Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wordy Old Men on Downton Abbey: Season Five, Episode Two

Lord Grantham and Carson differ on where to place the war memorial. Violet and Isobel visit Lord Merton. Molesley is given details on Baxter's past. Mary makes Anna take a trip to the prophylactic dispensary. Edith becomes her bastard child's godmother. Murder police come to the Abbey.

Old Man Duggan: I'll be honest. Jimmy's farewell to Thomas got me a little choked up. You have to give Fellowes due credit for being able to gain audience sympathy for a character who should by all means be entirely unlikable. Of course it takes five minutes for him to turn heel again and poison Molesley's relationship with Baxter--at least temporarily.

Wordy Ginters: Fellowes is adroit with the emotional manipulation, making it easy to flip-flop from disgust to delight on characters. He's done that before with Thomas. I remember thinking he was almost human for a few scant seconds when he was slinking around the battlefields during WWI. In fact, Fellowes has complicated most of the cast. It's what makes Downton worthwhile. That scene revealed some pro acting chops from Rob James-Collier.

OMD: This whole war memorial subplot is thoroughly uninteresting this week. Shall we skip the nonsense?

WG: Death to the Cricket pitch.

OMD: Molesley is all the footmen.

WG: When Carson wants to bust balls, best keep your head down. Poor Molesley just asks for it time and again. Walking around with his dunce hat, his hair dye, and his heart on his sleeve. Footmens beats the shit out of asphalt tamper.

OMD: Back to uninteresting subplots, Robert's bristling at the concept of having a radio in the house despite Rose's protestations was pretty dull. The only good part of the whole sequence was Robert's assertion that the hadn't previously ruled on the matter. I suppose the reflexivity of people sitting around a box getting dumber is amusing, too.

WG: Fear and disdain for new technology is a go to knee-slapper for Downton Abbey. Carson confronting a toaster for the first time a few seasons back reminded me of the "dawn of man" scene from 2001.

OMD: Anna fetching the contraception for Lady Mary was awkward. Obviously, it serves a greater purpose--not unlike the wireless subplot which was helping to show the days of great change--as why should anyone get to judge another for what they do in their private sexy lives. That old bat in the apothecary--or wherever she went--can shove her abstinence up her prude ass.

WG: If abstinence is the answer, I don't want to know the question. And yes, fuck that nonsense. The old bat surely sees a river of dripping, oozing, pus-filled, and morally obtuse maladies every day. No sense in getting all churchy about contraception. Jesus Christ, she wasn't working at a pharma in Ireland.

OMD: Miss Bunting won't go away, will she? I suppose it's best to have Tom rediscover the revolutionary within, but Bunting is a bit tedious.

WG: Fellowes can't help himself, can he? The "progressives" have to be irritating shits in some way. At least she has the social skills to steer clear of Rose's ham-fisted dinner invite. Kind of looking forward to Tom and Grantham crossing swords. Sure seems like they're setting up a politically based fall-out.

OMD: Simon Bricker seemed inordinately interested in Cora. Will this be a mini-trial on their union, much like Robert's with the war widow maid, Jane? More importantly, how will Bricker's possible affection toward Cora affect his attempt to piece together da Vinci's machine making alchemy possible and his plan for world domination. But in the meantime, I guess he needs to stop flirting with Isis. What a dunce Robert is.

WG: Bricker is definitely running game on Cora. And why not? You remember Elizabeth McGovern from the Penn/Cage WWII nostalgia piece Racing With The Moon? She is still wholesome and fine. Robert is a dunce. His comfortable fat ass deserves a kick. Everyone got all horny about James Gandolfini parlaying his girth into a character trait for Tony Soprano; same props to Hugh Bonneville for his aristocratic flab.

OMD: I've not seen Racing With The Moon. I'm ashamed of myself. Hugh's aristoflab is spot on.

Baxter refusing to give anyone the whole story regarding her history in thievery is getting a bit ridiculous. Spill, woman.

WG: Care to speculate? I'll go first: she needed the jewels to pay for labiaplasty.

OMD: Maybe vaginal enlargement surgery? Too tight. Or she needed the dough for contact lenses that gave her cat eyes.

Fellowes does deserve credit for generating two suitors for Mary who seem genuinely interesting. Blake is an able foil for Mary, which she probably needs.

WG: That stuck me as presumptuous on Mary's part. I wish Blake would have shut her down. What happens if Gillingham perishes from F2FA? Best to keep a second teamer warmed up on the sidelines.

OMD: Anyone who watches the show must know that the chances of Gillingham dying after a few rounds of premarital sodomy are alarmingly high.

And in comes Sergeant Willis. The death of Mr. Green won't go away, and now there's a witness. I guess this plot line will never be over.

WG: I don't know if I want to go back there either. Two episodes in and the Bateses are apparently getting the Job treatment again.

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