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:30 PM

My PBS station is running the series on how the Chatsworth estate is being run right after Downton Abbey, and seeing the current duke essentially acting as CEO of a huge corporation and being rather hands-on in the management right after the shock! that Matthew wants to run Downton efficiently was rather amusing. It made me think that this is a critical period for Downton, that if they're doing a series like that on the Downton estate in the 21st century, it'll be because of what Matthew does now. Though it looks like he's got Violet on his side, so he's likely to prevail. She's a formidable ally. At least we don't have whiny, angsty Matthew anymore. We even got a touch of his old snark with his and Mary's reaction to Carson speaking of Alfred being O'Brien's nephew as a kind of insult.

I really can't follow the Bates in prison story. Is there some conspiracy against him, and why, and is it related to Vera or did he just make the wrong enemies, and now has he made the right friends, and how? I seem to zone out during those parts. I watch for the pretty scenery and clothes, so I sort of go blank when we hit the prison.

Good for Edith, and good that Matthew's standing up for her.
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#14

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:35 PM

How naive of Matthew to think that anyone would want his input regarding the managing of the estate. After all, he's the only one in the family who's ever had to support himself by, you know, actually working!

By the by, has he given up on practicing law? It seems as if all he does now is lounge around the library smoking cigars and reading the newspapers. (Or is working something below the now-husband of the first daughter of the house?)

Also, wasn't it the norm for noble families to retain full-time estate managers to handle day-to-day operations?
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#15

Milburn Stone

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:50 PM

I really can't follow the Bates in prison story. Is there some conspiracy against him, and why, and is it related to Vera or did he just make the wrong enemies, and now has he made the right friends, and how? I seem to zone out during those parts.

I don't think it's you.
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#16

buttersister

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:51 PM

I know this show is a dressed-up soap opera (and no original Upstairs Downstairs), but this Fellowes fellow seems to be operating on fumes. The "bad" girl turns whore and loses her child, check. I'm giving you the money, it's your estate to run/oops, you're running it into the ground, check. Mary's a shrew, check. The downstairs guy we like is mysteriously threatened, check. Bringing in third-season eye candy, check and zzzzzzzzzzz. I'm ready for a spinoff with Violet and Edith/Mrs. Hughes, her toaster, and Carson.
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#17

SpringIsHere

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:55 PM

New footman - "kindred spirit" for Thomas, I'm guessing.

Mrs. Crawley really is insufferable.

So Edith is going the feminist route. This should be interesting, in a trainwreck sort of way.
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#18

Historybabe

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:55 PM

At this point I'm not sure it's possible for me to dislike Robert more than I do now. He's really become an insufferable ass, and incompetent, to boot. Way to avoid the conversation with Matthew about how you've screwed up the entire estate, Robert! You know things are bad when Matthew has to resort to going to Violet because neither Robert nor Mary want to hear how awful the estate's being run.

I love that Edith got her letter published in the newspaper, and loved both Matthew and Tom's responses to it. At least the two of them are supportive, even if Robert and Carson aren't.

Speaking of Tom, I have to admit that I pretty much missed everything that was said between him and Sibyl in their bedroom because I was too busy staring at him in his nightshirt. I know, I'm shallow! I'll have to rewatch it the next time it's on at a reasonable time, as I don't have a DVR.

As for Ethel, she screwed up bigtime, but I agree with Mrs. Hughes that giving Charlie to his grandparents was the right thing to do. He'll be much better off with them.

Overall, a better episode than last week, although I'm really, really tired of the Bates in Prison storyline. Either get him out of there, or throw away the keys and leave him to rot, but do something to resolve it! This just felt like wheel spinning, since it wasn't like we learned anything new in terms of Vera.
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#19

Eegah

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Posted Jan 20, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

Are we supposed to be able to tell what the Bad Thing in Bates' cell is? Because I still have no idea, and it actually feels like they're building up to some big reveal about what it is, and I can't imagine what it could be that would justify it.
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#20

not Bridget

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 12:11 AM

Also, wasn't it the norm for noble families to retain full-time estate managers to handle day-to-day operations?


Yes, they had stewards. The steward was a very high-ranked employee. We should have seen Robert working with him from time to time--or even mentioning him at the dinner table from time to time. A name was dropped during Matthew and Robert's conversation; he's probably the guy. But Robert obviously finds all that stuff far too boring. He's got stuff to do--like change clothes a couple of times a day. Not that he can do that without help....

I sometimes wonder if Lord Fellowes, instead of showing us the wonders of the ruling class, really has a cunning and subtle plan to lampoon them as ineffectual fools.
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#21

absolutelyido

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 12:12 AM

Mr. Bates is a bore; he needs to get out of jail soon because seeing him in his cell is Just not that interesting. That storyline seems to be going nowhere fast.

I'm really not a violent person, but I've gotten to the point that I really hope one of the enemies Bates has made in prison just kills him already. I was invested in Bates more than any other character in S1, now I just groan whenever a prison scene comes on.

The maid turned prostitute... Another yawn. She's been gone for a while so its hard to be emotionally invested in her situation.

