Downton Abbey S01E05: Is Thomas The Real Gossip Girl?

A flower show, how wonderful! Just as last episode included a fair, this episode includes a flower show. What a delight it must be to live in Downton and sometimes have fairs and flower shows to attend to break up the monotony of constantly planning horrible schemes against your relatives and coworkers. The episode begins in Lady Mary’s room, where Daisy is having a hard time trying to build a fire. You would think that since Daisy always seems to have a hard time building the fire they’d give her something else to do, but no, here she is once again having a hard time with it and she blames it on not liking Lady Mary’s room, and then we see a flashback of the ladies carrying the dead Turkish guy out of it and Daisy watching, and then we think ooooooooohh nooooooooooooooooooooo.

Matthew and his mom are talking about going on a tour of churches with Edith. They’re both like, “Ugh, DO WE HAVE TO?” And his mom is like, “You’re the one who likes her, eww.” And Matthew’s like, “OH GROSS, I definitely do not.” And Matthew’s mom is like, “Poor Edith. I hope there’s a right tree for her somewhere,” which is actually what she says, and which was actually very funny. But whatever you might have been thinking about Matthew’s second church tour with Edith (and, ugh, believe me I had a LOT to think about it because every part of it CERTAINLY isn’t the most boring thing I can think of in the entire world) gets cut off immediately in the next scene, when we see THOMAS STEALING A BOTTLE OF WINE!

That fucking jerk, pardon my language! Bates catches him, kind of. Though it’s hard to tell if Bates really caught him? He kind of came in when Thomas had already hidden it a bit. But I guess it’s safe to assume in this show that everyone catches everyone doing everything, so why even wonder about it. To be continued.

Later we see the family sitting down for a beautiful breakfast, reminding me that today I had a microwave burrito and a glass of water for breakfast, and Lord Grantham receives the mail. WAIT, COME BACK! That wasn’t the end of the scene! There are two things in the mail! The first thing is a letter from his sister telling him that she has been hearing some rumors in London about how Lady Mary is kind of tarnished and slutty now. Sure. I’m sure Thomas sent the tip in to Gossip Girl and now everybody knows. Whatever. The second thing is a letter for Sybil, which turns out to be a request for an interview for Gwen! SYBIL! You are so nice! The interview is tomorrow! SO SOON!

When Lord Grantham tells Cora about the Gossip Girl push notification he got about Mary, Cora’s like, “We gotta get that b married FAST,” and they decide to invite some boring old guy over for dinner so maybe she can marry him. That’ll probably work, right? I can’t think of any evidence to suggest that if you invite some guy over for dinner that Mary will NOT marry him. We’ll see! Good luck, everybody!

In the servants basement, everybody is trying to get Daisy to talk about why she freaked out in Lady Mary’s bedroom. She gives some rattled response about the Titanic and the Turkish guy, but nobody really accepts it because WHAT’S THAT GOT TO DO WITH LADY MARY’S BEDROOM, DAISY? It seems a little odd to me that they’d all be so invested in why she said she felt uncomfortable in one of the bedrooms. Who cares? She’s just Daisy and it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, if you don’t already KNOW. But whatever, anyway, Thomas and O’Brien run into each other on the staircase and they talk about how Daisy could possible know about the Turkish guy being in Lady Mary’s room, and Thomas says he didn’t tell her, but he DID send it to the London branch of Gossip Girl, but probably Daisy doesn’t read that, so he has no idea. He also says that Bates saw him taking a bottle of wine, and O’Brien tells him to turn the tables on him before he has a chance to tell Carson. UGH. UGH UGH UGH. What horrible people. How can they be so mad at everyone else all the time when everyone else is just nice, and they are just THE WORST? Why are you mad at them! What have they ever done!!!!!!!

Anyway, back at the flower show, THANK GOODNESS, Matthew’s mom is very invested in finding out who won best flower every previous year. Obviously. A very important topic that we’ve ALL been wondering about, I can’t believe they waited so long to tell us. As it turns out, Old Lady Grantham has won every single year, even though Molesley’s cute little dad has the best roses in the whole world. Poor old Mr. Molesley!

In the next scene we see Sybil arranging with her dad to take the horse cart thing out later, to secretly take Gwen to her interview. And while that is going on, O’Brien and Thomas are cornering Daisy in the staircase, trying to figure out what she knows about Lady Mary’s room. Ugh. She doesn’t tell them anything, but it makes her late to get to Lady Mary’s room for her morning things, and also she hasn’t had even a CRUMB of breakfast yet, so sweet Anna tells her to eat one of Lady Mary’s biscuits because apparently a jar of fresh biscuits is placed beside Lady Mary’s bed EVERY DAY? AND SHE NEVER EVEN EATS THEM? What the fuck, Mary! Anyway, Gwen is there too and she sits down on Mary’s bed to fake sick just as Carson is coming in, and Carson sees her and tells her to go to bed. Success. Didn’t even need a Ferris Bueller sound machine.

