Downton Abbey
Episode One

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 12 USERS: A+
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Blame Canada

While walking Isis, Lord Grantham comes across Edith sitting on a bench sobbing into Martha's arms, and Martha wastes no time in blaming him for Edith's misery. Edith pipes up that Lord Grantham may claim to know what's best for her, but he welcomed a chauffeur as Sybil's husband, while when she's in love with a gentleman, he "cast[s] him into the outer darkness." Martha adds that Sir Anthony has money, a title, "everything that you care about," adding that if he'd take the time to look, he'd see that Edith is sad and lonely. Edith threatens to see Sir Anthony anyway and makes the point that objecting to Sir Anthony's age is ridiculous given how many of the country's young men died in the war. Lord Grantham is running out of arguments that have any more sophistication than "I forbid you to, young lady!" and when Edith gets him to admit that he quite likes Sir Anthony, she gets up and begs him to write to Sir Anthony and re-invite him to the dinner. Lord Grantham reluctantly gives in and Martha nods her approval; somewhere, so do Mary and the Dowager Countess -- even if they have no idea why.

At the prison, Anna informs Bates that she found Mrs. Bartlett. Bates cautions her that she may not be forthcoming, especially to someone she sees as the tramp who stole Vera's husband (he doesn't come close to saying that, but it's what he means). Nevertheless, Anna is determined to find out what she knows, and is willing to apply the rent she's collected from the Bates Motel as incentive. She then contributes further credence to the idea that the women on this show are the ones holding up the collective IQ, as she asks why -- if Vera was so scared for her life -- she didn't just walk around the corner to see Mrs. Bartlett instead of writing. Her point is obviously that the letter made for far stronger evidence against Bates than a recounted conversation, but Bates is like, maybe she did both. Even Saint Anna can't completely stifle her irritation with having married the slow class here. Bates asks for news from Downton and Anna sighs that she hasn't told anyone downstairs this and shouldn't tell him either, but Lord Grantham's in trouble and may have to sell the place. Bates is genuinely saddened by that news...

...while Molesley, while perhaps not sad, is genuinely out of breath from running up to Downton. He bursts into Matthew's room and tells him that the tailcoat never came, even though it was promised, so Matthew sighs and says he'll just have to go in black tie, and I love how for this affair, that's tantamount to wearing sweat pants and a Snuggie. Molesley gasps about what Mary will think, but Matthew assures him that these things don't matter as they once did. Normally, I think he'd be right, but did I mention that the big impress-the-rich-American dinner is tonight?

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Downton Abbey

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