Alisande Watches Downton Abbey, Episode Two

Edith might get laid! Bates might still be a murderer! Shirley Fucking MacLaine!

Sep 25, 2012 at 1:09pm | Leave a comment

Haven't caught episode two of Downton yet? Check out the trailer...

No sign of Tom and Sybil this week (presumably they’ve moved back to Ireland to vanquish English rule and have papist babies?) but yikes, lads.

In an episode that saw Shirley Fucking MacLaine refuse to save Downton by throwing even more money at the problem, Mrs Hughes’ potential breast cancer (sob), and Edith’s once chance of marriage almost get scuppered, my favourite moments were still the sparring matches between the Duchess and Mrs Levinson (you know, Shirley Fucking MacLaine). 

I also enjoyed my mother labeling Matthew Crawley a “total knob” for refusing to use his inheritance from ex-dead-fiancé Lavinia’s Dad to save Downton Abbey, but that doesn’t count since it wasn’t scripted. Needless to say, in this house we only like men that haven’t “tied the money up tight.”

First things first (and in my head this will always mean addressing the glitteriest members of any cast first). How awesome is Maggie Smith? Tell me that the Duchess - is not the best thing on TV [hence the Emmy win - wooh, go Maggie! ]?

Equally, how amazing is Grandma Levinson? A woman who, in an attempt to be kind, described her granddaughter Lady Edith Sulkypants McCrawley as “sad and lonely”. Accurate, perhaps, but not particularly nice.

Poor Edith. This episode we discovered that, as far as his daughters go, Lord Grantham is the most tremendous cock block. It may be understandable that he didn’t want gorgeous Sybil copulating with an IRA-supporting chauffeur, but, you’d think that after she legged it, he’d have learnt his lesson.

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Edith and Lord Anthony. Will they? Won't they? Does anyone other than Lord Grantham really care?

Alas, no. He’s once again seen fit to meddle, and so potentially thwart Edith’s chances of a shag marriage with a bona fide Lord. True, he might be on the wrong side of the 40, but, as Edith pointed out, most of the chaps her own age were killed in the war.

I don’t know who this is saddest for - Edith or her prey crush, Lord Anthony. But, either way, it seems like Lord Grantham finally saw fit to stop meddling - the couple appeared to be engaged by the end of the episode. Yay?

Back to the older cast members. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - has anyone noticed how fucking rad Mrs. L has looked throughout the show? Has she been in a single scene without a feathered and bejewelled or bepearled (yeah, I know it’s not a word) headpiece? She’s like an 80-year-old, fantasy version of me and I. Love. It.

The fact that Mrs. Levinson turned down the opportunity to fund the future of the estate, thus forcing Lord Grantham et al to downsize Downton, only makes her more hilarious. Did you see Mary ‘s face when she realised that her inheritance might only amount to a couple of sheds and Carson?

It was equal only to Lord Grantham’s when he realised that Evil Thomas might be “unpopular downstairs.”

Unpopular, m’lord? This time he’s managed to piss off his one ally, the fabulously rictus Miss. O’Brien, by being mean to her nephew, Alfred. His name might as well be strychnine. Or mud. In any case, I cannot wait to see what see what she has in store for him. The mardy piece of red-hot-yumminess.

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Thomas: Treating them mean but not necessarily keeping anyone keen...

Speaking of possible poisonings, did everyone spot Mr. Bates’ physically attack his prison roommate? I think this is meant to make us question whether he did in fact murder his first wife, however, I’m still Team Bates on that one.

Also, I know they’re BFFs, but I don’t see how, as a condemned man (he might be hanged for maybe murdering his missus, no?), Bates could really conjure up a lot of empathy for Lord G and the possible loss of the estate. Surely, he’d have bigger things on his mind? Like dying??

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Potential wife murderer Mr. Bates in prison. Still don't think he did it...

Whatevs. In terms of this week’s downstairs shenanigans, I’m way more interested in Mrs. Levinson’s fast/modern (read: American) maid Miss Reed snogging young Alfred (thus making Daisy well jeal), and the friendship between head cook Mrs. Patmore and housekeeper Mrs. Hughes, which only came to light when it became apparent that Mrs H might be suffering from breast cancer.

Finally: Ethel’s back! And she needs Cousin Isobel’s help! Dun dun duuun!

Question time: Edith and Lord Anthony: yay or nay? Has Evil Thomas met his match? Is Downton Doomed? Is Bates a wife murderer? Let me know what you thought of episode two…

Twitter @alisandef