Downton Abbey: The case of the uppity nanny (SPOILERS)

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There was a lot I really liked about the first episode:

Having the kids in the house is pretty delightful.

Mary and Tom working together showcased why their respective dead spouses loved them. Tom is really smart, has conviction and sees more angles than just what’s on the surface. Mary is really smart, really strong and sees herself clearly. I absolutely loved the scene with the lost letter from Matthew. (It actually made me decide to write some letters to be “found” 6 months after my death…what a gift to hear your husband so happy and content at the thought of coming home to have dinner with you.)

That said, I do not want a romance between them.

I also loved all the do-gooding. It’s like the spirit of Matthew lingers and directs people toward their best selves. The Bates’ and the Dowager working to help Mosely paid off huge with the scene downstairs when Mr. Bates “remembered” the debt. And Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Crawley helping Carson’s friend (and Carson himself most importantly) was so moving, I didn’t even groan out loud when Mr. Carson emerged out of the fog at the train station.

HOWEVER:

Thomas pulling the exact same shenanigans as first season? So we’re to believe that all of the kindness and forgiveness shown him over the years (particularly by Anna and Mr. Bates) didn’t change him at all. I’m so glad he wasn’t fired for being gay last season because he needs to be fired for being a dick.

And the Dowager’s butler? Is he taking classes from Thomas? It was far too reminiscent of the first season when Thomas tripped Mr. Bates and then proceeded to set him up as incompetent for the entire season.

And most importantly, Lord Grantham is the Jeff Winger of Downton. Except at least on Community, Jeff learns the lesson at the end of every episode. Yes he has to learn it every time, but there is some fog on the mirror. Grantham NEVER learns, never changes, and as one recent writer put it, everything bad at Downton is HIS FAULT!

Most importantly:

I learned not to say “at my wit’s end”. Apparently, it is vulgar and self-important. Good to know.

Best Dowager line of the night: “there can be too much truth in any relationship”

And Isis continues to be the best dog ever.

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– Jen

 


7 Responses to “Downton Abbey: The case of the uppity nanny (SPOILERS)”

  • Nathan Says:

    I was really surprised with how much I found myself enjoying it. I figured that I would hate it since Matthew had died, but I think it kinda forced the writers back to the drawing board to come up with interesting new plot ideas.

  • Darryn Says:

    A very good season premiere. The most poignant moment for me:

    Violet: “I’m not very interested in if you behaved badly or well. I’m not your governess; I’m your grandmother.”

    Lady Mary: “What’s the difference?”

    Violet: “The difference is I love you.”

    The way she said it indicated she does not say that often, and it was particularly heartfelt.

    Funniest moment: Spratt and Mosely talking before the luncheon. Spratt’s face during the whole conversation was priceless (even if his subsequent actions were mean).

    Inexplicable moment: Why does it take two grown-ass women (with mandatory aprons) to clean up a mixing bowl that broke on the floor? I hope I would never get sacked for such a thing. And did anyone think the condition of the cabinetry was a little appalling?

  • Doug Says:

    I agree about Thomas. It’s getting frustrating seeing him still being a super a-hole. After the end of last season? And he’s still acting like this? I am not looking forward to what he gets up to with his new cohort.

  • Lisa Says:

    I agree completely about Thomas. I thought the same thing. Also, why was he always standing around the fireplace? Didn’t he have a job to do? Everyone else seems very busy and he’s just standing around.

  • Kalena Says:

    Is it weird that I love to watch British people grieving stoically?….

  • Carrie Says:

    Darryn – I thought the same thing! And Mrs. Hughes suggesting to leave it till morning? That’s crazy. Would take all of five minutes and would have been dried and crusty the next morning.

    I didn’t know how to feel about the nanny. I didn’t like that Thomas got credit for being right, but she is obviously not a good person.

  • Sarah Says:

    Thomas may be terrible, but the actor who plays him, Rob James-Collier, is apparently awesome, if his website is any indication: http://www.evilbutler.com (he’s fundraising for a marathon).