There’s a brief scene that follows where the very loud cook woman is refusing to try a new recipe (or “receipt”) even though Lady Cora is asking her to. Is it because she’s illiterate? No, spoiler alert, it is not. But all of the events with this cook woman up until the climax of her plot line in this episode will lead me to believe that she is illiterate. And the whole time I was think, “So what? You’ve made it this far, lady. Just have someone read the stuff to you!” Very stupid.

While Anna is fixing up Edith’s room, Bates walks in. Anna says “I almost feel sorry for Lady Edith” at some point, which, hahah, but the main point of this scene is how Bates and Anna talking about how much they love each other without ever coming out and saying it. C’mon you jerks! Just say it! And then get married! And then inherit Downton! Afterwards, Bates goes into Lord Grantham’s room and finds him looking at his case full of snuffboxes. “Sometimes I just like to take a break during the day and come look at my case full of snuffboxes. It’s as beautiful as it is incredibly useful.” But, oh no! A snuffbox is missing! And because we have seen TV before, we know that Thomas planted it in Bates’ room because that is what O’Brien told him to do, basically. Fucking Thomas! Fucking O’Brien!

While Gwen and Sybil travel home from Gwen’s interview, their horse loses a shoe. GULP! And at the house they notice that Sybil is missing! DOUBLE GULP! And then their horse falls into some mud and they’re trying to drag it out and it is EXACTLY THIS:

YOU HAVE TO TRY! YOU HAVE TO CARE, SPECIFICALLY YOU HAVE TO CARE ABOUT WOMEN’S RIGHTS! But it’s only like that scene until the horse runs away from them and they fall into the mud themselves. LOL.

This cuts to a shot of Cora talking to O’Brien about Sybil, saying, “What if she’s overturned…lying in a ditch somewhere.” Which isn’t far off! Good job, Cora! Then Cora says something about how the girls are always at each others throats, and O’Brien gets a bitch look on her face that tells us she’s going to use that tiny bit of information in her favor, of course. Argh. Later we see O’Brien telling Edith about how Sybil got home safely (she got home safely btw), and then she brings up the Turkish guy. “[Daisy’s] been talking recently as if she had ideas about Mr. Pamuk’s death. I sense she knows something but won’t say what. Something involving Lady Mary.” Uggggghhhhhh. EDITH! You’re smarter than this just kidding I’m sure you’re not! But of course, O’Brien convinces Edith that something’s afoot, just as Lady Mary walks in, somehow not having heard anything even though she was just in the other room and the door was open between the two rooms.

In the next scene we see Edith and O’Brien trying to get Daisy to confess whatever she knows about Lady Mary. “Why should you be burdened with Mary’s secret? Just tell me and I promise you’ll feel better,” says Edith. Ugh, Edith. You can catch more flies with not being awful than you can with being awful, HAS ANYONE EVER TOLD YOU THAT?

Back at the flower show, Matthew’s mom is cooing over Mr. Molesley’s roses in front of Old Lady Grantham, and OLG says “You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look.” And Matt’s mom says, “I take that as a compliment.” And OLG says, “I must have said it wrong.” Which has nothing to do with the plot, really, but I think we can all agree that it was a VERY good burn. For the rest of the time there, Mary and Matthew flirt with each other. Get a room, you COUSINS!

Just as the staff are finishing dinner (I assume), Carson comes in to tell them about the missing snuff box. “I’m sorry, Mr. Bates,” says O’Brien. “He’s the only one allowed in there. I’m sure it’ll turn up,” says Thomas. And, Jesus, it’s like for goodness sakes WE GET IT, YOU STOLE IT AND PLANTED IT IN HIS ROOM! For the amount that these two scheme, they are not the best at hiding their schemes.

Before the fancy dinner, Cora comes into Lady Mary’s room to chat. The ladies look VERY nice.

Cora tells Mary that she should probably marry the old guy they invited to dinner and Mary responds, “How many times am I going to be ordered to marry the man I sit next to at dinner?” GOOD QUESTION! Cora responds, “As many times as it takes.” GOOOOOD ANSWER! Cora explains to her that there’s a rumor going around London about how she is not virtuous, and Mary doesn’t give one F about it because she doesn’t want to get married to some stuffy old jerk anyway. “Why not concentrate on Edith? She needs all the help she can get,” she says. And OF COURSE Edith overhears. Edith.

