Downton Abbey
Episode One

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

Lord Grantham, having arrived in London, hops in a cab and heads to Chancery Lane. In an office, his apparent financial adviser and trustee of Downton breaks the news that the bulk of Lady Cora's fortune has been lost. Lord Grantham bites out that he needed a big score to ensure Downton's survival and that in the face of war, rail shares were bound to make a fortune. While the guy agrees that many did, the Canadian Trunk Line, in which Lord Grantham invested a huge amount against his advisers' wishes, has actually gone bankrupt and is about to be "absorbed into the Canadian National Railway scheme." Lord Grantham looks like he's about to keel over at the news of nationalization, and asks if the money -- the lion's share of Lady Cora's fortune -- is really all gone. The financial adviser is like, "I'm glad you're following along." Lord Grantham finally gives the adviser a name (Murray) as he says he's sacrificed too much to let Downton go now. Including Lady Cora's fortune! Murray is like, I hate to deflate your puffed-out chest, but without money, how exactly is Downton going to be run? Lord Grantham babbles some more about how Downton needs to be a major employer, but at this point his position is so bleak he might as well stomp out while bellowing "I SAID GOOD DAY!" It'd make him feel better on the train ride back!

Back in town, Lady Edith is walking when Sir Anthony Strallan, last seen in the Christmas special rekindling his friendship with Edith -- you remember, he's the older gentleman who was into Edith until Mary sabotaged their relationship as revenge for Edith telling the Turkish ambassador about her and Mr. Pamuk -- calls to her from his car. She hops in and I'd make a comment about riding in cars with boys, but as everyone in this episode (including Sir Anthony himself) is all too quick to point out, he's no spring chicken. Edith explains that she's in town to get away from wedding panic, because while weddings are lovely, their preparation is a bit manic. Sir Anthony notes that weddings can be a reminder of one's loneliness and then through a mouthful of shoe polish is like, "Sorry, I don't know why I said that." Hee. For an almost complete dolt, Sir Anthony is a wonderful character, probably because the actor playing him, Robert Bathurst, hits just the right blend of quiet dignity and unintentional humor. Changing the subject, Sir Anthony is the first to inquire whether Lady Cora's mother is coming over and Edith delights viewers far and wide by affirming that. She also adds that Mary learned only that morning that Sybil will also be attending, although Lord Grantham is as yet blissfully unaware of that fact. We leave the two of them, but not before Edith's smile lets us know that she'd be quite willing to pick up where they left off. It's hilarious to point out given her choice of suitors, but she's not getting any younger.

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Downton Abbey

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