Bates has spent time in jail - TWICE - for crimes he didn't commit. So there's that.
Bates has spent time in jail - TWICE - for crimes he didn't commit. So there's that.
Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.
I just find it amusing that in the time Bates was in prison, and being set up by his cellmate for one thing or another, he's learned how to be a master forger, a pickpocket, and possibly an actual murderer. Who says incarceration isn't educational!
However, I do see your point. It's up to a country's justice system to determine who is guilty of a crime and what the appropriate punishment should be, but here we have Bates, Hughes, Mary and even Anna taking the law into their own hands. Julian Fellowes did the same thing in Gosford Park - there was a murderer and an attempted murderer, and while the police were called, not one of the several dozen people at the scene was the least bit concerned about following the law - and in fact many felt the murder was justified based on things the victim had done (like Green) or that it worked out better for them.
It's all very nice in fiction when we want to see bad people get theirs, but you are right, it would have been valuable to have a broader discussion on the matter represented by different characters. Might have been good to have Branson in this, as he's always conflicted. The fact that Mary decided to burn the ticket after Bates had done her family (and conceivably, the Royal Family) a favour also negates any points we might have given her for wanting to adhere to the law, but then again that's her character - family/Downton trumps anything else.
Going further back in the story, I felt another angle was missing. Anna was trying to protect her husband, and Hughes/Mary were respecting Anna's wishes, but all that had its selfish side too. A man like Green doesn't do something like that just once, so one might imagine that there had been other victims and there would be more for every time he got away with it, and no one seemed to be concerned about that.
And on a related note, while in her position she's a problem solver who's probably blurred the lines many times, this was the second time this season we've seen Mrs Hughes endorse violence as an option. The soppy end scene with Mr Carson might suggest otherwise, but I could also see a scenario where Hughes has something pent up inside her, and it's starting to bubble to the surface. Kind of an opposite character arc to Branson.
Interesting observations. Perhaps condoning violence and entertaining her feelings of affection for Carson are coming from the same place. Shes just tired of restraining every emotion.
Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.
Heck, even now the only thing that would keep Bates from the death penalty in states where it's an option is that they couldn't bring up Vera now (though they'd probably make good stab at it to the point I'd consider waiving a jury as a judge would be more likely to genuinely ignore that while a jury might be instructed to disregard it but emotionally wouldn't) and that Anna couldn't be compelled to testify as she's probably cop to fearing that EXACTLY this would happen. As the travel required would show it's clear premeditation, it would be most likely 25-life without possibility of parole and given the existence of the prior parole might be a tough argument.
All in all, given everyone at Downton's prior experience with the justice system and given how terrible a person the "victim" was, I can't really say I'm surprised no one wants to see Bates punished for it. If anything on some level some probably feel he was justified because the assault was on his wife and the law of the time makes that almost an assault on him, too. A better question is do any of them question in any way why the law is such Anna can be raped and there basically is no legal method of punishing the offender?
I do, btw, think that's a good idea, that Green saw Bates following him and stumbled into traffic. OTOH, that makes two people close to Bates who died by misadventure in circumstances that made him look guilty. Better hope there's no #3 because once, maybe, twice could be coincidence, third time is a pattern.
Also, Coco: I'm also Team Napier! He's a sweetie. And he was the one who still cared enough about Mary to tell her about the Pamuk rumors and who spread them to the Turkish embassy, even though given her behavior with Pamuk (not the "incident", but the flirting and blowing Napier off the minute she saw the "Turkish gentleman") he'd be emotionally entitled to leave her swinging in the wind on that.
On a different note, despite all the things I like about this show, I am starting to strongly dislike all the piling up on Edith in the writing. On one of the Downton Abbey specials, writer/creator Julian Fellowes spoke of Edith as one of those people who always has "bad luck." But with the way he writes Edith it is much more than that: it is an overall level of contempt that has been going on for 4 seasons, and has been administered by numerous characters. A few examples (there are many, many more):
Since the beginning, her mother and father have alternated between ignoring her and criticizing her. Back in season one, when the sisters were all young and unmarried, her parents had already decided that Edith would end up a spinster. At that time, Sybil was so young (17 or so) that she wasn't even dating, but the parents had already decided that Sybil and Mary would get married but Edith would not. What's worse, upon deciding that Edith would be the spinster to take care of them in old age, Robert and Cora decided that being taken care of by Edith would be a "ghastly" (or something similar) propostion.
