This week, I decided Downton Abbey‘s problem is that the season is a few episodes too long. Lose an episode or two, and there’s less room for fluff.

This episode didn’t feel like fluff, not exactly, but it did feel very much like the movement of pieces on the narrative board. Some important stuff happened, but in this episode it didn’t add up to whole lot.

Let’s go through last night’s tweets.

Yes, I’ve been watching The Great British Baking Show before Downton Abbey. And that pear challenge was hella intense! Honestly, there was more heat from that than almost anything in last night’s Downton Abbey. I don’t know who I’m rooting for; we’re now down to five contestants, and I would hate to lose any of them. :)

Lord Merton’s pursuit of Isobel Crawley — and Violet’s attempts to stymie it — these past few episodes has been great fun. Last night, Lord Merton called upon Isobel at home, and even though he’s a grey-haired man in his sixties he was as nervous as a thirteen-year-old boy. I loved it. :)

If you can’t guess, Lord Merton proposed to Isobel. He confessed his love for Isobel, and it was so cute. Isobel, however, wants no part of it. And it’s not clear why. Maybe she’s just not into men. Maybe she never was.

Edith has a tearful conversation with her father that completely misses the point of why she’s so heartbroken.

The recurring comedy storyline last night involved Molesley, everyone’s favorite whipping boy at the estate. He was named First Footman last week (or maybe the week before), and now he’s discovered that he’s the person everyone turns to when they need a little extra help with things. Everytime he turns around, someone is dumping more work on him, and he gets utterly exasperated.

Last week, Thomas left to visit his ostensibly sick father. He returned this week, and he turned secretive. Wait, he’s always been secretive. Let’s just say that he became more secretive than normal. And he’s discovered by Lady Crawley’s lady’s maid in a closet with a syringe. Shooting up heroin, Barrow? The theory I’m seeing online is that he’s trying to cure himself of his homosexuality. But I like the idea of Mrs. Hughes holding Carson back as he shouts, “My under-butler, Barrow! He’s a junkie!”

Lady Mary is in London for a fashion show that wouldn’t be out of place in The Great Gatsby. :)

Oh, Edith. Banished from the home of the kindly pig farmer, forced to look at her daughter from a distance. Laura Carmichael does such a tremendous sadface. And that’s terrible, because she’s so tremendously gorgeous.

See? I told you Laura Carmichael is gorgeous!

My opinion on who Mary should end up with, out of her current crop of potential suitors.

Anna went to Lord Gillingham’s rooms in London to deliver a note Mary had written him. And she garnered the attention of a creepy looking dude getting his shoes polished.

Geraniums.

The delightful Miss Bunting has just been invited by the Crawley clan to attend a dinner. The look on Tom’s face was an exquisite mixture of pain and a desire for immediate death.

And here we have the reason why Tony is so terrible a match for Mary — she tries to break up with him, he turns into a petulant little child.

His menacing schtick was old three years ago. Why couldn’t he have died in the war?

Oh, that dinner! Miss Bunting does a wonderful job puncturing the self-importance of the aristocracy.

Come to think of it, I could see the actor portraying Tony Gillingham as Raffles.

He really does. If he were gamma irradiated, we’d have seen him turn into Lou Ferrigno.

It turns out the creepy dude pursuing Anna in London was, in fact, a plainclothes police officer who had been assigned to watch Lord Gillingham’s rooms. (I’m not clear of why that was done.) And then he followed Anna from there (the Albany) to Piccadilly Circus, where Anna’s rapist Mr. Greene was pushed in front of a motor vehicle and horribly killed. Hence my thought, are we to assume…?

I’m just being a pedant. Violet’s like a honey badger; she doesn’t give a shit. :)

The story here: it turns out that, when she was younger, Violet met the Russian Prince Kuragin in St. Petersburg, and he wanted to run away with her. The problem — he was married (Princess Kuragina) and so was she (to Robert’s father).

It’s taken two episodes to get some closure on the land deal. We should have had a decision — Robert will develop the land, but not with a developer, because he wants to maintain the character of the village — at the end of the previous episode.

See? This is what I mean by “fluff.” Too much padding.

And that’s it for this week! Next week, more sadface from Edith, more bluster from Robert, more demands for booze from Withnail.

Huzzah!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *