Downton Abbey – Even More Mary and Matthew’s Memorable Moments (Christmas Special)

Do you enjoy these games, in which the player must appear ridiculous?

Sir Richard, life is a game in which the player must appear ridiculous.

Sorry, I’m cheating here, but just can’t resist this moment between Violet and Richard.

Lady Mary will stand by me.

Now just a …

And I thought you were going to stand with me for the first drive. Isn’t that what you said?

Did I? Yes, I think I did.

Yeah, not really a fan of the men claiming and distributing the women like they are prizes to be won. But I think Matthew is only trying to prevent an argument between Mary and Richard in front of everybody, so he’s forgiven in this case.

The awful truth is he’s starting to get on my nerves. But still, you’re not the person to burden with that.

You’re still going to marry him, though.

Of course. Why wouldn’t I?

BECAUSE YOU SHOULD MARRY ME INSTEAD! Say that, Matthew, come on.

You don’t have to marry him, you know. You don’t have to marry anyone. You’ll always have a home here as long as I’m alive.

Didn’t the war teach you never to make promises?

Nope, sorry Matthew, not a very attractive offer, this. Stay on at Downton as what, the spinster cousin dependent on your goodwill?

I feel somehow we were, all of us, part of each other’s story for a while.

And now that story is at an end.

Paying their respect to Lavinia and her father, and still being stubbornly idiotic. Someone needs to hit them on the head with a hard object to wake them up. Mrs C, you’re just the person for the job.

Did you love him? Because if it’s love, then …

How could it be love? I didn’t know him.

Then why would you ….

It was lust, Matthew, or need for excitement, or something in him that I … oh god, what difference does it make? I’m Tess of the d’Urbervilles to your Angel Clare, I have fallen, I am impure.

If Matthew really is like Angel Care, then Mary definitely shouldn’t marry him, or her life will end in ruins.

Is she not to be trusted even to get rid of me without your help?

Heh, I hate to admit it, but Richard has a point here. From his perspective, Matthew’s always barging in during private moments between Mary and him. Spoilsport!

We’ve been on the edge of this so many times, Matthew, please don’t take me there again unless you’re sure.

I am sure.

You must say it properly. I won’t answer unless you kneel down and everything.

Lady Mary Crawley, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?


Well, finally! Sybil’s gone and married and about to be a mother at this point, while you two dilly-dally. That said, this is Mary’s third engagement already, if this one doesn’t work out too …. Lady Mary Crawley, serial fiancee.

Downton Abbey – More Mary and Matthew’s Memorable Moments (Series 2)

We’re not going to marry, but I don’t want him to spend the rest of his life in a cave. Of course I’m happy, good luck to him.

Mary pretending not to care about Matthew’s engagement. What’s that expression – the lady doth protest too much?

What do you think Mary sees in him?

Besides the money, you mean?

Meeting each other’s new love. Awkward!!!

Why, don’t you want me?

Of course I want you.

Awww, too bad they were only talking about Matthew coming to dinner. Mary losing her courage to confess her feelings to Matthew after seeing Lavinia being so upset about the possibility of losing Matthew. I’m not sure whether it’s because of the actress’ poor acting, or because I was biased against Lavinia from the start, but I really thought Lavinia was faking being so upset in that scene to stop Mary from confessing all. 

Last time you told me good news is imminent.

Would you be happy if it were?

Of course. I’ve found someone now, and I want you to do the same.

Nothing like two people pretending that they’re happy for each other. I’m sure they both believed it too, if you tell a lie often enough, you might start believing in it yourself.

There would be such wonderful things to do. If you were the only girl in the world and I’m the only boy.

Don’t get too excited yet, next time he might not be so lucky.

It seems such a short time ago since I turned you down, and now look at me, impotent, crippled, and stinking of sick. What a reversal. You have to admit it’s quite funny.

All I’ll admit is that you’re here, and you’ve survived the war. That’s enough for now.

Are you still in love with Matthew Crawley?

Of course not. Would I ever  admit to loving a man who preferred someone else over me?

You’re not really answering Richard’s question, Mary. He didn’t ask whether you would ADMIT to still loving Matthew, he asked whether you still love him. No wonder Richard is so crazy jealous all the time.

Noooo, stop, you’re about to do something that will doom your love forever!!! (at least until the Christmas Special).

She gave up because of us. We could never be happy now, you see. We’re cursed, you and I. Let’s be strong , Mary, and let’s accept that this is the end.

