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Downton Abbey S01E04: Lady Sybil Gets A Genie Frock

Oh, a Downton Fair! How wonderful! Bates, Gwen, and the blonde maid who I now know is named Anna are all walking around outside and talking about the upcoming Downton Fair, which is surprising because who told them they could go outside? GET BACK IN THE HOUSE, SERVANTS! What if someone needs to have dinner or put a necklace on? In any case, they are walking around outside together like a bunch of Normals until Anna spots Lady Mary and wanders over to ask how “her Ladyship” is doing. The resulting conversation is very confusing to me because I was under the impression that Anna was asking MARY how she was doing, and then I thought Mary was just answering in the third person, and that Anna was responding to her in the third person? And I thought to myself, “Royals are weird.” But then I realized they were talking about Cora. Oooooops! Supes dumb over here. They should probably just call her Cora. They should call her Cora and all of the maids by their hair color and Old Lady Grantham “Old Lady Grantham” and Matthew’s mom “Matthew’s mom,” so we could ALL understand who they’re talking about. But whatever, anyway, her Ladyship is not doing well. Mary says, “When she dies they’ll get her open and find it [carrying a dead Turkish man who just had sex with her daughter to his bedroom] engraved on her heart.” That seems a bit much, but sure, Mary. (Mary is also not doing so great.)

Back inside the house, Carson is introducing the new chauffeur to Lord Grantham. The new chauffeur’s name is Branson, and he likes to read books about history and politics. Lord Grantham tells him that he can borrow books from the library whenever he likes, because Lord Grantham is a fair and reasonable man, but when he tells Carson about this Carson gives him a disapproving face because Carson is not always but often the worst. “I don’t like the idea of the staff reading books,” is something that Carson doesn’t say but is said with his eyes, and I think we can all agree that that is RIDICULOUS AND CARSON YOU ARE VERY FRUSTRATING! He and Lord Grantham chat a bit about how their last chauffeur went off to run a tea shop, and Carson says he’d rather be put to death than run a tea shop, and, you know, my god, Carson. Leave your drama queen tendencies in your INCREDIBLY HUMILIATING PAST! “Quite so,” says the Lord. lol. Love ya Lord.

In the next scene, Old Lady Grantham looks legitimately deceased:

She and Cora are having the same conversation they’ve had 20 million times already — OLG wants to try to get Mary’s inheritance back, and Cora politely says that they cannot, and OLG says well let’s try anyway, and then something about how she doesn’t like Americans. They need to find a lawyer and OLG says she “knows just the man,” and because we all understand how TV works we know the scene is going to cut to Matthew. And then it does!

Molesley is back hanging out with Matthew and his mom, and his hands are a wreck. Matthew’s mom insists that she take him to the hospital tomorrow, and he doesn’t want to, but SHE INSISTS. So he says k w/e. (Similarly, Anna has a cold. She wants to go to the fair with the others, but Ms. Hughes says she should go to bed. She doesn’t want to, but she says k w/e.) At the hospital, a nun gives Matthew’s mom a hard time about going into the medicine cabinet, but Matthew’s mom prevails and treats Molesley for some disease she thinks he has. She says it will never heal and he’ll have to wear gloves all the time? That’s some disease! Matthew’s mom, you’d think you would give that diagnosis a little more softly! HAVEN’T YOU ANY HEART AT ALL?

Matthew is sitting in his study when some guy comes in and tells him that Lady Grantham is there to see him. Because this is 1348 and everyone is referred to in the most confusing way possible, Matthew thinks this is going to be Cora, and he gets excited and puts on a jacket, as men do.

BUT IT ISN’T CORA! QUITE NOT! It’s Old Lady Grantham! And if the guy who introduced her had introduced her as such, we wouldn’t be in this mess at all! She is there to ask Matthew if he can take a close look at the documents that are keeping Lady Mary from inheriting Downton, which Matthew agrees to, and she is also there to complain about Thomas Jefferson and swivel chairs, because of course she is. “Why does every day involve a fight with an American?” she asks. “Because if your days didn’t involve fights with Americas, then what would you fill your days with?” I answer.

Checking in with the servants, Ms. Hughes asks O’Brien to get her a viel for her scary black witch hat.

O’Brien reluctantly agrees, but says she is NOT going to put it on the hat for her because she is a TERRIBLE WOMAN. Ms. Hughes then breaks the news to her that she’ll have to look after the girls tonight because Anna is in bed with a cold, and O’Brien tells her that she’s “not a slave” and Ms. Hughes says, “You basically are.” And O’Brien says, “I guess you’re right?” And Ms. Hughes says, “I know.” Then O’Brien says, “Sorry. For everything.” And then I say, “Just kidding.”

