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B*tch Ranking 'Downton Abbey': Lady Mary Is, Miraculously, A Delight

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | January 20, 2014 | Comments ()


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Here’s a ranking of all the b*tches from last night’s episode of Downton Abbey. Not only does Mary escape the list, but also Robert gets a week off. We’d look at him askance for his Obamacare discussion at dinner were we not otherwise occupied with all the racists and rapists running around the joint. So here’s your b*tch ranking for episode four. Try to keep the comments spoiler free.

5. Mr. Green
Anna’s rapist, that colossal b*tch, Mr. Green, ranks pretty low this week only because we devoted so much energy to his b*tchiness last week. Also, he was only in the episode for a few scant minutes. But he certainly merits at least the #5 spot for the way he calmly sipped his morning culpa while Anna unraveled at breakfast. I’ll let Mrs. Hughes’ AMAZING b*tchface take this one, shall I?
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4. Sir John Bullock’s Tolerance For Alcohol
This is a fairly victimless crime. After what happened to Anna last week it’s hard to muster sympathy for the second round of Poor Little Rich Girl Rose And Her Dance Floor Adventures With Drunken Louts. That being said, Sir John’s inability to hold his liquor and Aunt Rosamund’s indulgence of his dance floor dash serves to highlight that racism that swiftly follows.
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3. Jack Ross’s Singing Voice
Now look, they have been marketing the crap out of Gary Carr’s appearance on Downton and I think we were all more than a little excited. He’s excessively dreamy. But when he opened his mouth and that singing voice came out? That moist sponge of a tenor? Ugh. Lady boner officially wilted. It may be period appropriate but it’s not at all attractive. If they can manage to not let his character sing again then we should be in good shape going forward.
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2. Aunt Rosamund
We could maybe (maybe) forgive her racism. It’s period appropriate after all. But that’s not really an excuse and in the incongruously liberal world of Downton, people are painted as villains for holding to historically accurate world views. But Rosamund had to go ahead and be a massive b*tch to my girl Edith and that shall not stand. Bringing up Lord Strallan and the jilting incident? NOT COOL. Rosamund may be entirely right. It’s not at all safe to bone your not-yet-divorced editor/boyfriend without contraception or a copy of that book Edna had, but Rosamund could have been less of an uptight, unmerciful wench while lecturing Edith. For good measure, I’m going to throw Rosamund’s maid on here for snitching on Edith.
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1. Edna Braithwaite
Well at least that’s the last we’ll see of her. There’s a part of me that feels very uncomfortable siding with the male in this “woman tries to entrap someone with a false pregnancy storyline.” It’s just the kind of false accusation that was hurled at women for decades. But there’s no denying Edna’s ulterior motives here. Since Mrs. Hughes already took care of business so nicely at the top, we’ll let Thomas take this one.
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Best Line
Weirdly I sort of loved Mary this week. Her sass was directed at all the right people instead of her usual innocent victims. She was kind but firm in shooting down Lord Gillingham. She gave Tom such sympathy and support. She took notice of and expressed concern for Anna. And even this Edith diss felt more loving than poisonous. Could she be coming around?
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Most Heartbreaking Moment
This moment, of course, belonged again to Anna. I’ve read some reaction to the rape storyline that feel like the show is punishing Anna for harmlessly flirting. I don’t think, after this scene, we can attempt that claim. Anna’s heartbroken confession of “somehow I must have made it happen” is supposed to be taken as false and warped. Give the show a little more credit. I may have serious misgivings about this story in general, but Joanne Froggatt is nailing it.
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Best Dressed
You know I love giving this award to Lady Edith (and her Walk Of Shame Stride Of Pride outfit was devastating), but I have to give it to Lady Mary here. We hated to see her leave, but we loved to watch her walk away.
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Best Accessory
We used to have a “Best Hat” category but the times they are a-changing and headbands seem all the rage. So I’ve modified the category and hey, look, I managed to work Lady Edith and her sassy “I’m Getting Laid” arm band.
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I SHIP IT
The undeniable MVP of the episode (and the series, in fact) was Mrs. Hughes who took care of everything and everyone. I was going to put Cousin Isobel and The Doctor in this category, but how can we resist Carson and Mrs. Hughes? Besides, they already gave Mrs. Hughes a Cancer Scare plot so they can’t kill her off now, right? RIGHT?!?!?!?! Right.
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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • guest

    Jack Ross's singing voice sounds just like Disney's Aladdin!! XD

  • mswas

    As soon as I saw Edith's bracelet (?) I knew it would make it onto this list. Just divine!

