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3-3: 2013.01.20


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#31

ProfCrash

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 3:23 AM

Murry is the family lawyer, he is not a steward. He did seem to give financial advice because he commented on the train stock debacle

Why are folks surprised that Robert dislikes Catholics? Prime Minister Blair waited to convert to Catholicism until he was out office because his wife's religion was somewhat controversial. If Prince William had married a Catholic he would not have ben eligible to be King. The Brits have a long standing dislike of the Catholic faith. It is no surprise that the Granthem's would share that sentiment.

Tom is the wussiest revolutionary ever. His first real act of revolutionary zeal and he runs to his aristocratic In Laws. Way to be committed to the cause.
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#32

lleykian54

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 3:31 AM

She could have worked out something where she gets a monthly visit with him, something like that.


How likely would that have been with the grandfather who was certainly not the nicest and most charitable towards her? And in fact, a suggestion like that had been made originally, last season, when the grandparents had first offered to take the child and raise him. Mrs. Hughes and Ethel suggested hiring her to work in their kitchens and the grandfather was absolutely against it.

He wants the child because he accepts he is his asshole's son and that the child is the last living memory of said son but he loathes Ethel with every fiber of his being and wants her simply vanished. And she more or less said exactly that to him when she told him he wasn't a nice man but she believed he loved her son.

The grandmother would probably willing to have Ethel be in the child's life in some way but that woman is the epitome of weak wife and not even just for the time they existed. She just seems absolutely weak period and basically allows her asshole husband to dominate her while she keeps insisting he's not such a bad person.

Tom is the wussiest revolutionary ever. His first real act of revolutionary zeal and he runs to his aristocratic In Laws. Way to be committed to the cause.



lmao...

Edited by lleykian54, Jan 21, 2013 @ 3:34 AM.

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#33

Kate the Cursed

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 3:51 AM

(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.


The title can't pass THROUGH the daughters either. Mary's son will get it because their father is the heir. If they don't have son, it's back to finding distant male relatives.
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#34

stopeslite

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 5:47 AM

Tom is all bluster. I think we're supposed to think that he didn't have an actual hand in the arson because he has too many principles to actually hurt anyone or something, but it looks more like he's a hanger-on who looks out for himself first and won't commit enough to get his own hands dirty. I imagine all the other guys in the revolution group just roll their eyes when he comes around and starts bloviating.

I did love seeing Edith come up with some spark. Thank goodness we won't see her moping for a whole season.

Everything else was meh. I agree that it's not understandable why Mary doesn't see what's going on. Her dad first lost all his own money*, then all of his wife's. Not a good track record.

*or his dad did before he inherited it, and he probably learned how to run the estate from his dad, so wasn't taught well in the first place.
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#35

Jessie Q

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 6:48 AM

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).


Agreed. I picture his every response to be the same.

Mary: How as your walk?
Tom: The land is greener in Ireland.

Edith: Would you like more milk in your tea?
Tom: The milk is creamier in Ireland.

Clara: What time is it?
Tom: Ireland, Ireland, Ireland.
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#36

not Bridget

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:05 AM

Murry is the family lawyer, he is not a steward. He did seem to give financial advice because he commented on the train stock debacle


OK. I wasn't sure of the name and don't remember all the minor characters, since I tend not to watch the episodes multiple times.

What a pity that the Earl flouted convention. On landed estates, the Steward was the senior servant--above even the butler, who ran the house. Because an estate was more than a house crammed with furniture that needed dusting, silver that needed polishing and and wine that needed serving in the correct glass. It had farms that contributed income and kept things running.

In Pride & Prejudice, the odious Wickham was the son of old Mr Darcy's steward, considered an excellent man. He was given a fine education and opportunities that he squandered....
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#37

Andorra97

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:05 AM

Since I know that freedom for Ireland was immensely important to the Irish people to that time, I'm not annoyed at Tom. I actually feel with him and I'm annoyed at the Crawleys who only see their own biased English POV and are horrified that Tom could participate in something like the house-burning, because the people there are "like us".

In this episode I really hated Robert, who is a terrible bigot in my eyes. His prejudices against the Catholics and his one-sided view of the Irish conflict revealed itself.

