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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Mcgovern’

EMBARGOED_DOWNTON_ABBEY_CHRISTMAS_2012_126.JPGI’m not going to beat about the bush here: this sucked. This sucked so badly I actually found myself apologizing to my family for making them watch it. And just to be clear, I’m not saying that because of what happens at the end. I hated that for other reasons than you probably think.

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Previously on Downton Abbey: Ethel caused a scandal by existing, things got super awkward between Thomas and Jimmy, Edith became a journalist, and Tom was given a job he was wildly underqualified for.

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Previously on Downton Abbey: Bates was proven innocent, and because the wheels of justice are really well oiled on this show, he was declared a free man in about ten minutes. Robert popped his already stuffed shirt at the thought of Ethel serving lunch to the ladies of his family and Branson threw oil right on that fire by telling him Baby Sybil would be christened Catholic. And Matthew jumped in by having the temerity to suggest the estate not be run quite so idiotically.

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Previously on Downton Abbey: Sybil died giving birth to a daughter and Matthew decided it was a good idea for someone with a functional brain to start running Downton.

Mourners depart Downton after the funeral and Robert slowly goes back inside, where Matthew’s offering poor, shattered Tom any help he can offer. I’ve been rather hard on this character (and for good reason), but I do rather like the actor, and he’s really selling this shell-shocked horror and emptiness that someone in that position must be feeling. Robert comes in and tells Cora the guests were looking for her to say goodbye and she rather petulantly says she was right there, in the sitting room. We can see that, Cora. I realise you’re in hate with your husband right now, but there’s no reason to take that out on the guests. Sensing the awkwardness, Isobel says her goodbyes and departs, accompanied by Violet. Robert invites them to stay for dinner but Violet demurs, saying that grief makes one so very tired. She looks like she’s aged a decade. She kisses Cora on the cheek and urges her to try to get some rest now that it’s over. Cora doesn’t think it’s ever really ‘over.’

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Previously on Downton Abbey: Branson got himself kicked out of Ireland, Edith found a new vocation, Ethel was looked down upon and gave up her child, and a handsome new footman arrived, to Thomas’s delight.

Late at night, Clarkson arrives to check on Sybil, whose been experiencing pains a bit early. Clarkson reassures her that everything is all right, and then goes out into the hallway to reassure the menfolk of the same. Branson is rather adorably relieved. Clarkson tells them the birth is imminent, though, and Robert tells him that another doctor will be arriving the next day. “If you think it advisable,” says Clarkson, in a tone that says he certainly does not. Well, Clarkson, considering your medical track record, yes, I think I’d call for competent backup too.

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Downton Abbey-From Tom and LorenzoPreviously on Downton Abbey: Edith got seriously kicked in the teeth by life and her family yet again, Hughes is probably going to live after all, and Matthew accepted Swire’s inheritance.

Carson hands out the mail to the staff and it seems Anna’s the only person not to get anything. It’s not the first time she’s been left emptyhanded either. Bates, you dick.

Speak of the devil, he’s in prison, also not getting any letters. Hmmm. I’d believe he’d stop writing in some misguided ‘You must go on without me!’ nonsense, but I’d never believe Anna would stop sending letters.

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Downton Still, courtesy Tom and LorenzoPreviously on Downton Abbey: Robert decided to take a turn at being a terrible father by trying to ruin Edith’s relationship with Strallen for absolutely no good reason at all. Mary, meanwhile, kept herself busy trying to pump Martha for cash, only to find out Martha’s money is too tied up to save Downton. Oh, and Mrs. Hughes has a suspicious breast lump and it looks like Ethel’s a prostitute now.

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Downton Abbey-Courtesy Tom and LorenzoBefore we get started, I think you should know that, as I write this, I’m huddled up on my sofa, clutching a hot water bottle in one hand and tea with the other, nursing a cold I may or may not have caught from the dog. So if I seem a bit snippier or more out of it than usual during this recap, that’s probably why.

Previously on Downton Abbey: Branson showed up to act like a total stereotype of the worst sort of Irish radical. Robert lost all the family’s money through sheer idiocy; Cora’s brash, outspoken (read: American) mother showed up; and Mary and Matthew finally got married.

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Downton-Courtesy Tom and LorenzoHere we go—series three! And even though series two was a sad, sad disappointment, my heart still soars when I hear that theme music. Downton, don’t let me down.

It’s spring 1920 and Mary and Matthew are rehearsing their wedding at the local church. There’s some talk of Sybil, who apparently can’t come over because she and Branson can’t afford it. Mary asks her dad if they can do anything to get her to the wedding, and you’d really think that, considering this is a request coming from the bride herself Robert might actually give it some consideration, but no, he’s a dick now, and he’s totally unwilling to help his youngest attend her own sister’s wedding because Branson is “still an object of curiosity in the neighborhood.” He wants to wait until they can properly prep the servants for his arrival. Jerk. And Robert, no amount of prepping is going to make that go easier for the likes of O’Brien, so don’t even try. Lame excuse, really. Isobel, awesomely, hisses to her son that Robert’s making a problem where none exists and that everyone just needs to get used to this situation. Please, please let her improve over last season. My hopes are high.

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A truck drives through the woods, a giant tree strapped to it, and pulls up in front of Downton, where Thomas supervises the tree’s unloading. A bit later (presumably), Daisy scoots through the house with coal scuttles, in a brief throwback to the opening scenes of the very first episode. In the great hall, O’Brien and Edith are decorating the big tree while Mary stands by, probably silently criticizing everything Edith’s doing. Daisy stops to stare at the tree like she’s never seen one before, until Hughes arrives to hurry her along.

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