Downton Abbey S02E03: Relax, Matthew’s Mom

Wow, was this episode really tedious for anyone else? I couldn’t even watch the whole thing in one sitting! It took me THREE SITTINGS to get the entire episode over with! My goodness. There were some THINGS, though. Things that we need to talk about. Like the Branson thing? Hah! That was great. The Thomas thing, however, just makes me so upset. And the Lavinia thing that turned out to be nothing? Don’t even get me started. AND THE DAISY THING? So far this has been a great recap, but let’s get to the jump and talk about it all a bit more.

The episode opens with everyone getting Downton ready to act as a convalescent home. Matthew’s mom is bossing everyone around in a way that is particularly aggravating, and Cora is NOT having it. Thank goodness. I’ve never said this phrase before but, SLOW YOUR ROLL, MATTHEW’S MOM! Countless askance glances are given. Really, “countless askance glances are given” can be the plot summary of this entire series. “Countless askance glances are given and there’s a guy named Thomas and you’re going to hate him.”

Speaking of Thomas, O’Brien’s solution to Cora’s Ms. Crawley problem is to hire Thomas to be in charge of the Downton convalescent home. Dooooooooooy. Why didn’t Cora think of that herself? THOMAS IS ALWAYS THE SOLUTION! Thomas doesn’t respond very well to this idea at first, for whatever reason (?), and wonders what’s in it for O’Brien. (Other than how she’s ALWAYS fighting to get Thomas what he wants for no reason?) She tells him that she just doesn’t like seeing Matthew’s mom bossing her Ladyship around, and Thomas notes that she’s certainly changed her tune about how she feels about her Ladyship. O’Brien responds, “Oh, it’s because — haha, funny how I didn’t mention this earlier — you know when we thought they were going to fire me and hire someone else? Last season? It turns out they were actually just looking for a maid for the Dowager Countess. I only found this out, though, AFTER I made her Ladyship slip on a bar of soap, which killed the baby inside of her. Remember? And it was going to be a boy! Can you believe it? It’s a crazy story, I know. So now I feel guilty.”

JK. She said “I have my reasons.” If you’re thinking, “But wait, doesn’t the Lord hate and distrust Thomas? Won’t he have a problem with Thomas being in charge of Downton?” Hey, YOU’RE WRONG! Kind of! He acts a little incredulous about it for a second, but then gets over it. Thomas is in! HOORAY FOR STUPID, AWFUL THOMAS! I HATE HIM SO MUCH!

The Dowager Countess and Roslin have decided that they need to take down Lavinia and begin the process the way any of us would: By having her over for tea. Ugh, I just don’t care about this plot line at all. Does anyone care about it? Is it just me? They find out that she knows Sir Richard because she gave him secrets about blah, blah, blah, and they figure that the only reason she would have given him those secrets is because she was sleeping with him. GASP! But then later she tells Mary that she wasn’t sleeping with him, and she gave him the secrets because her dad owed Sir Richard a lot of money, and if she gave him the secrets he’d relieve her dad of his debt. The most interesting thing about this plot line, I thought, was how open everyone was about how they all WERE looking for some dirt on Lavinia. Like, they even talked about it at the dinner table. WITH Lavinia. How awkward for poor Lavinia! That everyone would be so casual about how they were trying to ruin her so this other girl could marry her fiance! Sooooo, what else happened.

Oh, they have curling irons now!

And Bates! The thing with Bates! Early in the episode, Anna is in town and sees a man who she thinks is Bates. She tells Mary about this and Mary tells her that she’ll find out if he’s back in town. She finds out that he IS back in town and WORKING AT A BAR! So he could be close to Anna, kind of? Ugh, Bates. Bates is so annoying sometimes. When Anna comes into the bar, he tells her that he thinks his wife is cheating on him and can use this evidence to divorce her. If I were Anna I’d be like, “ARE YOU SERIOUS, BATES?” Because first it’s just like, ugh, Bates, we’re not going to believe you until you actually DO IT. Fool us once, SHAME ON EVERYONE. And second, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO “GOOD” ALL THE TIME? It’s annoying, and it’s hardly even “good.” Just frustrating. Tell Anna that you work at a bar in town. Then you can see her sometimes and you don’t have to wait until she hunts down evidence of where the F you are. I’m so mad at you. But I hope his bitch wife lets him have a divorce this time so he and Anna can have the life that SHE DESERVES, and I don’t have to hear any of his bologna anymore.

Mr. PTSD has some major PTSD issues this episode. He wakes up screaming one night, and then collapses in tears on the Lord as Matthew and the General are leaving at the end of the episode. Poor Mr. PTSD. He is eventually let go, though he was already packing his things, Bates-style. I hope you get better! I’m very sorry about all of this! But you did act as a constant reminder of the horrors of war, so that was useful! Goodbye! We won’t miss you! Nothing personal but you just made us feel bad all the time and humanized O’Brien too much!

Hahaha, ahh, Branson. Let’s talk about Branson now. So, Branson got the word that he was being drafted to fight, and he was really excited to get to rebel against the war and NOT go to fight, but then he found out that he couldn’t go to fight anyway because he had a heart murmur. Hahahaha. Wah-wah. #heartmurmurproblems #occupyheartmurmur.

But he decided that he couldn’t just NOT rebel, so he offered his services as a waiter or whatever for when the General came to dinner. Then he gave some serious Plan Face, so we knew he was planning something:

Before dinner, Anna finds a note on Lady Sybil’s bed and decides to read it, even though it clearly says “Lady Sybil” and not “ANNA.” After reading the note, she runs to Mrs. Hughes who reads it aloud: “They’ll have arrested me by now, but I’m not sorry. The bastard had it coming to him.” UHOH! They both run to Carson to let HIM know, too, all while Branson could be murdering this person. Why don’t they just run to where Branson is?! Just because they are women?! But whatever, after they get Carson they all run to the dining room, where Branson is holding the soup pot. Is the soup poisoned?! Is there a bomb in the soup?! Is there a gun somewhere?!

Nope. Just poop! It was just oil, poop, and sour milk and Branson was going to pour it over the General’s head. OOPS! Probably should’ve let him do that! That would’ve been nice to see!

And then, finally, Daisy got engaged to William even though she really did not want to at all. Jesus. Poor Daisy. Poor William. Poor US.

Did I forget to talk about any of the things? If you’re thinking, “You forgot to talk about the thing where Cora and Matthew’s Mom are BOTH in charge now,” you’re wrong, because I didn’t talk about that on purpose. Because who cares. But now I did, so, ARE YOU HAPPY? “We in charge.” – Those guys. “They in charge.” – Us guys.

NEXT WEEK: An episode that is paced in a more exciting way, I hope?!