I think JF did a poor job though to show the Ireland problem. All we could see was Tom feeling guilty of standing by at the burning of a rich family's house, but we never saw the Irish side.

Of course Tom said "I don't see gracious living, I see something horrible", but IMO it is not enough to show an audience what is happening in Ireland to that time. The cruelties of the British opression and especially the Black and Tans are never mentioned. All victims we get is a "poor" rich family.

Tom on the other hand, is the only person who sees both sides. He realized that there were people living in these houses and that they were indeed like his wife's family. So he felt guilty and realized he couldn't go through with it.

Tom has always been an idealist and not a radical. His comment "the old me would have put a bomb under the lot of you" IMO was most out of character for him. As is his paricipation in the burning of the house.

His guilty feelings and his remorse on the other hand are totally in character for me. He always had this dreams of a better world and he likes reading and talking about politics. But he's too sweet a person to act on it. His most violent act was the attempt to pour sour milk over a general's head! He's a pacifist at heart and can't act against that.

You could say he is too "weak" to do it, but I actually don't see it as a weakness. I think pacifism is an admirable character streak. That's probably one of the reasons why I like Tom Branson so much.
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#38

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:22 AM

Mrs. Crawley should really have been more pragmatic about Ethel from the beginning. If she wanted to help she could have written her some sort of reference and bought her a train ticket somewhere far away so she could pass herself off as a war widow and get job. As it is, all she is training the ex-prostitutes to do is get work in factories if they are lucky. Ethel doesn't have childcare so working at home, so to speak, was really her only option without references. She is lucky that the grandparents were willing to take the child at this point. They are going to have to make up some sort of story for their friends because any hit of gossip about his being born out of wedlock and his mother being a prostitute would sink his chances of good schools and a place in society even with well off grandparents.

I am pretty sick of Mr. Bates in prison and I couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on. You would think that Anna would have asked Lord Grantham to make inquiries about what was going on at the prison with Bates instead of being all stoic about it. Lord Grantham could also have greased a couple of palms at the beginning to make sure that Bates had an easy time of it in prison.

I get a vibe that the new footman may play on Thomas's team and the ladies may be a bit disappointed. Poor Daisy doesn't have many prospects. At least she finally got her promotion.

Tom can go back to Ireland and sit in prison for all I care.

I have a problem rooting for anyone but Daisy at this point in the story.
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#39

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:35 AM

In a very problematic episode, the one great moment came from director and actor.

It was right after Thomas appeared in a doorway--shot from Jimmy's POV--for a brief and ever-so-friendly chat with the lad before moving on. The camera remains locked down in the same position for a beat longer, to find O'Brien appearing in the same doorway. The simultaneously knowing, contemptuous, and amused look she gives in those three seconds before she moves on was absolutely priceless.

A second, enjoyable (and in its way directorially analogous to the first) moment occurs when Robert furiously lowers his newspaper (which fills the frame) to reveal (with camera holding its position) a beaming Edith.

Edited by Milburn Stone, Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:53 AM.

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#40

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:40 AM

I am actually looking forward to the inevitable clash between Matthew and Robert over the running of the estate, because then at least something will happen. This episode was a bore for me, although I was very pleased that Edith's letter was published. It's good to see her feeling useful.

Tom was kind of a wuss in this episode, but they needed some kind of contrivance to bring him and Sybil back to England for the birth of the child. It's too bad the child will be born in England instead of Ireland, considering what a bigoted asshole Grandpa Robert has turned out to be.

Mr. Carson is quickly becoming my least favorite character. He, like Robert, is an anachronism. In his world, a servant can't even choose what to be called. Jimmy/James should learn to close his door or face sexual harassment by Thomas.
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#41

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:46 AM

I have a problem rooting for anyone but Daisy at this point in the story.


I love the relationship that she has with Mr. Mason. He really is like the dad she never or doesn't have. One of my favorite scenes ever was when they had tea and he told her she was special and made her realize that William was the only one who had treated her special. So sweet. I felt sorry for her that Alfred was so taken with the new maid. Once again we are getting new characters when JF could be doing so much more with the character we a;ready have.

