Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey S2E2: Lady Edith Is Just What The Doctor Ordered

It’s only Week 2 of Downton Abbey recaps and I’m already late! My apologies, dear Granthamites. But in my other life, I cover entertainment for VH1 and Sunday night I was enjoying myself at the Golden Globes. (By enjoying myself, I mean typing away on my computer for 9 hours and snarfing down the delicious free cheese. It was spectacular!) Now I am here, 0n my couch, fully present and properly sweat-suited and ready to TALK DOWNTON.

Let’s start by giving credit where credit is due. Lady Edith made it through an entire episode without doing a single deplorable thing. In fact, she’s downright lovely in this episode. After lamenting to Sybil that she feels like “a spare part”, she begins to find herself by helping the soldiers who have come to reside at her home. From fetching books to writing letters home to worried mothers informing them that their sons got their hands blown off, Edith is too busy being kind and helpful to say one spiteful thing to Lady Mary. And oh, how I love this sweet side of Edie, in which her insecurities are downplayed by her actual ability to be a human, for once.

Did you love it when the General praised her at dinner, right after almost being doused in ink by Bronson? Because I so did.

Bronson. Tormented, angry, heart-murmuring Bronson. The poor guy rightfully is desperate to take a stand against the British Army, but when his plans to be a conscientious objector are foiled by his less than perfect heart, he decides to dump a mixture of ink, oil and shit on the visiting General in the middle of a formal dinner. If only it was 100 years later and he could just start a blog, ya know?

And like, you can just feel the pain in poor Bronson’s heart, can’t you? The people of Ireland are suffering, Lady Sybil is being all wishy-washy on that whole “I’m in love with you, marry me” thing, and now he can’t even fight back without being foiled by the Edwardian version of Scooby-Doo and friends. (Okay, you want to go there? Anna is Daphe, Mrs. Hughes is Velma, William is Fred and yes, of course Carson is Scooby.)

Now is probably a good time to mention that Ethel the maid is H-to-the-ORNY and wants to bone a soldier with a solid comb-over who looks like he’s up to no good.

Meanwhile, Anna spots Bates in the village and Lady Mary helps her dig up info on his whereabouts via her boyfriend Sir Richard, who is the Rupert Murdoch of olden times, apparently. It’s important to note that right after Mary very graciously offers to help Anna, she criticizes her hair curling skills. Always establishing class lines, that one!

Bates is working at a pub and Anna goes wearing a hat borrowed from my grandmother’s Florida beach condo in 1992. Bates is still in love with her! Vera has cheated on him so now he’s confident he can get a divorce. Anna offers to be his mistress but Bates is all, “You’re too good for that,” i.e. “I want to take your virginity on our wedding night, not here on a table in this pub after it closes.” Admirable, as always.

Also engaged: an over-eager William and a hesitant Daisy, who was unable to get out “I just like you as a friend” in time and awkwardly accepted sweet William’s hand in marriage. I have faith she’ll come around and realize a genuinely nice guy is a good catch – as long as he works on his romancing skills. Too much hugging, William! I know it’s 1917 and no one touched back then, but at least drop some secret finger-entwining action.

Speaking of people I want to entwine fingers with…THOMAS (hngggg, fappp, etc) is now in charge of managing the hospital side of Downton, thanks to O’Brien’s masterful manipulation of Lady Puppet of Grantham. Isobel, who will later be reincarnated as Tracy Flick, is none too pleased to be sharing duties with Thomas or Lady Grantham, who insists on having some say in how Hospital Downton is run.

UGH. Lord Grantham, let me go on record and say that you sir, are a real jerk what with your shouting and your refusal to eat in the same room as soldiers who have been to the frontline and THAT SHOUTING. Just, don’t. His assholery is only highlighted by the struggles of poor Mr. Lang, who is battling post-traumatic stress disorder. As much as I wish O’Brien’s kind words and very long braid could cure him of his trauma, they do not, and he swiftly leaves his post at Downton.

How soon until Carson and Thomas duke it out? Because I want to see Carson and Thomas lay some hurt on each other. It will not be pretty and that will be just fine with me.

Also not pretty: the straight up cattiness going on in the war between the Dowager and Rosamund VS. Lavinia. Ugh. These two give rich women with too much time on their hands a bad name. After encouraging Mary to dig up dirt on ol’ Lavvie and then trash her to Matthew, Mary actually does the honorable thing and go straight to Lavinia. Turns out she served as a source for Sir Richard to save her family from debt. She’s an admirable human! As is Mary – who says not a peep to Matthew.

Here’s something important: Rosamund was married to a man named MARMADUKE. Like she has any right to say anything bad about anyone! Also jokes on her, because now that’s a name reserved solely for dogs. Woof.

Okay, you know what to do – I like to chat Downton so comment away about your favorite moments, favorite outfits and favorite Dowager disses and I’ll be sure to reply. Until next time!


Laura Linney

(JK, It’s me, Kate)


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