In the kitchen, the screeching cook drops a chicken and blames it on Daisy. Remember before when I said everything that happened with this woman I blamed on an assumed illiteracy? I forgot about this part, this I did not blame on illiteracy. This I just blamed on maybe some sort of heart problem? I don’t know. Anyway, a cat gets the chicken IMMEDIATELY. Of course. Because of course there is a cat in the kitchen. Even though a cat ate it, they pick up the chicken and put it back on the thing. YUCK! “What the eye can’t see the heart won’t grieve over,” says the cook woman, which is TELLING. (“Don’t you mean what the eye can’t READ?” – Me, an idiot.) Then she stops the desert plates before they go out to put a shit ton of sugar on them. “Sugar.”

Dinner seems super boring until we find out that the “sugar” was actually “salt,” and then I was like, “she probably couldn’t read which one was sugar and which one was salt!” The boring old man Cora wants Mary to marry is the one who bites into the salt dessert first, which sends Mary and Matthew into a FIT of giggles. Those two.

Back in the kitchen, the cook woman first blames Daisy for the mixup, oy vey, but then Carson takes her aside and makes her explain to him WTF is going on. As it turns out: SHE’S BLIND!

Uhoh. It’s very sad! I wonder what she’ll do!

Elsewhere with the servants, Anna explains the thing everybody knows to Bates: That the snuff box has been hidden in his room by Thomas and O’Brien. She instructs him to find it and then either place it in Thomas’s room, or give it to her to place in O’Brien’s. CLEVER GIRL!

After dinner, Edith scolds Mary for laughing with Matthew when the boring guy ate the salt dessert. Mary says, “I’m sorry Matthew has proved a disappointment to you — Oh, I’m sorry. Wasn’t I supposed to know?” LOL. Gotha Edith, you little spinster! Cora tells Edith she saved the day with the boring guy, since she was talking to him throughout dinner while Mary talked to Matthew. Edith then dares to tell Mary that she couldn’t have the old boring guy even if she wanted him, because he was EDITH’S now. And they decide to make it a challenge, which, oh, grrrl. Edith, you know you’re not gonna win that challenge!

And win it she doesn’t. As soon as the old guy walks in with Matthew, Edith says that she’s been waiting for him because she has a book to show him. Matthew thinks she’s talking to him, which is sad and embarrassing and reminds me of the time I waved to my friend who was outside the window of a bar, and a guy sitting at the bar thought I was waving at him and waved back to me. YIKES! Mary didn’t handle it as awkwardly as I did though (waving at the guy because I felt bad and didn’t know what else to do, but then he must have thought that I just waved at him twice?), and just walked away like a queen with Old Boring on her arm. Seeing this, Edith walks over to Matthew and says, “It seems we’ve both been thrown over for a bigger prize.” Matthew leaves literally right as Edith begins talking, because he is a man and that is what they do.

Mary sees Matthew leaving, though, and quickly tries to follow after him. But, oh no! She’s too late! And he’s already going home! Lord Grantham sees this and says, “Mary is so childish. She thinks if you put a toy down it will still be sitting there when you want to play with it again,” which is a very good line and I like it a lot.

Back in the servants quarters, after successfully finding the stuff box hidden in his room, Bates suggest that Carson and Ms. Hughes search everyone’s rooms. Thomas and O’Brien are like wtffffffffffff, sensing that Bates is on to them, so they go and tear apart their bedrooms trying to find the snuff box they’re sure he has planted on them. O’Brien really goes to town.

We find out later, as Bates and Anna are walking together behind the rest of the group, that they re-planted it in neither room. “We should have punished one of them at least,” says Anna. “They know that I know. That’s enough,” says Bates. Beautiful, perfect Bates. Then they get on into another veiled conversation about how they love each other and Anna, rightly, says: “Why don’t you just come out with it — whatever it is you’re keeping secret.” YEAH, BATES! KISS THE GIRL! But Bates says that he cannot, forcing Anna to just come out with it herself — “I love you, Mr. Bates. I know it’s not ladylike to say it, but I’m not a lady and I don’t pretend to be.” Awwww. LADY! You are a lady, I say. And then Bates says, “You are a lady to me, and I’ve never known a finer one.” I can’t wait until these guys get married and inherit Downton together!

Oh, bad news. Gwen did not get the job. But Sybil says they’re going to keep trying! Yay, Sybil and Gwen! Equal friends forever!

In the final flower show scene (NOOOOOOO!), Old Lady Grantham is announcing the award for Best Flower, or whatever. After being given shit for the entire episode about how she always wins for no reason, she sees that she has won again but instead decides to announce Mr. Molesley’s name. IT IS SO SWEET! It is just the sweetest thing. You’re the best, OLG!

Speaking of the best, you know who’s the worst? EDITH, who, in the final scene, is seen writing a letter to the Turkish Ambassador.


Next week: Bates and Anna get married and inherit Downton?