Photo: ITV

The Crawleys' Rich American In-Laws Make Friends In London

Mostly blatant gold-diggers, but still! It makes for a little excitement as Rose makes her official début (and almost takes down a head of state).

  • Plot Lightning Round

    Now WHERE WERE WE?

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    Screens: ITV

    The housekeeper (or whatever) at Grantham House, the Crawleys' London house, has taken ill, so Mrs. Hughes and Daisy have been sent down to the minors!

    Downton Abbey

    Edith -- back home after eight months abroad -- has to go to London to deal with Gregsonalia and then for Rose's coming-out ball afterward; Tom doesn't want to go but tough titties, Tom! He also mentions that they might have had to sell the house if they hadn't gotten past their money problems. "Thank God for Matthew!" - Edith, whose name is an anagram for "genuine class"!

    Downton Abbey

    Thomas tells Daisy -- who doesn't care about going to London and cooking in one kitchen rather than another -- to make sure Baxter knows how excited he is to hear her stories...so I guess the past eight months since the last episode haven't loosened his hold on her and that Molesley is still useless after all!

  • Awkward
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    Screens: ITV

    The Mummy Returns

    Situation: Edith is back at Downton after a very long absence.

    What Makes It Awkward? She's filled with regrets about having placed her baby -- a girl, as it turned out -- with a nice Swiss family, the Schroeders.

    How is order restored? Edith does her best to go along with the expectations of her aunt and grandmother -- the only people she can talk to about her predicament -- to fit back in with the family's usual obligations and activities, even though to Edith they now seem hollow and pointless. And she does an okay job, but...to be continued.

  • Place Of Interest
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    Grantham House!

    Can you believe this tiny-ass hovel that all the Crawleys are spending the London season in? I mean, the Levinsons, Cora's mother and brother, are also coming for Rose's coming-out and they have to stay there too?! But Grantham House was never designed for house parties! Mary might have to share with Edith!!!

  • That Quote
    "I'd rather sleep on the roof than share with Edith."
    - Lady Mary -
  • Snapshot
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  • Love, Hate & Everything In Between
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    Love Among The Raisins

    Apparently what passes for romance among sexagenarians is a pop-by in your tails so you can kill some time on your way to someone else's dinner and the lady you're trying to woo is just hanging out alone eating soup on a tray. But never mind: when the subject of Rose's ball comes up, they both seem to agree that it's not exactly a hot ticket, but that they'll each go if the other does. POLITE PASSION BURNS! POLITELY!

  • Character Study
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    Screen: ITV

    And We'll Sometimes Be Royals

    When flapper-in-denial Rose goes out to hear one of her favourite orchestras at a club called The Embassy, one of her well-connected friends -- whose dad, embarrassingly, is also there running his game -- introduces her to an actual VIP.

    Name: Edward.
    Age: 29.
    Occupation: Prince Of Wales.
    Goal: To get his leg over as many married women as he can without getting caught (before eventually getting caught).
    Sample Dialogue: "Your father must be Shrimpy Flintshire!"
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  • Character Study
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    Teapot Homie

    It's been many months since Cora's brother was embroiled in the Teapot Dome Scandal, but either he's not really over it or he wasn't particularly happy to begin with?

    Name: Harold Levinson.
    Age: Mid-50s.
    Occupation: ???
    Goal: To get through multiple months of European travel with his mother without (a) eating anything weird or (b) murdering her.
    Sample Dialogue: "Well, I haven't felt the need to leave America. And to be honest, I don't feel the need to leave it now."
  • Snapshot
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    Screen: ITV

  • Love, Hate & Everything In Between
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    Bitches At An Exposition

    Oh no, Tony's running into Mary when she's on a kind-of date with Charles! Oh man, this Mrs. Dudley Ward that Charles knows -- which given that she's also friends with Rose automatically makes her sketchy -- is mooching an invitation to Rose's ball! Oh dear, are Charles and Tony going to be forced to pull their cocks out and measure them in front of all the art and also Rose?!

  • Alert!
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    Cultures Gonna Clash

    Alert Type: Crass American Alert.

    Issue: Ethan, Harold's Kenneth The Page-looking valet (which, first of all, he thinks is pronounced "val-LAY") is so friendly and familiar that Carson is instantly suspicious of him.

