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B*tch Ranking 'Downton Abbey': All Hail King B*tch Bates

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | January 27, 2014 | Comments ()


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Here’s a ranking of all the b*tches from last night’s episode of Downton Abbey. Most of our b*tches this week are downstairs b*tches, so enjoy the time off Lady Mary, Lord Grantham. Here’s your b*tch ranking for last night’s episode. Try to keep the comments spoiler free.

5. Dowager: Everyone’s favorite sassy Countess has been so awesome for so long that it really breaks my heart to see her on here. But I’ve witnessed this “I think that worker stole something of mine” plot too many times to think that she could possibly be in the right. That letter opener is going to show up somewhere soon (and not in a fun Season 1 way…buried in a Turk or some such) and there will be egg all over the Granny’s adorable face.
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4. Thomas: Is up to sh*t again. He’s brought a new ally into the house and it looks like he’s got something on her. Even if he’s manufactured this pushy alliance with Baxter only so that he can know what’s going on in the house, I don’t like it. It undoes all the great character development we saw in Barrow over the past few seasons.
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3. Carson: Last week one of you dismissed my Hughes/Carson ship by saying that Carson wasn’t good enough for Mrs. Hughes. TOO RIGHT YOU ARE. How dare he treat Molesley thus? Sure, our boy Mole was a little uppity in his initial response, but it was irresponsible of Carson to offer the job before he knew for a fact that Alfred was going to leave and it was downright cruel of him to sneer at Molesley when the position was no longer available.
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2. Jimmy: I don’t know why they’re painting Jimmy as such a villain this season. Wasn’t he rather nice last year? I mean other than that tidge of homophobia? What did they do to Thomas and Jimmy? I really miss rooting for them to go full gay together.
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1. Mr. Bates: King B*tch supreme this week is Mr. Bates for his heartless bullying of Mrs. Hughes. I get that he is heartbroken over Anna’s distance, I really do. My sympathies were with him. Until he backed my girl Mrs. Hughes into a corner and pressed her to share Anna’s secret. There had to have been another way, Mr. Bates. For shame.
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Best Line
“The only poet peer I’m familiar with is Lord Byron. And I presume we’re all familiar with how that ended.” — The Dowager Countess. Ain’t no slam like a poetry slam. Runner up? The thirty seconds or so when the Dowager laughed at her own joke.

Most Heartbreaking Moment
I think this is supposed to go to Mr. Bates and his little pity party in the hallway. But you know what? You’ll get no sympathy from me, King B*tch Bates. Instead, I choose to give it to Mr. Molesley for his resignation over losing his chance at Alfred’s job. Remember happier time, Mr. Molesley. Happier times.
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Best Dressed
As tempting as it is to pick the kicky yet mysterious outfit Lady Edith wore to the doctor, I’m going to give it to Alfred and his chef’s whites. You’ll get them next time, kid.
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Best Accessory
Baxter’s sewing machine. Has one item ever been quite so helpful in winning friends and influencing people?
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I SHIP IT
I can’t be the only one who thinks a quick roll in the sheets would do Cousin Isobel some good, can I? Relieve some of the built up do-goodery tension? GO FOR IT.
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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • chanohack

    Molesley is such a tragic character. I so badly want to give him a hug, a job, and a puppy. And Carson is an asshole. As a butler himself, he should know better than to punish someone for not jumping at the chance to be a footman.

  • Three_nineteen

    If it were period appropriate (does anyone know if it is?), I would be expecting Molesly to appear on a clock tower with a sniper rifle at any time.

  • Stephanie

    I couldn't get past Bates asking Mrs. Hughes on what day the rape occurred. Uhhh...the day your wife suddenly appeared with a split lip and a black eye?

  • chanohack

    I know he was probably in shock, but no joke. The day she started acting totally weird, Bates. I'm amazed he didn't figure this out for himself in the first place. When he first saw Anna with a beat up face he even commented that she'd changed her dress, and she suddenly didn't want to touch him at all.

  • Stephanie

    Exactly. Also, Bates, if you wanna check to see if Anna and Mrs. Hughes have stories that match? Maybe don't blurt out Mrs. Hughes' story so that Anna can just go "Yup, that's what happened". Work with me here, dude.