And because it cannot be said enough..wrap up the Bates and Bates story line. I can't understand a word that the prisoners are whispering to each other so don't know what in the world is happehing in there. Not that I care.

Poor Ethel. The grandmother seems like a sweet lady so I will hope that at some point Ethel gets to see her son again.
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#42

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:54 AM

Lord Grantham continued his demonstration of stupidity this weak, not just with proving what a bad estate manager he is but with his blustering anger at Tom for leaving Sybil in Ireland. She was so much safer traveling alone. Tom, with his ties in England with British aristocracy and his ties with the revoultion in Ireland, has set himself up to seem like a spy to whichever side catches him. I'm entirely sympathetic to Ireland's desire to be free of British rule but terrorist acts are never the way to fight wars. Tom felt bad seeing the English girls turned out of their beds? How would he have felt if they had burned to death?

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

So Edith is going the feminist route.


And Ethel will be the unwed mother story. Completing a triad of current issues treated with today's attitudes in the 1920's. The Thomas story has already demonstrated a tolerance for gays that simply did not exist at that time. All the upstairs people would have probably been horrified to have Lady Edith's name in the paper no matter what she was talking about and no one would have been calling anyone else "judgmental," over the Ethel issue. Women, clear into the 1960's were afraid of having anything at all to do with someone like Ethel because there was an attitude of guilt by association. Ethel has set herself beyond the pale and if another servant should befriend her then her own reputation would be damaged.

Daisy is going to have to lower her expectations -- and be nice to the new girl.

I felt let down by the Edith story. I wanted her to leave her father's house the day after the non-wedding, telling him off on the way out the door. If only she could be a journalist from, say, her job as a live in teacher at her old school, then her father's surprise when he read the paper would have been so much better. Edith is now like Tom, stuck in a position of biting the hand that feeds her.
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#43

Milburn Stone

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:03 AM

Edith is now like Tom, stuck in a position of biting the hand that feeds her.

But I'm sure Tom's hypocrisy--all-too-willingly availing himself of the asylum that Downton Abbey offers, no matter how much he claims to hate it--is absolutely delicious from JF's point of view.
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#44

not Bridget

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:27 AM

Of course Lord Fellowes paints the characters with non-Tory views to look bad. Tom is a crap revolutionary. (But, wait, I thought he was a "journalist.") His preaching was unrealistic back in series 2 and his language still sounds nothing like the real Irish nationalists.

And Isobel is unrealistic about Ethel's role as a mother--because a woman of her class ought to spend her time more frivolously. Well, she's upper middle class--but she ought to take her cues from her "betters." Rescuing Fallen Women was actually something that do-gooders did, dating back to VIctorian days. But Isobel, once so competent, seems to have nothing left but good intentions....
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#45

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:35 AM

Tom is the wussiest revolutionary ever. His first real act of revolutionary zeal and he runs to his aristocratic In Laws. Way to be committed to the cause.


Well obviously, this is a plot point to get them at Downton so that the baby could be born on screen, though I do wish that Julian Fellowes had been much less ham-fisted about it.
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#46

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:38 AM

It was right after Thomas appeared in a doorway--shot from Jimmy's POV--for a brief and ever-so-friendly chat with the lad before moving on. The camera remains locked down in the same position for a beat longer, to find O'Brien appearing in the same doorway. The simultaneously knowing, contemptuous, and amused look she gives in those three seconds before she moves on was absolutely priceless.


All I was thinking was 'What is O'Brien doing in the male servants corridor? She could get sacked for that.'

And why was Jimmy changing with the door open anyway?

Of course Tom said "I don't see gracious living, I see something horrible",


When Tom said this I kept thinking that it made no sense for him to ever work for the Crawleys in the first place. It's not like he knew about Sybil when he first applied for the job. Why would he want to have a job that helps support their way of life? Why would he have ever wanted to spend years of his life at a house like Downton if the idea of it is so horrible to him? I'm also confused as to why he ever wanted to work in England. Surely he could have got a job in Ireland?

