Monday, February 10, 2014

Wordy Old Men on Downton Abbey: Series Four, Episode Seven

As always, Wordy Ginters and I walk you through this week's episode of Downton Abbey. This week's installment was the seventh episode that aired in the UK. You can buy the entire season in its full, unedited form here on DVD and Blu-ray. This week, Robert and Thomas heading to America to try to bail out Cora's brother who seems to be rather embroiled in the Teapot Dome Scandal. Edith heads to London again, with Rose in tow. Mary and Mr. Blake muck it up. Gillingham returns, which means so does his valet.

Old Man Duggan: "You do know the Americans have a correct uniform for practically every activity known to man." Oh, how the Americans have fallen. Lord Grantham would roll over in his goddamn grave if he saw all the rubes in their sandals and shorts. The sheer volume of male toes and knees that Robert Crawley would see in a mere hour in public in the modern United States would probably send him to an early grave.

Wordy Ginters: The sandals would most definitely cut him to the quick, and rightfully so. Lord Grantham might be able to roll with it, but Carson wouldn't last 20 seconds in the U.S. Death by lack of decorum. I'd love to see Carson watching an episode of Duck Dynasty. Glad to see a sojourn to the States finally come into play. I hope we get some scenes from Florida, or a dusty oil field. Maybe Daniel Plainview giving Crawley's cousin the hard-sell.

OMD: Semi-glad Bates stayed back for support. I say semi-glad, of course, because in light of the latter developments in this episode it is hard to imagine there not being a bit of resolution on the Mr. Green/"Gillingham" front. More on that later though, for the time being I'll just say that I'm hoping this little arc gets closed out this season.

WG: I thought the arc might end with a fork in Green/Gillingham's throat at the end of this episode. Kind of fun to watch the tumblers fall into place on the actor's faces in that last scene. And Bates' death glare. Icy. Clean. Pure.

OMD: With Robert and Thomas gone, some of the seasons more tiresome or uninteresting story lines get put on the backburner this week. Well, the more I think of it, there aren't many compelling things going on right now. Edith/Gregson and who eventually kills that rapist shitheel. Anything else for you?

WG: Abortion. Fellowes is playing all the tough notes this season. Downton Abbey serves as one tiny counterweight to a dick-centric entertainment industry. The shit women have to deal with is insane.

OMD: Indeed. Downton and Masters of Sex.

This Blake nonsense is entirely rehashed on two fronts. Mary initially is bothered by him. They clash. They slowly realize they are more alike than they'd care to admit. Sound familiar? Then, of course, there is the Evelyn Napier brings another man to Downton while half-courting Mary, the other man gets muddy with Lady Mary, and anal sex ensues. I mean that's what eating eggs in the kitchen in the middle of the night is code for, right? Eating eggs with red wine is surely the equivalent of going Turkish.

WG: Eggs and wine telegraphs anal sex as surely as a thunderstorm portends trouble a brewing. I hope she ends up with Blake. Napier and Dame Lady Gray's plaything rub me the wrong way. Too obvious. Too beholden too soon. Mary wants to dominate, but she needs the whip hand turned on her now and again. Blake has the inside track, right? You don't just forget slopping pigs all night long. That means something for fuck's sake. It has to.

The object of Blake's affection
OMD: Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the episode was Mr. Blake's unbridled passion for piggery. Pig walks, pig men, pig watering. All of it was of deep concern for Blake. Let's hope the Muppets don't pop up. Blake and Miss Piggy's affair would be so torrid as to envelop every other story line in its intensity.

WG: Fellowes was trying hard to let us know that Blake comes from coarse country. And fuck the Muppets. Except for Animal. And Janet.

OMD: I knew a crazy homeless chick who was this pathological liar that sweet-talked her way into a job with a ginned up (quite possibly literally in this case) résumé. She had an Animal tattoo.

I liked Isobel the Diligent sticking by Violet's bedside for two sleepless days and nights. It wasn't a thrill a minute, but there were some sweet moments bringing the two of them together, at least a bit. Violet's begrudging respect and affection for Isobel is one of my favorite aspects of her character. Greenies must have been propping her up, right?

WG: Isobel is rapidly moving up my Billboard's Hot 100 chart. She's almost too damn cherubic. The Dowager has been eminently likable the last few episodes as well. Maybe the political card will end up stirring up some shit between the two. That would be fun. The begrudging respect and camaraderie is nice and all, but I like Maggie Smith when she is more of a sharp-tongued shit.

OMD: I, for one, was hoping that Lady Edith would terminate the pregnancy, if only for the historical perspective on abortion in 1920s England. I suppose it could still happen, but I suspect that Gregson turns up at the end of the next episode to take Edith as his wife. Of course, something will be amiss with Gregson because of whatever terrible thing befell him.

WG: He'll come back like Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate. Someone will flash a Ginger Queen and all hell will break loose. He's definitely coming back though. With a whole bunch of National Socialist German pamphlets that he's really eager to talk about with anyone who slows down long enough to listen. His first move back at the paper will be to hire a young Cal Thomas to the opinion page.

OMD: When Blake flung the mud at Mary, the mud absolutely left a Hitler 'stache on her for just a second. Are we to take meaning from that?

WG: It means Gregson is being indoctrinated as we speak.

OMD: How much do you think it pained Carson to have a drink (regardless of Alfred's company) at the Grantham Arms? I get the sense that Carson loathes to step outside the doors of Downton Abbey but for the occasional jaunt to and from the railway station.

WG: Definitely beneath a Butler to be stepping out in the village. I think the night's lodging--and the cash outlay--hurt him the most. Do you think he asked Alfred if he's getting any snatch in London?

OMD: In precisely those terms. Alfred's return after Hughes and Carson's careful plotting and scheming was pretty funny. The instant he popped his head in the door, Daisy went a-snippin', and Ivy started saying she missed him--pretty much exactly what Hughes and Patmore said would happen. My favorite part was that Carson lamented the fact that he cost them a night at the pub, but the very thing they were trying to prevent still happened.

WG: I'm pulling for Alfred. I hope Ivy heating up doesn't bring the big lumbering oaf back into the fold. Don't hang up your chef's apron just yet Alfie. Ivy will crush your heart in the end. I got a big kick out of Patmore and Hughes feigning the flu.

OMD: Yeah, go Alfred.

Man, when Green was going off at the table, I thought Mrs. Hughes was going to blow her fucking top. When she dressed him down in the shoe room, I thought she was going to kill the fucker herself. It will be intensely disappointing if that motherfucker doesn't greet the next day with his tongue pulled out through a freshly gashed throat and his severed balls stuffed in his dumb fucking mouth.

WG: He's an evil motherfucker. It crossed my mind that he might get physical with Hughes. It would be seriously gratifying to see Bates methodically disassemble his leering ass. I suspect things won't work out so nicely though.

OMD: Does Green make it through next week's installment with a still-beating heart? If not, who offs the prick? Bates knows, but I hope to hell he's cagier than that. Maybe Bates can convince Molesley to take the grinning raper out.

WG: Molesley. With a cricket bat. In the Conservatory. It would be good for his self-worth. Maybe Carson would quit being such a condescending prick to him if he kilt a man dead.

OMD: It would probably make up for him not getting to go to war, too. I have no idea who takes him out. I guess I'll go with Mary, but in a backroom career murdering kind of way.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...