MATTHEW AND MARY MADE OUT! Phew. Could not hold that in any longer. Anyway, so we begin this episode of The Videogum TV Club’s Downton Abbey with a title card informing us that it is now May of 1914. I don’t pay attention to this at all when I see it, really, because it’s numbers and it’s hard to pay attention to what numbers are telling you sometimes because numbers are SO BORING. But this will come back later. So Sybil is at a women’s rights campaign rally thing with Branson and Matthew’s mom for some reason, and it looks pretty rough. Lots of people pushing. Lots of yelling. Very political, VERY unladylike. Branson tells Sybil that it’s time to go even though she doesn’t want to, and then they leave. It’s too bad that Sybil is no longer alive and cannot participate in Occupy Downton because I am POSITIVE that she would be all about Occupy Downton. And her Twitter timestamp would still be set to Tehran time.

There’s some S going down with the servants. The first thing is that Carson got a letter that made him so upset that he forgot to ring the dressing gong and Padma is making a souffle and now EVERYTHING IS RUINED. I can only imagine how the lives of the Crawleys would be if they did not have Carson to ring the dressing gong for them every night. Just waiting and waiting in their bedrooms, wondering why no one was there to dress them, until they all eventually crumpled to dust. RIP Crawleys, if only Carson had remembered to ring that bell. The second thing is that Bates made a remark alluding to Thomas stealing the wine, and that just starts a whole avalanche of shit that I barely even want to talk about because it is SO MADDENING.

While Bates is dressing the Lord, FINALLY, he’s been waiting to be dressed all night, he accidentally lets it slip that Sybil went to the rally with Branson. Dangit, Bates! This makes His Lordship very angry when he confronts her about it at dinner (probably also because he was so hungry because no one came to dress him?), but Sybil stands her ground and tells him that she wants to start canvassing. Oh, for goodness sakes. Can’t you send Gwen to canvass for you, Sybil? Aren’t you famous? In the basement, Daisy does something for Thomas, puts a bowl on a shelf or something, and then says that she’ll do “anything” for him. UGH, DAISY. Thomas thinks Bates is going to tell Carson about the wine, but then we see Bates, perfect Bates, telling Anna, perfect Anna, that he would never want anyone to lose their job because of him. “Even Thomas? After what they tried to do to you?” “Even them.”

Later, we find out what the letter said that caused Carson to ruin literally everyone’s lives by not ringing the dressing gong on time. He tells Cora that it’s actually a SEXT from the Gossip Girl at Lord Flincher’s, telling Carson that he heard the story about Mr. Pamuk and Lord Mary. Cora says, “Sometimes even to deny these things is to throw paraffin on the flames,” which is very Serena of her, which is admirable.

O’Brien and Thomas decide that they want to frame Bates for something that has already been stolen. Thomas says, “Uhh doyoyoyoy I’m Thomas I’m stupid how will we find something that’s already been stolenn?? LOLOL” O’Brien actually says, “Because you stole it. You noodle.” Which is perfect? I mean, obviously I hate both O’Brien AND Thomas SO MUCH, but that was pretty perfect when she called him a noodle. They decide to frame Bates for the stolen wine, which, ugh. I hate those guys! The next scene is Thomas telling Carson that he suspects Bates. Ugh ugh ugh. O’Brien and Thomas are Chuck and Blair, but in like the middle of season 1 when they were the worst.

It’s bedtime now, and in bed the Lord apologizes to Cora for being so mad at dinner, and then Cora immediately starts talking about how Mary has to get married because that is all Cora ever talks about. Mary needs to get married and it is Sybil’s first season, whatever that means. It’s the first season were Sybil can be auctioned off. Happy birthday! The Lord says, “Poor Edith. We never seem to talk about her.” Hahah. Right. POOR EDITH. Downton Abbey: Poor Edith.