When the best thing I can say is that at least he isn't an advocate of thumbscrews or the rack, I know it's been a bad episode for Robert lol.
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#47

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:39 AM

I don't think Isobel was urging Ethel to keep her little boy and continue working as a prostitute. My impression, although the show didn't explain it very well, is that the organization for which Isobel is volunteering is trying to help these women find new lives -- new jobs, new homes. So I was frustrated that Ethel didn't even consider trying. I guess she internalized society's belief that she forever remain a fallen woman. She didn't even consider whether to take the help that was being offered her.

Yes I know that she would have struggled with child care and so on, but women did pull it off.
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#48

stillshimpy

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:40 AM

. 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.


I agree that if getting away was the only concern, that would be the logical progression. However, it's supposed to be 1920. Ultrasounds don't exist, hell antibiotics have yet to be discovered. The medical care, such as it was, at least would have been available, but not to a woman on the lam. That's the part that makes Tom leaving Sybil unconscionable and participating in plots to burn down aristocratic homes. It's not actually a time period where it is safe from a "Well, it's her first baby and there's no telling what could go wrong..." standpoint.

Now pregnant women aren't considered too fragile to travel and frankly, pregnant women are not fragile period, but we do have a lot of access to prenatal care that simply did not exist in 1920. So it was unconscionable, to my mind, from the standpoint of "Dude, she's pregnant, do you think maybe you could make her the priority at least for the next month it is going to take for her to deliver?"

On the Bates storyline front, I couldn't make heads-or-tails out of what was going on in the prison, except to understand that Anna's letters were being withheld and that Bates had gotten on the dangerous prisoner list. The reason I ended up liking the story at all didn't come into play until the very end when they were reading each others letters and that Bates was relieved that Anna hadn't given up on him. Part of what has made Anna and Bates rather tedious is that it's on a repeat cycle of Bates constantly having to be reassured by Anna.

Mostly the actor playing Anna does such a fabulous job conveying how much Anna loves Bates that I was glad for her at the end, but they finally gave Bates something to do other than look pained or surly by turns.

Lord Grantham's story is just embarrassing at this stage. Matthew "Here, I have decided to give you the Swires money" was actually just doing what he'd been told to do by Grantham, act as an investor (although Matthew talking about how "I invested my fortune..." made me smile, he got used to that money pretty quickly, not that I blame him) ...but wow, Robert seems wildly incompetent. First he invests all of his money in one thing, which even then was considered absolutely foolhardy, then it also turns out the steward he hired either sucks or is swindling him (I'm not taking a bet on that either way, because jeez, it seems likely).

Hugh Bonneville must greet each script with a stiff drink as he prepares to delve even more deeply into how much Robert can screw up. Maybe next week he'll burn Downton down when he borrows Mrs. Hughes toaster.

Of course Tom said "I don't see gracious living, I see something horrible",



When Tom said this I kept thinking that it made no sense for him to ever work for the Crawleys in the first place. It's not like he knew about Sybil when he first applied for the job.


People can change over time, but the problem with Tom is that he started trumpeting the Irish cause (which I agree with the Irish cause) early on and remained at Downton. His "I see something horrible" irked me because, dude, look where you're standing right now. "I see something horrible, unless, of course I can run to the same sort of place when I need shelter and for my English father-in-law to intercede on my behalf. That part's not so horrible."

Edited by stillshimpy, Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:47 AM.

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#49

Andorra97

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:48 AM

When Tom said this I kept thinking that it made no sense for him to ever work for the Crawleys in the first place. It's not like he knew about Sybil when he first applied for the job. Why would he want to have a job that helps support their way of life? Why would he have ever wanted to spend years of his life at a house like Downton if the idea of it is so horrible to him? I'm also confused as to why he ever wanted to work in England. Surely he could have got a job in Ireland?



Well first: He'd never think of burning houses of Englands in England. We're talking about British Aristocrats (and their houses) in Ireland. Theat's a big difference.

As to why work for them: To live? There's a line in the scriptbook (that got cut) where Sybil asks him why he doesn't go into politics. And he says: "Well, there's the little thing called money."
Ireland was a very poor country then and he came from a working class family. So he just had to work to survive.

