In lieu of a standard recap, we’ll be doing a weekly b*tchcap for the rest “Downton Abbey“‘s run on PBS. Although many of you have somehow seen the rest of Season 3 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 7 (aka “The Christmas Special) of the PBS version of “Downton Abbey.” But, before you do, I’d just like to say that if I were in charge of the internet, there would be a tumblr called “Bagpipe Faces.”
The B*tch Ranking:
5. New Maid Blondie: Too soon, Edna Braithwaite, too soon. The new maid may have thought a year enough time for Tom and the entire household to get over Lady Sybil, but she was very mistaken. This is St. Sybil we’re talking about, they’ll be grieving a good while longer so keep your blonde, forward little mitts off of Branson.
Uh, but thanks for this, dear. Thanks very much.
4. Lady Shrimpie (Susan): There are few things on this show more delightful than Susan MacClare, Marchioness of Flintshirea and her b*tch face. Actress Phoebe Nicholls (who played my favorite Jane Austen villain of all time) had the onerous task of making her relationship with her daughter so completely fraught, the Downton set would have no choice but to adopt her.
All hail Sybil 2.0.
3. Lady Shrimpie’s Maid: It’s been a year in the plot since O’Brien tried to put poor, gay Thomas out on the street. So I think we’re supposed to have forgotten her past transgressions and see her, once again, as a somewhat sympathetic figure. To help us get there, the Downton writers gave us an even b*tchier, more sour-faced lady’s maid to hate. Thankfully no real harm came of her schemes and we got to enjoy this gorgeous site. Poor Molesley.
2. Mr. Tufton aka Mrs. Patmore’s Fancy Man: Pincher of bottoms of tickler of fancies and all around bounder, Mr. Tufton nearly stole Mrs. Patmore and her fine cooking from Downton.
Thankfully Mrs. Hughes was keeping a sharp eye. Her disapproving face is my favorite.
1. Anti-Lock Brakes Or The Lack Thereof In 1921 Automobiles: Alright alright before we blame Julian Fellowes for killing off two beloved characters in one season, you should know that Dan Stevens, who played Cousin Matthew so perkily and chinlessly, opted out of Season Four of “Downton.” That’s right, the ol’ David Caruso move.
What we can blame Fellowes for, however, is the ham-fisted way St. Matthew was shown to be the very best thing to have happened to every single resident of Downton Abbey. Ally to Edith, friend to Tom, employer of Molesley savior to the estate and the only one who could bring out the best in Mary.
Like many others, I was spoiled as to the outcome of the episode, but it didn’t make the sight any less gruesome.
“I know he’s housebroken, more or less, but I don’t want freedom to go to his head.” —Dowager Countess in regards to Branson who does, essentially, pee on the rug in her absence.
Most Heartbreaking Moment:
Honestly, since I was spoiled regarding Matthew’s demise (and since I really can’t tolerate Lady Mary and welcome the bursting of her bubble), I was torn between two plot lines. This, The Rehabilitation And Beating Of Poor Gay Thomas, just won my heart. He offered to buy everyone on the staff pop! He looked so dapper in his fedora. Yes he was a terrible monster in the past but since Lady Sybil’s death, he’s won my heart. He may be in the friend zone for now, but I have hope.
And this lovely moment between Mrs. Hughes and Tom. Just heart-cracking.
Best Dressed: Mrs. Patmore’s bonny pink blouse.
Best Hat: Lady Mary’s “My Sister Died In Childbirth So I’ll Be Sure To Dance Around And Jostle About On The Train Because That’s Smart” Traveling Hat
And, to leave you with something resembling a smile on your face…
I will go down with this ship.
Rumor has it they’re casting an entirely new love interest for Lady Mary and that next season will start six months after Matthew’s car accident. However that doesn’t absolutely rule out the return of this one.
These two are back to being really cute. Really really freaking cute.