Here we are again still in funereal mode as we watch the last of Sybil’s mourners pull away in their shiny black motorcars. They certainly know how to accessorize, don’t they?
The Earl and Carson are standing stoically, hands behind their backs, soldiering on while the women, wrapped in black, sit stone like in the drawing room. They remind me of well-dressed insects. The first voice we hear is Maggie who, after declining a dinner invitation from her son says, “Grief makes everyone terribly tired.”…
and those hits just keep on coming.
We get a quick peek downstairs to see Thomas still sullen over Lady Sybil’s death. When Jimmy says something comforting Thomas sees it as an opportunity to play, stroke the footman’s knee that doesn’t sit too well with Jimmy’s patella. We could save a lot of time here if Thomas would just say,”So are you gay like me or not…which is it?”
Isobel tells Ethel she’s thinking of having a modest luncheon for Cora, Mary and Edith…to show her sympathy. Ethel, who now thinks she’s Julia Child, suggests making something extra special for the occasion. Isobel panics knowing full well her cook can’t cook and says, “simple fare, I think Ethel, would be the best,” a major disappointment for our reformed lady of the evening, or in Ethel’s case, afternoon.
When Isobel extends the invitation to Cora and the girls, Maggie, who’s concealed behind a sofa somewhere says, “Do I count as one of the girls?”
Of course you do Maggie. It doesn’t matter that Isobel can’t stand you. This is television remember. Who knows, maybe in Season 4 the two of you will have a romantic interlude. With slap-happy Mr. Fellowes at the helm anything is possible.
The Earl tries to wheedle himself back into Cora’s good graces along with her bed, but she’s not budging. As far as Lady Grantham’s concerned, he killed Sybil so no more sex for him…EVER. Defend yourself Robert for God’s sake, but he doesn’t, he just leaves to go whack off in his wardrobe that I imagine is a closet big enough for a twin bed. He should just grab her, Rhett Butler style and say, SCARLET, I MEAN CORA, YOU’RE NOT SHUTTING ME OUT…THAT MATTRESS IS KILLING ME. Well it worked for Rhett and yes, I’m paraphrasing.
I’m not talking about Bates this week. Who cares if Murray got nothing out of Mrs. Bartlett after she was bribed to shut her mouth. Looks like he’ll still be jail for another couple of episodes. I say Anna should start canoodling with Molesley who could sure use a little action. Just think, he could throw her right over the larder in between courses. She’d fit, she’s such a little thing that Mrs Bates.
Branson flattens the Earl like a blini when he tells him the baby will be named after her mother. But the big blow comes when he announces she’ll be raised Catholic. The Earl looks as if he might require the Hemlick Maneuver before saying, “There hasn’t been a Catholic in our family since the Reformation.”
Oh shut-up, would you!!!
Don’t you think it’s ghoulish to name the baby Sybil?” he then moans to Mary. “No, not at all Pa-pa. He wants to remember Sybil every time he looks at her.” Hey, I’m with Tom. I think it’s a lovely, loving gesture and the only thing ghoulish is the Earl, especially in his nightshirt. Why can’t he die giving birth. Come on Julian, we can throw a little Hitchcock in the mix, can’t we? He could be the first man in the family to get pregnant, or at least since the Reformation.
Ethel ambushes Mrs. Patmore asking for help with the infamous luncheon. Mrs. Patmore tries tactfully to explain that she can’t cook with prostitutes, Mr. Carson’s orders, but Ethel wins by saying, “Why should Mrs. Crawley be poonished for showing me kindness?” Got ya there fatty, so she agrees right on the spot to create a menu. When Ethel sees salmon mousse as a headliner she panics. Mrs. Patmore snaps, “Anyone who has the use of their limbs can make a salmon mousse.” This certainly came as quite a surprise to me…do you use your feet as well as your hands when you’re moussing? Ethel, who at this point, is oop for anything, agrees to give it a go.
When Isobel finds out they aren’t having ham and cheese she goes slightly off the rails telling Ethel she would hold her responsible if someone died after lunch. I think that’s fair, don’t you?
Carson sees Mrs. Patmore leaving Crawley house accusing her of being a frolicker, whatever the hell that is. Mrs. Patmore, after attempting to lie, stands up to him while Mrs. Hughes backs her up. He then tells them both they have no stonderds that seems to tickle Mrs. Hughes which totally tickled me. He runs to tell the Earl who in turn makes skid marks to Isobel’s to rescue the family from scondal, but Cora, who still wishes he was dead, refuses to leave.
“Is that a Charlotte Ruse I see…what fun,” she says in that Glass Menagerie voice of hers. When the Earl looks at Maggie for support she says, “Seems a pity to miss such a good pudding.” Ah well, The Earl loses again and to dessert no less.
Maggie summons Dr. Clarkson to convince him to tell Cora, Sybil never had a chance no matter what they did. “You expect me to lie?’ he asks rather shocked. “Lie is so unmusical a word,” she answers. “Have we nothing in common?” Not if he leans on the side of truth you don’t Mags. Of course he eventually comes around and intimates that Sybil’s chances were slim at best which seems to thaw Cora enough to throw herself into Robert’s waiting arms. I’m sure he called Carson ASAP to say, move me out of that fucking wardrobe… NOW!
We see Mary and Matthew cooing in bed like horny pigeons, Tom and Matthew walking the property talking sheep. When Molesley shows disdain when he learns how Cora and company ate a prostitute’s food Mrs. Hughes reminds him how Jesus ate with Mary Magdalene. “Yes, but we don’t really know that for sure,” the blasphemer says. Let’s hear it for Mrs. Hughes and her 4 star eye roll.
We close with Daisy teaching Alfred the foxtrot and let’s just say she’s no Arthur Murray. Jimmy comes in to show Alfred how it’s really done before he blows it by saying, he only wants to learn to impress Ivy causing Daisy to wilt, no pun intended.
Then Carson lumbers in shocked at this appalling conduct telling Jimmy he’s a disgrace to his livery. Oh would you lighten up Carson. That should be the worst thing that ever happens to him.
Well, at least nobody died this week. It wasn’t the most compelling visit to Downton but, like they used to say on American Bandstand, I give it an 8 and you could definitely dance to it.