Plus, she was never a likeable character from the very beginning, IMO. I was so hoping that her giving away her son would be the end of her storyline. But when Isobel commented on how well she did with the tea service, and what a hard worker she was I knew she would find a way to keep her around--which seems to be the case from the preview shown. Dammit!

It's an interesting subject and having Branson as our only window into it is not working well for me. I don't like him and then for once I agreed with Robert (on one subject only), leaving Sybil to fend for herself (in the days before there was any kind of reliable emergency service) was unconscionable. Then it rang rather hollow to have Sybil talking about how it was her idea, when Tom was saying things like, "That's a lot of musts."

I used to like Branson and I really used to like Sybil. I'd like to again.

It's not working because they have bungled Tom and Sybil's story so badly. What's disappointing is that it started out so well. I think their storyline was done pretty much perfectly in S1 through S2, episode 1, when Branson confessed his feelings to Sybil. But they've given us almost no insight into their relationship since then.

I so want to be invested in their relationship, because I think they are supposed to be very much in love, and despite their difficulties, happily married. But, I mostly have to speculate on that because they've shown us so little. In the S3 scenes they have shown, Tom often puts his hand on her knee or her hand, Sybil then puts her hand on top of his and they smile at each other. But we've seen so little private interaction between them that their little PDA's are about all we have to go on. Both their bedroom conversations tonight and in episode 1 just ended abruptly with them kissing without any real resolution to their discussion. So, did Tom agreed that they can stay at Downton until the baby is born? What was the conclusion of that conversation?

I'll admit I've read the S3 spoilers so I knew this episode was going to be about Tom & Sybil having to flee Ireland. Or, I should say, I thought that's what this episode was going to be about. It seems like Tom & Sybil have worked hard to start the new life they both wanted in Dublin, and from what Sybil told Mary they were happy. Now they've had to abandon their jobs and all they have worked for and go back to Downton which they both had wanted to escape. And Tom was attending rebel meetings without Sybil's knowledge. That's a lot for two fairly newly married people to work through. I was looking forward to seeing it. But all we saw was a 30 second conversation that ended without resolution because.....crisis in the Bates marriage!!! gotta have 20 minutes on that (rolling my eyes).

About Tom leaving Sybil in Ireland, that didn't seem like that much of a big deal to me. He caught the first ferry he could and she took one the next day. It's not like he left her trapped there with no money and no way to escape. And she is still the daughter of the Earl of Grantham, so surely Robert could have intervened if she had been detained, which she was not. I think they both rightly judged that if he got in trouble, the chances of him getting imprisoned without a fair trial (or even just shot like his cousin) were high, and the chances of her even being stopped by the police were low. In fact, I think you could make an argument that she was safer traveling without him than with him. If questioned, Sybil could have claimed that he had abandoned her and she was returning to her family in England. If they were stopped together, it's possible that she would have been more likely to be accused of conspiring with him.

Question -- Did they say exactly why Tom went to those meetings and the burning of the manor-house? I get that he wasn't involved in the planning or execution of it, but was he just covering it as a journalist? Did they say?

Edited by absolutelyido, Jan 21, 2013 @ 12:49 AM.

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#22

tinsel1939

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 12:22 AM

I'm starting to think season one was a fluke because it actually had interesting characters and plots in addition to gorgeous sets and clothes. Now the latter is all that seems left.

Wouldn't DA have had a steward or estate manager of some kind that would have been responsible of the day-to-day running of the estate? But of course I'm still confused abt how Robert could sell the main house off piecemeal and retain the other parts of the estate. Wouldn't the entail have meant the whole thing would have been liquidated?

And Matthew the solicitor just handed over a wad of cash without some kind of legal agreement? If he and Mary don't have a son, the estate entails away again, this time with Reggie's cash.

And for that matter, have Matthew and Mary had one happy moment together apart from the proposal in the snowstorm? They don't appear to have any real relationship apart from bickering with each other.

Why doesn't the saintly do-gooder Isobel hire Ethel and anybody who doesn't want to work with Ethel can quit. Isobel would actually make a difference for a change and Ethel could have kept her son.

At this point, I'm wishing Mrs. Hughes would take her toaster and Mrs. Patmore over to Violet's house in a spinoff. And for a very special episode, they can all go to Newport and visit Edith as she cuts a swath through New York society.

Edited by tinsel1939, Jan 21, 2013 @ 12:23 AM.

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#23

quentin312002

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 12:52 AM

Question -- Did they say exactly why Tom went to those meetings and the burning of the manor-house? I get that he wasn't involved in the planning or execution of it, but was he just covering it as a journalist? Did they say?


But if you go to the meetings you sort of are part of the planning of it. And if you go to the actual burning with the knowledge of what's going to happen, even if you don't light the fire yourself, you're at least part of the conspiracy if not the execution. That was why Tom kept stressing his guilt when he finally saw the act perpetrated, he's guilty. I like Tom too, but yeah, he was trying to undo the tame revolutionary label.

I love seeing Edith happy about her letter getting published. I loved her granny's pep talk!

I'm really disappointed that Robert is turning out to be even more of a dunce then he appears.

