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Desperate for Downton

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Glaciers and Earls and Plotting, Oh My!

And the season starts with a bang, or more accurately, with a loud crash, since it was the Titanic's fault that Downton is thrown into an uproar. At least they don't have to hear Celine Dion wailing for months on end about her heart going on. However, that might actually pull some emotion out of Mary, since she didn't seem too upset that her fiancé drowned like Leo DiCaprio (she would have channeled Kate Winslet and not scooted over on her ice floe, either). Mary plans to cut her mourning period short so she can pull a JLo and start looking for her next fiancé. I think the new heir Matthew might be interesting in taking her on, if the look on his face after meeting her is any indication.

Matt sees Mary
Matt Sees Mary

Look at the swoon on that face! Judging by how much she seems to hate him from the outset, he needs to turn the charm on. He might want to start by closing his mouth; I doubt Lady Mary goes for mouth-breathers.

It's hilarious watching O'Brien and Thomas get all bent out of shape about the hiring of Bates. They are like two mean girls in school, with all the gossip, plotting, and verbal digs. Thomas thinks he's so smart, but it's obvious that he has a LOT to learn from O'Brien.

Mean girls
Obrien and Thomas

His little jabs at Bates paled in comparison O’Brien kicking Bates's cane out from under him in front of the visiting Duke. That might have been my favorite "Oh, no you di'int!" moment of the show. I'm pretty sure she would have handled the gold digging Duke in a more clever fashion than Thomas. Everyone knows that if you invite someone to your mansion, you hide your blackmail material anywhere BUT your servant's room. Sheesh!

Time to talk about Dame Maggie Smith. What a glorious, clever, outspoken woman. Or at least her character, the Dowager Countess (Violet) is. I love the fact that she’s ironically named, because she's certainly no shrinking violet! Every time Dame Maggie comes onscreen, I feel a little “yippee!” inside and am hoping some of Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter will come forth, hiding a wand in her fan to whip it out at Mrs. Crowley or her son. She could also use it on the “ghastly” electric light in the drawing room. I do believe Dame Maggie gets some of the best lines of the cast, and she gives wonderful stink-eye (see below).

Dame Maggie's stink eye
Maggie meets Mrs. Crowley

Did you catch that Bates was Lord Grantham's "batman" during the war? My ears perked up at that and I imagined Bates as Batman, escorting Lord Grantham around the war in the Batmobile. After some research, I learned that a batman is basically a valet to a commissioned officer, which would explain Bates's hiring. I still like to picture him with the uniform on during slow scenes.

Looking forward to next week! Hopefully we’ll see Matthew try to charm Mary; he has quite a bit of work ahead of him. I’d also like to see more of the backstabbing, sniping relationship between Mary and her sister, Edith. Their tempest seems likely to blow soon.