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B*tch Ranking "Downton Abbey": Nobody Likes Edith Edition

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | January 15, 2013 | Comments ()


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In lieu of a standard recap, we'll be doing a Monday morning b*tch rank for the rest of the 7 episode run of "Downton Abbey" on PBS. I know some of you may have somehow seen the rest of Season 3 already. We won't ask you how, but we will ask that you refrain from spoiling any law-abiding Americans in the comments section below. So please feel free to discuss everything up to and including Season 3, Episode 2 of the PBS version of "Downton Abbey." But, before you do, here's this week's b*tch ranking.

5. Lady Mary: Lady Mary is usually Queen B*tch around these parts, but she's still enjoying some afterglow from her honeymoon. Nonetheless, she still displays some of her frostier tendencies to Matthew in regards to his moral qualms about money and what she perceives as his reluctance to save Downton. She also opens his mail against his wishes. Yes, yes, it all works out nicely for them both in the end and yes she even managed to muster some nice words for her sister on her wedding day, but she still display enough self-righteous b*tchery to land her on the list.
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I can only hope that before everything went pear shaped, Mary took a moment to realize that Edith's wedding dress was much prettier than hers was.
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4. Lord Grantham: For sewing the seeds of doubt in Sir Anthony and for generally sh*tting all over his daughter's happiness.
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3. Thomas Barrow: Now that O'Brien and Thomas have turned their b*tchery on each other, there's bound to be many innocents caught in the crossfire. I'm inclined to give O'Brien a little bit of leeway because she's primarily fighting on her nephew's behalf. And I already love that new Ginger Footman, mostly because he looks a bit like an Edwardian Landry. But Thomas, that Dastardly Valet, involved poor Mr. Mosley in his scheme this week. Not okay.
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Don't mess with poor Mosley, he's the runtiest little puppy.
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2. Cancer: Cancer is always a b*tch and even though we discovered this particular lump was benign, Cancer ranks this week for making Mrs. Hughes cry. The upshot, of course, is that we got to see how much Carson cares about her well-being. Not that we had any doubts.
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1. Sir Anthony Strallan: To borrow a phrase from the Ginger Footman, this "broken down old cock crock" had the audacity to bail on Lady Edith on the day, in the church, in front of everyone. In addition, he had the unmitigated gall to leave her with a "goodbye my dearest darling." Ugh, no terms of endearment, Strallan. Make a clean break. Poor Lady Edith.
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Be afraid of Carson's death glare. Be very afraid.
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Best Line:
"Sybil, vulgarity is no substitute for wit."
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Most Heartbreaking Moment:
"I'm a useful spinster. Good at helping out. That is my role."
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Joanna Robinson accidentally typed "Dowager C*ntess" in the first draft of this recap. If she didn't live in awe and fear of Maggie Smith, she would have let it stand.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • VermillionFlycatcher

    I'm glad to see Edith coming into her own with her fledgling writing career . . . I was mortified that she was left at the altar, and for that sorry reason. So what is the acceptable age difference for men and women, both ways?? My DA-watching partner thinks me too old for him though I have dated men even 10 yrs younger, so watching the jilting scene made me want to argue the question above. I do so feel like an Edith and want to take her out for a marg as well.

  • DeistBrawler

    Best Line:
    “Sybil, vulgarity is no substitute for wit.”

    I think the best line was actually the retort of Sybil with "You started it." Because the double-take, and look on the Dowager Countess of Grantham's face, was absolutely priceless. I watched that exchange about four times.

  • Mrs. Julien

    That line should be added to the list of Pajiba mottos (mottoes?).

  • Amanda

    I thought the exact same thing about the new footman! I was like, when did Landry time-warp from Dillon, TX to Downton Abbey?

  • BiblioGlow

    Carson singing is The Most Delightful Thing. That little fifteen second scene with Mrs. Hughes watching from the hall was perfection.

  • I'm trying to think of all the saint-like peeps I know, and honestly, none of them deserve the Carson-Hughes combo platter. Meat and potatoes, perfectly prepared and served with the right vegetables, followed by a low-key dessert to cleanse the palate. Nothing adventurous, but perfect in its way.

  • chanohack

    I think Granny ought to be on this list. She at least out-bitched Lady Mary, especially at the end, even if she's probably right about Edith letting him go. That was just such a heartbreaking moment to not have her grandmother on her side.