Even the nicest people have snubbed Edith. Back in the infamous Mr. Pamuk episode, after Pamuk lured Mary away from a conversation with Evelyn and Matthew, Edith approached the 2 men. Yet both acted like she had the plague. I remember being struck by this at the time, because Matthew and Evelyn were extremely nice to everyone else. Isobel, another character is is generally nice to everyone, shunned Edith rather nastily, too, at the beginning of the war.
I also noticed this season -- which included an awful lot of dancing -- that every dateless woman was asked to dance except for Edith. Tom danced with everyone from the duchess to Rosamund, to Isobel to Violet. At Robert's birthday party, Evelyn asked Violet to dance. A few times they showed shots of numerous couples dancing with Edith standing alone and both Charles and Evelyn standing by, with neither asking her to dance. Again, at Rose's ball, no one asked her to dance.
And of course, despite the fact that Edith has barely needled Mary since season one, Mary has continued to do it: when Mary was happily married to Matthew, she still picked on Edith who had recently been jilted; now that Michael is missing, Mary nastily joked about that at dinner.
And despite being nice to her lately, Violet not only interfered with her wedding to Anthony, she shortly afterwards told Edith to "quit whining" when Edith approached Violet for advice on how to move past it.
The non-stop piling-on of Edith is starting to seem extremely mean spirited on the part of the writer. It's starting to seem as though Julian Fellowes truly believes that second sisters are completely worthless. MAry, who is haughtier than ever is surrounded by young, handsome, nice, titled men who want to marry her, whereas Edith, who has grown into a more mature, nicer, and more accomplished person than she was, continues to be snubbed by her parents, her sister, and most men. There is something quite extreme and bitter about it.
Last edited by mikemba; 03-02-2014 at 06:18 PM.
2/25/2014 at 2:30 PM
Dear Downton: Don’t Screw Up the Carson–Mrs. Hughes Story Line Next Season
By Amanda Dobbins
I am not a monster, so the last scene of this season's Downton Abbey finale filled me — momentarily, anyway — with joy. Carson, the severe but soft-hearted butler, and Mrs. Hughes, the matronly housekeeper, seemed finally ready to acknowledge what we at home had known for years: They loooove each other, and they both deserve a little happiness after a lifetime spent making sure that other people's silver is polished properly. The two old friends held hands, waded into the ocean, said some suggestive (for the 1920s) things to each other; their co-workers looked on approvingly. It was sweet and well-earned, an uncharacteristic ending to a season filled with random love stories and an unnecessary (not to mention upsetting) rape — which is why the alarm bells started ringing even as I watched it.
Not one word was spoken, ever, about the inadequacies of the justice system in punishing rapists.
My feminist side thinks this was a missed opportunity, since in many parts of the world the same holds true today. But from a dramatic perspective, it makes sense that they handled it the way they did. We don't need more court scenes (either prosecuting Green, or defending Bates), and the story was complicated enough.
I miss DA so much already. Mr Selfridge just won't do.
^ ITA. No comparison.
I meant to ration my re-watching of the first 3 seasons ... but I ripped through 1 and 2 in no time. Just started 3.
I'd agree with you, Mikemba. I esp. remember the awful comment her parents made about her in season one. But I have a feeling that Julian Fellowes will 1. have the pig farmer blackmail Edith and 2. have Mary be ever-meaner with only positive consequences. >:-( It's not entertaining. Why does he continue to do this?
Well someone has to find out. Edith will be sneaking off to the pig farm or dude will be taking off from his family with the baby for sekret rendevous with Edith, so the first person who should figure it out is his wife, if not his other children. And the wife will naturally suspect that not only is Edith the mother, but her husband is the father - otherwise why would he do this, and lie to his own wife?