In the kitchen, the other servants are talking about going to the fair, which, for some reason, they are allowed to do. William wants to ask Daisy to go to the fair but before he can do it, THOMAS, that sneaky bitch, asks her instead. Bates says, “You bastard,” because Bates is the best. And then Thomas gives a slow smoke exhale:

In the next scene, the young ladyships are going to a place to get dresses made and fitted, while Lady Sybil kind of talks about women’s rights, because she is progressive. But mostly they talk about the dresses. How wonderfu– oops, I fell asleep! Next scene!

At the fair, Matthew runs into Lady Mary and tells her that he would like to talk to her father tonight about the discussion he had with Old Lady Grantham. Mary says she’s set it up, and then compliments him about his Normal Life, and says she wishes she had somewhere to go everyday. He’s like, “Uhhhh, that’s not what you said to me like two seconds ago with you met me?” And she says, “You should learn to forget what I say. I know I do.” Which is honestly the best. That is going to be my high school yearbook quote when I am finally a senior.

Hahah, in the kitchen, Daisy drops a pan and Thomas picks it up for her. She says, “He’s so agile inn’t he, he coulda been a spahhtsmen,” and the woman in charge of her says, “WHICH SPORT DIDJA HAVE IN MEEIND?” It’s great. Anyway.

Mary tells Lord Grantham that Matthew would like to see him that night, and when Matt shows up he’s acting very sneaky and weird and in love with Mary. While Lady Sybil is talking to the others about how she wants to go to school because she is a feminazi, Matthew sneaks into the library to talk to Lord Grantham. He explains to him that there’s nothing that can be done about the inheritance, but that he’s afraid to tell that to Old Lady Grantham because he thinks she’ll think he didn’t find a way out because he didn’t WANT to find a way out. Lord Grantham understands and while he’s talking about how he’ll break the news to her, OLD LADY GRANTHAM WALKS IN! Of course!

While the rest of the staff is off at the fair, Ms. Hughes is having dinner with some MAN. We don’t know who he is, but he makes some remark about how she wouldn’t change her last name to his when she had to chance, so we have to assume that this is someone she had been in a relationship with. Aw, Ms. Hughes. Your old beau! Ms. O’Brien is also not at the fair, rather she is in the kitchen sewing “like a cursed princess in a fairy tell,” she says, which is VERY funny because NOPE. If O’Brien were even in a fairy tail she would obviously only be the witch or, if not the witch, some sort of evil steam that comes off of a decomposing witch.

Anna is up in bed, because she is still sick, and Mr. Bates brings her some food with a flower on the plate because he is wonderful.

After dinner, Ms. Hughes heads to the fair with the guy from before. He wins a creepy toy for her to remember him by and she says, “I don’t need help to remember you.” Aww, jeeze. Then he basically asks her to marry him again and tells her he’ll wait at the pub for her answer, even if she took a whole week? He sounds like an alcoholic, Ms. Hughes, you should probably be careful. They walk together while the rest of the staff watches and debates about who the man could be. Thomas explains that it couldn’t be a relative because he knows the relatives she says, and Daisy says he “knows everything.” Ahh, he definitely doesn’t know everything, Daisy. He just knows that one thing about her relatives. Relax. William, the boy who is in love with Daisy, says, “He’s not what you think he is” and storms off, screaming “HE’S GAY!!!!!!!!” as he runs into the darkness, just kidding.

When Ms. Hughes and the rest of the gang get home from the fair, William is already home, heading off to bed. Bates and O’Brien are already there too, and when Thomas and Daisy join them the Three Nasties begin gossiping about Ms. Hughe’s boytoy. Bates says, “Don’t be so nasty, Daisy. It doesn’t suit you.” And he is SO RIGHT and I am SO UPSET WITH MY LOVELY LITTLE DAISY. Then Bates goes upstairs to comfort William, who thanks him but turns him away without even looking. Poor little William.

In the hall, Bates runs into Thomas who says, “What chance did he have, up against a champion?” Hahaha, which is like…What are you talking about, Thomas? How are you a champion? All you did was pick up the dumbest little man-starved girl in the kitchen. Remember when you tried to kiss that Turkish guy? And remember when the guy before that threw your sexts into the fire? Were you a champion THEN? You jerk? “Now you listen, you filthy, little rat,” says Bates, “If you don’t lay off I will punch your shining teeth through the back of your skull.” WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA! Looks who’s a hero! Thomas responds, “Is this supposed to frighten me Mr. Bates? Because if it is, it isn’t working. I’m sorry but it’s just not working,” which is a lie because it is working on EVERYONE.

