Oct 2, 2020
Downton Abbey Recap: Coming To America
Previously in our Downton Abbey recap: The sainted Mrs. Hughes used the threat of employer rape to get Evil Edna to go away and stop bothering poor innocent Branson, so, um, er, hmmmmm. “Good” job?
We are in the servants hall, and Anna, after her BRUTAL RAPE, is the walking dead. She not only feels too unclean and tainted to let her beloved husband, Bates, touch her, she can’t tell him why, as she knows if he finds out, he will kill Mr. Gillingham, Lord Gillingham’s valet, and then he will go to gaol and be hanged by the neck until dead. Bates is all baby baby baby don’t treat me this way, and Anna is all like dunno what you mean dude, I just moved out of our marital home and won’t tell you why, what is even the big.
And then there is some lady there? (Baxter.)
And she wants to sew but also she is somehow close to Thomas? Is she the new lady’s maid? Don’t worry, IT WILL ALL UNFOLD, LIKE TRUE DETECTIVE, if you start asking the right fucking questions. Hahahaha no it won’t. The servants will just tell us or whatever.
Alfred gonna win the internship at the Ritz and go be a famous chef, because he is a man.
Cora is pleased with Baxter, who is indeed her new lady’s maid. If Cora is pleased with her, she is obviously a dick. Booo, Baxter! Booo!
One of their tenants dies. Branson – who, you will remember, is an IRISH LABOR RADICAL SOCIALIST – and Lady Mary think it’s time to foreclose on a family who’s been sharecropping their land since George III, before the’ve even had the guy’s funeral. How very modern of them!
Lord Gillingham and Mabel are making it official, for the one proper time for a lady’s name to appear in the paper, and Grantham’s all HERE MARY READ THIS ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT DEAR GIRL, and Mary is all “oh my life that could have been I shall stand here and be vulnerable for a moment, okay, time’s up.”
Mrs. Patmore, as you can imagine, thinks Baxter’s electric sewing machine is the Debbil.
Hughes tries to talk Anna out of her PTSD, she is all like “snap out of it!”
Considering this is Downton Abbey, we are sure Anna’s paralyzing PTSD just needs a little pep talk.
Uh oh, Grantham’s idiotic hidebound traditionalism is rearing its ugly head again, this time whispering its dumbness into his ear, stroking his ego, suggesting that he do the decent thing and not foreclose on dead dude’s son even before the funeral. Once again, Lord Grantham is going to ruin the estate, or else prove the supremacy of noblesse oblige or something who the fuck knows with Julian Fellowes. Probably the second one this time. I mean, how many times can Lord Grantham endanger the estate in one lifetime? (That was a trick question. The answer is “all of them, Katie.”)
Daisy is training Alfred, because it is women’s lot to selflessly help men leave them, whether seeing them off to war or cooking school.
Here is a drawing room full of the women, meowing and purring and extending their claws like it is The Women. Mary wipes a secret tear and then projects her pain like an Olympic pain-projecting champeen. She starts by calling her sister a dumb idiot for saying quite nicely that she’d thought Gillingham was partial to Mary. “Oh, what a dumb idiot you are as usual, Edith,” Mary says, even though Edith wasn’t even being a dumb idiot at all! And here is Rose, because she exists, and it’s Robert’s birthday coming up and Mary says why don’t we have a party to cheer ourselves up. HOW ABOUT YOUR DAD LADY MARY DO YOU WANT TO CHEER HIM UP jesus what a bitch.
Mrs. Crawley is doing her Employment Office Lady thing again, and, as always, it’s the Dowager who has to hire everyone. She is basically like the mafia and the Dowager is the poor local small businessman who has to hire eight Teamsters to “work there” (not work there). Nice little dower house you got here, Dowager. Shame if anything were to happen to it.
Now Mary has willingly gone to see her infant son, for as many as ten minutes together! See, all you need is a good pep talk telling you to come back to the land of the living, and here you are! Hop to it Anna!
Awful dialogue with Branson and Mary.
Mary: “My the nanny is so free and easy nothing like the Hitler we had in the 1910s or whatever. Do you think we’re raising my dead sister’s child well? Do you think she is having a good childhood?”
Branson: “Well, you can’t blame yourselves.”
Baxter hints to Cora that she can bring her gossip. “They were saying such nice things about Lady Sybil in the servants hall, milady. That is so rare because usually servants only talk shit about the aristocrats, things I hear, all the time, with my ears, this is a hint.” Cora responds by threatening to buy a refrigerator for Mrs. Patmore, so she can die of an actual fearstroke.