  • chanohack

    Didn't the doctor all but propose to Isobel one time and she solidly friend-zoned him? That said, I SHIP IT, too. I mentally high-fived him when he made that comment about her thinking that she's unloved. Tough love from the friend zone, right on!

  • mswas

    I thought for sure Thomas had somehow ripped the apron so that Baxter could get in good with Mrs. Padmore.

  • paddydog

    I feel as if I'm watching a different show than everybody else. Forgiveness for Bates? His wife couldn't have made it clearer in words and gestures that she needs some space so he stalks her and hovers in her personal space every single second like a menacing jailer. He bullies another person into giving up a very private secret. Anna clearly knows he is capable of killing (time to re-open case of wife #1) and she is obviously terrified of him. It's pretty clear that Bates is Mr. Nice Guy only when everything is going his way and people doing what he wants. If anyone strays, the real Bates emerges. He has all the characteristics of a controlling emotionally abusive husband.

    And don't even get me started on Branson who I hope will take a leaky ship to US and rot in a watery grave.

  • Naye

    Anna is not terrified of Bates, she is terrified FOR him. And Bates didnt kill his first wife, she killed herself then framed him. And that secret may have been very private, but it is a secret his wife chose to share with someone other than him, a secret that had direct affect on his wife's behavior Towards him, while not giving an explanation as to why. I dont know how many people who would watch a spouse pack their things and move out with no explanation and not go to extreme measures to find out why.

  • paddydog

    Do you know for sure he didn't kill his first wife? The whole exoneration was based on a note she allegedly wrote and we've already been shown that he's an excellent forger with the Molesely loan thing.

  • Naye

    Good point. But it's not a Downton thing to let a little plot nuance like that play out over more than one season lol. It is as Fellowes dictates. Mrs Bates #1 killed herself out of hatred.

  • JoannaRobinson

    What do you mean a different show than everyone else? I crowned him king!!!

  • paddydog

    True,and I appreciate that. But you said he had your sympathies until the bullying session with Mrs. Hughes. What about the earlier stuff where he won't get out of her face for even a second. It made my skin crawl. She even tried being a little light-hearted with him to establish some normalcy (there's nowt as queer as folk) and he kept pushing back to being in her face. There's something deeply disturbing about that man, always has been in my opinion.

  • Jeremy Smithey

    LoL Bates has never been a bitch a day in his life. Of course he is freaking out because he went from being in fairy tale esque love with his wife to he shunning him overnight. What hopeless romantic such as Bates would not be pushing whatever obstacle that got in his way to repair his epic lovestory with Anna. I also disagree that he will make it all about himself if he finds out by taking action. Anna is right to think he will seek vengeance but you are mistaken if you think that will be a conceited act on his part. Bates is a scholar and a gentleman, a warrior and a poet, he would seek his vengeance only in the name of the two virtues he holds most dear; honor and love. Who wins? All future rape victims of that pos rapist. And women wonder why chivalry is 99% dead......

  • I'm not sure your comment warrants all the downvotes but I'll just go with this...

    Maybe chivalry is caring to your wounded woman. Maybe his first instinct should be to do whatever he can to help her heal. To rebuild their fractured relationship. To show her that he loves her so much that nothing, NOTHING, could make her seem less in his eyes.

    Instead the show give the impression that 95% of his energy is now directed towards hunting down this loathsome rapist. And that perception works against your image of him as an epic romantic hero.

    Sidenote: I'm thinking if he does kill the loathsome rapist it'll work out because of his new stealthy prison skills (like forging signatures). Justice will be served but Bates will never be caught.

  • JSmithey

    "Prison was an education."
    ~King Bates

  • What you're describing is a modern day character study. Downton isn't that. It is a faithful homage to early 20th century High Melodrama. Bates and Anna's agonizing yet vaguely titillating dilemma is perfectly suited to the genre.

  • chanohack

    If chivalry being alive means I'm supposed to be okay with my boyfriend becoming violent for my "honor," then I vote to let that fucker die 100%.

