Downton Abbey
Episode Two

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B- | 3 USERS: B
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Never A Bride

In prison, Bates and the other inmates are doing this forced-march-in-a-circle "exercise," whereupon a friendly face tells Bates to search his cell when he returns there, as his cellmate is planning to set him up for something. Not sure what the point is when he's already serving a life sentence, but maybe he's trying to get Bates' dessert privileges revoked.

Mrs. Bartlett has apparently decided to open up to the trollop, as she tells her she was passing Vera's place on the fateful day and her door was open, so she looked in. Vera was cooking, but she had to post a letter so they walked out, whereupon she told Mrs. Bartlett that Bates was coming back later and she was jumpy and fearful, but determined. She goes on that Vera had made pastry and she was scrubbing it out of her nails "like she didn't care if she took the skin off." Well, that's... sane-sounding. Anna asks if she went home after posting the letter and Mrs. Bartlett confirms that, saying that in the light rain, there was sort of a halo around her. Anna can't resist a little sarcasm in response -- hard to blame her; she might hurt herself otherwise, to which I can attest -- but Mrs. Bartlett is genuinely upset at Vera's death, so it doesn't look like she's intentionally hiding anything. On the other hand, if Vera did cook something with poison in it to set her husband up, it would make sense for her to go to any lengths to remove the evidence from her fingers, no?

After a close-up on a Rolls Royce hood ornament, the Dowager Countess tells Sir Anthony, who is in the back seat with her, that it's kind of him to give them a ride. He calls up to Isobel that he wishes she had let him sit up front, but she tells him she prefers it and she's ridden in the front seat many times. I expect she's making a statement on how she's no aristocrat, but of course the Dowager Countess can't let that go: "Aren't you a wild thing!" If I make it to her age, I'm pretty sure I won't censor myself either. Some discussion about driving speeds leads to a typical age-difference comment from the Dowager Countess through which Sir Anthony chooses to smile and then, in response to a question from Isobel, the Dowager Countess says that the late Lord Grantham had shooting parties on the grounds of their destination. While it's nice as a retreat from the world, "I wouldn't have thought it suited to much else!" Well, retreat is kind of what the family is doing, so everything sounds very a propos!

A modest luncheon has been set up outside and we can see that the new house, which, while perhaps a bit bigger than Crawley House, is hardly the size of Downton... and that, of course, is the point. Lady Cora smiles and repeats, "Downton Place," while elsewhere, Mary wonders if it won't be a bit cramped, to which Branson points out that to most people, "it looks like a fairy palace." He and Sybil being included in "most people" -- I can only imagine the two of them aren't exactly living on acres and acres of green Dublin land. Sybil adds that they'll be able to run the place with a much smaller staff and Lord Grantham concurs, thinking that eight at the maximum should work. The Dowager Countess is like, so, do I get shipped off with the kitchen maids? Lord Grantham kind of doesn't pay her much mind, which is funny and then Isobel sticks her nose in by wondering why Mary got an archbishop for her wedding and Edith is stuck with "poor old Mr. Travis," not realizing that that's what Mary wanted anyway. Edith is with her, explaining that Travis christened the children, so this will work out great. Sure, because the baptism involved water, just like this will DAMMIT I CAN'T HELP MYSELF.

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Downton Abbey

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