Downton Abbey Downton Abbey S2E3: In Which Cora Gets Her Groove Back Kate Spencer

I feel like I have to be all Edith on you guys and tell you a cold, hard truth: I was late in watching Downton this week.

*hides behind Mr. Moseley’s giant shoehorn*

Shameful, I know. But the season of DA falls right in the middle of the busiest work time for me, and it’s tripping me up. But this blog post isn’t about me (wait, it’s not?), it’s about our dear friends Anna, Bates, Mary, Matthew, Ethel, Ethel’s libido, Sybil and pushy, whiny, needy Branson. Herrrrrrre we go!

A velvety hat tip to Lady Cora, who suddenly grew a pair of balls without O’Brien’s help and put Cousin Isobel in her place. And that place is France, apparently. Yes, Isobel couldn’t handle playing second nurse fiddle to Cora, and had a major meltdown when Her Ladyship changed her schedule at the Downton Hospital for Wounded Soldiers And One Creepy Maid-F**ker (we’ll get to him shortly). She huffed, she puffed and then she up and left for another hospital in France. Isobel is like that annoying commenter on a message board who flounces after writing a CAPS-filled, 10,000 word rant, only to return weeks later like nothing ever happened.

In Isobel’s absence, her cook, whose name I think is Mrs. Bird but will henceforth be called Mean Cook (even though I know she just has a hard exterior which hides her gentle soul, etc etc) and Mr. Moseley, the world’s saddest man, begin feeding the homeless and hungry men in their village, whose lives have been destroyed by the war. Mean Cook joins forces with Mrs. Patmore (who is also, at times, a Mean Cook) and Daisy and together they fatten up the former troops. O’Brien sniffs out their scheme because that is all O’Brien knows how to do, and tips Cora off to the secret food operation going down. But Cora, who suddenly seems to have a soul and a backbone, offers up Downton’s food for the men AND joins in the soup kitchen serving line.

Cora, more of this ‘being an actual human being with actual feelings’ please.

I had this fashion meltdown while watching this episode:

Holy s**t, Mary’s beaded dress and jewels and the whole outfit holy s**t.
Holy s**t, Mary’s red dress at dinner.
Holy s**t, Mary’s OTHER black dress with sleeves.

Mary, she who has accepted Sir Richard’s proposal, kind of, extended her support to Sybil, who is now dealing with a Stage 5 Clinger of a boyfriend. Branson walks a fine line between adorable and annoying, and in this episode he was straight up UGHHHHH BOOOO(ts). Adoration is sweet, but obsession is just creepy. That being said, I hope they get married and have a ton of babies.

Actually having a baby: Ethel the sassy housemaid. The poor girl was kicked out of Downton after getting caught nailing Sargent Combover by Mrs. Hughes. What is actually wrong with this dude, anyway? Am I missing his injury because I am so distracted by his helmet hair? And how is it fair that he gets to stick around Downton and perform magic tricks for his wounded peers, while Ethel gets kicked to the cobblestone?

Anyway, I’m glad Ethel’s back. Mrs. Hughes has too much of a heart to kick out a pregnant woman, and don’t you want to see Carson hold a baby in nine months?

Speaking of people who need to make babies…Bates is back in Anna’s virginal arms! Apparently working in a “public house” is a shameful job for a valet, because every Downtonian – both up and down stairs – was horrified to learn of his new profession. So the Earl toots on over to Bates’ bar and woos his former valet back. Easy as that! Later, Anna and Bates embrace in the most frustratingly innocent way and discuss – AGAIN – their future together. Let’s be real, guys. During this scene, who else was envisioning what it will look like when they finally have sex? Because oof, the sexual tension is just getting more and more pent up and will surely explode in the most awkwardly beautiful love-making session ever. And yes, I said love-making. What else would Mr. Bates do, guys?!

Here’s all I have to say about Mr. Moseley: :-(

Now onto the Mary-Matthew (and on a smaller scale, the Daisy-William) reunion. Can we all let out a collective “UGH” at how hard it must be to have a loved one away at war (shout out to the brave men and women dealing with this right now), and even worse – in a time with ZERO ways of communicating?! The fact that Lord Grantham can’t hop on Skype to alert Isobel about Matthew’s missing status just makes my social media-addicted heart cringe.