The next day, or something, I’m not 100% on how days work on this show which will make itself VERY CLEAR soon, but the next day or something Sir Salty Pudding comes back to the house to show Mary his new car. Obviously Mary does NOT want to go see and/or take a ride in his new car because he is gross, so she turns him down. And just as Edith smells that Mary has put down something that she didn’t want, she swoops in and SCOOPS IT UP! “I don’t suppose you’d take me,” she asks. He says, “Ugh. Fine.” Get it, gurl. Meanwhile, Carson confronts Bates about stealing the wine and Bates pretty much remains silent. NOOOO! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

Out in the horse stables, where Mary ran to get away from Salty Pudding, she finds that one of the horses is lame. William says, “I can fix that,” and she says, “huh?”, and he says that he did horse stuff back at home, but his mom wanted him to come out here and not do horse stuff anymore in order to make a better life for himself. Mary says, incredulously, “As a second footman?” Which is VERY INSULTING! What a jerk!!! But she quickly realizes that she is being a jerk when William makes a sad face and says that it’s a good job for him, and we’re all just left feeling terrible.

In the next scene, we see Thomas, Daisy, and O’Brien all telling Carson their stories about seeing Bates steal the wine. Because remember when Daisy told Thomas she’d do anything for him? Ugh. GIRL. Get it together. Daisy seems hesitant, but then we are led to assume that she did her deed and told Carson her lie. Terrible people, these people.

Later, Sybil asks the Lord if Branson can drive her to a meeting soon. Obviously we all know that she is not going to whatever innocuous meeting she claims, because this is TELEVISION, but apparently His Lordship does not know that he is on television because he tells her ok. Oy vey.

So as it turns out, another Gossip Girl at the Flinchers sent another letter to Old Lady Grantham detailing the entire gruesome Turkish Ambassader night. She calls Cora into her office or whatever to ask if any of it is true, and she says that basically yes all of it is true except Mary didn’t drag the guy by herself, Cora helped her carry him. YUCK. Let’s not talk about this anymore, ladies, it is gross. OLG is not pleased, for sure, but Cora says, “If you expect me to disown my daughter, I’m afraid you will be disappointed.” BOOM. She has a servant drop the mic.

Ok, this next scene is the scene where by brain exploded out of my mouth. So Anna comes outside to talk to Bates about how he’s upset about being accused of stealing the wine and Bates says, “Of course I’m upset. I’ve been working here for two years and Carson has no problem believing in the worst of me.”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ve spanned two years already?! What the fuck! I thought it’s been like A MONTH! How the hell did we get to two years already? These people have barely done anything in those two years! A guy died, they had a flower show, and there was a fair once. HOW IS THAT TWO YEARS? I could not believe it when Bates said that. Two years. What the hell. Thomas and O’Brien are still trying to get rid of Bates after TWO YEARS? Give it up, you guys! Let it go! And Mary: WHY AREN’T YOU MARRIED YET? My goodness. Two years. That is nuts. Ok, anyway.

In the kitchen area, William asks Daisy for some stale bread and salt for the horse. He says the horse guy thinks that he should be a horse guy too, but he doesn’t want to disappoint his mom. Good talk. Daisy says she envies growing up with someone you could trust or something and he says, “I trust them they trust me. There are no lies in our house.” Daisy makes a face after he says that, meaning that maybe she doesn’t want to be such a horrible person anymore and also maybe she’ll realize soon that Thomas is gay?

Cora and Mary are on one of their fancy walks when Matthew’s mom walks up to them to let them know that William’s mom is in the hospital and she’s basically about to die, but she doesn’t want anyone to tell William because it will upset him. UGH, MOM! You have to tell William! You think it won’t upset William if he just finds out you’re straight up DEAD for no reason? Jesus, woman! Mary wants to tell William, but the other ladies disagree. “She has rights and there are rules,” says Cora. “I don’t’ care a thing about rules,” says Mary. Oh, Mary.

After the ladies return from their walk, Salty Pudding comes back and he’s got two tickets to a concert. Oooh lala. Before he can get out his request to, Mary assumes, Mary, Mary says, “OH NO NO THANK YOU I DON’T EVEN LIKE CONCERTS AND ALSO I HAVE A THING THEN AND I’M SO SORRY THANK YO–” but then he says he wants to take Edith. D’oh! Mary makes a face that says, “Oh no, what if Edith gets married before me to Salty Pudding?!” And we all think, “Who cares, Mary. You don’t care. Come on.”

