DOWNTON ABBEY PHOTOCAP: Another Soup Emergency! Heavens!

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There was some serious drama on Downton Abbey last night. Cousin Isobel moved all sorts of recovering soldiers into the house, much to the chagrin of the family, who had to endure such horrors as errant ping pong balls and a general din in the library. Even worse, with Downton Abbey now serving as a convalescence home, Isobel’s gone on a total power trip, and she’s found herself a new rival: the formerly sweet Cora, who has not taken quite kindly to the transition. Not taken quite kindly at’all!!!

Yes, much of the episode focused on Cora and Isobel jockeying for power over both the residence and the rehab facility, and somehow or another, sneaky Thomas wound up with the coveted spot of house manager. And yet even though it would seem that he had now leapfrogged over both women, by the end of the episode, Doctor Crawley announced that in fact Cora and Isobel would be running things. I didn’t really understand what was going on or who was superior to whom, but it seemed like all the ladies were unhappy, and that delighted me.

Meanwhile, in romantic triangle news, we learned that Lavinia Swire’s dark secret was that she had started a scandal by selling evidence of her uncle’s wrongdoing to Sir Richard — the same Sir Richard who had been courting Mary recently. Violet and her daughter Rosalind licked their chops to this news as it would surely be the sort of vile stain on Lavinia’s reputation that would have Matthew kicking her to the curb, but in the end, when Mary had the chance to tell all, she took the high road and informed Matthew that his affianced was quite charming. Quite charming indeed!

Also winning points on the charming front was our dear ol’ Edith, whose life had become rather humdrum without a tractor to drive around (not to mention a farmer to steal kisses with). She soon found a new purpose writing letters for soldiers with no hands, and apparently she was doing such a bang up job at it that a visiting general felt it necessary to single her out at dinner. This caused all the guests around the table to raise their eyebrows in shock — since when did EDITH earn praise for anything but being plain and unwanted? Times truly are changing.

Little did all these people realize that while they were enjoying a dinner and toasting to Edith, an evil plot was underway. That activist chauffeur Branson wanted to make an anti-war protest by perhaps assassinating the general (but in reality just pouring cow shit over head). He almost pulled it off, but when Anna came upon a preemptive apology letter to Sybil from Branson, she knew something was afoot. Anna immediately ran to Mrs. Hughes for help, and rather than explain what was happening, she made the woman read the letter. Mrs. Hughes then huffed and puffed her way over to Carson, who also had to read the letter very slowwwwwly. Cut to me on my couch, pulling out my hair and screaming “JUST TELL HIM WHAT’S GOING ON!!!!”

Luckily, Carson managed to intervene just in time to stop Branson, and the whole affair wound up being nothing more than a thoroughly polite dustup. On the downside, this DID delay the soup service, which was cause for some serious concern later in the parlor — as it should have been.

Elsewhere in servant news, Anna tracked down Mr. Bates, who was now serving drinks at a nearby pub — not ideal on account of his alcoholism. He informed her that he now had evidence that his wife had been cheating on him and could divorce her, but mmmhello, what about her threats to blackmail him with stories of Mr. Pa-MUK? I guess we’ll table that for now.

Lastly, that new valet Mr. Lang had about ten night terrors, and thankfully, Carson finally gave him the axe. Hopefully we won’t be seeing his shellshocked ass again, but then again, stranger things have happened at Downton Abbey…

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“Granny, did you see the Giants of New York play against the Green Bay Packers?”

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“Heavens, I don’t know of these events you speak of.”

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“American rules football, Granny. You must watch.”

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“Oh dear. Are you threatening me behind the laurels?”

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“Behind the what?”

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“I suppose the cheese hat I found in my parlor has something to do with this nonsense?”

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“Granny, you must wear it. It will look grand.”

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“I am not certain I understand the appeal.”

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“You appear to be the proud supporter of cheese and the like! Bravah!”

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“Well, I’ve always been one to embrace the cheeses of Crudgington Telford Shropshire.”

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“Granny, this cheese is from Wisconsin.”

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“Wis-what? Is that American? HEAVENS.”

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“Tra la la. Just walking in town, looking for stamps for Mrs. Hughes, tra la la — HOLY MOTHERF*@KING CRAP WAS THAT MR. BATES? BAAAAAAAAAATES I LOVE YOUUUU!!”

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“Mr. Bates? Is that you? Oh, I mustn’t. But I must! NO. I MUSTN’T!! BUT I WILL!!! NO I SHAN’T!!!! BUT I LOVE HIM. OH ANNA, YOU HOPELESS TWIT. GET A GRIP ON YOURSELF.”

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“Mr. Bates! Did you get my letters? I sent you letters. Lots of letters! Every day!! Twice a day even!! Are you checking the post? Why haven’t you sent me a letter, Mr. Bates? MR. BATES??? I can’t run much longer, Mr. Bates. Where are you? How did a man with a limp disappear so quickly? Mr. Bates??? Why is everyone staring at me?”

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“O’Brien, what is the meaning of life?”

