‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Nobody Loves Edith

ALTSo far this season there have been two weddings and no funerals, even though Lady Edith’s heart is dead. Oh, how could this happen to our Edith (OK, the rest of you hate Edith, but she is my favorite and I love her)? How could it indeed. Sir Anthony left her at the altar and she went home and had to throw her veil over the railing and lock herself in her room for several days and starve herself to death. Oh Edith.

But at least Our (My) Edith had something to do and got all sorts of attention — that was one of the things I loved, but there were also plenty of things I hated. Let’s look at all of each, shall we?


Everyone Is Being Nice to Edith: Last week Cora told Mary, “Never mind Edith.” That’s been the entire ethos of the show, no one ever minds Edith! Yes, usually she’s as superfluous as that blond bitch saying, “Hi! I’m Laura Linney and this is Masterpiece!” at the top of the show. I totally felt Edith’s excitement at the beginning of the episode that “something is happening in this house that is actually about me.” After defending her for seasons, saying she’s not awful she’s just misunderstood because everyone ignores her, it was nice to see everyone finally pay attention to her. Even Lady Mary admitted that she could be a giant bitch but that she really loved her. Awwww. All it took was for her to marry an inappropriate man for everyone to pay attention. You know they were all just happy that they could forget about her once she moved out of the house.

Downton Place: The home that they are going to be exiled to for being poor is quite nice. Of course Sybil, who lives in some Dublin slum under a smoke stack and washes her dishes in the neighbor’s bathwater, thinks it’s a total paradise. I would live there in a second and the thought of Violet opening a little shop is darling, just darling. She would probably scare all the customers away though. Oh, the best part of the whole outing was when Sir Anthony described Lady Edith as a “speed fiend.” I had this image of her running around her house cleaning and grinding her teeth and doing rails of Dexadrine.

Tom Is Dressing Better: Thankfully that Irish revolutionary has given up his grimy tweed for the evening coats that we really want to see.

Isabel’s Old Hookers Are Mean to Her: Of course stupid bourgeoise do-gooder Isabel is trying to save a room full of old hookers by teaching them to sew. The best part is that they hate her as much as I do and they make fun of her right to her face. This whole business with Ethyl though is getting really drawn out and annoying. Just tell us what happened already!

Cora’s Offer: When Cora told Mrs. Hughes that she would take care of her and nurse her back to health it brought a little tear to my eye. Thankfully there will be someone to do Mrs. Hughes’ rather intricate braid around her gourd while she suffers through the later stages of breast cancer.

That Mrs. Hughes Is in Love with Carson: It was also cute when she saw how happy Carson was that she doesn’t have cancer and is going to be just fine. However, we don’t know that. We never heard what the doctor said and I think Mrs. Hughes is totally lying to everyone and that she is going to get really sick and we’re finally going to see what she looks like when her braid falls off and it’s going to be a mess. An absolute mess.

Joint Masters: Yay, Matthew and Lord Grantham are both going to be in charge of Downton Abbey now. Hurray! That’s….well….that’s….Oh man, this is going to be awful. They’re going to be fighting and squabbling in no time and the Lord is going to be all, “This is my house!” and Matthew is going to be all, “My money saved it!” and Mary is going to be all “Pout Face!” and Cora’s gonna be all, “American accent!” and it’s just going to be completely stupid.

Violet’s Quote of the Week: “No bride wants to look tired on her wedding day. It either means she’s anxious or up to no good.”


Sir Anthony Strallan: I mean, what kind of asshole leaves a woman at the altar? And to give his big speech in front of everyone so that Edith would be absolutely mortified? That’s about as classy as a fart at a debutante ball. Couldn’t he have done this before the ceremony? Couldn’t he have taken her outside? He showed nothing but love for her and seemed so excited to be marrying her — and to then go all deus ex machina and jilt her in the church? Mean. Couldn’t he have just died and left Edith his fortune? That would have been really nice of him.

Everything About the Letter: Ugh the stupid letter that Matthew got from dead Squire Squire was the stupidest plot device involving a letter since Snooki and JWOWW left an anonymous letter for Sammi in Season 2 of Jersey Shore (a plot device which was inspired by a bad episode of Charles in Charge). This letter was so freaking dumb. First of all, Matthew isn’t gonna answer the letter? Seriously? Some guy dies mysteriously and you’re not even curious as to what he had to say? Wouldn’t you rather know and deal with it than just have that closed letter sitting in a drawer nagging at you all the time. And then, Mary steals the letter and reads it, but we don’t even get one shot of her going into his coat, taking out the letter, reading it, and then going, “Oh my gosh!” How dramatic would that have been? We all would have been like, “Damn, Mary stole the letter! Oh, damn, what did she read?” But no, we hear about the letter. Mary just says, “Oh, I stole the letter and here is what is says.” Why should we trust her? We don’t know she took it or what she said, we get one second of her saying, “I saw the letter,” and it registers no emotion whatsoever rather than disbelief. Is that good story telling? And then finally, Daisy, stupid annoying hair clot Daisy, posted a letter from Lavinia to her father that says Matthew is a saint, and this happened years ago and Daisy never told anyone. Of course she needs to be the one who got the letter because everyone knows that Daisy’s only personality trait is incompetence. God, she is just the absolute worst.

Carson Going Behind Mrs. Hughes Back: That’s just not nice. Well, it’s nice, but nice in the wrong way. Carson would be so pissed if they did this to him.

Thomas and O’Brien: Remember when these two were the Boris and Natasha of the house, just helping each other put round bombs with lit fuses in Lord Grantham’s study and tying Lady Mary to the train tracks while they cackled and twisted their mustaches (I bet O’Brien could grow one if she tried)? Now they’re not even friends or allies anymore. Not since Alfred (who we’re going to find out is O’Brien’s son that her sister raised) showed up. And I can’t believe no one figured out that Thomas is the one who set up O’Brien when everyone thought she was leaving. It’s just obvious. If your coke disappeared while staying at the Chateau Marmont, they’d go looking for it in Lindsay Lohan’s room, wouldn’t they?

That Edith Looks Ugly: When Edith was stood up she ran home, ripped her veil off like it was a piece of toilet paper stuck to her shoe, and left her leafy tiara laying on the ground. (I love how at the beginning of the episode you see them rolling up the carpet and the maid stepping over it, and then you see them unrolling it and the maid stepping over it again, like it was just the same shot in reverse because they were too cheap to film it twice). Edith was all stray hair and leaking orifices and horrible choked chortles. Awful. They would never, not in her deepest despair, let Lady Mary look ugly for even one second. But Edith? She gets broken up with and turns into Ursula the Sea Witch.

The Sad Dead Lobster Fountain: When the staff got to eat all the wedding food the one thing I never would have touched was the silver urn with limp dead lobsters spilling out of it. They just looked so sad and lifeless and not appealing at all, like they were using their exoskeletons to stop up some sort of chocolate fountain of loveliness. But they eat it up downstairs, don’t they. They eat up every damn drop.

Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan

[Photo Credit: Masterpiece]


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