Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Downton Abbey Discussion

Technically, this is not a Spoiler Alert because once a program has been shown, it is open for discussion. However, I know that many are not interested in finding a discussion on a blog and many are not all caught up; therefore, if you do not wish to read about Episode 5, please scoot. Enjoy your day!
~~~
This episode ran only 49 minutes and had many storylines going as per usual. I'm not going to mention each and every one with a lot of detail, but I am going to share the ones that I very much enjoyed. I am also using screen captures. 
(Come back tomorrow for a discussion of why I feel that I am within my rights to do so.)

FYI, you can find reviews of Downton Abbey episodes at Wikipedia. They are concise and helpful without giving away too much information. I, on the other hand, am giving away too much information for many today.


This episode begins with Bates leaving his cottage alone and with his wife Anna at Downton Abbey in great distress of mind. You know that you are hooked when you begin praying for characters in a story. Sigh.


A new storyline is the introduction of Baxter, Cora's lady maid. She was recommended by Barrow and he expects her to be his spy in return. She captures the good will of Cora in many ways, the first was by serving orange juice for breakfast an American custom. The second was with a quick repair of Mrs. Patmore's apron when Patmore is expecting a visit from Cora. The exact quote by Barrow: Another one roped to the chariot. Oh that guy! 


In light of the conversation Lorrie brought up last week in comments about the lack of attention to the children, I really wanted to show the warmth of this nursery scene with Tom playing on the floor with little Sybil and Mary holding George. Without the screen capture, it all goes by so fast. I was very pleased to see Mary's countenance as she entered the room and throughout. It was a tender scene.

Speaking of tender...I loved all the scenes with Anna and Bates. He was trying so hard and, at last, figured out a way to learn what happened. Yes, his anger is white hot, but his love for Anna is profound.


Wonderful acting...Look at Anna's face as she waits for Bates to arrive in the morning. She meets him at the bottom of the stairs and is cold. He tells her that he waits for her to be the first to greet her. Sigh. I don't have the exact quotes, but when he said something like you are made higher and more holy by all that you have been through...
  thud   >

The moment when she was able to look into his eyes was worth the wait. And all those of us who watched heaved a collective sigh of relief.

There was the usual wonderful banter between Isobel and Violet, but my favorite was between Violet and Robert at the table. Remember? He said something about learning from the past to do well in the future and she said, "Where'd you read that?" He told her that he had made it up and thought it quite good. She said that it was too good and if there was one thing they didn't need in the family it was a poet. Isobel wondered why and Violet referred to Byron who didn't end well. Loved it!

I've left out so much. Feel free to fill in the blanks. Perhaps this was the thing I really should not leave out...


really good foreshadowing...

Of all the episodes of Downton Abbey from the very first of the first season to now, this one goes down in my top five. I loved it. How about you?

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55 comments:

  1. Oh Miss V....they have not yet shown episode 5 yet, but I just could not stop myself. It was just enough info to make me anticipate the episode. I get totally lost in Bates in Anna. Your post was delightful. Finally, we see Mary and Tom with their babies. I adore that they call Tom and Sybil's baby girl....Sybbie! Do you know even my youngest son watches Downton? My view is that whoever has not watched the show is missing something wonderful in their lives! Wonderful, wonderful post! Thank you love!

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    1. PBS combined the first two episodes and called them Episode 1 so this episode is referred to on PBS as episode 4. It is an annoyance and perhaps is meant to trick.

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  2. I am just loving the Isobel & Violet exchanges. Hmm..not sure about Baxter just yet. And about Edith, you and I know the storyline. lol--love the kitchen scenes. Finally, the Bates..well.. you know how I feel about that. I do so like him (and her). Blessings

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  3. There were some touching scenes. I cried when Anna finally got to fall into the arms of her big strong caring husband. It's the best feeling in the world, isn't it? And I wonder what Baxter and Thomas have in common? What binds them together I wonder......hhhmmm! We'll see, I'm sure. The timing was perfect for my post about my Downton Abbey pillows! lol Enjoy your day my friend! (I put a link to your blog on my post, too!)

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    1. Exactly! It is every wife's dream to be so lovingly supported.

