Were you watching the Super Bowl last night? Shame on you. Last night’s Downton Abbey dealt with the aftermath of William’s death, Matthews broken spine (and penis) and a Downton newcomer that could change everything.
Mary Had a Little Lamb, Who Was Impotent
Mary is playing nurse to Matthew, who is stuck in a wheelchair with a broken back. His inability to get it up doesn’t seem to be a problem for her, or Lavinia, which makes me wonder if Matthew is a warlock who casts spells on women, kind of like Jack Nicholson in The Witches of Eastwick. Mary is pushing him around all day and complaining that her arm muscles are going to look like Jack Johnson, which sounded really stupid at first (because I’ve seen singer Jack Johnson in real life and LOL, no.) but turns out the Johnson Mary was referring to was the first African American Heavyweight champ. Whatever, Mary shouldn’t be talking about Johnsons in front of Matthew because his is broken.
Richard Carlisle wants to buy a home for his future wife, and it sounds like a buyer’s market. See, the war is taking a toll on the wealthy folk, and a home near Downton is for sale. Haxby Park is owned by friends of Crawley kids, but it sort of sounds like the house in The Money Pit, but at least Richard has the money to fix it.
The new and improved Haxby Park will need a valet, and Richard, the creepy businessman he is, tried to poach Mr. Carson from Downton. We all know how much Carson loves Lady Mary so of course he decided to take the job and help her set up her new life. Also to protect her from her creeper future husband, who everyone, including Mary, pretty much hates.
Richard is so jealous of Mary’s good nature towards Matthew, he decides to bring Lavinia to Downton. Good old Lavinia decides she doesn’t care if she has children, or any sex ever. I used to like her. Now I just assume she is insane. Better watch out for her. And for Richard, because I’m pretty sure his middle name is Spousal Abuse.
All in the Family
Major (Doctor) Clarkson has been asked to allow a Canadian soldier to come recover at Downton hospital. Apparently, the patient, Patrick Gordon, says he is connected to the family. Lord Grantahm approves, but has no idea who he is. Edith is the first to meet Patrick, who has been badly burned. Like, really badly burned. Like Freddy Kreuger bad. He claims to know Edith, who is all naïve and horrible. She has no idea who he is, but she is so lonely she will buy into the Canadian Freddy Kreuger’s bit. Did you catch when she called herself “hopeless?” Hallelujah for self-awareness.
Patrick Gordon is claiming to be… COUSIN Patrick, who reportedly drowned on the Titanic. As a reminder, Patrick was the original heir to Downton and supposed to marry Mary. When he was reported dead, Matthew was called up from the minors. The burned guy is claiming he lost all memory until he was wounded in an explosion in the war. And of course, Edith is buying all of this. Even though his face has melted and his voice is entirely different (he’s Canadian!) she believes him. Because she was in love with the real Patrick and because she’s a stupid idiot.
Mary must have watched a lot of John Edward programs, because she knows that anyone can pull details from conversations if they ask the right questions. Plus, the lawyer investigating his claims found out that before he died, the real Patrick was friends with a man named Peter Gordon. Edith doesn’t care about any of this because she’s a moron. She doesn’t even get weirded out by his creepy burned person rage attacks. In the best moment of the evening, Edith gets a Dear John letter from the faker, because even Freddy Kreuger can’t stick around to love her. I must have a cold black heart, because I truly enjoyed this as a sort of poetic justice.
Cousin Isobel is back to tend to Matthew, and looks like she packed an extra suitcase full of opinions. When Cora points out the war will be over soon and Downton can go back to normal, Isobel is shocked. If Isobel had her way, Downton would remain a care facility for veterans forever. Which is silly, really, because the Crawleys obviously need the extra space for hat storage and unrequited incest love.
If Isobel were a real person and alive today, she would still be sitting in Zucotti Park hosting a drum circle and holding one of those “I am the 1% but I sympathize with the rest of you poor people” signs. Basically, as Cora points out, “She’s such a martyr.” So how to you get rid of the O.G. Hippie? The Dowager Countess has a plan. Give her a cause that needs her even more. Basically, if you tell her they are crying, she will go. Basically, Grandma McGonagall just dropped the names of different charitable causes until Isobel found one more important than Downton, the refugees. Props to Grandma McGonagall for pulling some Slytherin shizz.
Somebody’s Getting Marrrriiieeed
Anna and Bates are planning their wedding, even though his divorce isn’t totally final. Oh Anna, here you go again, putting all of your eggs in one basket with a broken handle and a hole in the bottom. And of course, the egg drops, and turns out the divorce is null and void. Bates needs to visit Vera in London again to get this all sorted out. When he comes back, his face is scratched and he tells Anna it was “worse than you could possibly imagine.” Even worse, O’Brien is seeing all of it, and while I can’t tell if she is concerned or happy, she has to be up to no good. When a telegram arrives at Downton telling us Mrs. Bates is dead. Leave it to Julian Fellowes to make the “OH MY GOD, WHAT?!” moment the last scene of the night. We’ve seen Vera Bates lying dead in a room with shattered china on the floor. Did she have a heart attack or was it more sinister? Did Mr. Bates kill her? This all looks very, very bad.
The Hunger Games
The war rationing is taking a toll on the Downtonians, as Mrs. Patmore struggles to get sugar and Ethel is getting extra food from Mrs. Hughes. Cora wants to intervene to get Ethel’s baby daddy to step up and take care of his kid, but he’s been killed along with Ethel’s meal ticket.
The Statler and Waldorf of Downton, Thomas and O’Brien, are preparing for life after the war. Since Thomas no longer works for the house, he is making big plans. On the advice of Mrs. Patmore, he’s asking around to see if he can start stockpiling supplies to sell on the black market. While sugar bootlegging sounds like it could be a decent business, O’Brien reminds Thomas that illegal money is never guaranteed.
The house is still in mourning from Wiliam’s death, including Daisy, his wife/really more of a friend. Daisy is dealing with the guilt of marrying William under false pretenses, and feels that she’s not a “real” war widow, like new maid Jane. Speaking of Jane, our working mother, looks like she is becoming friends with Lord Grantham. Nice guy that he is, he’s helping her get her son into a better school.
Yay! World War I has ended! While there was definitely not enough Sybil or Branson this week, she did mention that she has to wait until after the war to make her decision about running away with him. Now hopefully, she can really consider it. I mean, how has she not said yes yet? Did she not see him with his sleeves rolled up and top buttons open? He’s sexy and I know it.
What did you think of the episode? Did you believe the burned man was really a Crawley? Did you feel for Edith? Tell us in the comments.