  • We hated to see her leave, but we loved to watch her walk away.

    so. did. Tom. Meeee--oowww. purrrr

  • BWeaves

    I keep thinking that Mary needs to marry Tom. She doesn't need to sleep with him. They can have perfectly respectable separate bedrooms, until they realize they are need each other, badly. I'm hoping that as Mary works with Tom on the estate that she'll fall for him. It would keep everything in the family.

  • Of course she needs to marry Tom. I'm not sure what's taking everyone so long to get to this party. It's sexy, it's fun, it's inevitable.

  • Valerie Lord

    Carr's voice isn't even close to "period appropriate"! A bubblegum, pubescent Johnny Mathis timbre. (And I really love Gary Carr!) As fitting for 20's jazz as last week's Dame Kiri Te Kanawa performing rap.

  • Leigh

    THANK YOU. I was cringing the whole time because his voice/style wasn't historically accurate/ period appropriate at all!

  • Emran Huq

    They could've hired Daughter Maitland....

  • Bhammer100

    Where's the Justified review?

  • Guest

    I kept waiting for that singer to break into the Carlson dance. I'm not proud, but there it is.

    It was just so...weird and affected, and clearly not that guy's actual voice.

  • loo shag brolley

    "...his morning culpa.."? Nice!

    http://www.cinemablend.com/ima...

  • chanohack

    I died over Aunt Rosamund's dress! (Her mean scolding dress, not her racist dancing dress.) And then when she stood up it had a weird pocket, but I don't CARE, I WANT IT. And then I can be a mean scolding aunt to all of you and be like, find a better boyfriend! Please?

  • J4Sho

    I had to rewind the dvr to hear what she was saying because I was captivated by that dress and missed it all! And I LOVED the pocket and the little tassle-y thing!!!

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I even liked the pocket! It had a weird 60's hippy vibe to it.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    I don't watch Downton Abbey so I did not read the post, but I felt compelled to comment on that header gif and how completely gorgeous Michelle Dockery is.

  • J4Sho

    I have to say that I have never understood what all the fuss was about her. I just never thought she was that pretty. However this showed what a really beautiful woman she can be when she.....you know...actually relaxes her facial muscles.

  • Kala

    It's worthy of comment, especially since her character has NEVER laughed like that. She's a beautiful woman, but that genuine smile is stunning.

  • B. Garcia

    Too bad she's botoxed all movement out of her forehead though. It takes a village to raise those eyebrows!

  • Fruity Fonzie

    emmy nods for Joanne Froggatt and Phyllis Logan. They own and slay this season so badly

  • Malia C.

    Penelope Wilton as well.

  • Three_nineteen

    Carson is not good enough for Mrs. Hughes.

  • Kala

    You think this is the last we'll see of Edna? Hmm, I don't know, Robinson. Evil doesn't die that easily and this is a soap opera we're talking about here. She's already displayed some Crazy-Bitch behavior, so she'll clearly go to great lengths to get what she wants.

    That's okay. Mrs. Hughes will slap her down while Thomas smugly inhales a cigarette. I swear, just when I think I'm out, this show pulls me right back in.

  • BWeaves

    Agreed. I don't think that's the last we've seen of Edna, either. She went away too easily.

    Edith is looking so gorgeous this season. Still, I'm not sure how she managed to not muss up her hair during her deflowering. She looked perfect while sneaking back into Auntie's house. And I'm team Auntie. Auntie is right about him not being a good boyfriend, and it'll be 50 years before Edith's behavior is almost considered acceptable.

    Anna is killing me.

  • Guest

    I think Olivia Benson could help out Anna in her storyline....just sayin'...

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