So you know when we all knew Sybil was not going to a meeting? As it turns out, she is going to the counting of the vote and it is VERY wild. Much more wild than the last wild thing she was at. And then a bunch of drunk men run out of a car and you think, “Oh no, IT’S GOING TO GET EVEN MORE WILD!” And then it does and then Matthew is there? And then Matthew punches a guy and then Sybil falls onto a table and passes out and bleeds everywhere:

Oh no!! Branson and Matthew take her to get fixed up by Matthew’s mom, and after they drop her off Branson runs to get Mary and tells her what’s up. “Sybil got busted in the pit,” he says. She leaves to visit Sybil, who tells her that it wasn’t Branson’s fault and blah blah, and when Sybil is well enough she leaves with Matthew and they make FLIRTY EYES at each other.

Oh no! Will they fall in love?! Mary is not happy. WHAT IF SHE’S THE ONLY UNMARRIED SISTER? Could you even believe it! To change the subject, Mary asks how William’s mother is doing. Matthew’s mom tells her that she’s still sick, but that she doesn’t want to disturb his work. Mary says, “He’s made her proud. There are plenty of children in grander circumstances who would love to say the same.” And Matthew’s mom is like, “OH PUH-LEEZE MARY.”

Elsewhere, Ms. Hughes tells Carson that they need to do something about the unfair rumor going around about Bates. Just as she says this, Daisy comes in to redact her confession — she says she did it as a favor to a friend, but she knows now the he was wrong to ask it of her. I’m not totally sure why she just didn’t say it was a favor to Thomas because obviously? But who knows. ANYWAY.

The Lord is super upset with Sybil and says he’s going to fire Branson, but Sybil says that if he fires Branson she will RUN AWAY. Hahaha. Sybil! Aww, Sybil. He asks where she’ll go and she says “I can’t think now. But I will go, and you’ll be sorry.” What a little punk. After Sybil gets yelled at, Mary tells Matthew that she told the servants to make him sandwiches. “You really didn’t have to,” says Matthew. Uh, she really didn’t. She just told other people to make them. She did NOTHING!

After Daisy’s confession, Carson gathers her, O’Brien, Thomas, Bates, Ms. Hughes, and Anna together to talk to them about the accusation. O’Brien says she stands by what she said and Anna says, “You wicked creature.” And then Hughes tells Anna that she’s just there to watch and not to participate and it’s like, huh? What? Why is she there? To watch? WHAT? WHY? But whatever. It’s found that Bates is not guilty, obv, but Carson still wants to know how he knew the wine was missing. UHOH THOMAS! Betcha never thought that would happen you big dumb idiot! But Bates, perfect Bates, won’t say. “Snitches get stitches,” he says as the lights fade.

In the next scene, Mary is having sandwiches with Matthew and Matthew drinks wine out of a WATER GLASS.

Whaaaaaaaaaat! Whatever, anyway, then we see that Bates hung around Carson’s room after he was cleared of the charges, because he has something more to say. “Until a couple of years ago I was a drunk, and I was imprisoned as a thief. I masqueraded as a man of honor and integrity, but by any moral code I am disgraced.” WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!! “It’s enough of the story to demand my resignation.” WHAT WHAT WHAT! What’s with these guys resigning all the time after shit about their past comes out? Guys! Calm down! Relax! It’s just a job! Live your lives! Carson doesn’t want to fire him, but says he’ll discuss it with his Lordship. Jeepers creepers.

In the next scene: MATTHEW AND MARY MAKE OUT!

Ahh, young love between cousins that is maybe due to the pressure of a certain someone’s sisters all finding boyfriends before a certain someone. Later when Mary goes to talk to her mom about the making out, we find out that Matthew ALSO PROPOSED TO HER! Are you serious, Matthew? After making out one time? YOU NEED TO RELAX, TOO! She obviously wasn’t getting married to anyone else anytime soon. My goodness. Go out to dinner one time, at least! Anyway, she told him maybe, but she wants to tell him about the Turkish guy first. I’m sure he will be fine with it.

Later, Mary tells William to take a few days off and go home because his mother has not been well. GOOD! I’m glad she did that. Who cares what that dumb lady wants, her son should see her before she dies! Mary says she’ll arrange it and I say, “Good.”

