Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Downton Abbey Season 2: Episode two

The Great War arrives at Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey has been converted into a convalescent home for wounded soldiers. Isobel is thrilled to be bossing people around and it is fun to see her lock horns with not only Violet, the Dowager Countess but with Cora, the lady of the house herself. Poor Robert is trying to keep the peace as is Dr. Clarkson, now a military doctor in charge of both the hospital and the new convalescent home at Downton.

Footman Thomas has now been promoted to Acting Sgt. Barrow
Horrid Thomas is back after "getting wounded" in the trenches while working as a medic. Trust Thomas to figure out a scheme to get home and trust O'Brien to be his devious assistant. Harrumph!

Captain Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary
Matthew has come back from the war in France and has been asked to do a tour of England with a General in order to improve morale on the home front. He welcomes this as a break from the horrors of the trenches as well as a chance to visit with his fiancee Lavinia and his family at Downton. I'm so glad Lavinia's secret is out now. She and Mary are both true ladies.

The housemaids of Downton- Anna and cheeky new maid Ethel
We saw a lot of our beloved Anna in this episode and Ethel is determined to get herself out of service even if it means using her feminine wiles! Be careful Ethel...

So many good story lines and hilarious lines in this episode. We find out about the secret between Lavinia and Sir Richard Carlisle. How will this affect Mary's relationship with both Sir Richard and with Matthew? We see Lady Edith finally come in to her own and show a bit of self respect instead of just flinging herself at every eligible (and NOT eligible) man in England. We see some tender moments between Anna and her Bates. Longing looks and hand squeezing abound. We find out that Lady Rosamund has a fair bit of her mother Violet in her (or worse!). And what does Mrs. Patmore think she's doing? Poor Daisy is going to be married against her wishes if someone doesn't stop this nonsense! And between Lang and Molesley, the valets and butlers have our heads spinning. Poor Branson the Irish chauffeur after being rebuffed by a shocked Lady Sybil, has his attempt to make a political statement (in slop) stopped. Whew! All that in one hour. I can't wait until next week!

By the way, did anyone else notice that screenwriter Julian Fellowes is trying to get a few history lessons into the script? The Tsar of Russia being imprisoned with his family in the Alexander palace (and an allusion to the subsequent murders). Home Rule and rebellion in Ireland? Even an allusion to Robespierre's beheading of Marie Antoinette by the Dowager Duchess. He is trying to use the influence of Downton Abbey for good as well as for sheer entertainment. Not a bad thing I believe.

P.S. Congrats to Downton Abbey for winning the Golden Globe for best miniseries or television movie! Yay! (did you see Elizabeth McGovern trip up the stairs? Very graceful recovery!)


Violet: There is no need for you to sound so gleeful Rosamund. You sound like Robespierre lopping off the head of Marie Antoinette.


Mary: You sound as if you're going to gobble  (Lavinia) up.

Violet: If only we could! (giggling)


See you next week for episode 3!


  1. Just stumbled across your blog thanks to Pinterest and love everything I have looked at from Downton Abbey post, to Mildred Pierce. I look forward to reading more.

  2. I suppose it is not very Christian to wish that Thomas Barrow had gotten his head blown off. He makes my skin crawl, and almost made me stop watching Downton Abbey altogether.

    Downton Abbey is a perfect example of why public television is so necessary. History, culture, beauty, and drama all together. It is a gem in times when even the "History Channel" has "reality t.v.".

  3. As wretched as Edith has been in the past, she's growing on me. I felt so good for her when she was toasted at the dinner.

    Yes, Lavinia and Lady Mary are true ladies. I'm pleasantly surprised at this turn of events. I'm hoping they even become close friends.

    Carson rocks. That is all.

    Lovely recap!

  4. @Blair- Welcome to the Jane Austen Film Club. Have fun poking around!

    @Mom Wald- Let's hope Julian Fellowes has something horrible in store for Thomas. And I agree, public television is vital and the only reality TV I like is along the lines of 1900 house or Manor House.

    @Beth- Yes, I think both Edith and Mary have lost their nasty streaks, which is a sign of growing up don't you think? And yes Carson totally rocks. I love that he is there for Mary.

  5. I'm absolutely in love with this show! I'm ridiculously impatient and watched the entire second season on my computer in about a day and a half...but I can say it will definitely not disappoint!

    And I completely agree with @Beth, I hated Edith with a passion last season but she's definitely grown on me!




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