Thomas is holding something over Baxter’s head; it is why she is acting as a Nice Him, so she can butter up the servants and learn stuff. He’s playing, like, eleven-dimensional chess in his PLAN to TAKE OVER the WORLD.
Lady Mary and the others are going to think Bates beat up Anna if she doesn’t move back in soon. Does she want that? HENGHHHH?
Alfred’s going to London and he’s askeered. It’s nice they have something to do besides Ivy Jimmy Alfred Daisy Love Square, about which nobody cared, including probably Ivy, Jimmy, Alfred and Daisy.
Dead dude’s son knows just the way to appeal to Lord Grantham: the fiction that they are “partners,” that the feudal tenant system sharecrop bullshit was as good for the tenants as the aristocracy leeching off them, that the aristocrats are beneficent. Grantham’s gonna personally loan dead dude’s son 50 pounds to pay off the debt (to Grantham). This is the least byzantine business deal Grantham has ever made.
Carson’s all hey let’s hire Molesley to take over for Alfred if Alfred wins this gig, because Molesley, despite mending roads and delivering groceries, was SO AMENABLE and didn’t AT ALL whine TO THE DOWAGER about how far he’d fallen in life having to be a footman. Ugh, Molesley stop getting hired around here.
At luncheon, they discuss dead dude’s son. Mary, for a change, is sniffy about it. The dowager discusses poetry, and how it is gauche. She points out that Lord Byron was Dissolute. Because why not.
Branson remembers he is a socialist, sometimes, and so is on the farmers’ side. Better late than never I guess.
Thomas wants Baxter to feed him all the upstairs info. He has gotten her this job despite her mysterious troubled past. She is nice, and likes doing things for the other servants, and hates Thomas. She is not long for this world.
Edith is in London seeing Michael, and since she’s only flitted across a couple of scenes establishing she is in fact still alive, something is going to happen. I am guessing “catch him in bed with a dead girl or live boy.”
Who’s this dude. Mr. Napier? Oh, was THIS the dude who brought the dead foreigner? (Yes.) I knew he would come back, I was just before my time.
Mary’s all like hey Napier guy, stay over I am being sparkling and smiley and I am a pod person and have stolen Mary’s body by the way.
Napier is studying failing estates in Yorkshire. Mary wants him to tell her dumb idiot dad not to let dead dude’s son take over the lease. Man, what a bitch.
Bates gonna quit if Hughes don’t give up Anna’s secret. Hughes ain’t doing it. TILL SHE DOES. BETRAYER. Oh, sure, yeah “REASON,” I actually do believe in reasons and also that not all secrets should be kept just because you promised. We’re cool, Hughes.
Lady Grantham suspects Mrs. Crawley’s gardener person of having stolen her letter knife, because he is a lazy Teamster.
So now Bates is gonna kill Mr. Gillingham, because no good deed goes unpunished, HUGHES.
Branson would like a storyline now that Evil Edna’s been so easily dispatched like she was a woman writer on the internet: through rape threats. So he is all like hey, me and Sybbie yr niece goin’ to America.
Molesley’s offered a job, and whines, for an hour. Carson is displeased.
Anna is all like, “oh Mrs. Hughes pep-talked me out of it, I will come home now,” and Bates explains that if it was the valet, he will kill him. Way to soothe Anna’s fears, dick. Also, way to make it all about you. Good thing we won’t have to do the mystery of whether Bates will find out it was the valet, kill him, and go to prison and die. (Because that is exactly what will happen.)
Alfred didn’t get in to the Ritz apprenticeship, that’s too bad, but everyone is nice except Jimmy, who’s a cock about it. Molesley comes back to ask for the job. Gah, go away Molesley. Oh right, he will, because he’s missed his chance because Alfred ain’t going, suck it Molesley.
Young Drew (?) (dead dude’s son) gives it up to Lady Mary that Grantham seed-moneyed his own loan repayment. Whoops. Oh weird, she’s not gonna be cunty about it. “You and I are in partnership with a very decent man.” Oh Mary, don’t’ fall for THAT.
Bates is now gonna be an evil murderer, cool.
Join us next time, as Molesley falls down a well, Edith becomes a Nazi, Lady Mary kills Lord Napier with her cooter, and Branson comes to America.