Of course it’s the end. How could it not be?

Darn it! I hate when people think they’re being honorable, noble and self-sacrificing, when actually they’re just being masochistic fools.

Downton Abbey – Mary and Matthew’s Memorable Moments

In honor of their impending nuptials (at least I hope so, unless Julian Fellowes wants to throw some more wrench into the works).

First meeting (Matthew: They’re obviously going to push one of the daughters at me. Mrs C: Won’t you stay for tea? Mary: No, I wouldn’t want to push in.)

Mary putting Matthew in his place, or being a total snob, depending on your perspective (Mary: I suppose you’re more interested in books than country sports. Matthew: I probably am. You’ll tell me that’s rather unhealthy. Mary: Not unhealthy. Just unusual, among our kind of people.) Ohhhh snap! Emphasis on “our”.

First hint of attraction (Mary: And I mean nothing in all this? Matthew: On the contrary, you mean a great deal. A very great deal.)

Matthew making his move (Matthew: If you really like an argument ..  Mary: Yes? Matthew: We should see more of each other.)

First kiss, and an off-screen proposal! Wow, he works really, really fast. (No dialogue required 🙂 )

Breaking up is hard to do (Mary: Would you have stayed, if I had accepted you? Matthew: Of course.)

MMMM for Season 2 later.

Downton Abbey Christmas Special

This post contains spoilers for Downton Abbey Christmas Special Episode.

Wow, I did not see that last scene coming at all. I was absolutely convinced Julian Fellowes would continue the will-they-won’t-they storyline of Matthew and Mary until next season at least.

“I haven’t forgiven you because I don’t believe you need my forgiveness. You’ve lived your life and I’ve lived mine, and now it’s time we live them together”.

Oh Matthew, I would have accepted that proposal even without the kneeling down on the snow 🙂 But of course Mary could still be right, the ghost of Kamal Pamuk her one-time lover could still be resurrected whenever they have an argument, no matter how strongly Matthew denies it now.

I wonder if Lord Grantham’s own misadventure with the maid made it easier for him to understand Mary’s action. He glossed over the “I had sex with the Turkish diplomat and he died in my bed” part pretty quickly to focus on the Carlisle problem. Hey, if anyone understands lust, it’s probably him. So maybe that dreadful, dreadful storyline between him and Jane has a purpose after all! I forgive you a little bit for that, Julian Fellowes.

Poor Bates, with friends like that, who needs enemies? Sure, they shouldn’t lie under oath, but Lord Grantham, Mrs Hughes and O’Brian seemed so naive. The lawyer should have prepped them better. (Wait, wrong show, this is not The Good Wife). I think Anna will be fine, even in her state of worrying about her husband sentenced to life in prison, she still has the presence of mind to expose Lady Rosamund’s slimy suitor, caught in flagrante delicto with her maid. I guess we’re supposed to infer that the maid and Lord Hepworth are working together from the beginning, since she’s only been working for Rosamund for two months. Her job is to convince Rosamund of his good qualities while he’s seducing her.

This has to be the most awkward dancing conversation ever. What in the world could these two have to say to each other? “Oh by the way, you should be grateful to me since I’m the one who made sure that you remain the heir of Downton by causing Lady Grantham to lose her baby?” Hah!

This pair on the other hand should have more scenes together:

Overall, this is the best episode of Season 2. It’s making me very, very excited for Season 3.

Downton Abbey – Fashion Edition

While waiting for Downton Abbey Christmas Special – Lady Mary’s dress collection 🙂 I’m not optimistic for any real resolution for Mary and Matthew in this episode, since there’s still Season 3. Fellowes is going to milk this as far as he can.

Downton Abbey Season 2 (Part II)

Let’s get right to it – William and Daisy. I understand why Mrs Patmore gave the advice she did at the beginning when William was first going to war, she couldn’t have foreseen what happened next. Daisy herself isn’t blameless, she should have been more clear and honest about her feelings with William before there was any plan for him to go to war (there was that interlude where William was not called up because of Violet’s meddling/effort). And as a viewer, I do have a soft spot for poor William and don’t want to see his feelings hurt.  But all that said, I can’t really get over the icky feeling that Daisy was essentially emotionally blackmailed to marry someone she doesn’t want to marry. Granted, everyone is acting based on good intentions; Mrs Patmore and William’s father want to grant William’s final wish and make his last days happier, and William himself only wants Daisy to be taken care off after he’s dead. But sometimes good intentions can be just as suffocating as force. As for William himself, is there anyone watching who didn’t think that William would be the one to die after he made that speech about playing his part and serving his country?

