Monday, February 18, 2013

Downton Season 3, Episode 7: "Life is strange, isn't it"

Well, "Life is strange, isn't it", says Robert in the final montage scene....


( I wouldn't want to ruin anything for anyone).

This season did me in (more on that at the bottom of this post).
But, oh, what fun most of Episode 7 was!
Here are a few of my notes:  remember, I don't touch on every character or every plot point..this isn't a recap of the episode...mainly side bars...maybe too many for this post, but I'll have a year to continue discussing Downton, until Season 4 starts, so I'll revisit all of these juicy tid-bits in detail, I'm sure!
-THE PHOTO WALL: First off, I love the portraits that are evident in Downton, DunEagle and also, in Crawley House. The portraits that hang in the BIG HOUSE and DunEagle are of (ancient) ancestors, but Mrs. Crawley has small silver photo frames on a console table against the wall behind her sofa table...I just love that this is still a huge part of our interiors today. We may not all be filling our rooms from floor to ceiling with portraits of our grandfather, the Marquess, but portrait photo walls are still all the rage, no?

-Junk in the Trunk: Trunks, I loved seeing the trunks while they were packing the family up for their trip to Scotland. I thought that maybe there was a mammoth Louis Vuitton trunk, but alas, not so...but wow, what I could do with that trunk. Trunks are another sort of 'upcycled item' these days...not used for their original travel purposes, but for furniture or decor....yup, I love this trend, and I loved seeing how much these ladies had to travel with, btw.

-Shrimpie- aka, Lord Flintshire. Love the knickname.  What knicknames does your family harbor? We have a girl named "JONNI" and we had a "SNOOKIE" long before Jersey Shore.  And we now have a "TOTS"...but while I was growing up there were a few ladies in the neighborhood by the names of "COOKIE" and "BUNNY" a good knickname, and I think SHRIMPIE ranks up there with TIPPER, no?

-Tom is "housebroken", to quote Violet. And I really like this arc that they are creating for the growth of Mr. Branson.
Downton Abbey S3E7: Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Branson

-Edna: Really? Julian Fellows, you can get creative with SHRIMPIE, but you make us suffer through another ugly 'E' if EDITH AND ETHEL weren't enough, now EDNA? Glad to see this
Kelly Rippa Edna maid go, hope the door doesn't revolve with this one. (And by the way, what was she drinking in the pub...I was hoping it was a lemonade tonic concoction, but I was really worried that it was a water glass, thus containing cloudy drinking water...maybe I'm over thinking here).
-The Dr. is out: I don't know why but I sort of loved the Isobel-Dr. Clarkson scenes...I cringed, but I think there is something to be said for wanting companionship even at a mature age. And who doesn't feel young and impulsive at the fair?
David Robb, "Dr. Clarkson"
And by the way, Isobel must not know what Dr. Clarkson looks like once he's just kicking around the house, or else she would have had her radar working and would have picked up the good Dr's intentions....

-"You cheeky devil": Poor Mrs. Patmore. There was a nice spring in her step.  I think we all saw this is literally the same story line that the old "UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS" series in the '70's gave their cook.  I'm not kidding, Fellowes rips off "UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS" characters and plots all the time (more on that another time).

-DunnEagle Castle/Lodge Roundup:

Scots highland decor:
Tweeds, Tartan, Antlers and Silver...sort of elegant lodge. Not roughing it.

Gearing up: Dame Maggie Smith and the cast of Downton Abbey will not only be back for a fourth series, but also a Christmas special
Tartan Plaid:
What's your clan?
Gillies Ball:
The annual tradition in big houses, to have a ball with your servants. No worries in distinguishing whom is whom.

Leaded glass windows downstairs at DunEagle:
Love leaded glass windows.

They're loud.

 Every-where. Lots-to-clean...but as my Gram always said, "honey, if you have a chandelier that size, you won't have to worry about cleaning'll have someone to do that for you". I think she said that while we were touring THE BREAKERS in Newport, RI when I was a kid.
Crystal Bobeches and candlesticks

Crystal Candelabra

 Crystal Chandeliers
Downton Abbey S3E7: Lady Edith and Michael Gregson

Crystal Goblets.

Gold boat centerpiece on table:
This was interesting..I can't find a pic...but I'll follow up on this. It was huge.

Art Deco and Art Nouveau: 
DunEagle was plush. There were Deco crystal and silver candlesticks and Art Nouveau lamps throughout DunEagle, most notably, in Mary's guest room. When you watch again, look for these splendid, sculptural lamps on her bedside table.

Man Cave:
And what a man cave Shrimpie has...quite the Billiard room to escape to.
Gentlemen's Billiard Room
I really did enjoy this episode, despite the demise of my other favorite character...first Sybil, now Matthew. Guess Tom Branson will now be my favorite.  I thought there were some fun lines from characters in addition to Violet's zingers this time...which I enjoyed.
"Love is like riding or learning French. If you don't learn it young, it's hard to get the trick of it later"-Cousin Shrimpie
or when Violet tells Rose that she once went to a Gillies ball at Balmoral (then, Queen Victoria's highland estate) and "all of the men were as tight as a tick"....i.e. they were all highly intoxicated.
and my favorite of the night: "Do stand up, you're slouching like a field hound". Ahhh, Downton quotes.

It's been fun looking beyond the obvious this season.
So much fun that I'm not going to retire while Downton is on hiatus. I'll be back each Monday to write about a Downton Style, or other movies, books, etc. that DOWNTONITES are sure to love.

The great Matthew 



  1. Love your Downton Mondays, Amy! I'm not very happy about the season finale and losing the "other nice character" (as my husband put it), but I really love this show. The dialogue, the costumes, the setting, and the unforgettable characters make it something we look forward to all week. Now, as I impatiently await next season, I will look forward to your Monday blogs!

    1. Hi Susan! I am in mourning for Downton...It's been so much fun to write about it on Monday mornings that I'm going to continue to write about books and movies that Downton lovers are sure to want to read/see/follow! Thank you for your comment...I can't wait to share some other Downton off season thoughts and period-English fun with you! XXXOOO.

  2. I can't believe how you notice all the details of the decor and dress. I try to but other than knowing it's absolutely fairy-tale elegant, I'm not able to notice what you do, I'm afraid. I plan watch the season again, first reading your post and then trying to watch out for the items you mention. That will be fun. I did NOT like the ending. I can't believe that Edith's potentially impossible love life couldn't provide enough of a crisis to last until next season without killing the only truly likable aristocrat.

    1. Think of it as decorating ADD. I know, poor Edith, again, overshadowed. Thank you for your is so much fun to discuss Downton. I'm looking forward to the other Masterpiece shows coming this season. And I'll be starting a sort of book and movie club here, just got a little scoop!!! Love you! Thank you for your encouragement! XXXOOO.

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