Downton Abbey
Episode One

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 13 USERS: A+
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Blame Canada

In the front hall, Mary tells her mother that she can leave her and Matthew unchaperoned. "After tomorrow, all things are permitted." Lady Cora chooses not to give too much consideration to what that might mean and instead warmly advises Matthew to get a good night's sleep before taking her leave. Matthew looks around the anteroom in wonder, thinking about their future together, which gives Mary the opening to tell him that she hopes indeed they can preserve their future there. She asks for news of Lavinia's father's estate and Matthew tells her he just so happened to receive a telegram that day, which he produces. Mary reads the note and, with the brevity attendant to the medium, it says that there's convincing proof of Heir #2's death, which means the estate will be coming to Matthew barring some unforeseen development. (Which NEVER happens on this show.) Actually, it's still not clear how it's going to go, as the date of death is yet to be determined -- if it occurred after the death of Lavinia's father, the heirs of Heir #2 would be the beneficiaries. Mary's like, whoa, that's not fair or logical and Matthew's kind enough not to laugh in her face, but he does say that it hardly matters anyway, given that he's not going to keep it. This, of course, is Mary's moment and she tells him about Lord Grantham's ruinous investment. Matthew is very sorry to hear it, but is unmoved on the idea of keeping the money for his own (or Downton's) purposes; Lavinia's father put him in his will because he believed he was Lavinia's one true love, when everyone -- but most importantly Lavinia -- knew that he was a fraud on that front. "How could I possibly allow myself to profit from her death, to dine in splendor because I took away a woman's will to live?" I realize these are futile words to say to a man of this time, but my God, Matthew... GET OVER YOURSELF. Mary decides to take a more highbrow approach, asking if he's really prepared to destroy them as payment for having destroyed Lavinia and what about Lord Grantham and, more importantly, their children? "God, Matthew, how can you be so disappointing?" He tries to talk her down, but she won't hear it and she disconsolately tells him that she knows what this means: He's not on her family's side. "Deep down, it means you're not on our side!" She strikes at him and runs off, and just as I was wondering who might be lurking in a doorway, we see Edith appear. Even only having witnessed the conclusion of that fight is enough for her to meet Matthew's eyes with concern.

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Downton Abbey

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