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  4. There was a lot of tenderness in this episode. Can't wait for more!

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  5. We purchased Season 4 at Barnes this week and watched "ahead" last night. Tonight we will watch the last one. I have really enjoyed it all - especially since it is winter and we are so much ore "stuck inside". No spoilers here........

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  6. I thought this episode was great. I was so happy that Bates finally learned the truth and was so loving to Anna. Did make my heart melt!

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  7. What? I don't remember that last photo, what did I miss? I am glad that Mr. Bates knows the truth, but it irks me to no end that he was not told that the whole reason Anna wanted to keep it from him was because of her fear of what he would do to the perpetrator and what would result. Maddening! If you are going to have something pried out of you at least make them understand what is at stake. There, I've gotten it off my chest ;>)

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    1. Ahhhhh...yes! I was hoping that Mrs. Hughes would do that very thing. I think that Anna would not because she loves him and does not want to hurt him, but Mrs. Hughes would be able to say it.

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  8. I really enjoyed this season! Having seen the whole thing already, I am finding I have forgotten some parts, so I may need to go back and watch again! I, too, love the nursery scene. Tom is a good father, and Mary is going to be a good mother I think.

    Bates and Anna - I was so glad that her secret didn't stay hidden from him. They need each other.

    I like Baxter, too. But what does Thomas have on her to make her follow his orders?

    Oh and how could I forget Isobel and Violet. I love them both.

    Deanna

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    1. Exactly right, Deanna. I have watched this particular episode three times and I'm sure that if I watched again there would be more to see.

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  9. I missed that last picture too?! Who is that? And that scene with Ana and Bates...be still my heart....I was soo glad he knows. It was driving me wild, haha. Loved this one too!

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    1. That is Edith gone to London town.

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  10. Headed over here from Lavender Dreamer to join in the discussion. Both my husband and I adore Downton Abbey and can't wait for each episode. I hate what happened to Anna and how she reacted seemed so out of character. It was so touching the way they were reunited and when he told her she wasn't "spoiled" for him. That's a true love. But now I am so afraid that he will be going back to jail or have to leave for some other reason.

    Baxter is just a replacement for O'Brien. She and Thomas definitely have something going on and I don't like it.

    But my favorite part of the show is always the things Violet comes out with. She makes me laugh.

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  11. I loved seeing the little ones, too!

    I was relieved that Bates was finally able to learn of the darkness that kept Anna from him, and that he was going to love and care for her as she needed. But I have this sense of foreboding about the whole situation.

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  12. I scrolled down very quickly as to not read or see any spoilers but just wanted to wish you a happy day!!!

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  13. Oh Vee, I cried watching the scene between Anna and Mr. Bates with him telling her he couldn't love her any more than at that moment! Ahh...such wonderful writing. It was one of my favorite episodes too and the 49 minutes just flies by with me wanting more. I love your discussion and wish we could pull up a couple of chairs, have tea and cookies and discuss more, XOXO

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  14. Yup ... teared up when Anna was able to look Bates in the eye, but my blood chilled when he curtly told Mrs Hughes that 'it wasn't over' ... I fear Anna's concerns might just mess things up once more .... and am very curious about Cora's new lady's maid ... so want her to be a loyal and good employee and fix Thomas good and proper! And WHEN are they going to do something with Daisy's character ? She is ripe for a good storyline!

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    1. Yes. I totally agree that Daisy deserves some attention.

      As for Thomas, why oh why is he behaving this way after all the support that he received after that horrible beating last year...was it last year? I think so. Anyway, everyone rallied around him and I thought that he was on a new path. Nope.

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    2. Agreed. I really thought that his character would take a turn and allow him to develop more depth than a snarky, smarmy antagonist. I had such hopes when he saw through the new nanny, but no ... not convinced that he will do a round-about at some point, but probably not this season! Iactually have a theory bout what he's going to end up doing, but feel it might be a spoiler if I turn out correct.