Another interesting detail from the scriptbook: He has a line there where he tells LG that his father was a tenant of some Lady and he started working for the chauffeur as a young man until he took over the job. We can assume that he was probably even just a kid then and he didn't chose "oh that's what I want to do with my life", but he was just transferred there, because there was an opening and wasn't asked about it.

Edited by Andorra97, Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:57 AM.

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#50

ProfCrash

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 8:50 AM

I wonder when Isobel will hire Ethel as a maid in her house. I feel badly for Ethel. I would not want to give my son up for adoption but Charlie will have a better life with his Grandparents then his Mother. By that I mean he will have opportunities that he could never have even if his Mother was a maid. Charlie is really, really cute. I wish Ethel had kept the teddy bear.

Matthew mentioned rents that were low or never paid. While that is problematic, I think part of Mary's comment was that the Estate was meant to help the people in the area. Raising rents and collecting rent would be good business but could hurt some of the people. I am sure that there are things that can be done to improve the estates finances but that people are going to be unhappy if that involves pricing people out of their homes.
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#51

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:00 AM

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.


And a scene with Sybil saying everything above would have been one of the best scenes of the season. Because Sybil SHOULD have enough distance from Papa now to make that case to him, secure in the knowledge that she knows better than he does on some things. And while I'm sure women of her class were pampered during pregnancy, now that she's out in the world, presumably she would have noticed that work didn't stop for every other woman on the planet until the actual day of labor. She would have seen perfectly healthy, capable pregnant women in the fields and in the shops and everywhere around her -- working people didn't have the luxury of reading magazines and staring dreamily out the window while sipping tea. And frankly, it's not like women of her class were busting their asses even when they WEREN'T pregnant.

Unfortunately, I think perhaps the role is a bit of a stretch for the actress, so maybe they're trying to maintain her popularity by giving her as few lines as possible. Though her "you started it" zinger to Granny last week was excellently timed.

The whole attraction of the Bates character was his subdued but utterly charming interactions with the downstairs staff. Take his charismatic rapport with the ladies out of the equation and you’ve got NOTHING.

Coincidentally, two women in my family gave up children at just about that time. My great aunt was in service and got pregnant - she turned the baby over to my great grandmother to raise and they took her back to work. It's aa mystery to us whether she was actually married to the father or not. Another great aunt had been caring for her 9 motherless nieces and nephews for years. She got married, got pregnant, and turned her baby over to a couple that wanted a baby and couldn't have one. Supposedly they had the ability to provide a better life for the baby while she slogged along with the nieces and nephews in poverty. As horrifying as the practice seems to us today, it may not have been as unusual to these folks - especially when given to a blood relative.
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#52

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:00 AM

Why are folks surprised that Robert dislikes Catholics?


I'm not surprised that Robert dislikes Catholics. I am surprised that a show that in theory is supposed to be making me care about the problems of wealthy aristocrats, or at least make the aristocrats generally likeable people, that in this season and the last couple of episodes of last season this show has gone out of its way to give me reasons not to like the chief aristocrat, Robert. Consider:

1. Although his neighbor of similar age heads to war, Robert doesn't. Later, he disparages said neighbor for being old and a cripple.

2. He complains about changes made to Downtown to house recovering soldiers who risked their lives to keep the English system, which is what keeps him an aristocrat, safe.

3. He kisses another woman while his wife is extremely sick in another room.

4. He puts all of the estate's money into a single investment against the excellent advice of his attorney, instead of spreading out the investments, as everyone else noted would be the prudent move.

5. Knowing that he will have to leave the estate, he fails to inform the people who really do need to know this -- the servants -- so that they can find another job. He also, and more seriously, stays at the extremely expensive castle and the 30 or so servants even after knowing the money is gone, while at the same time, declines to hire enough servants to handle the workload, thus overworking his servants while he continues to enjoy his nice tea and breakfasts.

6. He goes out of his way to ruin the happiness of his second daughter. Good to see Edith recovering in this episode a bit but one letter to a newspaper versus that sort of hurt and public humiliation only goes so far.

7. On that subject, when his second daughter finally achieves a small success of her own that she's evidently proud and happy about, he belittles it.

