Sunday, January 12, 2014

Downton: Scary Side/Silly Side

anna hughes

Dear readers, I will not lie to you.  There were times I hid my eyes.

Those of you who read this recap regularly (or even the blog, for that matter), know that I tend to write a silly, lighthearted look at life.
But there is nothing silly or lighthearted about violence.  Especially sexual violence against women….
…and especially against Anna. (Which is a horribly awkward sentence, but there you have it.) 

It was awful; it was scary; it was horrifying.

It was Hitchcockian in the fact that you saw only the beginning and the aftermath…where nothing of the act was shown, just alluded to.  But you know what happened.  And it happened to Anna.

As someone who dabbles in theatre and has studied acting, I can tell you that I don’t think any other actress in the cast could have done such a marvelous job with this particular storyline.  And though there are folks who believe that Mrs. Hughes and Anna, being the characters they are—strong, independent women—would have reported the rape and made sure Mr. Gillingham/Green was punished, there are women in 2014 who do not report such an attack—especially an attack by an acquaintance—so you can imagine how difficult it would be in 1922 to make this sort of report.  Besides…this is television.  It is just pretend.  It’s a story with fictionalized characters doing things that are fictional.  While a good story has its feet planted in reality, it’s still just pretend.

So now that we have the horribleness over with (and remember!  It’s just pretend!), I can go back to my ridiculousness.



It’s not exactly the Alpha Sigma Phi/Tri Delt mixer, but it’s…well…a party, nevertheless.  And while things are very staid and proper above stairs, Mrs. Patmore is stressing over syllabub, vegetables and whatnot down in the kitchen.  Which leads her to believe she’s having a heart attack and Alfred has to cook, which is what he’s wanted all along.  First an electric mixer, then a man cooking.  What’s next?  A MICROWAVE??

Tom is having all kinds of trouble.  He has to wear a white tie and tails and Edna Braithwaite wants to be friends, but they can’t go to the pub for lunch, so she gives him whiskey after the singing.  He says she understands him and the fine line he walks.  First friends, then drinking buddies.  What’s next?  A HOCKEY GAME??

Mr. Molesley continues on his existential journey by delivering vegetables.  First potholes, now vegetables.  What’s next?  LADIES LINGERIE??

Rose instigates some dancing, and several of the guests participate, including Mary…until she sees that they’re using Matthew’s gramophone for music.  What on earth did she think they were using?  Jay-Z?  Apparently, the sight of the gramophone causes her flashbacks from Viet Nam, and she runs upstairs, where she may or may not have looked for Viet Cong under the beds.

People below stairs have been having fun and Bates and Carson don’t like it one little bit.  First card games, then Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.  What’s next?  SKINNY DIPPING IN THE LAKE??

(Dame Maggie is right. You can always rely on Puccini. After all, he wrote RENT, or Moulin Rouge or something like that where people sing and then die.)

Edith’s neo-Nazi boyfriend plays cards long enough to figure out how the cheater man is winning, and beats him at his own game, thereby winning the IOUs of the rest of the gentlemen and giving them back to the losers.  With this selfless act, he wins the heart of Lord Grantham.  Too bad he’s leaving for Germany and a life filled with lederhosen and schnitzel.

Lady Mary spends a lot of her time talking to Lord Gillingham, who has also had a concern about land and death duties.  He is “almost” married to someone—not sure what that implies—and she makes it clear she is a grieving widow, so there won’t be any hanky-panky right away.  But she is grateful for his advice regarding the estate, even if her father won’t listen. First Mary owns land, then she wants to tell him what to do with it.  What’s next?  RERUNS OF PUNKY BREWSTER ??

So there you have it.  This week’s recap.  Until next time…cheerio!


Kristen Dobson said...

Love your recaps Kirby!

pcb said...

I started reading and thought I'd gone Rip van Winkle and missed a week before I realized you were recapping tonight's episode. It doesn't come on where I am until 9:00, so I had to stop reading!

pcb said...

Okay, now that I've seen it? I hated what happened to Anna and dread the next episodes dealing with the aftermath. :(

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

Well not what I expected. It was uncomfortable. Great acting as always. I hope this doesn't change The dynamics. The Dutchess seems softer this season. Oh and so glad the staring is gone!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Damn! I just want everyone to be happy. I don't want Mr and Mrs Bates relationship threatened. I can only imagine what's in store for Mr Edith...

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Oh, the assault on Anna just broke my heart! And it was acted brilliantly, of course. Great episode... love the "party pic" ;-).
xo Heidi

Shannon Fox said...

TY TY for the update! I had Jimmy DVR it but I couldn't wait till I get home, I'd miss two!! I was shocked to hear about what happened to Anna... no, no, NO!

Serendipity Refined said...

Heartbreaking assault on Anna...I can't even talk about it. IMHO, the Dowager Countess still manages to have the best lines in the show.

Tom's got more trouble than I think he realizes and I'm waiting to find out that his whiskey was laced with the 1920's version of "ecstasy" and that the maid has done more than have lunch with him.

I had to laugh at your comment about Mr. Mosley and then pause...he DOES have white gloves now...of course, they're not elbow length...yet.

I was happy to see that Lady Mary moved up to "light purple" this week even with the "gramophone setback". I think that we may see blue or maybe even green before this season is over (as long as no one finds out that he had a radio stored up in the attic as welll).

Eclectically Vintage said...

NO - not Anna! I wonder if she will get pregnant?

Kim said...

Still traumatized. Why Anna??

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

I hated what happened to Anna so much. Really? Did we need rape on this show?
I enjoyed your recap!

LostRoses said...

Love your blog but remind me not to read it until the day after Downton airs! We aren't all in your time zone. :-) Spoiler across the top would help mightily!

PamLuvsPink said...

Hi Kirby!!!

When I saw what happened to Anna and the aftermath when talking to Mrs. Hughes, I was very angry. Angry because I was Anna back in 2001 during 9-11. My landlord's cousin(Who was on psychiatric leave from his job) was sent over to do some house repairs so that the house could be put on the market.

For 2 weeks he continually blamed me for making him want me. I went through 2 weeks of pure hell. I couldn't tell anybody because he threatened me and my family. He use to wait near the school showing me he could hurt my youngest son. There was no physical attack against me, but, he continually verbally sexually assaulted me. After the final act...Which I will not go into. I was blamed for the whole incident. My ten yr old was home sick from school and my son blames himself for not being able to be there for me(He was in the washroom at the time).

Finally after 2 days goes by, my hubby and 2 son's were watching TV and my oldest son came looking for me. He found me rolled up like a ball on my bed crying. He yelled for my husband and that's how they found out.

When I first saw Anna in Mrs. Hughe's room, I felt it all over again. It took me a couple of weeks to get away from the memories. I was very upset with Jullien Fellows wondering why he had to go to that extent with the attack. Fine, people saw Mr. and Mrs. Bates as a happy couple totally in love with each other and thought maybe they were too sweet. I could think of so many other ways Mr. Fellows could have caused unhappiness into their lives.

I wish there had been a warning at the beginning, because if there had been I would not have watched it!!!!

But, as you said, "It's all pretend." I love Downton Abbey!!! I have season 1-3 and even cheated to watch season 4 right to the end before the US or Canada was to see it. I LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY!!!! I've even offered to lend them my hats and purses. My collection goes right with the time frame.

I didn't mean to get all heavy with my comment, but, scenes like these on TV or in movies, affect people who have fought hard to forget the sexual assault they went through and I just feel there should have been a warning.

I love your Blog and enjoy reading it!!!

Have a great weekend!!!!


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