Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Downton Abbey Season 2: Episode One

Downton Abbey Season 2
Well, after waiting patiently since this time last year, it is finally here! I hope you were able to catch the season opener of Downton Abbey. I made sure I was plastered to the TV screen at 9 o'clock. We are two years later and the Great War has been taking its toll on the whole of Europe, Downton Abbey included. Matthew and Thomas are at the front and Lord Grantham and William are champing at the bit to get to the action. The Dowager Countess is manipulating things behind the scenes as usual, and everyone else is trying to do their part and to keep up with the changing times.

Lady Sybil learning to cook in Downton Abbey Season 2

Lady Sybil has been trained as a nurse in York, and has come back to work in the Downton Hospital, helping tend to wounded soldiers sent back from the front. She has even learned basic cookery skills which makes her mother proud.

The Earl of Grantham and his heir presumptive- Downton Abbey Season 2
Matthew is now Captain Crawley (my, sounds like Vanity Fair now doesn't it?) and the Earl has been given an honorary title and kept at home to "help boost morale". Ouch!

Lady Mary heartbroken- Downton Abbey Season 2

Lady Mary has seen Matthew and his new fiancee Lavinia Swire, which has made her realize her true feelings for Matthew. Poor Lady Mary. Longing glances abound.

Lavinia Swire Downton Abbey Season 2

Matthew Crawley's fiancee Lavinia Swire is one of the more interesting of the new characters this season. What is her hidden secret?

Sir Richard Carlisle and Lady Mary- Downton Abbey Season 2
Sir Richard Carlisle is Lady Mary's new beau this season. Will he be her saviour or will he be just another in the long line of Mary's ex-suitors? Points to anyone who recognized Iain Glen as Mr. Preston from Wives and Daughters. He still makes my skin crawl!

Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Duchess in Downton Abbey Season 2
While we have other new characters such as the new Valet Lang, the cheeky new housemaid Ethel and Bates's evil wife Vera, the best lines still come from Dame Maggie Smith as the delightfully haughty Dowager Duchess Violet.

Violet: Oh that's a relief. I hate Greek drama. When everything happens off stage.

Violet: Ridiculous! You're not Toad of Toad Hall.

Violet: Amputation in the dining room? Resuscitation in the pantry? I forbid it!


So, here's to another great season of Downton Abbey. Thank goodness for ITV and PBS Masterpiece Theater for giving us something to look forward to during the long winter months ahead.  I am so glad now that I didn't watch this online in the fall. It was worth the wait!

P.S. My husband, who I affectionately refer to as The Squire, watched this with me all last year and at the very end of the first episode of season 2 said:

 "What is this, a soap opera?"

To which I replied: "Um....yes!?!?" He is usually pretty perceptive, but I think the costumes threw him off. Yes, honey, this is truly a soap opera in costume, and I'm enjoying every moment.


  1. I enjoyed it. It was a very quick 2 hours I must say. I also loved the Dowager wouldn't be the same without her. It seems like the villains are increasing. I'm not sure I like that. A little more peace so to speak in an already tumultuous world would be nice. I already don't like Mrs. Bates, still can't stand o'Bryan and Thomas. I guess that makes them really good actors. Same for Mr. Preston....must be a good actor because he still bugs me from Wives and Daughters too.

  2. I love Dowager Duchess Violet. She's my favorite in the series.

    My favorite line of hers in episode one is "I hate Greek Drama, where everything happens offstage."

  3. @suzan-I don't think we are going to get much peace this season but you can always hope! O'Brien was showing a glimmer of a softer side this week. I wish Thomas had gotten gangrene however! And yes Mr. Preston/Sir Richard and Vera Bates don't look like good news do they?

    @Sarah W.-That's my fave line too. I burst out laughing!

  4. Delicious recap!
    Poor Moseley, thinking that Anna could ever forget her Batesy! What was Edith thinking snogging with a married farmer?!
    And I don't trust Lavinia any further than I can throw her stunningly beaded gown!
    We're in for a fabulous ride!

  5. Glad you are loving Series Two of Downton Abbey, Jenny! I LOVE it too! I'm not going to give anything away but keep watching.;) Oh, the Christmas Special is wonderful! Are you watching two episodes of Downton Abbey on Sunday nights?

    Really dislike Richard but I'm in love with Matthew! Love Violet's lines. I received Downton Abbey Series Two DVD for Christmas so I've been happily watching Downton Abbey back to back! I really want the Christmas Special DVD for my birthday this month as well. I think Downton Abbey rehab!

    Please let me know if you are enjoying the other DA episodes too. Happy New Year!

    Kate, Leeds xx

  6. @Beth- Yes, Molesley has really nosedived in my opinion in this episode. He ain't no Bates! And Edith really needs to get some self respect. I thought she should have laughed in the farmer's face-the farmer's wife looked like she was going to stick her with a pitchfork! But didn't you feel for poor Branson when Lady Sybil gave him the "I don't think so" look? That was heartbreaking! And Lavinia, hmmmm....not sure what to make of her.

    @Kate- I heard the Christmas special was great. I'm glad you loved the whole series. We get it without commercials, two hours this week and then one hour episodes until the end when we get 2 doubles again. Yipee! I'll keep you posted on how I'm liking it. Hope your ear ache is better. :) Happy New Year!

  7. @Jenny Lucky you being able to watch Downton Abbey without any commercials. In England we get commercials all the time. Enjoy DA!

    Kate x

  8. @Jenny I got the Downton Abbey Christmas Special DVD from my lovely brother, Paul for my 23rd birthday last Sunday. I can watch Downton Abbey 1, 2 and the Christmas Special on DVD as much as I like! Bliss! My favourite couple in Downton Abbey are Matthew and Mary. I love Dan Stevens!

    Kate, Leeds xx

  9. Happy Birthday Kate! I hear they are going to start filming series 3 soon, so more fun for your next birthday! Yes, I hope Mary and Matthew finally get together (maybe when the series ends?)

  10. @Jenny Thank you for your birthday wishes! I can't tell you what is going to happen in Downton Abbey between Matthew and Mary because that would spoil it for you, all I'll say is keep watching!I've heard that the third series of Downton Abbey starts being filmed on the 13th February but I'm not sure how accurate this information is.

    I had a lovely birthday on Sunday, I got Ballet Shoes in a lovely hardback edition which is purple - my favourite colour. It also has wonderful illustrations inside which I really like. I first read Ballet Shoes last year when I was unwell and it made me feel cosy, warm, and happy I love the story so much that Mum bought me the special copy I own now. I also received P.D. James's Death Comes To Pemberley, Who is Betty? (Betty's cafe) book, money & a new hand bag from my Mum and Dad.

    Kate, Leeds xx




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