8. When the man who has just poured his entire plot-contrived inheritance into his estate has questions, Lord Grantham avoids the issue. While continuing to live on his son-in-law's generosity.

9. And, he's been mismanaging the estate for years, which might not be as bad or obvious as the wreck of the train investment, but I'm guessing has contributed to the problem.

As others here and on the show itself have noted, Downton employs a lot of people, and the Earl has responsibilities to these employees, which he's not keeping.

It's not helping that while Matthew was wounded, Ethel had to give up a child, Lavinia died, Edith got left at the altar, Bates landed in jail, and so on, Lord Grantham keeps enjoying his position and lifestyle. Oh, sure, he's had some bad moments, but for someone who continues to put the economic security of everyone else at such risk, he hasn't suffered as much in comparison. Even Thomas seems to have had worse moments, and beyond that, he's working.

And yet the show seems to want me to still like and admire Robert and think that he's a good guy. I think that Robert thinks he's a good guy, and his intentions are good, but the results are questionable, and if the show wants me to think highly of him, it's got to do more than have him run down to London to get special treatment for his arsonist son-in-law at the urging of his wife.
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#53

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:07 AM

Yay, Edith! I hope she continues to be awesome instead of a punching bag.

Even when I pay attention to the Bates story line, I have no idea what's going on. I got that they kept Anna's letters. But what did the guards find in his roommate's bed? Why is the other prisoner helping Bates?

Isobel, I know you mean well, but sometimes you need to shut it! Charlie is much better off with his grandparents. Thank god for Mrs. Hughes being realistic and supportive.

Tom--Ugh. You left your pregnant wife alone in a country she doesn't know while you're on the run? To be honest, I don't know too much about the Irish conflict, but Tom needs to be realistic--should you really be helping to burn down buildings when you have a child on the way? And if he's so against the lavish lifestyle, why was he working at DA anyway?? I liked Tom and Sybil so much more in S1. And yes, I did appreciate Tom in his tight undershirt.

I would love to see Sybil's reaction to Edith's letter. Does she still have the passion for feminism in her?

Robert and Mary--shut up! At least Matthew has Violet on his side.
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#54

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:07 AM

I don't think we're supposed to like Robert at this point. I think he's a symbol of a decreasing class.
The more the world changes the less sympathetic is Robert.

He's not all bad, mind you. He has - as you wrote - good intentions. But he's grabbing desperately onto a world order and values that are no longer realistic. And the more he tries to hold onto them the less sympathetic he gets.

The Downstairs parallel character is Carson. He has the same problem.

Edited by Andorra97, Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:09 AM.

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#55

stillshimpy

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:09 AM

Good to see Edith recovering in this episode a bit but one letter to a newspaper versus that sort of hurt and public humiliation only goes so far.


One thing I did think was a neat turn was that Edith's propensity for writing letters actually had a good cause this time out. It was a nice and fun character note. In the first season she writes a letter to Pamuk's father that was just a terrible idea and was meant as an act of revenge.

It was just a nice note of actual character development. Unlike Tom's journalism, at least Edith's letter writing had been shown before.
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#56

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:15 AM

Andorra97, I think that's another part of the problem. Downstairs, Carson is still clinging to the old ways, but he's managing to show concern for others while doing so, train Alfred in the proper naming and use of various spoons, argue on behalf of the staff, take up additional duties when he's ignored, and so on. In other words, he's doing his job. Robert blatantly is not.

And honestly, if you give your estate papers to a solicitor who has just invested in you, you should expect a lot of questions even if you weren't mismanaging the estate.
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#57

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Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:18 AM

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 think that Fellowes either doesn't care about continuity or just tries to find some sort of "wow" moment in each episode and the hell with it if it doesn't make sense. Unfortunately, he's lost the "wow" and now it's just a mishmash of unrelated stories that make no sense. Now he's turned to throwing in new characters instead of figuring out how to effectively deal with the ones he already has.

I'm in love with the toaster. And Daisy and her father-in-law. That's about it.
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#58

Historybabe

Historybabe

    Video Archivist

Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:21 AM

Andorra97 wrote:

I think JF did a poor job though to show the Ireland problem. All we could see was Tom feeling guilty of standing by at the burning of a rich family's house, but we never saw the Irish side.


