Published January 21. 2013 1:00PM Updated January 21. 2013 2:05PM
Marisa, where do we start on last night's episode. So much going on in just under an hour: Jimmy the new footman; Matthew afraid of getting noses out of joint; that pesky Irish rebellion; Ethel gives up her adorable little boy; Anna (who for some reason calls her husband Mr. Bates) and Mr. Bates finally see stack of love letters that have been withheld for, I guess months; and Edith the feminist gets published!
In a display of bias, we should start with Edith the blossoming columnist. It’s about time the writers gave her something noble to do. Of course, the Dowager Countess put it best last night when she declared, “Stop whining and find something to do.” Cheers to that.
I foresee Edith becoming a fabulous Suffragette and finally earning accolades beyond The One Who Was Left at the Altar by an Old Guy — particularly now that former activist Sybil has gone entirely useless, no thanks to that idealist husband of hers. What do you make of this whole burning-down-a-nobleman’s-house situation? For once I entirely agreed with Lord G. when he told off Branson and ordered him to bed. Discuss.
So if a lord orders you to bed, do you have to go? I couldn't believe the former chauffeur slunk off!
Have always loved Edith — she worked the farm, she fell for the old guy, she ratted out her sister's indiscretions...OK, that one wasn't so good. But she's always trying. She'll be a great columnist.
But what about all the letters? Bates and Anna laying in their beds, miles apart, reading love letters to each other, so touching. To be honest, it was a bit much. All of sudden she's not writing to him and he's not writing to her and she's crying and he's getting mad. And what the hell happened to his roommate?
And what the hell is in that grubby little bundle they keep planting on each other? Voodoo supplies? A dead mouse? More of those roofies they used on Branson a few episodes ago?
The Twitterverse has indicated it’s getting a tad sick of the Bates and Anna situation, and I’m hereby on that team. The fabulous Twitter feed by "Mr. Bates Legal Team" (@MrBatesLegal) offered a great suggestion to get this sluggish storyline moving: @MrBatesLegal: "Hey Matthew how about you go be a lawyer and help Anna out. After all she helped your wife move a dead body so...”
It’s a great point and that could distract Matthew from poring over Downton’s books, which is only going to serve to annoy the hell out of Lady Mary. Again.
As for Edith, maybe she’s going to emerge the dark-horse hero, since she’s taken more than her share of karmic beatings this season—both onscreen and on Twitter. My favorite Edith diss of the night came from @LaurenDestafano, who noted: “Poor Edith. She's like the Microsoft Paperclip in the word doc that is #DowntonAbbey.” How fabulous would it be if the whole family ended up having to eat crow over their dreadful treatment of poor Lady Paperclip when she becomes a famous writer or whatever? Maybe she’ll write an expose on her silly sister Sybil and brother-in-law. Is it wrong that I’m totally sick of those two?
Speaking of being sick of someone — I'm little tired of hearing from Matthew about "Reggie's money." For godsakes, pay the bills and move on. If you need to streamline the operation, do it. Even old Lady Grantham says you have to do what you have to do. With all her quippy sayings, she would have been a grand success at marketing — just do it!
The jailhouse bundle is a shiv. Every inmate needs a shiv for getting out of sticky situations with mean cellmates. The management, however, frowns upon them — hence the demise of Bates' roommate?
One more thing, I was a little distracted last night because of the NFL. I had made my husband watch the end of the Patriots v Ravens game in another room so I could tune in to Downton. Thank god we're a two-TV family. Which brings me to Lord Grantham. Why isn't he getting with the program with more modern conveniences. The house has a telephone, and as we learned a toaster, so why did he send a telegram from London? Pick up the phone, Robert.
Well, we are emailing these dispatches aren't we? Apparently precedent was set long ago for not communicating in person… Indeed, I’m surprised Lord G. even knows how to work a phone, if his financial skills are any indicator of his analytical abilities. (Seriously, Cora took the “we’re broke” news ways too well. She credited her American-ness for her calm, but I think she’s been in Britain too long if she recovers that quickly from such a massive investment gaffe.)
But I digress, and we haven’t even touched upon the zillion other developments that happened last night: James (NOT Jimmy), the new, dreamy, English Ken doll-looking footman; the Ethel Saga; Mary’s decree that babies are not high on her marital priority list (to which I say, you go girl…unless of course she’s barren or something. Then I’d dial it back a little); sulky Daisy; and whether Branson stays put at Downton or permanently abandons his wife.
It’s too much, but I do have a suggestion for next week: we should play Downton Bingo with our fellow Tweeps. I might also keep a Dowager Countess “zing” count, as last night she was on fire with the one-liners. Between her and @theDowagers_Hat on Twitter, I’m in stitches every week! (Re: Ethel, @theDowagers_Hat quips, "Ethel, plenty of children know they have hookers for mothers. Look at the Kardashians.")
I must say, I ran the emotional gamut Sunday night. A burst of laughter — "no lady writes to a newspaper" — was followed by a dab at the eyes — "Poor Ethel has taken the road to ruin." Between wanting to know the score to the football game, reading tweets and tweeting, jotting notes and trying not to miss any of the dialogue, I was exhausted when the show ended.
Can't wait for next week.
Watch "Downton Abbey" with Kathleen, @edgecombday; and Marisa, @TheMDesk on Twitter.