Jenn N. and I (Rebecca T.) are both Downton Abbey fans, so when I mentioned how much I was enjoying the new season Jenn had the brilliant idea that we should write up our thoughts and inflict them on all of you!
And since Once Upon a Time is on hiatus, it seemed like the perfect time to jump in on this.
Because of schedules, etc. we'll be posting a week after the episode airs, but that will just help get you ready for the new episode to come.
And for those of you who have already seen the season - NO SPOILERS! :)
Jenn N: I think you (Rebecca) said this once in your personal blog that Bates & Anna are your OTP. They're mine too. I really hope that season brings some happiness to them after the trauma of last season, I think they've been through enough.
Rebecca T: I adore Bates and Anna and I totally agree. They have been through the ringer - crazy ex-wives, murder trials, rape, vengeance... I really want to see them have some happiness. Here's hoping Thomas doesn't ruin it through his conniving. But more on Thomas later.
Jenn N: I also hope Lady Edith finds some happiness this season. It seems the poor girl can't catch a break. I'm still mad over Sir Anthony bailing on their wedding.
Rebecca T: I have always had a soft spot for Edith. She has made some foolish decisions, but she's also gotten the short end of the stick a lot of the time. Not only with Sir Anthony, but also consistently ending up playing second fiddle to her older and younger sisters. I really hope this plan allows her to be a real presence in her daughter's life.
Jenn N: Of course, if everyone was happy all the time the show wouldn't be nearly as entertaining. Thankfully we have Mr. Molesely to lighten things up. He is so determined to win Baxter's affections that he covered his hair with some tar like dye in order to appear younger. Unfortunately for him, Baxter still guessed his age within a year but fortunately for him, she was pretty much the only one who didn't comment on his hair's peculiar new hue.
Rebecca T: I waver between being annoyed at Molesley and being bemused by his shenanigans. However, I absolutely adore the way he's so supportive of Baxter. He's sweetest when he's focused solely on how to make someone else's life better.
Jenn N: And I thought I liked Branson's lady friend until she came to dinner. I understand why she has different political views but I feel that the way she discussed them at dinner was antagonistic and extremely impolite.
Rebecca T: Sarah has always rubbed me the wrong way. She's just too abrasive for my taste and for Tom (imo). I agree that her discussion at dinner was very antagonistic, but I also was thinking back to some of the first dinners with Tom - they didn't go a whole lot better. Tom has changed a lot, especially since Sybil's death. And I hope that Sarah shakes him up a little but that it doesn't morph into something more serious.
Jenn N: On to Thomas, yet another episode in which I wish he'd develop some illness that leaves him covered in sores and boils. I understand that Cora is grateful that he rescued Edith from the fire but why don't her and Robert find it peculiar that he is always in just the right place at the right time. Plus they're intelligent people. Why can't they see through his manipulations? Seriously, how is this man still employed?!!
Rebecca T: I agree! I don't understand - after EVERYTHING this man has done - how he has managed to stay on. He's so ... infuriating. And I really want bad things to happen to him. But when I think about how Downton would be without him... well, things would be a lot less interesting, that's for sure.
Jenn N: My favorite plot of the week though was the crazy pants bananas story of Lady Anstruther and Jimmy. Lady Anstruther reminded of a character out of one of my smutty books.
Rebecca T: That was some crazy stuff going on. I was surprised how helpful Thomas was with that whole business, even trying to make sure they didn't get caught. I wonder if they'll replace the footman or cut back the staff and stick with just Mr. Molesley and Thomas?
Rebecca T: I was wondering the same thing. I really think they were setting it up for Daisy to go to Sarah for help. I love Daisy, but I would like to see her get a more focused story line this season. I'd like to see more development of her character.
Jenn N: Ok - my cat Daisy keeps trying to lay on my keyboard. I think she thought I was talking about her and not Daisy the cook, lol.
Rebecca T: One last thing I wanted to add was how interesting I find the shifting roles and how some of the servants are just as uncomfortable as the upper class. Mr. Carson's frustration as to the choice to put him in charge of the memorial instead of Lord Grantham was almost as if not greater than Robert's consternation. And the Dowager countess' machinations to keep Mrs. Crawley away from Lord Merton was pretty entertaining.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on the episode! Do you want Thomas to get boils? Do you think Lady Anstruther will hire James? Will Mary accept Lord Gillingham?