  • Luke Anthony Matthews

    Is the episode thats just airing in America? Woah, I thought they were attempting to air the episodes closer to us brits?

  • Anniescam

    Does anyone else feel like the actors playing Lady Mary and Matthew have no chemistry? That is the thing that annoys me the most.

  • Bodhi

    Did Mary & Edith wear the same blingy hair piece? That thing is beautiful.

  • SeaKat Stabler

    OK, I am 100% law-abiding and haven't seen a bit of Season 3 that hasn't aired on the television. So I have no info when I ask: "Who is the father of the prostitute's baby?!?"

    I wanna say Mosley. He's squirrelly as hell.

  • Amanda

    Pretty sure Mosely is asexual.

  • A. As in Anna. Remember back in S2, he made a play for her before they married. She turned him down though. She's hoplessly in love with her much, much poorer version of Sir Anthony Strallan. Anna outta try to marry up, next time. She could grow to love his psychotic smile, and open Rolls Royce.

  • SeaKat Stabler

    Oh, good point.

    He's just so jumpy and odd. I want there to be a reason for it!

  • He ain't never had any. You'd get jumpy too.

  • BWeaves

    It was one of the soldiers / officers who recuperated at Downton during WWI. They were shown in bed, and she confronted him and his parents at Downton in Season 2. I just don't remember his name.

  • Ginger

    I thought it was the dead, scoundrel officer.

  • SeaKat Stabler

    Oh, see, I missed S2 totally so I didn't realize this was already addressed. I just assumed it would be someone at Downton b/c otherwise they have enough characters to keep up with w/o adding another!

  • BWeaves

    1. I'd just like to back up and talk about last weeks pre-Downton look at the real owners of Highclere Castle, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. NOSE HAIRS, people, NOSE HAIRS. Surely the cameraman chose the exact right, low angles to film the Earl so that his NOSE HAIRS were clearly silhouetted against whatever was in the background.

    2. Did anyone have flashbacks to Singing In The Rain? You know, the bit where they're making the sound movie and Lina Lamont is playing with her pearls and all you can hear on the soundtrack is CLINK, CLANK, CLICK CLICK CLICK. All these long necklaces are clicking and clacking and distracting me from the cheesy dialog.

    3. And I'm getting to the point that I hope Bates really is guilty. And I don't care about Ethel the former maid/prostitute, either.

    4. And I feel sorry for Edith. She looked stunning this episode. I loved her hair and her dress was better than Mary's.

  • LOL. I'm about ready for Bates to swing! Just how long can they drag out yet another tired plot? At least M & M have now married. If Matthew isn't the luckiest man in the world (to have yet another fortune thrust upon him....against his will.....again), I don't know who is. And didn't ya just love how Edith's loving (ahem) family rushed to her side to comfort and support her in her time of great need. I'm tired of Thomas. And the Crawley family couldn't muster up even a mere morsel of obvious love or affection for their dear American Granny. Well I guess, why should they, when they seem to have so little affection for Cora. But at least her money has been well received. One can't have it all. She's only a Countess after all.

  • Bodhi

    Nose hairs & holy tight pants, batman! Those things looked like khaki sausage casings

    I'm glad they talked about the previous earl's connection to King Tut's tomb. I had no clue why Canarvon sounded familiar until they got to that part.

  • prairiegirl

    Re: #3 - I was thinking the same thing about Bates last week. It would make things so much more interesting. I thought he was going to knife his roomie last week when he threatened him. Even if he didn't kill his wife, he seems to have a dark side that they need to explore.

    And yes, Ethel needs to go away. Blech.

  • SeaKat Stabler

    Yes, Edith's dress was SO much prettier than Mary's. When they showed Mary getting ready, showing just glimpses and bits of the gown, I thought "Oh, this could be the beginning of a whole new 'in' style in wedding dresses, like when Carolyn Bessette married John-John."

    And then you saw the whole thing as she came down the stairs and I thought, "Or not..."

    Oh! And I only care about Ethel because you just KNOW someone at Downton is the father of that kid she's hiding. (Please note I missed S2 in its entirety so maybe I missed some clue?)

  • I thought Ethel gave the baby to the grandparents to raise?

  • KatSings

    We already know the father of Ethel's baby. It was a pretty big subplot in Season 2

  • SeaKat Stabler

    Ugh. I suck for missing S2. I have the DVDs but need to watch them. NEVER MIND, EVERYONE. I'M AN IDIOT.