I appreciate the fact that the show did not go the “evil, scheming Lavinia” route that was hinted a bit in the first few episodes. But ye gods, is she an insufferable character. Maybe this is my personal bias, but I’m not a fan of these “long suffering, willing to sacrifice everything, including their own happines, for the man they love” characters. But then again, maybe Lavinia was doing her own emotional blackmail at the end, ensuring that Matthew’s feelings for Mary would be poisoned forever. Hah! Maybe Lavinia is more devious that I thought.

I really enjoyed the Cora-Isobel battle for supremacy. Kudos to the show for not just rehashing the Violet-Isobel battle from Season 1. That battle was highly entertaining as well, but probably too much to repeat it this season. I’m much more in sympathy with Isobel’s view on the issue of what Downton Abbey should be used for, but on the other hand, her son is not Lord Grantham yet. It’s quite tackless of her to act as if she’s already the mistress of Downton. It’s still someone else’s house, regardless of her good intentions or how selfish she thinks the owner of the house is behaving.

Should we expect romance blooming in the coming season for Carson and Mrs Hughes? It seems like it, from some of the things said and glances exchanged when Carson was considering leaving to work for Mary and Richard Carlisle. It’s interesting that although Mary is the most snobbish and stuck-up of the three daughters, she’s the one who seems to have the closest relationship with the servants (with Anna and Carson).

I’ve been quite negative about this season, but to be honest, this show is still better than most things on TV. Maybe because Season 1 was close to being perfect, so my expectation was very high for this season. I will still look forward to the next season, but with a reduced expectation.

Downton Abbey Season 2 (Part I)

Real life intervened, but I finally caught up with the last 2 episodes of Downton Abbey. Well, there’s still the Christmas special, but frankly, I don’t think a whole lot will happen in that episode, since there will be a third season after all. My review in one word – baffling. There’s so many WTH plot development I don’t know where to start. But let’s start with Lord Grantham and Jane the maid. Seriously?? Your wife was too busy with war effort and you had to lunch by yourself a few times, and that made you decide your life is missing something? And the way to fill it is by flirting (and almost much, much more) with the maid while your wife is lying sick? I know aristocratic men throughout history were never the most scrupulous when it comes to these kind of things, but, umm, what about realistic character development? I’m actually one of those people who think Julian Fellowes was a bit full of it making Lord Grantham such an epitome of honor and noble-ness in Season One, but still, you can’t potray a character one way, and without any warning, just make him someone else altogether for the sake of plot development. Well, I guess you can if it’s a character that exists solely for the purpose of furthering the plot (Lavinia, Mrs Bates etc etc), but not when it’s a main character that you still want the audience to care about in future seasons. And Grantham’s flaws aren’t even that interesting, it’s so cliched and predictable and boring.

Finally some resolution on the tedious Sybill-Branson romance. Yup, good riddance for both of them, go live happily ever after in Dublin. Too  harsh? Maybe. I’m just disappointed because Branson’s character had so many potential when he was first introduced to illustrate the tension between the classes. But woopps, he fell in love with the upper-class daughter and suddenly it’s all about LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. And the show also shortchanged Sybill, after a few scenes about her wanting to be a nurse, suddenly she is a nurse, we see her being a nurse a few times and that’s that. Really, it was that easy for her, the daughter of an Earl who presumably was brought up with every comfort in the world, to adjust to being a nurse during the war, seeing all kinds of horror she must have been unfamiliar with?

I’m more interested in Edith’s development. She’s the one who has grown the most among the three daughters. So she really did love Patrick, wasn’t just to be the mistress of Downton. I understand why Mary was quite cruel and unfeeling about the whole thing, she really believes the man was an impostor, and it must be Matthew’s future that loomed large in her mind. But still, she knew how Edith felt about Patrick, I thought she was unnecessarily cruel when she talked about all the memories of them growing up with Patrick is so commonplace and cliched anyone could fake it and pretend to remember them. Well, I’m sure Edith has more special memories of Patrick.

I actually like the Mary-Richard Carlisle dynamic, it’s interesting and promises a lot of fireworks in the future. Hopefully they won’t turn him into a cartoony villain and make him starts physically abusing Mary or something like that – I like his villainy and manipulation the way it is now. I predict we won’t see any resolution of the Mary-Matthew story until the last season, whatever number it may be , so maybe we get to see more of the battle of wills between Lady Mary and Sir Richard. I’d put my money on Mary ultimately prevailing – hopefully the show won’t go the deus ex machina route this time like with Lavinia and Mrs Bates.

