Forgot to write that I think my favorite character is MRS. HUGHES! She is just...well, AWESOME! Her gentle intervention in the lives of Ethel and Thomas helped untangle their very dire situations. I swear, the woman has diplomatic skills that Kissinger would admire. No one else could diffuse a standoff between Violet and Lady Grantham as well as Mrs. Hughes, and leave everyone with their dignity. I just *love* her.
"It looks like the outer circle of Hell in Dante's 'Inferno.'" - Matthew Crawley (upon entering a jazz club)
IMO, this was just one of many LOL moments in last night's 2-hour installment. It was a bit of a roller-coaster with so many serious moments followed by hilarious bits like Cora's thinly concealed exasperation with the cricket match, Rosamund's withering takedown of Rose in her foyer (oh, that was good!), and Violet' description of how Lady Grantham brought up her children. The writing in that last hour was just hilarious (yes, it was 2 separate episodes aired together).
SO nice to see Bates & Lord Grantham back together again, and Robert's reaction to Thomas' situation. I liked how the final scenes highlighted Robert's role at Downton Abbey. While his younger sons-in-law may have new ideas about how to run the place so it doesn't lose money, Robert is really top-notch when it comes to smoothing over staff issues, staying connected with the villagers & tenants, & facing law enforcement square in the eye. He's not as irrelevant to DA as he feels. I liked how his place as "captain of the ship" (as Cora called it) was further reinforced, and how the family tries so hard to remain together even when they disagree.
@Jason - I *completely* agree about Cora/Regina. Our family didn't believe for a minute that she was the real Regina. We all thought it was Cora the entire episode. Regina has never used mushrooms for magic. But, Cora was the Queen of Hearts, and obviously used the Wonderland 'shrooms to shrink Anton to get him in the cage. Plus, the real Regina knows Henry would be devastated if anything happened to his grandparents. She wouldn't want to alienate him further.
@Ravie - Don't be so hard on Carissa. All shows based (and named) for lead characters are built around a basic conceit that the character will be there until the end. From sitcoms (THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW), to cop shows (TJ HOOKER), to fantasy (XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS) to drama (DEXTER), all fans know that the lead isn't going anywhere. But, we also know it's the journey that matters, not the end. There are a LOT of roads travelled by that lead character that could change them dramatically.
That's kind of sweet - a "no nail" oath. Crude, but sweet.
There are conventions for Indians who want to get married?
Watching this new version of DALLAS is a hoot! I love it. It also makes me respect Patrick Duffy a LOT. Playing the "good" character, Bobby, all these years so he doesn't come off as a judgmental goody-two-shoes, yet still remains interesting to the audience is quite a feat. Christopher really suffers in comparison because he does come off as an entitled, selfish rich kid no matter what John Ross does to him. Bobby always had a compassionate streak and a love of family (including J.R.) that superceded any business deal. I don't feel any of that in Christopher. He never mentions family, or Southfork, or any of the things that are important to his dad that one thinks Bobby would have taught him. In a way, having Elena in the middle of J.Ross & Chris cheapens their rivalry. That's one thing J.R. & Bobby never fought over - a woman. They had so many other things to compete for & their relationship was still very deep & complex without that little entanglement.
CONTINUED FROM BELOW... What I do like to see is how these ladies, especially Mrs. Hughes & Mrs. Patmore, walk that line of tolerance & good humor so they continue to have a good working relationship with Carson while supporting Ethel's attempt at rehabilitation. That's some tricky diplomacy that everyone should learn. BTW, I don't think Dr. Carson was lying. The way I understood it Sybil would have had to have a Caesarean much earlier, like a month prior, in order for her life to have been saved. Wasn't she in Ireland at the time? A c-section during the birth was simply too late to make much difference, and would have deprived her of those moments she had with her baby & Tom right after the delivery since she would have been totally unconscious (as they did c-sections back then).
I think this was one of the most emotionally honest episodes of DA we've seen. The rawness of Cora's every expression and movement was strangely beautiful to watch when recalling how light she was in Season 1. She couldn't go through the mannered motions dictated by proper society in her grief. It also rang true that losing Sybil moderated Mary's outlook on nearly everything as she felt her parents drift far apart. All the ladies of the house, upstairs and downstairs, are becoming more unable to tolerate the posturing and shallow lines of "proper" behavior represented by Robert, Carson & Molesley as not one of these men can seem to sympathize with losing a child, being nearly homeless, or being thrown out into the street with no means to support yourself. For all of his money troubles and losing his daughter, you would think Robert would be able to sympathize with Ethel. But, it's clear that empathy and compassion are only being displayed by the distaff side of Downton Abbey...CONTINUED ABOVE
@Jim Garner - Thank you for that answer!
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