Downton Abbey Season Three Begins (or, How I Know I've Become a Senior Citizen)
Okay, here we go. Two hours of great dresses and minimal interruptions. I hope I don't find Shirley McClaine too annoying. Get on with it! I've learned that I could buy the soundtrack of DA and the PBS versions of "Every Breath You Take." I will pass, thank you. Laura Linney introduces the show, wearing a too big black man's suit with a sparkly collar. She is set against a blood red background, not sure why, but I still admire her dimples. My favorite character: the lab they show at the beginning. Oh, dear, now I remember that I can't stand the way that Elizabeth McGovern talks, as if she can't open her mouth all the way. They are in the church, preparing for someone's wedding. Andy and Mary? Or whatever his name is. He's not in wheelchair, so that's good news for my memory.
They are reminding us what's gone on---Sybil has run off with the chauffeur and Master Bates is wanted for murder. The old ladies are dressed in opposing colors, red and blue. I do love Maggie Smith and I hope she lives forever.The footman is missing, but Miss O'Brien knows someone who can be a new character--Alfred Nugent, likely a spy!
The new valet, Nugent, stands very tall. They are checking his credentials. Mr. Carson must accept his fate. Does he have a love interest? I can't recall.
By the way, you can purchase these amazing dog portraits of Downton characters at Toadbriar on Etsy.
Now Andy and Mary are talking about having sex in front of her father while walking on the foggy lea in matching gray outfits.
Lord Grantham is meeting with a man with a large white mustache and learning he's made some crappy investments in a bankrupt railroad. He can scarcely believe his ears when he (and we) learn that the lion share of Cora's fortune is gone. But he refuses to be the Earl "who dropped the torch and let the flame go out." It's not that he's worried about Downton, but the people in it.
Poor Edith wears a lavendar jacket and is meeting with this old guy who is awkward and asks, "How's it going?" We learn that Sybil will show up later. Duh, no duh.
For dinner, Andy dresses in a white tux as he announces to his valet/butler that he won't be taking him along for the marriage, because he wants to live more simply. In just the one tux.
Cora, the dunce, has no idea that hiring a new valet will ruin them. Cora is perplexed, an emotion she shows by pinching her mouth together. Carson is dismayed that Nugent trained in a hotel. Maggie gets off her first zinger against Cora's mother. Edith is the only one at the table who finds her funny. Because she too is a meanie. Alfred Nugent looks just like that other guy the little maid was into.
Sybil returns, knocked up and her new Irish husband is quite a handful at dinner, mouthy and such. Andy has inherited a ton of money but doesn't want to admit to it. Mr. Downton confesses to Cora that he's lost her entire fortune and he cries, and she purses her lips to show disappointment and love. She says, "Have gun, will travel," while kneeling at his feet like a Pekinese. She reminds him to just enjoy this last wedding and the remainder of their fortune. This is total fantasy. The Irish guy goes to the pub because he can't handle the pressure of not having his own tux. Andy tells him to buck up.
Cocktail party and the Irish guy gets insulted but zings back that he has not forgotten his manners. Edith is making eyes at Sir Anthony, who is 40 years older than her. His teeth just fell out into the martini. The Irish guy is arguing about the Black and Tan or something. But it seems that Larry has given the Irish bloke a roofie to misbehave, and Andy announces that he wants him to be his best man. A hero! Edith's hair is in 500 tight waves and she's making out with Sir Anthony, who I think is wearing his arm in a sling for no reason.
Tom arrives in the sitting room and Thomas arrives to apologize for his behavior. Maggie takes it well. The Irish man says he doesn't want to wear the blasted coat because it contains the chains of oppression, but Maggie says, "Are you quite finished?" And that shuts him up.
And now, Shirley McClain arrives in a brocaded curtain and swaddled in furs. She greets all the girls by insulting them and letting them know how much better everything is in America. Character development done! Mary tells her mother that she will soon be doing lots of things with Andy in the bedroom. Cora pinches her face together. Andy has a telegram that Mary reads out loud for all of us. The guy who would inherit the money is dead, but the heirs are all part of it. She tells Andy that Papa has gambled the fortune away on horses and railroads. But Andy can save them! Except he won't becuase of morals annd how he broke Lavinia's heart and killed her. They have a fight with music swelling in the background. "Andy, how can you be so disappointing?You're not on our side." She throws down the telegram and flees in her sensible brown heels. Edith watches and smiles.
Shirley and Maggie have a bit of a showdown. "She is like a honing pidgeon. She finds our underbelly every time."
They are eating soup and Maggie admits she sent the money to allow the Irish man to come to Mary's wedding. It was a secret, but now it's out. Perhaps we will learn that Maggie has a secret past and was once in love with a horse rider. Mary breaks down because Andy won't give her the money. Daisy is pouting at the end of the table, refusing to check the pudding. Edith tells everyone at dinner that Mary thinks Andy isn't on her side. The Irish says that he will go find Andy.
Mary suggests they cancel the wedding. She is sick of all their sexual banter. He says that he will never be happy with anyone else as long as she walks the earth. He wants to kiss her, but it's bad luck. She refuses. He puts his penis throw the door instead. I can't help it!! It would be funny if she had the maid kiss him instead. That closed eye kiss was the corniest thing I've seen in a long, long time.
Day of the wedding. The man of the house compliments Tom on his top coat. They kiss passionately. Another wrinkle in the plot!
Wait, no scene of the wedding night? Just the maid picking up the lambskin condoms and some loud kissing. Edith throws herself at the man with the wilted arm and tells him he must come to dinner.
Anna goes back to the prison. I am fatigued by this plot line. Something about a book with information. Mrs. Hughes goes to the doctor to see about her cancer and the doctor tells her that it's probably benign.
Maggie is begging Mary to ask for money from the Shirley. They must show her how vital Downton is for the community. The tall guy seems to be flirting with Shirley's uptight maid. Andy sits at a writing desk and Mary asks about any news from the lawyer. He is definitely Reggie's heir. I don't like this plot line either. It seems tedious. Maggie asks about Shirley's brother, and she pretends to like America so that they can get the money. I don't think she will bite. At least not in this one episode.Mr. G. tells the old guy to lay off Edith.
The new valet has been betrayed by the evil valet, but I doubt that he will go down that easy. Mrs. O'Brien says she will make him sorry; can't wait to see how. It's okay though, because Shirley's maid just kissed him to make him feel better. Daisy is aghast.
Disaster! The oven is broken and they must think fast and just serve bread and cheese and wine like a picnic. It will be great fun! The maids are making out all over the place. The guests are so excited to be able to eat wherever they like. Shirley sings "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" around the piano. The entire countryside is charmed, except for Maggie, who is falling asleep while Shirley serenades her and kisses her hand. It is quite extraordinary. Sir Anthony professes that Edith has given him back his life and she kisses him passionately on his pasty old cheek. They are planning to get married. He will drop dead soon.
Shirley explains that the world has changed and she can't support Downtown but she can give the girls a dress allowance. It's not because she won't, but the money is tied up. It looks like Mr. Bates or whatever his name is will be about to get the shit kicked out of him in prison. I guess we will have to end on a cliffhanger. Oh, maybe not, maybe he just saw something bad happening and he's being threatened. So, wait, instead, he strangles the guy. Go Bates! "Don't ever threaten me!" The man says he forgot he was in a cell with a murderer and Bates says, "Don't forget it again."
Shirley is advising Mr. G. to adapt to the new times. Clink of whiskey glasses. It must be ending soon, right? It's not going to be two hours every time, will it? I can't bear it!
Next week, more intrigue and lovely parasols. Stay tuned!