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“Good morning, my lady. I can’t wait to go throw some cow poop at one of your guests this evening!”

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“Has anyone seen DAAAAAAISY? That girl will catch a cold, won’t she? If she doesn’t appear soon, I’ll think she’ll be shot for cowardice, won’t SHE? Oh dear. Too soon. TOO SOON!!!”

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“Heavens, do slow your roll, bitch.”

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“Oh Branson, when you throw the poop at the general, will you be thinking of me???”
“Yes, my love.”
“Oh, Branson. I’m ever so charmed to hear that.”

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“Granny, what are you doing?”

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“I’m afraid I’ve grown rather fond of warming my head in the cheddar hat.”

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“Heavens.”

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“I would like very much to move the recovering gentlemen into the library so that they may better convalesce, as appropriate.”

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“Ohhhh helllllll to the NO.”

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“I shan’t say what is truly on my mind.”

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“And I shan’t beat you with a fire poker.”

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“You would do no such thing.”

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“Biiiiiiitch please.”

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“Mrs. Hughes. You must read this!”
“What ever is the problem, Anna?”
“Just read it!!!”
“Can’t you tell me?”
“NO. IT’S BETTER IF YOU READ IT.”

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“Dear Sybil. Oh, I shouldn’t be reading this, ANNA.”
“READ IT.”
“Can you just paraphrase it for me?”
“NO!”

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“Just… just read it. No. The other side. NO. You’re holding it upside down. We haven’t much time!”
“Dear God, Anna. Just tell me what this says.”
“No… you must read it.”

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“I swear I cannot read a lick of this man’s handwriting. Does this say something about a spatula?”

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“No. That’s… that’s an F, not an S. Please, we don’t have time. Read faster.”

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“Okay. Let’s see here. You know, his grammar is not very good. It should be noted that anyone who works under this roof should know–“
“READ IT.”

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“Wait a second. Does this letter say what I think it says???”

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“No, let’s read that a second time just to be sure. We shan’t be jumping to conclusions, not when it’s wartime.”

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“Did you give it a good second look?”

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“Hold on, Anna. Let me give it a thorough reading.”

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“Oh dear God. It’s just as bad the second time around!”

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“HEAVENS!!! We must hurry!!”

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“Mr. Carson! There’s not a second to lose! You must read this!”

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“Is this from you, Mrs. Hughes?”
“No. It’s from… well, I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”
Anna: “Read it quickly though!”
“Why don’t you just tell me what it says!!!”
“There’s no time! It’s best that you read it thoroughly instead!”

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“Okay. Shall I recite it? I used to be quite the thespian, you know.”
“Yes, I think that should be quite nice.”
“HURRY UP!”
“Okay… ‘Sybil.’ Well, I dare say we shouldn’t be reading this.”
“I thought that at first too.”
“Shall we return the letter to its owner then?”
“Mr. Carson, PLEASE HURRY UP.”
“Dear God, won’t you two women just tell me what is going on?”
“No. YOU MUST READ THE LETTER.”
“Fine… can someone fetch my specks?”
“We don’t have time!”
“Then tell me what’s happening.”
“UGGGGGH okay I will get your specks so you can read it.”
“Mr. Carson, it really is much more powerful when you read it.”
“But I thought time was of the essence.”
“Yes. But one must never sacrifice a good reading experience simply for expediency.”
“Well stated. Now let’s find my specks.”

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“This general will never expect my thoroughly polite protest!”

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“You will stop this AT ONCE.”

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“I suppose at this point I could scream obscenities, but while I am a protester, I certainly am NOT a boor.”

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“Let us very politely end this almost protest RIGHT NOW.”

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“ARE WE GETTING THE DAMN SOUP OR WHAT? I AM STARVING.”

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“Oh dear. If I don’t get to have soup tonight, I might just cry right here. No. I mustn’t. But an evening without soup? Heavens…”

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General: “Apropos of nothing, I’d like to single out one person at this table for quietly being a wonderful person.”
Lady Rosamund: “Oh, why thank you in advance.”
“Not you. I’m speaking, of course, about…”

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“Lady Edith.”

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“Me?”

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“Her?”

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“Is she funny or something?”

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“Perhaps when you said ‘Edith’ you meant ‘Isobel,’ in which case I say to you, ‘Thank you.'”

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“No, I meant Edith.”

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“Heavens…”

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“I just tinkled in my britches.”

What did you think about the episode? Again, if you’ve seen all of season two already, no spoilers please!

5 replies on “DOWNTON ABBEY PHOTOCAP: Another Soup Emergency! Heavens!”

  1. Very funny, just got back from the UK myself and I have to say the Brits are very proud of themselves. I do enjoy watching any Masterpiece theatre than most of the Real Housewives shows. Hope you continue with these PBS shows, I can live without the Housewives

  2. aaaagh! Can’t believe I missed it! Thanks for the recap, your whole bit with the letter was a scream!

  3. OMG – I can totally picture Maggie Smith saying “Heavens, do slow your roll, bitch.” Brilliant

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