Remember the early days of Matthew and Mary — how they both hated each other, taking any chance they could to insult or belittle their future spouse?
That’s just the dynamic Downton wants to create between Mary and the newly introduced Charles Blake. They don’t like each other at all, which means that through some cute happenstance, they will overcome their differences and fall madly in love.
Too bad Tony’s not in the picture anymore, because he’s much taller than Charles.
Evelyn Napier (pictured above with Mary) brings Charles to the Abbey to conduct research for the government. Mary thinks they’ve come to help save estates like Downton. Charles informs her that they are really there to study how the demise of the English aristocracy will affect the country’s food supply. Mary is not amused.
Later on at dinner and then Robert’s surprise birthday fete, it becomes more clear that Charles is not as taken with Mary as every other man on this show has been.
“I’m afraid I don’t share your enthusiasm for her,” Blake says to Napier. Give it time, Mr. Blake. Give it time.
In other upstairs news, Edith is pregnant. Poor Edith. Just when her storyline gets a little interesting and she comes out from her older sister’s shadow, the doctor sends her a note. And the illegitimate child, of course, is fathered by a man who can’t be found. Spinsterhood is much more attractive.
(If you’re interested in what the note from the doctor said, here it is: “I am writing to confirm my findings of our recent consultation, in that your signs and symptoms are consistent with those of the first trimester of pregnancy. I look forward to being of further assistance to you.”)
And let’s not forget the other romantic intrigue in the house. Rose schemes to give Robert a surprise for his birthday, by bringing Jack Ross and his band to Yorkshire to play after dinner. The band is a hit, even if the singer is a black man. At the end of the night, Mary wanders downstairs to find Jack and ask him to send the bill to Robert. Instead, she finds Jack and Rose making out. Ever the tactful lady, Mary does not verbally let on what she’s seen. Although the look on her face says it all. She does not approve.
Yay for Alfred, he got into the cooking class! Also, his speech about Carson in front of the family was incredibly sweet.
If you Google “1922 Oil Leases,’ the Teapot Dome scandal comes up. That must be what Uncle Harold, who will be played by Paul Giamatti, has gotten himself into.
I love the Dowager Countess, and usually her lines are my favorites. But this exchange between Carson and Mrs. Patmore wins the night.
Mrs. Patmore: I like that Rudolph Valentino. Ooh. He makes me shiver all over.
Carson: What a very disturbing thought.
Why must Anna and Bates be so tortured? They can’t even enjoy a night out at dinner.
More Sibi and Baby George please!
How heartbreaking was the scene in the nursery, when Mary, Tom, and Isobel all recall their lost loves?
Speaking of Isobel, I really could watch an entire show between her and Violet. Let’s start the call for the spinoff now! It would be like Golden Girls, but British.
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