    Complicating Factors: First, Ethan doesn't know how to serve the British way, a.k.a. the right way: he doesn't know he's supposed to be known as "Mr. Levinson," encourages guests to eat the hors d'oeuvres he's passing, and generally makes himself visible. Then, he makes the mistake of developing a crush on Daisy somehow.

    Resolution: The situation is resolved when he...leaves, basically.

    Spoiler: He's not going back to America alone; he's bringing an anchor with him.

  • Party!
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    Grantham House Is Hoppin'!

    What's the occasion? Welcoming the Levinsons to London, and/or reciprocating for all the other at-homes they've attended at other people's houses through the season.

    What are the refreshments? Hors d'oeuvres endorsed by Ethan (shut up, Ethan), champagne, and a whole lot of krill that Lord Aysgarth and his daughter Madeline are throwing out in the hopes of landing (respectively) Martha and Harold.

    Whose embarrassing public scene will everyone be talking about tomorrow? Lord G's, for that terribly insincere welcome he mustered for that scumbag Mr. Sampson.

  • Hell No!
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    Edith, We All Got Pain

    Mary, Tony, and Edith discuss the fact that fucking Sampson showed up and that it's gross but that they can't very well make a scene, and Edith's all, "I sometimes feel we should make more scenes about things that really matter to us." Tony's like, "Wouldn't be very English," and Edith agrees, but says she envies "those Latins" crying and carrying on and actually being allowed to express feelings, because they probably feel better afterward. Mary thinks that "once you let it out, it must be hard to get it back in." That's what she said, no one adds. But seriously, Edith, we all know that adversity has made you deep and soulful and that you see through all this like you're wearing They Live! glasses, but give it a rest.

  • Awkward
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    Spy Hard

    Situation: Tom invited SARAH BUNTING to dinner out at the pub, while all the other Crawleys are gone, and after dinner she tells him she wants to see the house.

    What Makes It Awkward? Tom feels weird about bringing her back without any chaperones, and makes it clear from his behaviour, but SARAH BUNTING is so bold and brassy that she either doesn't pick up on his cues or just ignores them. And when they're upstairs in the gallery looking down at all the various coats of arms marking Crawley marriages to various other families, Thomas shows up and gives them the hairy eyeball.

    How is order restored? It's not: SARAH BUNTING leaves, and then when Tom and Thomas get to London, Thomas totally narcs on Tom to Lord G, saying he thinks they might have been coming out of a bedroom. So I guess that is a restoration of order in the sense that it's Thomas doing what comes naturally.

  • Snapshot
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  • Here's An Idea

    When The Guy Everyone Thinks Is Totally Sketchy Invites Himself Out To The Jazz Club And One Of You Just Got An Adulterous Letter From The Prince Of Wales, Don't Leave Sir Sketch Alone With Everyone's Purses

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  • Dialogue
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    Ball-bound Ballbuster

    Cora insisted I come without a maid. I can't believe she understood the implications.
    Which are?
    How do I get a guard to take my luggage? When we arrive in London, what happens then?
    Fear not. I've never travelled with a maid. You can share my knowledge of the jungle.
    Can't you even offer help without sounding like a trumpeter on the peak of the moral high ground?
    And must you always sound like the sister of Marie Antoinette?
    The Queen of Naples was a stalwart figure. I take it as a compliment.
    You take everything as a compliment.
    I advise you to do the same. It saves many an awkward moment.
  • Awkward
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    Screen: ITV

    One Ticket To Paradise

    Situation: Anna's given Mrs. Hughes Bates's old coat so that Mrs. Hughes can donate it to a Russian clothing drive.

    What Makes It Awkward? Mrs. Hughes finds a return ticket to London in the pocket, from the day Green was killed. So, no wonder this goddamn master criminal did time? You only had eight months to get rid of it, idiot.

    How is order restored? Mrs. Hughes tells Mary about the ticket and basically passes the buck to her on the question of whether to tell Anna about it or not. Mary kind of tries to get Bates to confess, but he doesn't take the bait (heh), and finally she throws the ticket into the fire. PROBLEM SOLVED FOREVER.

  • That Happened

    Rose Comes Out Into Society

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  • Awkward
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    I Ain't Sayin' She A Gold-Digger (JK I Totally Am)

    Situation: The Aysgarths -- the sixtysomething Lord Aysgarth and his daughter, Madeline, who's just come out with Rose -- have fallen on hard times, and have set their sights on Levinson mère et fils.