The final scene is an OLG scene, as it often is. She comes to the house to see Cora, and says that she comes in peace. On carrying the dead down the hall, she says she hopes she would have done the same thing if she were in Cora’s shoes. And she’s told all the Gossip Girls that the story is “A story made up by Mr. Pamuk’s enemies to destroy him.” Good job, lady! You’re a real Serena’s mom and we all love you, even though we generally hate Serena’s mom. The episode ends with Cora telling her that Lady Mary might be engaged soon. Yay! Yay for all of us!


Comments (40)
  1. “Padma is making a souffle and now EVERYTHING IS RUINED.”

  2. Loved this episode, it was a “relative” masterpiece of complex eroticism.

  3. That two year thing threw me off too but I kind of like it since it makes the Bates/Anna relationship less forced. I mean you can’t just fall in love with the first dude that brings you a happy meal and a rose.

    • see, I didn’t pick up on the date dropping, so i thought that the Bates/Anna thing came out of nowhere.

      i was like .

    • So I also had an exploding-brain moment over the 2 years thing. What bothers me the most about it is THE BOTTLE OF WINE. I don’t remember exactly when Bates saw Thomas take the bottle, but let’s say it was a few episodes ago, and LET’S SAY that means it was a year ago, if 6 episodes = 2 years. Thomas says to Carson, “Have you noticed any of the wine missing?” Does Carson only then realize that there’s been a bottle of wine missing for a year? How does he remember every single bottle of wine that far back? (The Crawleys certainly seem to knock them out at a decent rate.) Or did he notice it a year ago? In that case, doesn’t he think it’s weird that Thomas is making a thing of it this much later? EXPLAIN PLZ.

      • I assume he is like my dad and has some sort of ledger where he keeps track of all the wine (well, my dad has a spreadsheet). I hadn’t thought about the timeline element of the wine thiefing – he probably should have noticed already, if he was going to.

  4. I would just like to remind everyone of how very, very pretty Lady Sybil is.

  5. Since they don’t have weekends, 2 years their time is only like, what, 1 1/2 years our time, right?

  6. Once again, Kelly’s file names are the best short form descriptions of what’s happening in the picture.

  7. All I want to do is upvote Kelly’s post title. That’s it. That’s all I need.

  8. Did I ever know about the 2 year skip-ahead? I think I have Downton Abnesia. Thank goodness for the recaps, ’cause what else did i miss?!?

  9. Have we discussed what a fox Branson is yet?

    • I love him! (I think every comment I’ve posted today is some variation of those words, LOL)

      • I am a Branson apologist and use every opportunity I can to defend him or talk about how amazing he is and how hot he is and how hot his accent is and how cute he is with Sybil and how he’s my boyfriend and how he’ll marry me and omg I need to stop.

  10. I love Sybil, but just want to switch the subject to another sister. Am I the only one who likes Edith? I feel sorry for her, and I think she can be pretty darn funny. Her family basically tells her to her face that they think she is “the ugly one” (huh? I’d like to be that ugly!) and you know that Mary has spent their whole lives screwing Edith over. Yeah, bad on Edith to write the letter to London, but after a lifetime of this, I can kind of see how she reached a breaking point. So, am I crazy or what?

    • I think what you’re saying is quite astute, and also speaks to the glorious writing of this show, which allows for fully developed characters and no real clear-cut answers as to who is “good” and who is “bad.” Edith strikes me as a realist and seems quite honest about her position as “second sister.” And although I personally never really felt much affection for Edith during season 1, I did grow to like her more (no spoilers) in Season 2, which I cheated and watched already. And, I must say, I was very happy for her to have her little outing with Sir Salty Pudding.

    • I like Edith too. I mean, she has moments of being awful, but like you said, it comes from how she’s been treated. I do always find myself saying “Poor Edith” though. I read an interview with the actress once and she said even on set they all are like “oh man, poor Edith.” haha

  11. I know that in Ye Olde Times things like how handsome the rich man is don’t really matter, but man oh man I just cannot get past how UNATTRACTIVE cousin Matthew is. I could totally see him with Edith.

  12. I listened to an episode of Jesse Thorn’s Bullseye podcast where he interviewed Mr. Crawley, Matthew and Anna, and I found out that Matthew is a 3RD COUSIN. So that’s a little less creepy, right? So there’s that.

  13. I also love that ‘Sir Salty Pudding’ is now that guy’s name.

    ‘”Sir Salty Pudding took me on a marvelous drive through the country in his new Rolls-Royce!” -Edith

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