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  15. This was such a great episode!! I do wish there was a way of "time-lining" some of it. How soon was Baxter hired following Edna's firing? I have no concept of time. Was it days or weeks or months? I know Anna moved in under the guise that she needed to be there because she was attending to both Mary and Cora, (and who is Edith's Lady in Waiting?? Do I just forget because we never see that part of Edith's life? Does Edith know how to dress herself and doesn't need assistance?) So how long was Anna living in the house ~ before Baxter came on board? Is it only me who feels the need to timeline some of this? I worry about that paper the boyfriend gave her and that Edith signed without reading. I still think we will see him doing a high stepping march and shouting "Heil". First an electric mixer and now a sewing machine! And OJ for breakfast!! The times they are a' changing!!
    Love your recaps!!

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    1. Good question about Edith's maid. I know that she has one and am wondering if Anna shares in this task because I remember someone...was it Anna?...talking with Edith after the wedding. And, in light of what seems to be coming, that might be a very pertinent question indeed.

      If it's any help, the date on this episode's storyline is May 1922. My guess is that Anna has been in the house for a few weeks...long enough for her to know that she is not pregnant.

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    2. After the not wedding I should have said.

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    3. Maybe Anna was the maid for all 3 girls because I can't remember one for Sybil, either. Interesting insights in the comments!!

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  16. Me like so many are mesmerized when Downton Abbey in on!! I set here and when the credits start coming up I'm saying NO, NO it can't be over already. I was in real depression when Matthew died and these new suitors just don't measure up for Mary. I'm wondering what Baxter has up her sleeve--she is really good at her game. I'm sure that Mr. Bates will get revenge and that worries me that he will end up in prison again.
    Be still my heart until Sunday night.
    Ann

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  17. Love the show! Just heard you were having a discussion, how awesome! I'm going to read soon!

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  18. I love This show so much and it's my favorite! Thanks for sharing.
    Julie at Julie's Lifestyle

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  19. Oh the halo, the crown, the revolution, so many good quotes. I went to Costco yesterday and did buy a copy of Season 4. It was $25.99 with an instant rebate at the register of $4.00 off of your first copy. So now Katie and I will choose a time we can sit and have a marathon viewing of the rest of the season....
    I was happy to see the scene in the nursery. As usual left with many questions...

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    1. Some soon to be answered! What fun you two will have!

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    2. Now don't tell us girlfriend!!! I am following along the discussion and waiting for the tea and cookies to be served! (I commented earlier and I think it was lost so this might be a duplicate) Discuss on D.A. fans!

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  20. ~Smiling~ Like I said, Vee, I must be the only blogger who doesn't watch Downton Abbey, I stayed today because I am getting more curious about this series, and would love to start at the beginning, you did well in describing this episode. I am now feeling like the one standing outside the candy store, the answer is to open the door and walk in.
    Enjoy your day
    Hugs,
    Sue

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  21. Dear Vee, I have now watched all of season one, and have watched all of this season four so far. I am enjoying it very much. But my library said I was in line for season two like number 16 (really), But I was next in line for season two... What is the world coming too?
    If that maid turn out to be a spy for that creep....I just can't say it being the Christian Lady I am.. Wait I think that was a line out of The Wizard Of Oz movie... See I am ruined..
    LOL Love, Roxy

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  22. Yes, loved it! Moving, inspiring, and gently humorous.
    Who couldn't love it? Thank you for your excellent
    pictorial synopsis. I see a future for you with this blog.
    Ha ha! Sorry, couldn't resist stating the OBVIOUS>

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  23. I liked the show as I do all of them. I am afraid of what Bates will do when he finds out who it was and I'm sure he will find out.

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  24. Lovely episode. Edith's looks like she may have an "oops". I think the addition of clergy would enhance the show myself.

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  25. The acting is just superb in Downton Abbey, Vee. I cried during this episode, when Anna, with her lips quivering accepts the tenderness of her beloved Bates. Yes, I agree that Mary showed tenderness and warmth with her baby. I did notice the foreshadowing of Edith going up the step. Hmmm, so much to ponder! I wonder about Baxter, however, with her connections to Barrow. Oh, how I look forward to Sunday evenings and my own little Downton Abbey party.