  • BWeaves

    Yes, that's exactly what I thought, too. I'm hoping Edith's will win people over, but now she's been jilted. Sucks.

  • KatSings

    As to accessing the series before it airs here, I did it legally - I bought the UK region specific DVDs and am playing them on a computer, where I can change the region of the player accordingly. So on weeks like this one, where I have something else I need to watch (GOLDEN GLOBES!) I can watch ahead of time to be able to discuss with everyone the next day. :-)

  • KatSings

    No lie, I have trouble having pity for Edith. I know everyone is all "Poor Edith" and I just can't care. I hated her character so much in Season 1, and I don't think her motives are ever pure. For example, I think Sir Anthony did love her, but I think she loved the idea that she could be married like her sisters - I don't think that was specific to Strallan, just that he happened to be available. I don't hate her character or wish her ill, like I do with Thomas, but I also can't seem to find it in my heart to care all that much when things happen to her.

    I adored Carson singing after he found out Mrs Hughes was ok.

  • Kala

    I feel for Edith in that getting left at the altar SUCKS. But the way she chased him was...ugh. I was mortified on her behalf. Especially when she says something along the lines of, "I don't love you despite your infirmities, I love you BECAUSE of them." Oh. God. Her desperation is so off-putting, especially since she's clearly intelligent and possesses many skills. But yes, Edith's dress was prettier.

    Mary has grown, but yes, she's a brat. But you know who I really hate? BRANSON. Oh, how I hate that rude loudmouth. Yes, Ireland is sad. Now stop being a dickhead, put on a coat, and eat some supper.

  • upstate

    You really should read something of the history of British rule in Ireland. There have been worse chapters of human history, I grant you, but suffice it to say there's plenty in the record for a Tarantino-style hyper-violent revenge flick. "Fein Man" if you will.

  • Amanda

    Your view of Branson may shift by the end of the season. I've always loved him but I do like a rebel. :)

  • JoannaRobinson

    Whereas I hate hate hate Lady Mary. Such a terrible brat. Always.

  • KatSings

    Oh, she totally is. I love her and Matthew (though less right now than I usually do), but she is absolutely a brat.

  • Zombienurse

    I'm just curious: is it some kind of inside joke with the writers to see how much awfulness they can pile on Lady Edith? Bless her heart, I just want her to get married and have a thousand fat babies and be happier than either of her sisters at this point.

  • PDamian

    And now I want Edith to leave Downton behind, move to London, get a job, rise to the top, make hella bank, and get herself a string of hot boys. Screw that "useful spinster" crap -- she needs to be HBIC of something.

  • MissAmynae

    To America! Where many a strapping young chap needs an Englishwoman to, ahem, whip him into shape.

  • This was my thought. GTFO of Downton. It's not like anything interesting is happening over there except faux conflict that you know will be resolved (cancer, Matthew's inheritence.) She obviously needs an adventure.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    I actually feel quite badly for Edith. It must be hard having two beautiful sisters, one of whom is a histrionic bitch who married the estate heir and the other is a saint who married the hot chauffeur. Yes yes, she ratted Mary out and took a tumble in the hay with with the farmer, but in general I think she's unfairly maligned. She's more than paid for her misdeeds, and she certainly didn't deserve a jilting.

  • MissAmynae

    I want to give her a big hug, then take her out for margaritas and boys.

    Thankfully, the Titanic already sank, otherwise you know they would stick her on it.

  • The Titanic.............Bhwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Excellent line. I am soooo gonna steal it.

  • MissAmynae

    Belated Merry Christmas, haha

  • Mosley is totally Downton's Jerry. Damn it, Mosley!

  • Amanda

    Yes!!

  • chanohack

    As rough as Edith had it this week, I think Mosley is still Downton's most tragic character. Nothing ever goes his way, and he tries so hard!

  • Tinkerville

    So true! That also cements the fact that a crossover needs to happen.

  • psykins

    Uploading is illegal, but watching what other people upload isn't.

    Jus' sayin'...

  • prairiegirl

    "And I already love that new Ginger Footman, mostly because he looks a bit like an Edwardian Landry."

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. I knew he reminded me of someone. Perfection!

    And yes, Lady Mary shouldn't have opened Matthew's mail but he was starting to get on my nerves with all his do-goodery. I knew it was going to work out - otherwise they'd have to change the name of the show.

    And I can't wait to see what kind of vengeance O'Brien brings upon Thomas. I like seeing them go at one another.

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