ITA. That whole thing was just to serve the fact that all the characters must be at Downton. JF can't show Sibyl and Tom's life in Dublin, so he makes Tom into a lame revolutionary who leaves his pregnant wife to go on the lam just so he can get them both permanently back to England.

stillshimpy wrote:

It was just a nice note of actual character development. Unlike Tom's journalism, at least Edith's letter writing had been shown before.


Would it really have been that difficult to have a scene at some point where Sibyl sent clips of Tom's articles back to the family, so they could see what he was writing? At least that would have lent credibility to the story that he's a journalist, and would also serve to provide a window into events in Ireland, so Tom wouldn't have to be Exposition Man every time he's at Downton.

I'm not sure what JF is up to. This season he's managed to make both Irish Catholic revolutionaries and the nobility look like fools. Only the downstairs crew looks competent right now.

BTW, I almost forgot about Daisy's little storyline. I really feel bad for her. Right when she's about to say how she feels she gets upstaged by another maid.

I'm really looking forward to the Thomas/Jimmy/O'Brien storyline. I think that might be done correctly, at least, from its decent beginnings.

And YES to everything kassa said about Sibyl, and Quarks said about Robert.

Edited by Historybabe, Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:27 AM.

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#59

Boton

Boton

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:31 AM

Heaven help me, I am an American, my family has been here for generations, I am a firm believer in social mobility and the power of the people, and this episode has completely turned me off of the middle class and working class people in the world of Downton. To wit:

1. Tom, our "tame revolutionary" who can't stand the idea of being out of Ireland, has officially spent more time at Downton over the past five years than Sybil herself has. If you want to fight, fight, but quit running to the aristocracy whenever things get tough.

2. Also, Tom leaves his wife behind after he is implicated in the burning of an aristocratic estate, which isn't like telling your wife in 2013 to take a later flight than you. In this case, either Sybil is recognized as an aristocrat and might be subject to violence from those who aren't so "tame," or she is recognized as a revolutionary's wife (that hat doesn't help any) and is arrested. I think it is time for Lord Grantham to get out the pack of wild dogs he promised.

3. We are supposed to be sympathetic to Ethel, but since she was so objectionable during the entire war arc, I have a hard time feeling sorry that she has "come down" in the world with her illegitimate child. Although, I do wish she had investigated the seemingly iron-clad form of birth control she is using now when she was with Charlie's father.

4. Isobel, although now living in privilege, comes from middle class roots, and she is the most ham-handed person ever. Demanding that her servants treat a prostitute as a guest in the house (whatever we might think today) is a serious breach of respect for the dignity of those who work for her. And believing that teaching a group of fallen women how to operate a sewing machine is going to get them good jobs that lift them out of the life is naive. Whether Isobel thinks it is fair or not, we see that everyone knows who the "working women" are in a small community, and these women won't be hired on in a factory even if Isobel teaches them to be assembly line efficiency experts who can boost factory profits.

All in all, I mostly find myself agreeing with the Dowager Countess that you give these people some power and it goes to their head like strong drink.
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#60

KittyMarthaPoo

KittyMarthaPoo

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:31 AM

I hope Thomas gets burnt big time hitting on Jimmy.

Me too!!

Please add me to the long list of folks who can't make heads or tales of what plot is going on in that prison (nor do I care). I also hope now that Ethel has given Charlie over to his grandparents, her boring story line is over & we will never see her again.

Good for Edith & her article.

Love how Matthew isn't being a silent partner but is actually checking into how Downton is being run. This is a great story line. I hope Robert's hapless management is exposed & Matthew gets to have Downton run properly.

Violet's one-liners are fantastic. Maggie Smith is the absolute bomb. Loved it when Branson said he was against violence, she says, "Great. Now we can sleep soundly in our beds at night." 9r something along those lines.

Carson, Mrs. Hughes & the smoking toaster were great fun.

Edited by KittyMarthaPoo, Jan 21, 2013 @ 9:35 AM.

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