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  1. #301
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    I liked this episode more on further viewing even though it seemed to me solely based on downstairs. I especially like seeing them interact with tenants or villagers or what not. Mary seems to be getting the business role of Downton. I like that.

    How about that rich timbre of Mr. Drewe's voice? Did anybody notice? I am really looking forward to the next few episodes.

  2. #302
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I am picturing Lady Mary calling Cora on the phone, using a fake voice: Hello, this is Susan from Planned Parenthood. Could you please have Lady Edith call us? It's urgent.
    Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh (I could just envision this and hear a husky voiced Mary once again sticking it to poor Edith ;>)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    Sybbie and George are darling. I wish we could see more of them, but of course there are all the difficulties of working with child actors -- which of course fits in nicely with the old "parents see their kids just a few minutes a day" idea that we're dealing with here. (I remember this being mentioned in The King's Speech also.) I wonder how the parents could stand it! I mean, obviously it would be awesome to have lots of help with the nitty-gritty of parenting -- diapers and vomit and food-flinging and "but why?" every five seconds and all the rest -- but this just seems extreme.
    I can't understand how they WOULDN'T want that. It's not like infants and small children can talk or are even that interesting to play with for longer than a few minutes until they're older. And I can't imagine not wanting to have someone ELSE go deal with them when they start screaming at 2am. But then as a kid I generally wanted to be left alone (my mother said unlike most babies I screamed if you tried to pick me UP and wouldn't shut up until you put me down) or play unless we played exactly how I wanted so I don't really see kids as wanting that much attention, either, except for the messy bits and better someone else do that.

  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamuno View Post
    I liked this episode more on further viewing even though it seemed to me solely based on downstairs. I especially like seeing them interact with tenants or villagers or what not. Mary seems to be getting the business role of Downton. I like that.

    How about that rich timbre of Mr. Drewe's voice? Did anybody notice? I am really looking forward to the next few episodes.
    Me too. Although for whatever reason her reaction to Lord Gillingham's engagement and her interaction with Napier annoyed me. Matthew who? I mean I know she's supposed to be moving on, but sigh. It just seemed to have happened so quickly.

    Poor Edith. This doesn't look to be heading in a good direction.

  5. #305
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    Quote Originally Posted by elka_sk8 View Post
    Although for whatever reason her reaction to Lord Gillingham's engagement and her interaction with Napier annoyed me. Matthew who? I mean I know she's supposed to be moving on, but sigh. It just seemed to have happened so quickly.
    You summed up my feelings perfectly. While it was nice to see her looking happier again, it just seemed way too soon for that, and I agree - it was as if she's already forgotten about Matthew.

  6. #306
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    How long has it been since Matthew's death? A year? Is there an accepted mourning period after which is it appropriate to start looking about for another suitor?

    I don't think it's precisely defined but I think a year is a reasonable amount of time vs. say, 2 weeks. Although it looks like Mary is just toying with the idea and not taking anyone seriously yet in that way.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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  7. #307
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    How long has it been since Matthew's death? A year? Is there an accepted mourning period after which is it appropriate to start looking about for another suitor?

    I don't think it's precisely defined but I think a year is a reasonable amount of time vs. say, 2 weeks. Although it looks like Mary is just toying with the idea and not taking anyone seriously yet in that way.
    IceAlisa, I believe it is now about 7-8 months. Valentine's Day was 6 months after his death, and judging by this episode's partial blooms I would guess this episode was in March-April.

    Although I was surprised about the strength of her feelings for Tony, I think her delight at seeing Evelyn was platonic. At that fox hunt in season 1, although she liked Evelyn as a person, he seemed to be a distant 3rd choice after Mr. Pamuk and Matthew. In the wake of the resulting scandal, Evelyn was so kind to her that I think he became someone she highly trusted and respected. It may now develop into romance, but I think at this point he is just a friendly, comforting face from the past.
    Last edited by mikemba; 01-30-2014 at 01:29 PM.

  8. #308
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    But I will say I was shocked at her [Mrs. Hughes'] treatment of Edna. Obviously Edna is a golddigger, and I guess Hughes has to take the side of a member of the household, but two things bothered me. One is that she barely scolded Tom for his part - I guess we are meant to think it's a symptom of the times and class structure that being drunk and a man makes it OK to sleep with a servant? I guess that is supposed to help us understand why Anna doesn't want anyone to know, but I think we already understand that. But then Hughes actually says to Edna, in the same room where she found poor Anna - "I will lock this door, tear off your clothes and hold you down myself"???? I thought that was really insensitive writing, and I'm surprised even the actors didn't object to those lines.
    Jenny, I've been meaning to reply about this. Yes, I was shocked at the "rape" imagery in Mrs. Hughes' dialogue with Edna.

    As for Tom, I think Mrs. Hughes' reluctance to scold him was based on a few things. First, she treats Tom as part of the "upstairs" group, so I think that had some influence. Not that she thinks the upstairs should be able to do what the downstairs group can not, but rather that she is more reluctant to speak her mind to someone from upstairs. (When Edna was let go the first time, she asked Tom for permission to give him her opinion.)

    I think she has had a long-term soft spot for Tom based on his gentle nature, his grief, and the difficulty of his in-between position. Recall that Mrs. Hughes picked up on Tom's romantic feelings for Sybil at the garden party in the season 1 finale -- a full 2 years before Tom ever got up the nerve to discuss his feelings with Sybil. I think her affection for him has continued to grow since that early time.

