Sunday, January 08, 2012

Countdown to Downton

41 minutes.

Monday -- Updated to note: 

My reactions in the comments. Spoiler warning!

I copied the comment I just left over at GeekMom, with Lissa's discussion. Might be easier to discuss it over there, rather than here, there and everywhere, but leave a comment here if you like!

Updated again to add:

Discussion at By Sun and Candlelight, too!


Karen Edmisten said...

Spoilers ...

Spoilers ...

Spoilers ...

Spoilers ...

Oh, my, where to start?

First, I am happy, happy, happy to be watching again. Maggie Smith is indeed a delight in every single scene. And she *owns* her scenes. Love. Her. To. Death.

Mr. Bates and Anna -- at first, I thought, "Oh, my! Resolved so quickly? They'll actually be *happy* this season after a season of full of missed chances, miscommunication, and missed moments? Be still, my heart! But, I knew it couldn't last. Ooooh, that awful Vera! We will love to hate her.

My heart simply broke for Anna and for Bates (shall we call him John now?) :)

Mary is certainly much more sympathetic now, and I do like her and I want her to be happy. It took everything in her to *not* tell Matthew -- you could see how torn she was, but she couldn't follow up on Carson's advice (which ended with such dismissiveness of Lavinia, which of course, I understand, since Mary is a favorite of his) without it costing her in some other way, and it was an adult, unselfish move, which is a new thing for her.

I also think it's very interesting to watch the ripple effect of Mary's fatal (no pun intended!) decision to spend the night with Pamuk -- the consequences are now so far-reaching. That action is now costing Bates and Anna tremendously, too.

I also love the way small moments make such enormous points in this show -- when Lord Grantham said, "Well, there is a war on ... we all have to make sacrifices," and he was talking about using the maids in the dining room instead of the butlers ... sheesh! Talk about painting a powerful picture of the lives of the idle rich.

Edith -- oh, my, Edith. Really? Is this all coming from being a middle child? :-o

Yes, felt some sympathy for Thomas, but grrrr on the wound.

O'Brien? Nice, really, to see her feel some sympathy and want to offer to help Lang. Surprised me. I tend to see her softening before Thomas, though I think they're offering us some explanation about why Thomas is such a bitter person.

The new maid, Ethel -- poor thing! Had to chuckle at the practical jokes, though.

And what about poor William? Daisy didn't know what her flirtatious kiss was getting her into.

I do love Carson.

And loved Mrs. Hughes offering the tea room for the purpose of listening in on Bates and Vera.

Very interested in where the Carlisle/Lavinia thing goes.

Loved Sybil's new work, and felt so bad for Branson. I think she likes him but was overwhelmed and not ready for such a serious proclamation of love. And *loved* the moment when Cora was watching her in the kitchen. Laughed so hard at Carson articulating how he feels about surprises, too. :)

Oh, I know there's more, but must go for now ...

bobbi @ revolution of love said...

Karen, you summed it up so well, I don't know what else to add! I especially liked your comment about the far reaching consequences of Mary's bad choices. That point had not occurred to me but how true it is - here and in life! Thanks for sharing. It's great to "meet" other Downton lovers. :-)

Melanie B said...

Finally got to watch it yesterday!

Oh Maggie Smith is delightful.

I agree that Mary is more sympathetic. The scene where she kneels beside her bed to pray for Matthew... that was golden. I love the restraint now where her eyes tell you that her heart is longing for him and yet she only says what is proper for her to say. She's grown up so much.

And I am appreciating how her bad choice is reverberating, affecting so many other people. A wonderful illustration of how no "private" sin is really private. It reminds me a bit of Kristen Lavransdatter.

I'm curious to see whether Thomas and O'Brien are allowed to similarly grow. Or is O'Brien merely going to be confirmed in her bitterness?
As much as I love Bates and Anna, I was still wanting to scream at him for rushing to declare his love before he'd secured his divorce. Not so fast, buddy, you're still a married man.
I'm glad they brought Vera in. It was interesting to me how much more concrete his marriage is once you see her there in the flesh, so to speak, instead of just hearing about her as a presence offstage. Suddenly I had this new awareness that as despicable as she is, Bates still did make vows to her and those are vows I take very seriously. I want to root for him and Anna and yet.... I'm torn. Although my heart breaks for Anna, I'm glad he didn't just get an easy out from his marriage. I want to see where they take this storyline. Marriage is hard when you find out the person you said yes to is not a nice person. And yet vows have to mean something. I'm so torn.