B*tch Ranking 'Downton Abbey': Lady Mary Ruins Valentine's Day
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B*tch Ranking 'Downton Abbey': Lady Mary Ruins Valentine's Day

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | January 6, 2014 | Comments ()

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In lieu of a standard recap, we’ll be doing a Monday morning b*tchcap for Downton Abbey’s fourth season run on PBS. Although many of you might have somehow seen Season 4 already, I’ll ask that you refrain from spoiling any Americans in the comments section below. So please feel free to discuss everything up to and including Season 3, Episode 5 of the PBS version of “Downton Abbey.” But, before you do, here are this week’s b*tch rankings.

Runners up: Lady Mary who gets a pass for b*tchily raining on Edith’s parade and sniping at Carson on account of the fact that she lost the love of her life. You get a pass this week, Mary. But watch it. Also, the Dowager Countess’s butler Spratt for sabotaging poor Molesley, all the footmen for not seeing how adorable Daisy is and new-fangled kitchen technology for making Mrs. Padmore feel inferior.

5. Lady Susan/O’Brien: Well at least they didn’t kill her off, right? Siobhan Finneran wanted to leave the show and unlike Matthew and Lady Sybill before her, she was allowed to do it under her own steam. This caused quite a fuss, however, and I think we can all lay some blame on fictional Lady Susan for depriving us of those adorably scheming corkscrew curls.

4. Carson: Carson was pretty heartless about his former theater buddy and fairly clueless when it comes to Valentine’s Day and Mrs. Hughes (kiss her, man!), but he doesn’t rank too high this week because of his tender treatment of Mary. That being said, it’s just the kind like snobby Carson to have all the sympathy in the world for Lady Mary and none for his penniless partner.

3. Lord Grantham/Male-preference Cognatic Primogeniture: I’m of the opinion that Lord Grantham is secretly the villain of the piece. We can blame him for a lot of the misery at Downton. But his villainy wasn’t very secret this week. He’s trying to put baby in a corner and keep Mary in her funk so he can have everything his way Very shabby indeed.

2. Edna Braithwaite: Is this the new O’Brien? She’s a poor substitute. We have to admire her ability to worm her way back into Downton. Particularly after all this post-Sybill nonsense.

1. Nanny West: I did think for a second Nanny would be our new O’Brien. Or, alternatively, that Thomas was being out of control in his Nanny protest. But, no, we wasted no time revealing her to be a torrential, racist *sshole. The upshot? Cora got to have a pretty bad*ss moment. Those are few and far between.

Most Heartbreaking Moment:
I suppose it’s supposed to be this. But I don’t get what you all see in Mary.

So I’m going to say it’s when I decided that Lady Edith’s darling, married boyfriend might secretly be a Nazi or something terrible because Julian Fellows despises Edith and likes to see her suffer.

Best Dressed:
Lady Edith!!!! Who is an absolute stunner in these new modern fashions.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • abell

    Wait, I missed Nazi overtones? What Nazi overtones?

  • Maddy

    I couldn't even be bothered to watch season 3 and then found out anyway what happened because it was all over the internet. Team Edith all the way though! I can't deal with Mary's shit

  • It kinda broke my heart when the earl told Tom, "Mary has lost a great love. You can't know what that feels like." (or something close to that.) Bastard.

  • AvaLehra

    No kidding. The entire episode, I just kept saying, "Lord Grantham is SUCH a dick!"

  • I kept yelling at the tv: "how many fortunes have you gone through now? Dude, YOU so don't get to mess with another."

  • pnnylne

    THIS! The whole episode I was like "Didn't you nearly lose Downton trying to "manage" it?"

  • dizzylucy

    I wish someone would say to Lord Grantham, uh aren't you the guy who nearly lost everyone everything not so long ago, and you want to be completely in charge AGAIN? No thanks.
    Not a very interesting episode, but then again I think I mostly watch for the clothes and the scenery.

  • How can you talk about how fabulous Lady Edith is dressing and not include this picture? This dress screams, "I'm far to amazing to be lurking around with this old Nazi dude who's sole claim to fame is that he can make his own GD coffee!"

    PS. I very very desperately want this dress. Please somebody make this and make it available on Etsy. I'll pay whatever amount you deem appropriate.

  • MissAmynae

    Seriously. I audibly gasped so hard it scared the cat.

  • Wow, lots of criticism for the women characters. Nice kitties!

    Lord Grantham continues his abhorrent display (likely pretty historically and culturally realistic) of chauvinistic, short-sighted, reactionary, shitty behavior. Surely he deserves higher (worse) ranking. I'm [bitch-]watching, Mr. Fellows…if you don't use this beyond the one-dimensional foil to the ladies….

  • pnnylne

    I can't stand Lady Edith. When Sybil died, I was like "Why?! Kill Lady Edith, she's pretty worthless anyway." YES! to Cora giving Nanny West the boot.

  • Walt Jr

    I love Lady Edith! She has much more life to her than Mary, and she is quite attractive. I think she is coming into her own.

