Downton Abbey Recap: No Way to Treat a Lady

Downton Abbey Series 3This week on Downton Abbey, it’s the wedding of the year! Well, unless you count Mary and Matthew’s nuptials. Which, um, most of you probably do. Nonetheless, (my beloved) Lady Edith at last marches down the aisle to tie the knot with older man Sir Anthony. But, this being Lady Edith’s big day, it is, of course, a big disaster. Here’s why:

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RUNAWAY BRIDEGROOM | After Robert gives Edith’s intended his grudging approval of their marriage — emphasis on the “grudging” — Sir Anthony tearfully leaves his would-be wife at the altar… you know, for her own good. (Grr!) But, while everyone is muttering about how it’s for the best, brave Edith is preparing for the worst: a lifetime of spinsterhood. (How she manages to pull herself together without so much as a bowl of ice cream, I’ll never know.)

DOWNTON JR. | Though Tom notes that the smaller property to which the Crawleys might be relocating would be considered “a fairy palace” by anyone but them, Robert is still all mopeypants about it. Cora, on the other hand, seems charmed by the notion of “Downton Place.” (Just wait till she meets the landlord, Lady Amanda Woodward!)

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WE’RE IN THE MONEY | Matthew’s insistence on not using his inheritance to save Downton Abbey becomes even more ridiculous after a letter from Reggie makes it clear that neither he nor Lavinia held his betrayal with Mary against him. Only when Mary is able to prove that Lavinia had told her father the whole (sordid) story does her thick-headed better half finally — finally! — relent.

HEALTH CLASS | After Carson discovers that Mrs. Hughes might have cancer, he blabs to Cora, who, in turn, reassures the only-possibly-dying woman that, no matter what, she’ll be looked after. But it’s all much ado about nothing, because, before long, Mrs. Hughes learns that she’s cancer-free. Overhearing the good news, Carson is so happy, he bursts into song — a love song, no less!

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SCHEMERS AND DREAMERS | Thomas paints an even larger target on his back by starting a rumor that Mrs. O’Brien is leaving Downton Abbey. Anna counsels Daisy not to be the aggressor in her (quite-obviously-desired) relationship with Alfred. Ethel goes back to Isobel’s home for wayward women but leaves again without saying much of anything. And, while Bates thwarts an attempted set-up behind bars, his missus learns from Vera’s neighbor that the deceased was scared witless of him.

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Could you believe Sir Anthony did that to Lady Edith? Were you with Matthew or Mary on the money issue? Do you think Bates might actually have killed Vera? Sound off below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. KND says:

    Poor Lady Edith just can’t catch a break!

    • Templar says:

      I can believe Sir Anthony did that, but waiting until the last minute and humiliating her in front of the entire congregation is inexcusable.

      • abbyrosewilkesshiles says:

        But honestly…….didn’t everyone see this coming? We all knew there was no way that Edith was going to get a happy ending…….

  2. Kathryn says:

    I knew he was going to dump her from the moment she told him she was marrying him because he was an invalid and she wanted to make him her life’s work, like he was a charity she was volunteering for. No man would marry her after that.

    • Livvy says:

      I cringed when she spoke those lines.

      • Kathryn says:

        I know. Until then he thought she was marrying him because his disability didn’t matter, and then she makes sure he knows she’s marrying him because he’s disabled and she wants to make him her life’s work.

        • Templar says:

          This is just my loopy idea, but does anyone else think they may bring back the burned Canadian, and Edith ends up with him?

      • Alichat says:

        I did too, but I assumed that Edith’s intent was to sound enamored and doting. I kept waiting for her to lash out at her mother……say something about how no one is supportive or consoling until something awful happens…..or something along those lines.

      • shanghaiedinlalaland says:

        You know, though, I watched S3 on ITV when it came out in the UK and that scene was cut (as were many others that appeared last night). And I have to say, having seen both versions, that I’m glad PBS put it in because to me it explains so much better Anthony’s actions at the end of the episode. Without that conversation, his jilting her at the altar really does appear over-the-top cruel. But having her say that to him makes him more sympathetic somehow (not justified in doing what he did when he did it, but less despicable). … I mean essentially she’s telling him she wants to be his Lavinia: that it’s her “calling” to “look after him” (sound familiar?). And we know what Fellowes thinks about THAT as a basis for marriage. Fellowes — in the DA universe anyway — is a believer in true love, not second best, “good enough” love. … We’ll see whether he tries to keep that up after this season, though. Personally, as dark as this season is (you’ll see what I mean), I don’t see how he can keep his benevolent view of life and love in the DA universe going.

    • CJ says:

      The only thing a man wants to hear is that she dreams of him laying pipe.

    • monica4185 says:

      I didn’t take that comment of Edith that way. I thought she said that so Sir Anthony wouldn’t feel like he was ruining her life by marrying him, because that what everybody was thinking. Quite honestly I feel the Crawleys are not very supportive of Edith at all. Then they wonder why she is so difficult. Then in later in the season there is another battle about what Edith is going to do with her life.

  3. Lawrence says:

    Tonight is my first night ever watching the series. I really enjoyed O’brien’s and Thomas’ viciousness. I think l am hooked.

    • Ace says:

      Watch it from the beginning! (It’s widely available online.) You won’t regret it; I watched the first episode out of sheer boredom during the holiday TV dead zone, and ended up devouring the first two seasons over the course of a weekend. (-:

    • abbyrosewilkesshiles says:

      Watch the first season and second season – you can find them online to watch – at one point in time – O’Brien and Thomas were allies and co-conspirators…….