  • Naye

    If chivalry is getting yourself sent to the gallows then I'll pass. I'd much rather a man live a long happy life with me rather than I live a painful existence without him FOR me. That's a lose/lose. I agree with getting dude off of the street, but that would and should have been a task for the police. If Anna had not been frightened for Bates she WOULD have gone to the police. Why is it so hard for so many men to just walk away at the behest of his significant other? It's not chivalry. It's pride.

  • JSmithey

    Pride and Honor go hand in hand. I don't make the rules on social systems that have been developed over thousands of years. I can say this though, without those two virtues, real upright (although fictional) gentlemen like Mr.Bates could never exist. (Also at this time period the police probably would not be capable of doing much thus another reason Anna knows that if Bates finds out he will take matters into his own hands.) Now having said that let me take this time to sincerely apologize to my fellow downtonphiles if I came off as a "douche" in my previous comment. Such was not my intention, but rather I only wanted to share my perspective that though his methodology is archaic and a little barbaric, Bates is far to sophisticated and caring a person to carry out his vengeance just to make himself feel better. It would be to restore his wife's honor and an act of love, albeit a rather overly passionate one. Now, at the risk of sounding like a douche again I must say this; It seems quite juvenile to get so offended by a comment that you ban someone from posting on your blog, and possibly indicative of some underlying misandry that you would do it to a user voicing a male's opinion on the subject of a blog written by a female and read (seemingly) by an audience predominately made up of women. Let me point out that I posted my opinion not as some anonymous troll, but under my REAL name on a blog I do not usually read. I was not trying to offend anyone but dear god I guess I forgot this is the internet where people WANT to be offended so badly that they will perceive what they read however they must in order to achieve that goal. Again I did not post here to offend, only to broaden what I "thought" was an "open" discussion.

  • Naye

    I'm not sure who expressed offense to your comments; I merely disagreed. You may have "douched" yourself by being the only person that was actually offended during this discussion. That being said, the idea that a man must go defend his woman's honor is archaic and does more to infantilize a woman than to actually show love. I get that was the way back then, but you must also remember where gender equality stood back then. It's a backward idea to believe that you are defending someones honor by going expressly against their wishes. It's a bit like saying "o you don't really know what you want/need." Therefore gentleman is really relative. He may THINK he is doing it for her, but he is really doing it for himself. That doesnt mean I think Bates is a bad guy. You're right, it was a sign of the times, but I still see that type of attitude echoed today, when it can be said that a man who takes it upon himself to defend his woman contrary to what she actually needs from him is actually not being gentlemanly.

  • JSmithey

    Agreed and well stated. The "douche" comment came from the blog's message that appeared after I was banned for my first comment. "Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not" Luckily I and the rest of the world have more than one email on hand. I meant no offense to you or anyone else. I was more or less just aiming to help the powers that be on this blog realize that unnecessary censorship is ignorant and intolerant. You kind of want people to post on your blog in my experience....

  • BWeaves

    So, I have no idea what happens because I'm watching in America, but:

    Edith preggers and boyfriend never comes back from Germany?

    Lady Mary and the taxman? Nah! That can't end well.

    Branson off to 'Merica? Don't you dare take my precious Agrippa from me. Man looks hot in a leather skirt and metal breastplate. Just saying.

    Bates kills Green, or it is implied that he does. I'm guessing, but you're all guessing that, too.

    Daisy helping Alfred learn to cook makes him appreciate her more? No?

    If Cousin Isabel doesn't want the Doctor, I'll take him. He's cute.

  • Naye

    Ughh i mean to say my comment was not a spoiler, just an observation based on the obvious foreshadowing in the episode.

  • Naye

    I forgive Bates his pushiness. His wife moved out of their home and he has no idea why. I think I've been pushier with my boyfriends guy friends over much less. My issue with Bates is that bravado, testosterone, pride, or whatever it is will push him to doing exactly what Anna doesn't want. At that point the tragedy becomes about him, and not about Anna. I hate that defense of honor culminates in reckless stupidity in the form of physical vengeance that may result in jail time. Who wins? Nobody. Ugh

  • Three_nineteen

    Bates could have given his little speech to Anna, instead of Mrs. Hughes. That would be appropriate, since his issue is with Anna. He went to Mrs. Hughes instead probably because he knew he could get the answer out of her, and not Anna.

  • Naye

    Yeaaaaa. Why keep trying with Anna?

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