    What Makes It Awkward? Harold easily sees what Madeline's doing and openly talks about it, which makes her uncomfortable, because she might be almost broke but she's still a member of the English upper class and hence doesn't like to talk about money. Also: Lord Aysgarth doesn't realize that since Martha only has an income until she dies, he's barking up the wrong tree.

    How is order restored? Once Harold tells Madeline that he's not going to go along with her father's plan for her to marry Harold for his cash, which loosens things up between them and allows them to become actual friends, and maybe opens the door for something legit to happen with them in the future...? LONG CON MUCH, MADELINE?

  • Alert!
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    Letters Of Note

    Alert Type: Scooby Doo Alert.

    Issue: This Mrs. Dudley Ward tit had a compromising letter when she went out to the club with Rose the other night, and when she went to look for it later, it was gone. She was hoping that since Rose knew about it, she might have taken it as a hilarious prank, but Rose didn't. (She's not funny.)

    Complicating Factors: The letter was from the Prince Of Wales.

    Resolution: Oh Jesus. So Rose lets the family in on the predicament and her part in the letter's getting stolen, almost certainly by Sampson, and since the Crawleys are friends of the monarchy, (almost) everyone gets involved in this complicated plot to get Sampson over to Grantham House to play cards so that Mary, Charles, and Rose can break into Sampson's apartment (on the strength of a letter of permission "from Sampson," actually forged by Bates), but of course they don't find the letter, and once Bates knows that Mary et al weren't successful, he helps Sampson on with with his coat and picks his pocket, stealing the letter for the Crawleys.

    GIF: Previously.TV

    GIF: Previously.TV

    I'm glad that Bates at least got to show off some criminal skills in this episode/for once. And that's how the Crawleys saved the monarchy...

    GIF: Previously.TV

    GIF: Previously.TV

    ...until this particular Prince Of Wales fucked things up for himself in a pretty permanent way.

    Gif: MiscGifs.Tumblr.Com

    Gif: MiscGifs.Tumblr.Com

  • Snapshot
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    Downton Abbey Downton Abbey
  • Meeting Time
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    Fun, Carson-Style

    Who called the meeting? Carson.

    What's it about? Because of all the extra work the staff has had to do in London, to say nothing of being crammed together like maggots, Cora wants to give the servants a special treat after it's all over, and she's left it to Carson to think of a fun idea.

    How'd it go? Badly. Poor Carson's idea of what constitutes fun is like my grandpa's: a visit to the science museum! "Or perhaps a trip to see where they've put the Crystal Palace!" The staff is like

    Downton Abbey

    Mentions of other institutions and abbeys are not met with much more enthusiasm.

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    I mean, Ethan doesn't even know what those things are, but he can tell they're crappy. So Carson tables the matter and manages not to tell them all to fuck off and come up with their own great ideas, then! But I can tell he's thinking it.

  • That Happened
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    Set A Course For Adventure! Or Don't.

    Ethan is so excited to tell Daisy that Harold wants to hire her as his cook and bring her to America because he is in love with her bland English cooking (and also because Ethan, for some reason, is in love with Daisy). Daisy's like

    Downton Abbey
  • Dialogue
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    Either Tell Us Her Horrible Secret Or STOP TALKING ABOUT IT

    You're very thoughtful, Miss Baxter!
    Am I?
    It's no use ganging up with Mr. Molesley. He can't protect you like I can. And he doesn't know what I know? Does he.
  • Hell Yeah!
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    Mrs. Hughes Stars In The Prequel To Inception

    Not only is Mrs. Hughes working on behalf of the staff by coming up with the idea that their treat should be a treat to Brighton, but she figures out a way that she can give Carson the idea without his knowing it: she gets a postcard of the beach at Brighton, puts it on Carson's bulletin board...and then takes it off and puts it back higher so that it will be at his eye level. Aw. (And: brilliant.)

  • Party!
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    Baller Move

    What's the occasion? It's Rose's coming-out ball.

    What are the refreshments? A bucket of cold water, thrown by Martha onto Lord Aysgarth's gold-diggery, as he proposes and she informs him that she's modern and has no interest in spending her life among snobs; humble pie for Tom, when he asks The Dowager C to dance and she teases that at least she can trust that he knows "how to steer."

    Whose embarrassing public scene will everyone be talking about tomorrow? Everyone will probably wonder why the Prince Of Wales would deign to crash the Crawleys' party and open the ball by dancing with Rose...and why he showed up with Mrs. Dudley Ward.