  4. Cbhappygirl says:

    Oh, why can’t Carson and Mrs. Hughes get together? It would be an ideal arrangement! And someday, I hope, Edith will out marry them all!

    • Ace says:

      Poor dear Edith. Some Prince Charming needs to come in and sweep her off her feet.

      • abbyrosewilkesshiles says:

        I was really hoping that Edith and the farmer would work out – she genuinely seemed happy, even if she was driving a tractor…….Edith doesn’t need a rich man – she needs a man who needs her and a home of her own where she can stay busy!

        • Too Late Kev says:

          The farmer was married, though! That was really an odd story line — they were getting very cozy right in front of the guy’s wife!

      • I think the newapaper guy killed Vera, to shut her up,because she was trying to get more money from him.

    • shanghaiedinlalaland says:

      LOL, you may be on to something. (I’ve seen the entire season.)

  5. ClewisWrites says:

    That final scene with Carson singing, left me smiling from ear to ear!

  6. Mindy says:

    I adored the final scene with Carson singing to himself after he found out Mrs Hughes doesn’t have cancer. That scene was so beautiful.

  7. Mo says:

    Edith, you deserve better. Seriously, I felt like she didn’t think she deserved/would ever get anyone other than an old invalid…and after he turned out to be such a coward as to leave her at the altar, good riddance to him.

    Matthew was being ridiculous with his reasons for not taking the money, but Mary was almost equally ridiculous with her insistence that he rescue Downton. I’m glad it worked out (for now anyway) because it really was about more than just saving the home.

    And while Bates definitely -could- have killed Vera, I don’t believe for a minute that he did.

    • Chester says:

      Remember most of the men her age are dead due to WWI.

      • Tara says:

        I’d say she could marry Thomas the footman, taking a page from Sybil’s book. I know Thomas rides the other bus, but I’m not sure even that would be a deal breaker for the desperate Edith.

      • Mo says:

        Most, but not all. And an older man is equally suitable IMO (if not her family’s) as long as he’s in reasonably good health and not just someone to nurse as “her life’s work” – ugh. Maybe she needs to go visit the relatives stateside where she can meet some nouveau riche American fellow who finds her accent and traditions just so charming. ;)

  8. Well given that I didn’t realize that the season started last week, I was REALLLY lost (but was able to catch up with episode 1 online, afterward). Edith looked so beautiful (I think her dress was better than Mary’s — but all the costuming is to die for), but I knew the ‘break’ was coming when Grandmama was muttering under her breath as she came down the aisle. They couldn’t just let her be happy, or let her figure out her own misery if things went awry. There has to be more tragedy here…

    • CJ says:

      I missed Episode 1 too (didn’t think it was starting for another week), but then it reran (here, at least) at midnight Saturday night, then again right before Episode 2. They give you MANY (many many many many) chances to watch each episode. The first series has been run on PBS all told about 7 or 8 times since it first ran.

    • shanghaiedinlalaland says:

      Whoa, boy are you in for a miserable ride. Next week caps the minor tragedies. In two weeks, the major tragedies begin. Beware.

  9. Corky St. Clair says:

    I think Vera was nervous because she was planning on committing suicide that night.

    • Alichat says:

      Yeah….I’m hoping there will be a lightbulb shortly because there has to be something revealing in that conversation. There has to be something with the baking…since she was so specific to clean under her nails…….or Vera specifically saying that Bates was coming. I didn’t think he was coming to meet Vera when she passed…..I can’t recall specifically tho. But there has to be something revealing from that long scene.

  10. Julie says:

    My recording was very choppy and pixilated, so I’ll have to record it again. I managed to catch bits and pieces. Did they show the doctor giving the news to Mrs. Hughes? Or is that what she told Mrs. Padmore and/or Carson? Just curious, since she went in to get the news by herself. I could see her telling them she was cancer-free even if she isn’t, so they wouldn’t treat her any differently. Thanks!

  11. lex says:

    I think Vera was nervous because she had baked a pastry laced with arsenic (the neighbor had said “scrubbing her nails as if she didn’t care if the skin came off…”) that she was going to use to kill Bates.

    • Sofia says:

      That is a brilliant idea! Maybe she was planning to kill him and accidentally poisoned herself! She didn’t seem scared of anyone.

    • Alichat says:

      Ooo!! That’s a thought! Perhaps her plan was for him to die, and then to fake a self defense claim.

    • owlet says:

      I wonder if that is how he got a bad leg and ended up with a cane. I do not believe he killed Vera and i love the story line of his and saras(i think it is sarah) romance. she would not give up on him.

      • buckeyenv says:

        Owlet……..Bates is in love with the maid Anna……….and I might be wrong on this – if I am someone will correct me – but I think Bates injured his leg in the war when he served with Lord Grantham

  12. Bob says:

    You all realize this is just a TV show right?It’s not really happening…….

  13. Ana says:

    Has it occurred to anyone that the newspaper guy might have arranged Vera’s death to get back at Anna for telling about him paying her to spy on Mary and to ruin Mary by having her it exposed that Vera sold her secrets to the newspaper?

  14. BuckeyeNV says:

    Is it just me or does this season seem a little too predictable…….Matthew just “happened” to inherit enough money to save Downton – Lavinia just “happened” to write a letter – the day of her death – to her father so he could write a letter that would change his mind about the inheritance – we all knew Edith wouldn’t get her happy ever after……

    I want Shirley McClaine in more episodes – she and Maggie Smith were hilarious together!!!

  15. Phyllis says:

    Did they ever say what the circumstances of Vera’s death were? If they did I missed it. Can somebody fill me in?

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  17. Gwen Lasho says:

    What castle is the wedding being held at? It’s magnificent!