  • pnnylne

    Yes, she's coming into her own now, but in the earlier seasons I was not here for Edith. The recent episode made me see her in a different light (I should've said I couldn't stand Edith).

  • Steph

    Gawd, I just can't with Cora anymore. You're going to believe O'Brien Light without even checking with Anna? Anna who is cuter than a basket of puppies and has been with the family forever?
    I knew the nanny was a goner the minute she started with Thomas. You don't bring a knife to a gun fight and everything with Thomas is a gun fight.

  • The Other Julie

    Cora's naivete stretches the limits of believability for me... she consistently irks me with her wide-eyed schtick, always believing known shit-stirrers (Thomas, O'Brien) or people like Braithwaite that she barely knows. Sooo tiresome.

  • Naye

    I thought the nanny was... classist? And homophobic. I must have missed racism part. I thought her issue with Baby Sybil was the fact that Branson is "lower" class not with her being half Irish.
    And I too see absolutely nothing in Mary. I think she's pretty one-note (as a character)

    And poor poor Edith. They screw her every season. Spoiler: She continues to suffer.

    Not really much of a spoiler there.

  • PDamian

    Back in the early 20th century, there were quite a few Brits (and not a few Americans) who thought the Irish were a different race entirely. Not sure but what there are people who still feel this way. So the nanny snarling at little Sybil for being a "half-breed" was entirely appropriate.

    Edith looks fabulous in late 20s fashions, but I wish the stylists/dressers could do something else with her hair. Those marcelled waves make her look like she could take a football tackle with no head trauma. When it's more relaxed, she's simply stunning. Come to think of it, Mary's fake bob isn't doing her any favors, either.

  • Naye

    OMG Mary's bob is decidedly unattractive. Honestly she's wafer thin, grouchy, and when she smiles she looks pained. I can't see why these men barrel through Abbey doors to get to her. The actress herself, however, is stunning in real life (as real a pap photos can be I guess) and seems like a doll, so I guess props to her for coming hard with four years of bitch-face.
    I had taken the maids half-breed comment to mean something entirely different. Seems like the maid is was an equal-opportunity hater then lol. Im actually pleased with how..."liberal" Downton actually is for aristocracy. I also think it causes a bit of inconsistency within the series as far as things that are found acceptable and things that aren't, but then again the whole show is about the "changing of the tides"

  • BWeaves

    1. Ah, the return of bitchy Lady Mary. I wonder who she's going to Pamuk with her vagina next.

    2. Lady Edith was obviously born to wear 1920's clothing. She looked gorgeous.

    3. Lady Edith has NOOO chemistry with her publisher. I'm finding it hard to believe that she's even considering him. Surely, now that she's making a name for herself, she's meeting more eligible men?

    4. Why is everyone so afraid to go to Cora and say, "Hey, you're new maid was trying to seduce the upstairs men last time, and that's why we got rid of her."

    5. Speaking of Cora, she's starting to look really old. I thought she looked great the first season, but she's really looking weird now. I think she needs grey hair. I just don't think a woman of her age and standing would have dyed hair back then.

    6. Daisy is so cute, and has grown a backbone. Why is nobody falling over her?

    7. Prison was good to Mr. Bates. He no longer needs a cane to walk, and he can forge signatures.

    8. Dowager Duchess was way too nice and helpful. I'd love a bitch off between her and Thomas.

    9. I'm love with Branson. So cute, and that panty melting accent.

    10. They can ditch Cousin Oliver Rose any time.

  • Cora seems to make decisions based entirely on her most recent conversation. Honestly she and Lord Grantham are easily the worst decision-makers on the planet.

    I'm not sure why Lady Edith gets such short straws when it comes to men - she's gorgeous. I love the conversation when he points out that she'll need to know her way around the kitchen because he has no maid. Clearly Lady Edith could barely boil an egg. If he does manage to divorce his "crazy wife" (it's going to turn out that she's totally fine and was just away, traveling on holiday right?) they're going to starve to death when it turns out that neither are capable of anything more complicated than coffee.

  • BWeaves

    After recently reading about how Charles Dickens had a wife, 10 children and a teenage mistress, and how he wanted to have his wife declared declared insane so he could get rid of her and be with the mistress, I'm really wondering if the publisher's wife really is nuts. At least Lady Sybil went downstairs and asked for directions on how to boil water.

  • Naye

    Will fell all over Daisy and she only barely married him before he died. But her relationship with his father is adorable as the season continues.
    And I think the staff was trying to do a bit of protecting for Branson as far as the maid went. It didn't look good for him (by their standards), and he is already having a hard enough time fitting in

  • DataAngel

    I'm so tired of the absolute shit Edith has been handed in the last three seasons that I'm done with this show. Well, it's not JUST Edith. But... spoilers, darling.

  • prince_of_montagu

    I like to think Fellows just sits down and says "LOL, fuck Edith." after he writes an episode.

  • Elizabeth Randy

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  • DataAngel

    I admire the fact that the actress hasn't just gone "LOL FUCK YOU!" and skipped out of there.

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