Downton AbbeyDownton Abbey S2E5: The Night Of 1000 StaresKate Spencer

Let’s take a moment to appreciate this episode’s catalog of stink eyes and bitch faces, lustful gazes, scowls, snarls and mysterious stares – and that deer in the headlights look only Cora can give. The eyes have it, amirite?

Carson, giver of the stern stare and maker of the important decisions, must make the most important decision of his life…since he gave up his vaudevillian ways. Sir Richard has invited him to abandon Downton and join him and Mary at Haxby, the 1918 version of a McMansion which sits down the road from Downton. Mary is obviously into the idea, because who else will keep her in line and give her advice on how to escape her surely-to-be unhappy and verbally abusive marriage to a man who’s shaped like a ballpoint pen? And while Lord Grantham is not keen on losing a man whose moral compass points only to “Do the right thing, always, even if it means selling out Mrs. Hughes to Lady Cora over that whole ‘giving food to poor Ethel’ thing”, he seems at peace with the possible move.

Lord Grantham, he of the puzzling stare which seems to be landing on that chipper new maid Jane quite a lot. Like, a lot a lot. A LOT. And offering to help out her son by putting in a good word for him at the school he’s applying to. And staring at her some more. Allow me to get conspiracy theory-ish on your bums: is it possible that Lord Grantham is her child’s father? What with all of Ethel’s constant comparing the unfairness of the treatment she receives vs. Jane the Widow – could it be that Jane is indeed the same as she? And Lord Grantham and Cora have been so distant lately! But is he the kind of guy to step out on his mega-millionaire American wife? Am I reaching here? Tell me someone else had this thought. Please? Edith? Anyone?

Aw Edith, with her longing looks at the man who may be the cousin she so once desired in that sexy familial way that gives you a little bit o’ the creeps. Yes, with the arrival of a burned soldier claiming to be the Titanic-drowned cousin she once so desperately loved, we see a new side of Edith: the sweet side. The vulnerable side. The side that cries! A side I might even…LIKE? Something about Peter/Patrick isn’t right, and it’s not just because that terrible burn victim makeup makes him look way too much like the dude from Mask (tell me you’ve seen Mask, guys). Everything about his pushy personality is creepy-deeps, and Edith would be smart to listen to her sistenemy Mary for once, who is totally on to him.

Mary, she of the stern, stoic, stare who will protect her beloved Cousin Matthew at all costs, even if it means marrying my new least favorite person, ever – Sir Bleghhh. Let’s pretend we’re all girlfriends with Mary and we’re out together at that new hip place (but not too hip, it’s still got a down to earth vibe, just like us) and we’re wearing our Rachel Comey heels and Vena Cava dresses which is what Mary would do circa now and we’d do it too because, let’s be honest, she’d be the head of our clique and we’d all be her followers and would totally nod along to whatever she says – except when it comes to her relationship with Sir Richard. She’d take a sip of her Old Fashioned and would be all, “Guys, be honest…should I dump Sir Richard? He’s been acting a little…weird. Like, the other day, he grabbed my face and pushed me into a Grecian pillar and threatened to ruin me. And then he kissed me.” And we’d be like, “GTFO of that abusive, dysfunctional relationship NOW and wait – he kissed you after? He’s a sociopath, gurl!”

So yeah, she needs to get out of that mess. [If only Cora and Granny would make that their project instead of Operation Get Rid of Isobel.]

The problem is Cousin Matthew, he of the sad scowl, is not hitting on her and rekindling their love like he should be. Instead, he’s kinda in that pity party place that goes along with having something seriously sh*tty happen to you – like not being able to get free Amazon Prime or running out of paper towels right after you spill some Coke Zero, or you know – losing your ability to walk/have children, dumping your fiancee and then learning you may not be the heir to the gajillion dollar pound fortune you’ve thought was a sure thing for six years.

And then there is Bates, he of the possibly murderous stare! After traveling back and forth to London to deal with the one that won’t let herself get away and telling Lord G he wished Vera was his “late wife”, the woman ends up mysteriously dead. Duh duh duhhhhhon’t you worry – O’Brien is for sure snooping around to figure out what’s what.

Which brings me to the story that is almost too hard for me to watch: Ethel the single mom. Maybe it’s because I have an infant or a soul or possibly both, but Ethel’s suffering and ostracization (that might not be a real word) because of one night of mediocre Sargent sex is too hard for me to bear. She just wants to do right by her child and yet the entire world makes it impossible to do. Also, her baby daddy’s dead, which still sucks despite him being a Sir Richard-level douche. Here’s hoping Mrs. Hughes’s big heart opens up wide enough to offer Ethel a position back at Downton.

Speed round re-cap on everyone else!

Branson – still clingy
Sybill – still undecided
Moseley – still sad
Daisy – still guilty
Lavinia – still mousey
Mrs. Patmore – still sneaky
Anna – still the best
Thomas – still smoking (hot)
The Dog – still sitting at Lord Grantham’s feet

Dowager Countess Quote of the Week: “I don’t dislike him, I just don’t like him, which is quite different.”

Let’s talk Downton in the comments!

  • Randi Sanders

    I think you hit the nail on the head in this re-cap. But I was eager to hear your thoughts on poor, obnoxious, Thomas! All in all, that episode was by far the most intense, the plot keeps thickening. Tell me, do you know how many episodes will be in this season? Please tell me more than there were in Season 1 (7 episodes).