Then of course we have Barrow always on the hunt for secrets, her father wondering what's up with her, Mary looking for more reasons to snark, Tom figuring it out in about two secs (but he'll keep it to himself), Mrs Crawley nosing about everywhere, Violet itching to do something about it, and Mrs Hughes at the ready to selectively bring in others once she's got a secret to keep.
The only person who will continue to be oblivious is Cora.
That the duke she brought to court Mary in the pilot was gay.
That Miss O'Brien caused Cora's miscarriage.
That Thomas stole things twice (snuff box and wine) and tried to frame John Bates.
That the "heroic" Thomas' war wound was intentionally received by Thomas.
That before, during, and after she was coughing up blood from the Spanish flu, her husband was making out with the maid, Jane.
That Thomas kissed James in his sleep.
That Thomas lied about Anna ruining the garment that Edna had in fact ruined.
That a rape occurred in her house during the concert.
That her niece has been running off to engage in numerous romantic liasons under the guise of "shopping."
That one of her daughters just gave birth to a child conceived with a married man.
That her mother and sister-in-law know about the baby.
There are some other people who don't know some of the above, but she knows none of the above.
Last edited by mikemba; 03-04-2014 at 09:16 PM.
^ To be fair to Cora, most of those things are only known by 1 or 2 people, if any (I don't think anyone knows about Thomas's self-inflicted wound, for example, not even O'Brian), and most of those are things people are taking a great deal of effort to keep secret. It's not really a failing on Cora's part. Plus there's really no reason for her, or anyone in the family, to know things about the servants' private lives if they don't affect the family.
There are a couple of areas where she most definitely is ridiculously clueless, though. Edith being the most obvious example, not necessarily the whole story, but she really should know something is up and should take the effort to find out. But the business with Edna was pretty eye-rollingly clueless too -- and pretty hard to believe that she'd take on a lady's maid without checking her credentials first.
I wasn't saying she was at fault for not knowing a lot of those things. I just find it interesting that there is so much that she doesn't know.
Mikemba, your list is funny but true. I think most of the things she doesn't know is partly because Robert is actively keeping some from her, like the Thomas incident you know women's sensibility and all that. Robert believes firmly in this. Others seem to be that as long as she is not directly involved like the Pamuk scandal, she really has no one to tell her. She really needs a good ladies maid who likes her for herself and can give her good info about the happenings in her own house and not for how she can wheedle favours from her while playing her like a drum, the way O'Brien did.
With regards to Edith, As I was rewatching Episode 1, the very first one I could not believe how catty and annoying Edith was. 'But what was Mary doing downstairs with the Duke?' It's just the servant quarters......but what we're you doing there? Ugh! I mean if I was standing next to her I would have stomped her feet. I truly don't feel sorry Edith and her odd one out-ness does not move me at all.
Agree that Cora not knowing about servants intrigue makes sense. But to have no clue about her own daughter is hard to believe, especially since they lost Sybil and Mary is getting more independent - you'd think she'd be more focused on Edith than ever.
The one that continues to bug me though is Edna. We were supposed to swallow that she would meet Edna in a tea shop, and hire her based on Mrs Hughes written recommendation and her vague story about learning from her old aunt. First, she'd never go to meet Edna - Edna would come to meet her. Second, if she read Mrs Hughes' reference, she'd know it was likely written without any real praise or vouching for her skills, and recognized it for what it was. Third, there's a big difference between caring for your old aunt and making the jump to lady's maid to a countess. The very idea that she didn't consult Mrs Hughes for a more detailed report and discussion of whether she could make the jump from her old position to this very different position is absurd.
Julian Fellowes often has faulty plotting and flimsy logic.
EDIT: Let's see how much we all recall...
Downton Abbey, Season 4: Episode 8 Trivia Quiz
I got 100%.
(But to be fair, I have seen that episode NUMEROUS TIMES... )
Last edited by dardar1126; 03-05-2014 at 01:09 AM.