While O’Brien is dressing Lady Sybil the next morning, Gwen comes in and tells her she has a message from the Ladyship. This was just to get rid of O’Brien, though, to tell Sybil the news that Gwen was asked to come in for an interview for her secretary job! Hooray, Gwen! You’re the best! I love your accent! Gwen is nervous, though, because she can’t take a day off, but Sybil tells her that she’ll just have to fake sick. Perfect.

Outside, Lord Grantham and Lady Mary are taking one of their HORRIBLE walks around the property, as Lord Grantham explains why Downton has to go to Matthew. “My fortune is the work of others, who labored to make a great dynasty. I am a custodian, not an owner. I must strive to be worthy of the job I’ve been given.” Great. “Cool story, dad,” says Mary. Then she for real says, “So I’m just to find a husband and get out of the way?” Lord Grantham suggests she marry Matthew, hahah, gr8 idea how’d u think of it, but she says she’s too stubborn to marry any man just because someone tells her to. Good job, Mary! Later on, on another walk, doy, Matthew tells Lord Grantham that he DOES want Downton to be in his future, and that he was blind to the possibilities before. So there’s that.

Elsewhere, the chauffeur is taking Sybil someplace and asks her if she’ll have her own way with the frock — referencing the conversation she was having with her sisters last time they were being taken somewhere by the chauffeur — and, hey, he brought her some pamphlets about women’s rights! She is weary but grateful, and asks him not to tell her parents or grandmother about it. He’s a socialist, he says, and he “won’t always be a chauffeur,” and that’s how you know that someday he and Lady Sybil are probably going to get married.

At the doctor’s office, Molesley’s hands are not getting any better. Old Lady Grantham is there and doesn’t trust Matthew’s mom’s diagnosis, so she asks Molesley if he’s been doing any weeding lately, and ding dong, his hands are only messed up because of an allergy he has to whatever he’s been weeding. If he wears gloves while weeding it’ll go away in a week. “D’OH” – Matt’s mom.

Lord Grantham is talking to his family about Matthew, and the camera keeps cutting to Mary and I think, “Is it cutting to Mary because we’re supposed to think that Mary is in love with him?” And then she excuses herself to her room, where Cora finds her crying. “Oh mother don’t you see, he has a son now. Why would he argue with the entail when he has what he always wanted.” Oooooohhhhh. That’s why she’s upset. NOT ’cause she’s in love. (But maybe a little ’cause she’s in love?) “He wouldn’t fight for you because he knew that he wouldn’t win,” says Cora. Yuuuuuuup. That’s pretty much what we’ve all been saying for like 45 months now. GET OVER IT, DOWNTONS! THE ENTAIL IS GONE! YOU LOSE!

William is playing piano in the kitchen. “I’d tell you off, but I like to hear you play,” says Ms. Hughes. Aww, jeeze. She tells him that he can’t let Thomas get him down, because he’s just jealous that everyone likes him more. Also he’s just a malicious asshole jerk, soooooo. He thanks Ms. Hughes and tells her that he doesn’t know how the house would run without her, which seems a little random of a comment, but we understand at that moment that she is probably not going to take that man up on his offer of marriage. She looks sad. Poor Hughesy.

Sybil gets her new dress and is supes excited about it, and then she gives Gwen one to wear for her interview! What a nice young lady. But then Gwen says she’s not going to go to the interview because they cancelled on her because they found someone more suited for the position. Awww, GWEN! You poor baby. Sybil tells her not to give up, and it reminds me of that time Ross told Rachel that she’s “going to go on a million interviews before she gets a job,” which was funny because it was offensive, but I hope that Gwen doesn’t give up! YOU’RE BETTER THAN THIS, GWEN! PLUS YOU’RE CUTE AND YOUR HAIR IS NICE!

Next, we go back to Hughesy. She tells Carson about the guy — a farmer she used to have a relationship with. He asked her to marry him once before, but she declined because she got the job at Downton. He remarried, but his wife died three years ago, so now he’s back trying to get Hughes again. She’s not going to accept his proposal, though, because she’s a different person now and Downton needs her. Dang. Ok, Ms. Hughes. Whatever you say. But I think you’d be happy if you married that guy! He seems nice!

In the final scene, all the Ladyships are waiting for Sybil, who was going to debut her new frock. They all seem a bit annoyed about how long it’s taking her, and so am I because I hellooooooo let’s get on with it, Sybs, how long does it take to put on a frock WITH HELP? But then she comes in and we see her new frock and HER NEW FROCK IS PANTS AND A GENIE OUTFIT!

Everyone is shocked because who knew she was a genie? Except the chauffeur, who looks in through the window like a creep and CLEARLY likes it.

Next week: Genie Sybil grants the chauffeur’s wish and she and the chauffeur get married?! WE’LL SEE!