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  26. Yes, this episode had many more happy moments than sad for a change. I also enjoyed seeing the children --thye are seen so infrequently. I fear for Mr. Bates -- I know he will find out who did that dastardly deed to Anna and will get revenge, as she feared.

    I am curious as to what you will explain tomorrow, Vee, as far as copyright issue. I admit to being more confused and worried than ever when I did some legal searches on Google about the issue.

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  27. This was on eof my favorites too!! Louis Dean was hooked after the one before he HAD to watch this one to see how it all turned out! Not that the story is over! Far from it!! No, it is NOT 'finished!'

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  28. Absolutely my favorite so far but a dark foreboding ending. Let's hope we don't have another trial. And yes I like that you called that last pic foreshadowing because it did not tell you much but gave you a feeling …. and I like how you showed so much of the nursery scene. That was just like some good medicine for those of us who feel it's been a bit of a downer of a season. How happy they look. Of course the children don't know who they are missing. I just love Violet's pithy quotes. And indeed, how did Baxter sew that rip, not on a seam so it no longer showed? Who is that good. Mrs. Patmore could teach us all a lesson: embrace change and embrace the future.

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  29. Coming in late, I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said. A great episode and lots happening to keep our interest up this season.

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  30. Like the rest of you, I loved the episode. I just can't believe how fast they go by! I was so relieved that Anna is back with Bates but just afraid of what he might do. Looks like Edith may be getting a more interesting story line...or not. I loved the way you put all the pics together for this post, Vee...that took a lot of work :)

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  31. OK...now I finally figured out why what I thought was episode 4...was actually episode 5. I agree...it was a good one. The hour was over far too soon! I know it's not over with Bates and Anna...but it was was so good to have them together again. Who knows where the plot goes from here? Oh...you do, right?

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  32. Having just read Lavender Dreamer's post, I was drawn to your blog like a moth to the flame! Thanks for this venue for gleaning Downton thoughts and opinions; Susan Branch followers also share Downton comments on her blog (no doubt there are other blogs as well). As for Bates, didn't he allude to having learned in prison clever ways of dealing with things? I'm hopeful he's devised a clever way of righting this wrong without sacrificing himself...

    Sharon in Alabama

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  33. I loved it, too, Vee. I particularly loved the nursery scene. What beautiful children....my heart aches with the thought of the baby going to America with her Daddy. Now, of course, we are worried how Bates will deal with "the man"..and I, for one, am sure he KNOWS who "the man" is. He is not stupid nor blind.

    I am waiting to see how Edith fares at the doctors. I am expecting her to be pregnant (expecting/pregnant-get it-never mind) AND I think the papers she signed before gave him some hold over Downton Abbey. She didn't even glance at it when she signed it so sure was she of his truths.

    I thought it was a riveting show this week.

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  34. Stopping by via Diane's Lavender Dreams. Would you believe I watched the first episode and never continued? Now it overwhelms me to think of having so much catching up to do, but I love the passion bloggers share for DA. Enjoy.

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    1. There are a few good books and a few good programs that require a little time. I would not worry about catching up. Start in now, if you are interested. You can easily read a synopsis thus far.

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  35. I am enjoying it a lot more than I thought! I threw my hands up in the air with such disgust when they killed off Matthew and then I had to get on the internet and read. Finding out it wasn't their fault helped (a little)! I didn't think I would like it this season, but sad to say, I haven't even missed Matthew that much! Anna has been an amazing actress throughout all of this. I have to say I am really enjoying this season.

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  36. I guess the children are not shown so much because of the difficulties of filming and the various protection rights and of course in high society in the past children would be with nannies and rarely seen.

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    1. Oh I think we'd all understand those aspects, but this scene was of Tom and Mary driving right past the nanny out with the children without so much as a wave. It was purposely shown and I am wondering why. Probably to say that children were with their nannies and not often seen in high society as you said.

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  37. Loved your discussion and all the comments too. What a great show. I especially smiled when you said "you know you are hooked when you start praying for the characters". It can't hurt... can it?

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  38. It was one of my favourites too!

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Thank you for commenting! If you ask a question, I will answer it here in case anyone else was wondering. Reply boxes are provided so that you may feel free to interject a thought on any comment. I do love good conversation!