  • Billie Greenfield

    Where is my Downton Recap for this week? :( I might go into withdrawls soon if I dont get it!

  • MariaDanel Noveno

    I like your “conspiracy theory” on Lord Grantham and Jane! Gosh, I hope it’s not true though. What’ your take on Patrick, though? Do you think he is the real Patrick or was just brainwashed by the person who took him in after he was found. My boyfriend was explaining a hypothesis to me about this. He says that what if he met the real Patrick after the sinking of the Titanic and they were just floating in the Atlantic and knowing that they won’t survive – started chatting about themselves and their lives. Then real Patrick disclosed to him who he is and what fortune is in store for him, and then after a few hours, real Patrick dies. Sooooo Peter/Patrick survives and goes to the war and after having his face severely damaged face (poor him) remembers about the story the real Peter told him and then finds the Crawley family (cause he is probably dirt poor now) to maybe fool them (because no one would probably recognize his face anymore) and steal their money.

    It seems like … I think. I can of agree too.

  • Rachel Dudash

    I think Lord Grantham and Jane are going to have an affair, not that they already did. She’s so lonely and now he’s so lonely! Also totally thought Isobel was going to bring the refugees to Downton as a safe haven and Cora and the Countess would NOT like that at all! P. Gordon was for sure a fraud! But whaaaat is O’Brien up to? Also I think Thomas is going to take William’s widow money to do his whole black market thing. And WHAT ?! Bates kill his wife? that or all evidence points to him. poor guy, he can’t ever catch a break.

  • Billie Greenfield

    OMG when Isobel was trying to convince Cora and The Dowager Countess that Downton should stay open after the war was over, and we see that Cora stare (the one that only she can do) of WTF beeotch, u r f-ing crazy! That look was just so EPIC I had to do a pause,rewind, and applause. By far the best stare and moment of the episode for me! :)

  • Colleen Sweeney

    This was a good episode, and all I wanted to do was wring Sir Richard’s neck. And what was Cora thinking when she agreed to his evil plan (I’d use other words, but kids read this site)?

  • Ellen Findley

    Fellow Downtonians, can we (please) agree to give poor Branson a bit of a break? These episodes are much more spread out as far as time goes than they seem, so the man has been waiting for the woman he loves for years! He and Sybil are two of my favorite characters, and I want them to be happy.

  • Kinsey Stout

    Does anyone else just want to give Carson a big ol’ bear hug? I’d totally hang out with him, even if I were richy-upstairs-pants. I’d go hang out in the kitchen just to watch him put everyone else in their respective places. Maybe one day soon he’ll set Lady Mary straight on the status of Lord McDouche. But he’ll say it in a really nice genteel-not-to-overstep-one’s-bounds sort of way. I hope Carson and Granny never have to duke it out. I can’t decide which one I love more.

  • BreAnne Cunningham

    Just laughed my tush off! I just kept thinking that our brains work similarly because everything you wrote is pretty much what I’m thinking when I’m watching this show haha

    Anyways…So in love with this series! I actually blogged about it today too! ( I even catch my husband secretly watching it with me while he’s pretending to be on his laptop! Which. Is. Amazing.

  • Rebecca Adam Teames

    What was that creepy finger-to-the-lips thing that Peter/Patrick did? Lord G Money was completely creeped out and so was I. Looked like a secret society-type hand sign to me. Between that and his heinous burn makeup I thought I had switched to a Stephen King movie for a second!

    • Rebecca Adam Teames

      Hmmm don’t remember that, thanks for telling me! I’ll have to investigate :)

    • Carol Florence

      i remember seeing mary do it to earlier in season 2… maybe some weird family gesture? i was kinda weirded out too…

  • Carol Florence

    on the whole though i like your recap ;)

  • Carol Florence

    I do NOT think that his Lordship is capable of stepping out. I thought their exchange about her son had more to do with the changing times. Lord Grantham is always ahead of the curve when it comes to treating is staff well. He paid for Mrs Patmore’s surgery… I don’t think they were doing it.

  • Cristal Bernal

    Mask! Eric Stoltz! (Love) Thought I’d share that. I love Downton Abbey.

  • Elise McCarthy

    I thought the exact same thing! Bates’ wife is just crazy/desperate enough to kill herself to make it look like a murder. I mean, she didn’t have anything else going on, right? AND if he was convicted of murder, he would be unhappy forever. Mission accomplished, from her perspective.

  • Julia Gazdag

    What the hell kind of crazy bitch kills herself to get back at her ex-husband? Ladies, he’s never worth that.

  • Susy Shumaker Frey

    Oh my Kate – Are you American and a woman? You definitely have to read (watch it for now-will be faster) GWTW-actually the movie is better than book but still read it about 5 times. Get back with me on it – you will see a huge comparison!

  • Donna Dean

    Oh wait, Carson might have to go live with the real-life version of Mr. Peanut. Boooo

  • Donna Dean

    Poor Ethel. I wish she could work for Downton Abbey again instead of that shady Jane lady! And who doesn’t love having a big, cute baby around? Can’t you just imagine Mr. Carson holding that child? That would send the show’s ratings even higher through the roof!

  • Danielle Walker

    YUCK WHY DO YOU THINK THOMAS IS SMOKING HOT. am i the only one who thinks he is repulsive???

  • Jacqueline Sandoval

    bahahhah too funny! I too don’t want this show to end but I found a great list of some similar Downton Abbey shows and such to help me get my fix ;)

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