    So I think it is a combination of things, and surprisingly, I don't think it has to do with gender roles of the times. (Despite the fact that in the old Ethel situation Mrs. Hughes did seem to have somewhat of a double standard for men and women regarding premarital sex.) I think she thought it was inconceivable that Tom would take advantage of a servant or any woman. I think she probably read it the same as many of us 21st century viewers did: that he was a kind soul who has been in a very sad and lonely position for a long time, and was taken advantage of when he was highly vulnerable.
    Last edited by mikemba; 01-30-2014 at 01:25 PM. Reason: typos, typos, typos

  9. #309

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenLady View Post
    You summed up my feelings perfectly. While it was nice to see her looking happier again, it just seemed way too soon for that, and I agree - it was as if she's already forgotten about Matthew.
    Given that she turned Lord Gillingham down specifically because she's not over Matthew, I think "forgotten" is far too strong a word.
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  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    Given that she turned Lord Gillingham down specifically because she's not over Matthew, I think "forgotten" is far too strong a word.


    I agree. Mikemba, that was exactly what I wanted to say as well. Napier is an old, old and dear friend. They do exchange letters and he was someone Mary could have married if not for the Pamuk incident ( see season 1). Her reaction was totally appropriate. I reacted the same way she did when I heard his name announced by Mr. Carson, complete with the 'WHAT'?? and everything.

  11. #311
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    I should be embarassed to say this, but when he walked in I shouted
    "EVE-lynnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!'

  12. #312
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    Edna served Tom with a drink and he had already been drinking by then IIRC. And he was psychologically vulnerable. Edna's behavior was quite predatory. And while Mrs. Hughes words may offend 21st century PC sensibilities, does anyone think it would have been fair for Edna to hold the pregnancy over Tom's head without medical confirmation?
    Had this happened today, Edna would be required to confirm pregnancy and paternity if she sued for child support.
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  13. #313
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    There's no question in my mind that Edna was in the wrong. My issue was with the extremity of what Hughes said to her, and the violence of the threat coming right after she had found poor Anna in that very room.

  14. #314
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    i have no problems with mrs hughes' approach. if the problem had been allowed to escalate, edna could have ruined tom's life or forced him to leave england.
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  15. #315

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    There's no question in my mind that Edna was in the wrong. My issue was with the extremity of what Hughes said to her, and the violence of the threat coming right after she had found poor Anna in that very room.
    Mrs. Hughes had not wanted to give Edna a good letter of reference when she was dismissed from Downton the first time -- her feelings for Anna vs. her underlying feelings towards Edna were about as far from each other as possible in her basically good-hearted nature. If I had any sympathy for Edna's character, I might have reacted differently to Mrs. Hughes language/threats to Edna.
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  16. #316
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    Mrs. Hughes had not wanted to give Edna a good letter of reference when she was dismissed from Downton the first time -- her feelings for Anna vs. her underlying feelings towards Edna were about as far from each other as possible in her basically good-hearted nature. If I had any sympathy for Edna's character, I might have reacted differently to Mrs. Hughes language/threats to Edna.
    I agree. It would not have been appropriate for anyone else, but for Edna it was the way to go. Treating Edna with any degree of softness or subtlety hadn't worked in the past. Strong language was needed to get the message through to her -- your actions will not be tolerated, we know what you're up to, and you're not welcome here.

    I think part of the context might also have been leftover from Ethel's situation. In that case, Ethel was a willing participant, but she was still left "holding the baby" with no support and few options. And who knows how many other unfortunate maids Mrs Hughes has had to help over the course of her career. So in this case, when Edna is deliberately setting out to get pregnant for her own social-climbing purposes ... zero tolerance.

  17. #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    There's no question in my mind that Edna was in the wrong. My issue was with the extremity of what Hughes said to her, and the violence of the threat coming right after she had found poor Anna in that very room.
    Eh. Anna was an innocent victim. Edna was a scheming "witch", as Thomas put it, who was trying to violate Tom. Ethel (who was indeed in the wrong--I saw no double standard, Mrs. Hughes just had no control over the male guilty party beyond thinking he was a jerkass) at least was mostly stupid and wanton and karma bit her big time, and in no small part because Mrs Hughes went out of her way to help she grew from the experience-no, being a prostitute is not a great career choice, but she easily is the most sacrificing mother on the show. She degraded herself for her child's sake and she gave him up to people she didn't like to give him a better life, then worked her way to a better life for herself, too. Yes, she had help, but Mrs Hughes and Isobel wouldn't have been doing it if she'd treated Charlie like a pawn in a game to extort his grandparents. Edna on the other hand is out to make a baby as a bargaining chip and manipulate someone without concern for him, the child he already has, or anything but getting what she wants when she wants it. Even more than not getting the rules of life in service, she came back and skipped from seduction to getting him drunk. She's like the anti-Ethel.

  18. #318

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemba View Post
    I should be embarassed to say this, but when he walked in I shouted
    "EVE-lynnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!'
    My gosh, I can't believe you guys can remember characters from the first season. I can barely remember people who were on two episodes ago.
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  19. #319
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    She's like the anti-Ethel.
    Well-said!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dardar1126 View Post
    Well-said!
    Which kind of continues the tradition since Ethel was the anti-Gwen (dreaming about getting out of service into an unrealistic film-star life versus working hard to get into an entry-level professional job that wasn't glamorous, but a step up from being a housemaid.)

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