"For the first time ever, something in this house is about ME!" Oh, Edith. For the first three quarters of this episode, we see her about the happiest she's ever been in her entire life. Including the times when she schemed against Mary! It's time for Edith's wedding to Sir Anthony the Elderly at Downton Abbey. And she's the only one who's excited.
It's been a long time since Edith's scheming ways. She's nursed soldiers, learned to drive, had a roll in the hay. She's growing. And I'm starting to root for her, even though Anthony looks like a total drag. He's what she wants, though, so ... that's what we should want for her, too, right? SPOILER ALERT -- DON'T KEEP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS EPISODE YET!
So this week we had two tales of sabotage. One deliberate, and one accidental. First there's Thomas, throwing Mrs. O'Brien under the bus by telling Mosley she's planning to quit. It makes its way to Cora quickly, of course. And even though O'Brien gets the chance to correct the rumor to Cora, the damage is done. Cora's trust in O'Brien is damaged. Thomas really has hurt her. And now: It's war. I can't say I'm looking forward to the battle between O'Brien and Thomas escalating.
Meanwhile, Matthew and Mary argue about THE MONEY and it's tedious. But I loved how all that played out. Reggie Swire's letter arriving, Matthew refusing to read it, Mary reading it behind his back, finding out that Lavinia wanted Matthew to inherit the money even after she tried to talk Matthew out of marrying her. Take the money Matthew, TAKE THE MONEY ALREADY. And then when he does, I'm left wondering what they're going to do for the rest of the season. Oh what, Mary and Matthew are going to get along all the time? I feel sort of empty inside now.
Grantham musing where the family will go when they sell Downton: Oh well, he does own some little place up north (vague air of disdain). The place is small, but he supposes they could fix it up or something. I swear. Rich people. Ugh.
Let's go downstairs, where Carson is trying to get to the bottom of what's up with Mrs. Hughes. His concern for her is sweet -- I love how he finagles the information out of Mrs. Padmore. And then everyone pretends that they don't know what they know even though they all know they know. Phew, like these people don't already work hard enough as it is!
So sabotage of the night #2 is when Grantham gives Anthony his semi-blessing (instead of his whole-hearted support and welcome). Like, I guess if you guys are really into each other, but I still think it's a lousy idea. Whatever, man. Shrug. Welcome of the family. Poor Anthony!
And then there's that moment Anthony has with Edith where he goes into that "you're a young woman marrying an old man" bit. And she says, "I don't love you in spite of your needing looking after. I love you because of it. I want you to be my life's work."
EW! Edith! STOP WITH THAT SEXY TALK RIGHT NOW.
Which was worse? Getting the semi-blessing from your father-in-law who is maybe a year or two younger than you are, or hearing that you're someone's freakin' project. I think Anthony's penis shrunk three sizes that day.
Then we go from moderately creepy to outright OMG, is Bates actually EVIL? creepy. What do you think of Anna's conversation with Vera Bates' BFF? Makes it look even more likely that Bates killed Vera. Maybe he's been manipulating Anna all this time! Is Anna starting to doubt Bates? How much longer is she supposed to hold onto this man in prison? She's young, too, just like Edith. How come it's okay for her to shackle herself to a condemned man, but it's not okay for Edith to sign away her life to a free but old guy?
Speaking of which, I guess I knew the jilting was coming, but I was still dreading it. After all we've been through with Edith, this humiliation feels terrible, even if she loved him for all the wrong reasons, even if she's still weird and graspy, even if we all know she totally dodged a bullet, I'm still horribly sad for her. She throws her veil over the banister dramatically like her fallen dreams.
But then the next day she gets out of bed. "I'm a youthful spinster. And spinsters get out of bed for breakfast." (OK, I first heard this as "useful spinster" -- which is so like me. And then about half a dozen people contacted me to say I heard wrong! LOL) Anyway, notice that as a married lady, Mary actually does have the option of taking breakfast in bed -- mentioned in last week's episode. Now you watch. Edith is going to be "useful" at something to take her mind off getting jilted, and when she least expects it, THEN she'll find love.
Oh yeah -- Downton is saved! Yay! Here are my favorite lines.
Dowager Countess: "At my age on has to ration one's excitement."
Mary to Matthew: "If you try to find one more excuse not to accept the money, I'll have to beat you about the head." (Me too, Mary!)
Dowager Countess to Anthony: "Do you think you'll be able to keep up with her?"
DC again: "I want the pleasure of saying I told you so."
Mrs. Hughes: "It would be soooo nice if people would find out if I were really sick before they start boxing me up!"
Cora to Edith after she's jilted: "You are being tested. And you know what they say, my darling. Being tested only makes you stronger."
Daisy: "I never thought I'd feel sorry for an earl's daughter."
Just for fun, you have to see Edith With Googly Eyes.
Did you suspect Anthony would leave Edith at the altar?
Image via PBS