Sunday, January 17, 2016

Third time's a charm--unless you're Barrow. Or Mrs. Hughes. Or Mr. Mason. But if you're Edith? (the one in which there are wedding crashers)

What I love about this episode is the most amazing use of history. The old dude on the neighboring estate...he just can't handle the fact that his boys are gone and the old order is not returning. (BUT HE ENTERTAINED the PRINCESSES OF FIFE! BOTH OF THEM!) It's a sorry state for Jolly Old England, which isn't jolly, just old. Like me after my 2nd period class. The point is, England between the wars is changing (if this old guy lives long enough, he will see that after WWII, it becomes virtually unrecognizable), and one either digs in one's heels (like Carson), or one rolls with the changes (like REO Speedwagon).

courtesy of the font of all knowledge, wikipedia

(The two on the outside are the princesses. The one in the middle, with the impossibly teeny waist, is the mom. What I love about this is their last name is Duff, and they are Fife, which is all so Macbeth-ish.)

from tumblr
Sometimes, I find I need a little reminder of what Julian Fellowes has offered us in the this case, the moments between Carson and Lady Mary from the first three seasons. 

publicity still 

Do you remember the look on Carson's face as Lady Mary descended the staircase on the day she married Matthew? So this whole Mary-Carson-Mrs. Hughes wedding triangle is understandable, but one would think Lady Mary, who is not fourteen anymore, would stop ACTING LIKE IT! It's as if she is the sullen stepchild who doesn't want Mrs. Hughes to have the wedding she desires. But then I have to remember that she is like a daughter to Carson, and I can forgive her a little. Meanwhile, the dress Mrs. Hughes plans to be married in is perhaps a little unwedding-like. So Mrs. Patmore, ever the good friend, orders one from a catalog (which were, of course, all the rage). She says it "wasn't dear"--which is totally something my grandma Flossie would say--but you get what you pay for. The dress is not what it should be. (And remember, peeps...while it might be the thought that counts, it's not with a frock.)

Anyway, after a brief interlude for what I like to describe as "the coat of many conflicts," Carson and Mrs. Hughes get married in a lovely taupe-with-rose-undertones ceremony with banners and lots of taupey-rose and cream. Even the guests cooperate and wear complementary colors. (I would love to get married again, because now there's Pinterest. Back in the day? We were just guessing. How on earth did we manage to live our lives without Pinterest? asks the woman who kept yards of swatches and approximately 2,487 ripped out pages from these things we used to call 'magazines.')

Photo courtesy of Nick Briggs, ITV

The guy (the one I PREDICTED LAST YEAR) is back and helping Edith with her magazine! Yay! She's awesome! Easily my favorite sister! (See how she's the only one in that photo in a vibrant outfit? These costumers know what they're doing to show character through the clothing choices they make. It makes my little English teacher heart glad! And I would totally wear that cheerful coat if I didn't think I'd end up looking like someone's couch.) When Edith's editor makes her life miserable, she races "up to London in a swirling cloud of crisis and drama." Is there a psychological profile where one can be addicted to drama? Because there's so much drama with Edith. If this were a Masterpiece Mystery (and I love those, too), I would say that Edith actually causes all the drama, and then puts on the pitiful act. But it's not a mystery, it's a soap opera, and anyway I like Edith.

Spratt owes Denker. 'Nuff said. I love the Spratt-Denker-Dowager triangle, because the Dowager knows exactly what's going on and while both Spratt and Denker try to play each other, the Dowager plays them both. 

The most poignant moment of the episode for me was when Mr. Molesley was talking to the schoolmaster about education. He said "...I believe that education is the gate to anything worth having," and the schoolmaster asks him if he'd missed his vocation. His response? "I've missed everything, Mr. Dawes. But Daisy doesn't have to." My grandfather would have been a schoolmaster too, in 1925, and I was raised with the same belief. *sigh* Too bad my students don't feel this way.

And then who shows up? Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn Tom and little Sybbie, back from the States, where all is not what it's cracked up to be. (Obviously. We have no Queen or cute little royal toddlers. We have Kardashians, more's the pity.) Everyone is happy to see them, and now my Tom-loving friends can be happy once more.

Stay tuned for next week's installment, and don't forget that there's a second Downton post for which to be on the lookout. Which is a terribly awkward phrase, but nevertheless grammatically correct.


Linda @ it all started with paint said...

I am happy to see Tom but felt bad for Mrs. Hughes. His arrival totally eclipsed the bride! Ah well. And am rooting for Edith too. And now they need to get a better story line for Mary before all ends. She's become quite annoying and meddlesome!


Kathleen George said...

It was a surprise for me to see Tom coming back and yes, his entrance was ill timed. Edith sure is coming into her own and there might be a romance in the future:)
Kathleen in Az
I read your post before the episode starts and I see your perspective of the storyline, love it!

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

I was taken by surprise when Tom showed up. I must have missed somewhere that that was I the only one? I really, really hope they spare us any bedroom scenes on the Carson's honeymoon!! Ewww.

Kim said...

Loved their little wedding. But to be the voice of dissent - Edith just plain bugs me. Her and whiney Moseley should just go to London together - misery loves company.
But I am enjoying how the Dowager is playing Denker and Sprat. If there were a few more seasons, those 2 might fall in love LOL

karen@somewhatquirky said...

So I think Mary and Tom are going to end up together. I'm wondering what they are leading up to with all the mystery about Daisy and her FIL. I think they all are drama queens. I'm a little anxious to see how the Dowager handles it when the hospital does join up with the big conglomerate. Man, she would have a hard time living today!


SO GLAD TO SEE TOM BACK! I too think Mary and Tom will wind up she can Lord it over him!!! I can't stand Simpy Edith! and I still want to yank Bates un-used cane out from under him. WOW! What a spread for the Carson wedding! It looked as elegant as what would have been laid out in the Big House.

Art and Sand said...

I really need to buy my season pass on iTunes so I can read your posts.

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