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!