'Downton Abbey' Season 3 Recap: Oh No Anthony Didn't! (VIDEO)

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downton abbey"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."


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

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nonmember avatar M

Yummy---all of it! Please keep feeding my addiction to this delightful show :)

nonmember avatar Elaine

I thought she said 'youthful' spinster.

Furry... Furrycreature

I felt so bad for Edith and I really dislike her. Bates is totally innocent, I think Vera was trying to kill him and mixed up the pastries! And Carson being in love with Mrs. Hughes is so cliche but so adorable!

nonmember avatar Susanna L

Excellent analysis ff Episode 2: I had no idea that Sir Anthony wd bolt the church, but makes sense for exactly the reasons you outlined - (oops, grammar alert: A's penis shrAnk 3 sizes..) - made worse by performance anxiety: note the Dowager's earlier barb, "Do you think you can keep up with her?" No doubt that was the arrow to hit the target dead center.

kiowa... kiowagirl75

I loved when they were talking about what to do with the lefover wedding food and the Dowager said if the poor did not want the food to bring it to her house.

Kelly... KellySunshine


Great theory on mixing up the pastries. I had not thought of that. You may be very right. 

Mrs. Bates was a sly woman and had several character issues. I cannot imagine her "friend" being so niave about here. I think something else will come out (like maybe what you said), but Anna will already be having doubts about Bates. 

NO one stays happy or seemingly together unscathed on the show. 

Kelly... KellySunshine

Edith confuses me. It is not like Mary/Mathew with deep feelings that kept coming back to them and then were finally together. Edith was attracted to Matthew, kissed the married farmer, then heartbroken over Patrick, and then this Anthony. They play her character with desperation and neediness. It seems like by the next episode, she will find a new love. 

I have a few theories. One is there was a brief camera nod to Alfred and his looking up at her on the stairs, then his boldness at dinner, his calling her "attractive", and then finally the Irish dislike of the nobilty of England as we see in Tom. He has inferred that with Daisy as well. I think Daisy likes him, but he will like Edith. Edith will probably like him. She does not seem to have the "social class" issue. 

I feel like Edith will like anyone. There is no actual man she has refused. I think whatever happens, she will have to make some decision between love and family. Maybe she will turn mean again and hook up with Richard to spite Mary and have her own dynasty there. Here and Richard have a understanding about their relationship to destroy Mary and Matthew since they were both jilted. It is surely the revival of Edith of the first season. 



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