    Downton Abbey

    (Something tells me that one isn't as concerned about keeping secrets as the Crawleys are.)

  • Dialogue
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    Money Changes Everything

    I don't suppose there's any progress on whether or not it's going to turn out well for me.
    Oh, Tony. I wish I knew. I feel so cruel dangling you and Charles and even Evelyn on the end of a string. ["Evelyn? Yeah, right." - Ed.]
    You didn't refuse Charles either, then?
    I tried, but he wouldn't have it.
    Are you sure it's not him?
    My destiny is to save Downton, for George, by spending every penny and every waking minute holding it together.
    Yes.
    Charles is on the other side of that struggle. He's an outsider who resents the very people I come from. Even if he loves me, how can we pull as a team?
    Of course I should sing and dance to hear you say that. But, uh, you seem to have got the wrong end of the stick with Charles.
    What do you mean?
    Charles is the heir to his father's cousin, Sir Severus Blake. He is to inherit the baronetcy and one of the largest estates in Ulster.
    Charles?! But if that were true, surely I would have heard of him!
    Well, Sir Severus is a distant relation and Charles has always played it down, but he is not an outsider. In fact, he's going to be a lot more eligible than I am.
    Why did no one tell me this before?
    Does it make a difference?
    To know that he and I are on the same side -- yes, of course it makes a difference.
    You sound as though the tide is running against me.
    Tony. A year ago, I thought I'd be alone forever -- that I would mourn Matthew to the end of my days. Now I know that isn't true, that there will be a new life for me one day. And even if I can't decide yet what life that should be, isn't it something for us to celebrate?
    It certainly is.
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  • Dialogue
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    Clash Of The Titans

    Ohhhh, off to bed, are we? That's very sensible: a woman your age needs her rest!
    You need a rest cure if you are taken in by that booby, Aysgarth.
    Violet, forgive me, and I don't mean to be offensive, but are you always this stuck-up?
    Do tell me, do tell me: is the new Lady Aysgarth all set to hold London enthralled with tales of how the West was won?
    Actually, I turned him down.
    Oh! You surprise me!
    Mm hmm, I'm sure. You see, I have no wish to be a great lady.
    No -- a decision that must be reinforced every time you look in the glass.
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  • Love, Hate & Everything In Between
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    Love Among The Toffs

    As Mary walks Charles out after the ball, she lets him know she knows he's totally been rich this whole time. Charles says that, at first, he didn't want her to think that he shared her prejudices just because they're from the same class, and then after that he wanted to win her over on his own merits. He assumes Evelyn told her, but Mary says it was Tony, and that she thinks he did because "he wants it to be a fair fight." He says that assumes he and Tony are "the only ones in the ring," and she kind of chuckles because obviously they are. "Let battle commence?" he asks. "Let battle commence," she confirms. TELL THE PAPERS, MARY'S OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

  • Wrap It Up
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    Screens: ITV

    Edith has come up with this whole story about a dead friend's orphaned kid she needs to look after and how she can't live in the nursery because Cora and Lord G didn't approve of the friend and maybe can Drewe just adopt the kid and pretend it's one of his dead friends' daughters? Drewe's like, sure.

    Downton Abbey

    In Brighton, Thomas bugs Baxter about holding out on him gossipwise -- which she is; she knows something happened with Mrs. Hughes and Anna and the coat -- and threatens her that he'll punish her by telling her horrible secret, but she takes the advice Molesley's been giving her since the season finale and tells him to do whatever he wants and quit bullying her. Thomas stomps off -- to lick his wounds or plan the best way to expose her? TIME WILL TELL!

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    Ethan alludes to what he's going to look like when he gets back from Spain and Italy all tan, and Daisy's like, I won't see you, because I'm not taking the job (I assume because she's planning to take over from Mrs. Patmore when she retires, or because she's going to take over Mr. Mason's farm when he dies, or first one and then the other), and Ivy's like, I WILL!!! Gee, I'm sure glad we spent so much of the past two seasons watching Daisy and Ivy and Alfred's love triangle when now THEY'RE NOT EVEN ALL LIVING IN THE SAME COUNTY ANYMORE.

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    Carson is all crusty and fusty about exposing his ankles to the staff or some shit, and Mrs. Hughes tells him it's okay if they "live a little," taking his hand and leading him into the sea, and I go "AW!" out loud because I AM NOT MADE OF STONE! See you next year!!!

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