Sunday, February 15, 2015

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

Edith is found in London. Lord Merton's sons are dickholes. Other stuff happens.

Old Man Duggan: "He's a man. Men don't have rights." Or Robert would totally overreact to the news of Edith having let a man's penis penetrate her out of wedlock. He'd certainly be institutionalized or worse if he knew that Mary's bloodthirsty rectum killed Pamuk. It's entirely possible that the news of a bastard grandchild would send him running into the nearest brick wall at full steam.

Wordy Ginters: Just hearing the word "bastard" at the dinner table gave Grantham the vapors. I assume death by brick wall running is not outside the realm of possibility. Being fragile is one of Grantham's most irritating faults. Doesn't take much to knock him off balance. Sex seems to elicit shame beyond reason in most societies, I can only imagine how acute that shame must have been in early 20th Century London amongst the swells.

OMD: I liked it when shortly thereafter Violet put her son in his place. "When I say we need some air, we need some air." Sails, say "au revoir" to that wind. Followed shortly by a swift rebuke of her own son's offer to take her for a walk when Mrs. Drewe arrived, Robert must have longed for the love of a mother who had no concern for him. Fellowes certainly likes to paint Robert as a blustery buffoon once every few episodes, but I like it more when he renders him impotent and inconsequential as he's done in this week's episode. Go worry about the dog, Robert, let the women run things.

WG: Excellent point. I also prefer castrated Robert to to bumbling Robert. The many faces of Robert remind me of the various Rob Lowe characters in those DirecTV commercials. Blowhard Robert. Dressed in War Red Robert. Soft Paunch Robert. Pouting Robert. Self-satisfied Robert. Genius Investor Robert. Carrying a dog corpse in a tasteful throw Robert.

OMD: Tony Gillingham's game is woeful. Blake is running circles around him, patching things up for Tony with the admittedly comely Mabel Lane Fox, and laying the groundwork with Lady Mary while making it seem like he doesn't really give a shit if they end up together. He clearly reads her much better than the one wearing the dunce cap.

WG: Another bumbling buffoon, Gillingham is the perfect dunce in waiting at Downton. Does he really think he can't abandon Mary because he porked her? How quaint. Mary might as well be walking around with toilet paper on her shoe.

OMD: I guess it's sort of endearing that Daisy cares about something more than intrastaff longing, but her turn from scullery maid to Labour champion is beyond absurd. Her starting point was waking up to a note card stapled to her hand reminding her to breathe. Worrying (correctly) about Labour's short run in power is a step too far.

WG: Typical Fellowes, the dolts and the blowhards are the Labour supporters. Daisy reminds me of that loveable stoner high school buddy everyone has, who reads Noam Chomsky for the first time, trades his hacky sack for a subscription to Z Magazine, and then traps you for hours at parties talking about manufacturing consent.

OMD: She's pretty much exactly that.

Rose: "Of course! How clever you are." Atticus: "Heh. Seems rather obvious to me." Get used to that Atticus. That no one sussed that out before is a bit absurd, where the hell else is Edith going to land? It's not like she has businesses the world over where she could make ends meet comfortably.

WG: I liked the Detroit option.

OMD: So Tony can't leave Mary because the stank she left on him hasn't worn off? I'm sure Mabel would be able to detect Mary's scent once Tony's drawers his the floor.

WG: He's been marked.

OMD: Everyone is buying houses.

WG: House Hunters, Downton Abbey Edition.

OMD: Mary tells Robert that Tony isn't the one and promptly avoids any instance in which Robert can dole out advice. He is pretty much entirely neutered in this episode.

WG: Is Fellowes suggesting this is a good thing or a bad thing? The growing emergence of feminism, and recognizing women as equals? Or does he have Mommy issues?

OMD: I'm pretty sure he thinks this is a good thing. So much of the early goings of the show centered around the inability of Lady Mary to inherit the estate that it's nearly impossible to think that he'd think otherwise.

Branson is tentatively planning to go the way of Miles Standish and plant his flag--albeit an Irish one--at Plymouth Rock. If he goes, what the hell will be left to keep me watching? Of course, his conversation with Li'l Syb at the creek laid just enough foundation for a decision to stay.

WG: Not many reasons to watch, other than to see Mary get some kind of horrible comeuppance, or the Dowager between the sheets with Kuragin. I wouldn't mind seeing Branson go Bronson on Merton's shitheel son.

OMD: That Mary doesn't understand the relationship dynamic between Isobel and Violet is a little dumbfounding. What a self-obsessed dolt. Violet's confession of what Isobel means to her, even if only to Mary, was touching. She needed someone to challenge her while being her friend.

WG: Mary is pretty hard to take these days. Villainously self-absorbed.

OMD: Baxter is content to play the martyr. So tiresome.

WG: Baxter and Edith are kind of bound by their own shame. Break the shackles ladies.

OMD: For people who go to church like twice a year, they all seem inordinately preoccupied with interfaith marriage.

That Mary doesn't think Larry Grey was going to be a prick again speaks once again to how dim she is. The Downton Abbey wiki page gives the following background for Larry Grey: "The Honourable Laurence "Larry" Grey is the elder son of Lord Merton and is a dickhead." Spot on. Dickhead. Twat. Shitbird. Fuckmook. If that's how their mother was, then that's as big a statement against arranged marriage as Fellowes has ever made, and that is with full knowledge of how terrible Lady Rose's mother is.

WG: On the Downton Abbey list of those who deserve a punch in the mouth, Larry occupies the top spot.

OMD: The ol' Let Them Catch Us Necking gambit worked like a charm. Now that Blake is heading off to Poland, I'm sure that he'll learn tons under the wise advice of Wladyslaw Grabski, whose introduction of the zloty as a single common currency in 1924 helped curb hyperinflation without foreign aid making Poland the only such country to do so.

WG: Fellowes is setting up another death by Hitler. Blake just needs to get out of there by the Fall of 1939. The non-aggression pact is meaningless, Blake. Don't let it lull you into a false sense of security, and for the love of Mary, don't retreat to Belgium or France.

OMD: The Too Poor To Care For The Orphan gambit, however, is sure to blow up in their faces. Robert's complete indifference to the whole situation because DOG is kind of hilarious.

WG: Isis means far more to Grantham than Edith. Fellowes hits us over the head with that one on a regular basis.

OMD: Isis has cancer. I'll cop to getting a bit misty when Robert laid Isis down in the bed, despite my not really caring about animals. He did look absurd with Isis blanketed in his arms, though. Hopefully they get a Siberian tiger to be called Zeke to replace Isis.

WG: A dead dog in the bed is pretty symbolic. I look forward to meeting Zeke.

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