Downton Abbey
Episode Six

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 8 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
Branson The Bridge-Builder

Downstairs, O'Brien is suspiciously asking just how Jimmy James arranged the spoons, but Jimmy James tells everyone he was only trying to help. Carson suggests that they can do without his aid, thanks, and also next time maybe he could wait to be asked before taking charge? In case you thought this would mean Alfred is safe, though, Carson's next pronouncement is that he wonders if Alfred wouldn't rather stay home from the pictures and "ponder his mistakes." He probably just means those of the evening, otherwise poor Alfred probably wouldn't have time to sleep for a week. Mrs. Hughes, however, pipes up that of course they're going, and Carson reluctantly gives them leave. "But you might contemplate what it is to waste a chance when it is given." Alfred, no great lesson-learner as we've seen, runs out of there with a smile on his face, whereupon Mrs. Hughes asks Carson if he never wasted a chance. Carson replies that if he did, he learned from it, which is all he's asking from Alfred. Mrs. Hughes: "That, and some ritual humiliation." Well, in Carson's defense, Alfred's behavior with Ivy suggests he doesn't mind that so much.

Mary climbs into bed with Matthew and mildly chastises him for summoning Murray without telling Lord Grantham, but Matthew points out that she berated him for not getting involved with Downton, which is all he's doing now. "You can't have it both ways." Mary coyly replies that she can if she wants, which is what I both hoped and expected she'd say, but after she kisses him, she asks what's wrong. He wonders if he should see someone, as if there's anything preventing them from conceiving, it's obviously his fault. Mary tells him he shouldn't worry, as she's sure nothing's wrong, but Matthew says that's just the point -- they're not sure and even with the secret she's keeping I'm surprised Mary doesn't tell him just to go to the damn specialist already if it means they won't have to continue having this conversation.

Walking back from the show (which started at 10:30, so this group is going to be dragging ass in the morning), Alfred says it was okay, but he likes British films better as they seem more real. Ivy, however, prefers the American offerings, like WHAT A SURPRISE she disagrees with him and after some chatter about Ivy Close and King Alfred...

...we head back to Downton, where Jimmy James comes into the servants' area to find Thomas, who tells him everyone else has gone to bed save the picture-goers, who haven't yet returned. Jimmy James complains about how Carson doesn't like him, to which Thomas says he loves Jimmy James. I think he's using the expression in a more offhand way than it reads on the page, but I'm still surprised that Jimmy James takes the statement completely in stride as he laughs that if that's true, Thomas is on his own (meaning he's the only one who likes Jimmy James). Thomas asks about Jimmy James' family, but Jimmy James tells him all he's got is cousins -- his father was killed in the war, "the flu" (I'd imagine the Spanish version) claimed his mother and he's an only child. Thomas suggests it must get lonely and when Jimmy James asks why he would say that, Thomas tells him he knows what it's like, so while I can't remember if Thomas has ever said one way or the other, it seems reasonable to conclude that he's an orphan, too. Thomas goes on that they both like to appear very sure of themselves, but it's an act at least to some extent; still, he shouldn't worry, because while Carson may prefer Alfred, no one else does. Jimmy James still feels sometimes like it's "Jimmy contra mundi," whereupon O'Brien appears and suggests he use his Latin to impress Carson and get back in his good graces. I actually never took Latin, but I would still have thought from knowledge of other words that the expression would be "contra mundum, so maybe Jimmy James is more right than he knows in his assessment that his Latin won't help. He takes off and Thomas is so charmed by the interaction that he fails to cover up his pleasure in front of O'Brien and she takes the opportunity, sitting and telling Thomas she knows what's going on. Thomas tries to tell her that Jimmy James is "a proper little ladies' man," which all the available evidence does seem strongly to indicate, but O'Brien brings up Alfred again. This battle between what Thomas' brain knows and what his heart wants to believe is obviously getting to him as he sharply tells O'Brien that if Alfred says Jimmy James is interested in Thomas, he's lying and Thomas must really be at sixes and sevens if it doesn't occur to him that the person who made a formal declaration of war against him is the one telling lies, but he does really seem spun out here. O'Brien asks if what's going on is supposed to be a secret before leaving Thomas to himself...

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Downton Abbey

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