I can't believe that no one has commented on Thomas's crush yet! Okay there was one comment. Still, this isn't going to go well.

I usually like Isobel. Seriously, I do. I can't believe she was telling Ethel to keep her son. Are you planning on opening a daycare or babysitting for Ethel? Yes, I'm sure that some women got to keep their children but probably not without some sort of family support, which Ethel doesn't seem to have. The alternative is to depend on Charlie's grandparents and with grandad's attitude who knows how long that will last.
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#24

Cheezwiz

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:09 AM

This was an okay episode for me. I felt a bit bad for Matthew - he is in an awkward position, and I was happy to see him seek counsel from the Dowager Countess.

Also felt bad for poor Daisy. Just as she fancies someone, a prettier new hire catches the dopey footman's eye.

Agree with the poster above about new man-candy footman: totally looks like he could be Simon Baker's kid-brother (or kid)!

I have had a hard time liking Tom because his character is written as over-the-top shrill & strident. I'm hoping his storyline will lead to something more sympathetic.

Never cared about Ethel because she was unlikeable, but that was a very sad scene with her saying goodbye forever to her cute little boy. Too bad they're keeping her on as a regular again.

I'm hoping Bates gets shanked. That's how bored I am with his storyline.
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#25

Quilt Fairy

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:09 AM

because I was too busy staring at him in his nightshirt. I know, I'm shallow!

Would that be the nightshirt that looked like it was painted on him - and his biceps? I shall join you in the shallow end of the pool......
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#26

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:09 AM

Edith and Sybil must have inherited Violet's smarts because they couldn't have gotten them from Robert or Cora. Not only does Robert put all of the estate's money on one stock, but he also has been mismanaging the estate for years?!? The show ignores its own continuity. What happened to the Robert who tried to get Matthew to stay by showing him the books, the estates, and the tenents. I can't believe Mary's disbelief that her father would be mismanaging the estate--the same father who bankrupted them just a couple of months earlier. Robert has been lucky that Cora was richer than he was stupid.

I am quite happy for Edith. It's good that she gets to experience some success and happiness. I'm not fond of Fellows constantly using her as a punching bag.

I kind of like how Tom was able to realize that talking about something and doing something are two different things entirely. I haven't like his character this much since season one.

I hope Thomas gets burnt big time hitting on Jimmy.

Edited by hunterhunted, Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:51 AM.

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#27

Diane M

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:18 AM

Are we supposed to be able to tell what the Bad Thing in Bates' cell is? Because I still have no idea, and it actually feels like they're building up to some big reveal about what it is, and I can't imagine what it could be that would justify it.


As someone reported after the last episode, one of the prisoners planted opium.

I think I'm the only one who still loves Bates, but I too am getting tired of the prison scenes. I know he's a good man, and the scene at the end with Bates and Anna reading their letters showed how much they love each other.

Edited by Diane M, Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:25 AM.

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#28

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 1:33 AM

It's hard for me to remember now that I actually liked Robert a lot during the first season. And Branson. Good grief. You can either be a committed revolutionary or a wimp who sells out his own wife and runs and hides with the aristo in-laws he despises. Not both rebel and wimp at the same time.

I like Violet and Mrs.Hughes and Carson, and Edith. I am indifferent to or actively dislike the rest of the characters.
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#29

NicoleMN6

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 2:46 AM

The Ethel story reminds me of Vanity Fair... You know her son will be raised to hate her, if he even knows she exists. She could have worked out something where she gets a monthly visit with him, something like that. But at least the mom offered to write letters and maybe the dad will die in 10 years or so.
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#30

singtress

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 3:21 AM

I don't want to be bored.
I really don't.
But there isn't one storyline I am invested in now.

First season I fell in love with Bates, now I just tap the remote against my teeth waiting for his scenes to end.

Everything is so redundant,
It repeats itself.
It says the same thing over and over.


Sigh.
Here is my dream:

(1) Edith, now chucking all convention, has a tryst with Too-Tall-Alfred (remember, he defended her after the Jilting. And she is asking people not to pick on him.). She gets knocked up and they have an illegitimate boy child who will be the Heir because....
(2) Mary can't get pregnant. Ever. And Sybil has five daughters.
(3) Ethel becomes a famous musical-theatre soprano, and makes a fortune on the stage performing duets with a man who wears a mask. She then spends years dithering as to where'd or not to bring Charlie into her successful, but not proper, life.
(4). Daisy realizes she has fallen in love wifh Williams's dad, and no one cares that he is 50 years older than she is....even though everyone cared about Edith and Sir Runaway.
(5) Robert reveals, in a final bit of douchery, that he is the father of Maid-Jane's son, and that they had a brief affair years ago. So little whatshisname is Possibly Illegitimate Heir #2.
(6) the Peter/Patrick heir returns for no real reason, as does the missing Swine heir from India. They all spend all their money on lawyers fighting it out, and end up in a small village house while Violet and Isobel run a shop together. Ethel,now fabulously wealthy and famous, moves into Downtown and tells them all where to go. And, she changes her name to something I will stop confusing with "Edith."
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