Anna and Bates – well, I’m a sucker for those two, what can I say, I got teary-eyed at the wedding and the “first night” scene. I admire Anna’s practicality, it’s not just about love, it’s also about having a formal position as his wife in case Bates is arrested by the police, which he was in the last scene. Not sure what’s in store for those two, I don’t think the show would want to keep Bates in prison and out of sight for too much of Season 3, so it will be probably resolved early on.

To be continued in Part II (William-Daisy, Matthew-Lavinia, the war, and the rest of the main casts).

Downton Abbey Season 2 Episode 6

Agghhhh, no! no! no! What are you doing, Julian Fellowes? I don’t want this to be the show where the lord of the manor takes advantage of the maid!!!!! I know, I know, it’s possible he’s going for TRUE LOVE with capital letters, but that great a power imbalance will always spell “taking advantage” to me. Plus, the show can’t possibly jettison Cora’s character for future seasons, she’s too popular, and I think this is a show that is quite concerned with audience’s reaction, so this dalliance with the maid is just that, a dalliance.

Ok, calming down. Maybe I’m misreading the preview for next episode. But I don’t think so, we’ve been shown the lingering looks and conversation between Grantham and the maid since the last episode. What’s really funny is back in Season 1, when we were shown how much Carson cares about Mary, my first thought was – they’re going to reveal at some point that Mary’s really the butler’s daughter! But I immediately rejected that thought because this does not seem like that kind of show. But if they are really going with the dalliance with the maid storyline, maybe I rejected the butler’s daughter storyline too quickly after all!

The Patrick-not-Patrick storyline will come back to haunt the Crawleys in the future, I’m sure. Oh Mary, you shouldn’t have been too obvious about your concern for Matthew when your future husband is sitting right there. I’m sure everyone saw the Matthew getting better storyline a mile away – of course he’ll be able to have children and, umm, the other thing. Still a toss up whether the show will leave him on the wheelchair. And of course Bates didn’t kill his wife, although I’m sure he’lll be the prime suspect and have to put up with all sorts of unpleasantness for a while.

Actually, Mary being married to Richard Carlisle with Carson as their butler is a spin-off show I’d like to see. “Your lot buys it, my lot inherits it.” Hah!


Downton Abbey Season 2 Episode 5

Where to start? Ethel had the baby already?? The show is skipping whole months each episode, I’m getting dizzy from the fast timetable. And yet, and yet, in certain storylines, not much has progressed – Sybil and Branson are still mooning over each other (is this the most boring “breaking class barrier” love story ever or what? Doesn’t help that both actors are so tepid and lukewarm, for heaven’s sake, learn from Mary and Matthew how to communicate barely concealed passions!), Mary and Richard Carlisle still not formally engaged at the beginning of the episode, even though Mary had decided to accept him in the last episode, many, many months ago.

Pretty disappointing they went for dead William – so predictable that storyline most people would have guessed that the moment William went on and on about serving his country, doing his duty etc etc. Come on, show, this is tackling the lowest hanging fruit, betting on the audience’s sympathy for poor, kind, but ultimately not that important to the story William. The “I can’t have kids and sex” Matthew storyline is just temporary, surely. But Mary is stuck now, she can’t break off the engagement with Richard Carlisle without her tryst with Kamal Pamuk coming out. And that’s not going to be welcome news to Matthew – wouldn’t have been under any circumstances probably with the sexual mores and double standards of that period, but more so now after his injuries. Finding out the woman he loves (oh please, of course he still loves her, no one is fooled by this Lavinia business) had a sexual tryst with someone else when he is useless in that department now, well, maybe one blow to the ego too many.

Michelle Dockery said in an interview that there are a sex scene, a wedding and a funeral this season, and Mary is involved in one of them. We’ve seen the sex scene (Ethel and the officer), the wedding (William and Daisy), so that leaves the funeral. I don’t think they can kill off Mary or Matthew without alienating a large portion of the audience, Richard Carlisle’s death to clear the way for Mary and Matthew is just so predictable and cliched. Maybe it’s the poor, unsuspecting Lord Grantham, who is probably the only person in the world who doesn’t know about Mary and the Turk. The shock of finding out killed him. I would salute the show if it has the courage to do this, but, never going to happen.