Mary and dear little Daisy both put on a brave face when confronted with the devastating news that their respective kinda-boyfriends are missing in the War. I’m just gonna overlook the fact that it’s oh-so-convenient on many levels that Lord G arranged for William to fight with Matthew. Whatever. It only makes for a grander entrance when the two men return to Downton in the middle of Mary performing a song about love in front of a room full of soldiers. A song about the only boy and only girl in the world. A song that Matthew then turns into a duet, which is symbolic of like, EVERYTHING. He’s back! They’re in love! They’re engaged to other people! But to each other, they’re the only boy and girl in the world!

In conclusion, this is what I looked like by the end of this episode:

Dowager Countess quote of the week: “I’m a woman, Mary, I can be as contrary as I choose.”

Until next week…


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  1. I really just want to have dinner there. I don’t get why they don’t drink more of that pudding wine:

  2. I really can’t get enough of this show. I can’t wait to make my reproductions of Mary’s outfits. omg

  3. Lady Sybil and Branson must be getting together eventually, because the Wikipedia list of characters has her as “Lady Sybil Crawley, later (Lady) Sybil Branson.” IhopeIhopeIhope this is true, and not just Wikipedia giving me false hope :-P

  4. I freaking went nuts when Matthew showed up at the concert. I went full-on Laura Linney in ‘Love Actually’ when she and Karl kissed in the doorway. Screaming would have been a close second to what I was doing when this whole scene happened.

  5. I love this season so far! I fell in love with Downton last year, and I’m so glad that it’s back in the US!

    Lady Mary supremely irked me last season, but she’s getting much better, I think. Lady Edith seems to be improving, too, despite her episode with Mr. Drake. Lady Sybil/Nurse Crawley has always been my favorite sister, and I love that she has more screen time now. She has a strong mind and a kind heart, and I admire her determination to make a difference.

    I’m surprised at Isobel’s behavior thus far; I admire her devotion to aiding soldiers, but her worry for Matthew seems to be pushing her over the edge. Cora is getting better in this episode, though, so maybe they’ll reconcile. *hopeful face*

    I really, really hope that nothing bad happens to Matthew (another one of my favorites; he’s a genuinely good man, I believe) and William (poor William), but next week’s preview has me worried for William.

    Oh, Branson…Sir Julian Fellowes had me going for a while last week, but I knew that he’d never hurt anyone! My heart has skipped several beats while watching him and Sybil; I want them to get together so badly, although I’m afraid that they’ll suffer pretty severe consequences for it. Why does class have to matter so much? Honestly! :P

    Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson, as always, fill me with happiness. (:

    Here’s to another week of Downton!

  6. LOVE IT

  7. i am oprah crying right now reading this post. gah! i love this show and these recaps. and that was my fav dowager countess quote, immediately into the blackberry for quick reference later.

  8. “Adoration is sweet, but obsession is just creepy. That being said, I hope they get married and have a ton of babies.”

    I feel the same way about Branson and Sybil! His adoration is kind of creepy but I sitll want them to be together! haha

  9. Gahh I must remember not to read these recaps at work! I’m laughing like a borderline crazy person right now. Anyway, LOVED this episode. The whole Mary/Matthew situation just breaks my heart. As for Mr. Moseley, every time he walks in the room, I think “wah wahhh”.

  10. This episode was pure brilliance. I LOVED the Sybil/Branson story line and just want them to get together asap (did you notice him looking side eyed at Sybil during Mary’s song? Adorable.) There are no words to express how I felt during Mary’s song then BAM Matthew walks in. Great episode.

  11. These recaps totally make my week. I, too, am a little behind but I can’t wait to watch this past Sunday’s as soon as I have an hour to myself with a box of tissues and a couch!

  12. I was baffled at Mary’s self control when Matthew walked in… I doubt I could do the same.. but I get it.. they’re not together… either way, heart-wrenching! Best hour on TV!

  13. This, and every DA related thing, makes my heart happy. OMG Mary’s beaded dress! And it sounds like Michelle Dockery was really the one singing…pretty impressive! And I’m so glad Cousin Isabel finally got her comeuppance! And poor Mr. Moseley! And, and…

  14. I must say that your posts on Downton are absolutely hilarious. I look forward to reading them every week! I completely agree about Mary’s fashion choices and I, too, am oh-so-proud of Cora for woman-ing up and growing a heart! One thing I am a little iffy about though is Anna and Bates’ relationship. It kind of makes me squirm…in a not good way. I just don’t think it’s working. It seems forced or weird or SOMETHING! I don’t know. Anyone out there feel the same way?