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  Topic: Downton Abbey Recap: A
Heartbreaking Episode
of Staggering Loss
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Downton Abbey Recap: A
Heartbreaking Episode
of Staggering Loss

New York Magazine, by Jen Chaney

Original Article

Posted By:FlyRight, 1/28/2013 2:42:55 PM

Normally these Downton Abbey recaps are peppered with jokes and a generous helping of wry asides about the Dowager Countess’s wry asides. Under other circumstances, this week’s would be, too. If things had turned out differently, this installment would be dominated by a dissertation on the latest developments in the unceasingly dull Mr. Bates Murder Mystery (update: the pie did it!); lots of wink-wink, nudge-nudge banter about how Thomas’s relationship with Hot Jimmy the Footman has made “winding the clocks” my new favorite sexual euphemism; an analysis of Edith’s new role as the founder of the 1920s-British-high-society-old-media version of Jezebel;
Headline resplit by staff.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: MissMolly, 1/28/2013 2:49:59 PM     (No. 9144640)

Spoiler alert! Don´t read this if you haven´t seen it.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: LittleHoodedMonk, 1/28/2013 2:57:03 PM     (No. 9144652)

The did win the "Drama series cast: Downton Abbey" SAG award last night. Yea.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: StormCnter, 1/28/2013 2:59:15 PM     (No. 9144658)

When I read yesterday that a "major figure" in the series was to die, I thought it must be Bates in prison. But then I decided he wasn´t a major figure after all.

For those news junkies among us, don´t you think Brendan Coyle (Bates) and Eric Bolling (on Fox) could be twins?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: thelmalou, 1/28/2013 3:01:38 PM     (No. 9144667)

A very enjoyable review! Well done, Jen! And for spoiler alerts, I shan´t say what´s coming up that many people already know about...


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Reply 5 - Posted by: TXknitter, 1/28/2013 3:07:32 PM     (No. 9144680)

I knew all this cuz I read English newspapers. So, I too won´t leak more cuz there is much more heartbreak to come. I just love the show. Just love the Crawleys, the clothes and of course, the real star - magnificent Downton Abbey itself.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: labrador heaven, 1/28/2013 3:24:52 PM     (No. 9144710)

I posted a story link on The Connection yesterday from the other side of the pond...gotta read Brit papers is right. And yes there are more heartbreaking episodes ahead for those that follow this wonderful series. Season 4 is filming in just a few weeks, but the UK gets all their seasons before we do...so wait we will. Oh, and there´s a Downton Abbey cookbook out now, too.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: dolphin, 1/28/2013 3:35:50 PM     (No. 9144731)

This morning on my Facebook newsfeed all my conservative friends were devastated by the episode last night. All the [restricted acquaintance] leftwingers are saying it was a really dull (!) episode and that they don´t think they´ll watch much any more. These "highly educated" leftwingers are usually the first to repeat dim talking points and are truly the lowest information voters I know.

Personally, I think they´re reeling us in and setting us up and that they will come down hard on the left side of things.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: JoniTx, 1/28/2013 3:42:19 PM     (No. 9144740)

Did not expect it last night, sad...but, I can now see how the future will be very interesting.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: mitzi, 1/28/2013 3:56:30 PM     (No. 9144769)

I may be the only person in America who hasn´t seen a single episode.

I rarely ever tune into PBS.


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Reply 10 - Posted by: tc rider, 1/28/2013 4:09:11 PM     (No. 9144786)

Thomas is a "troubled soul", Jimmy, not so much.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: fiddle ed, 1/28/2013 4:09:59 PM     (No. 9144788)

I experienced last night´s episode from a heartbreaking experience of my own. I was that young man watching a convulsive moment of eclampsia during the birth of my first child. So many years ago and last night I was there again.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: mickeymat, 1/28/2013 4:14:28 PM     (No. 9144795)

It is my understanding that the writer Julian Fellows is a conservative. I think it is interesting how each character is made to suffer the consequences of their decision making-some small and some catastrophic. And even when the characters make stupid decisions they are nevertheless likeable as the writers have prepped you for the stupidity by letting you in on each of their upbringings or life experiences. The character development is one thing that truly makes for a fine piece of work.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: WAN2, 1/28/2013 4:46:11 PM     (No. 9144876)

#10. You aren´t missing much in my addled opinion.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Democracy First, 1/28/2013 4:56:46 PM     (No. 9144910)

Downton rocks. Kartrashians suck.
Class vs trash.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: The Advocate, 1/28/2013 5:08:20 PM     (No. 9144932)

Romney did not attack PBS -he attacked the subsidies.Big bird should have paid for it and so should bill Moyers.
Also, the lefties on Newshour ar nothing but DNC talking points.
We don´t need to subsidize the DNC.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: peebster, 1/28/2013 5:10:59 PM     (No. 9144939)

...watched the first two seasons on DVD and loved it, but it´s starting to drag on a bit. The Bates story is slow, and I already think Mary´s old flame Sir Richard is responsible as Mrs. Bates was about to ruin his hold on Mary.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: DocH, 1/28/2013 5:12:02 PM     (No. 9144943)

No. 10: My wife likes this show. She says it has something to do with England.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: vesicant, 1/28/2013 5:14:40 PM     (No. 9144947)

Does this maroon know it´s not real? I entirely fail to care about Downton Abbey. How much of a life do you have to lack to watch this stuff? Of course, the big question is, how are they going to write scumbama into it?

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Mollygoose, 1/28/2013 5:25:17 PM     (No. 9144967)

Oh settle down, Mr. McGrumpypants. Maybe a nap is in order.



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Reply 20 - Posted by: zephyrgirl, 1/28/2013 5:26:46 PM     (No. 9144971)

This may be my last season of DA - I also read Brit papers, and I know what is coming.

And yes, the Bates/Anna story line is getting very tiresome. Either kill him off, or let him go, but be done with it.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: starboard, 1/28/2013 5:32:49 PM     (No. 9144983)

Having viewed the entire third season, it´s worth every delicious morsel. This is not your average soap opera. It´s a beautiful production that draws the viewer into the story making you feel you´re part of the scene. I loved watching it.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: Rafter, 1/28/2013 5:57:43 PM     (No. 9145028)

I´ve never seen it either (USA Today covers it -- I ignore it all)...

And Romney "loves" Big Bird but would eliminate the federal tax dollars for PBS.

Not that there´s anything wrong with his position.
And I would like him to run again.
Do you want Jebster The Bush over Rubio?
God Save The Queen.

(My Jeb Jab -- looks old, fat, frumpy, ugly; has a Mexican wife; drug convict daughter; wants amnesty doncha know?)

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Reply 23 - Posted by: bella, 1/28/2013 6:06:35 PM     (No. 9145039)

Sorry, don´t care

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Reply 24 - Posted by: yorkiemom, 1/28/2013 6:37:24 PM     (No. 9145072)

I haven´t seen any episodes either, but have seasons 1 and 2. I will watch those, then watch this season´s recorded shows. It sounds interesting to me.

Thanks #17. Maybe another poster just likes paying lots of tax dollars for frivilous things like rich Big Bird.

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Reply 25 - Posted by: NuGoddess, 1/28/2013 7:09:48 PM     (No. 9145118)

What a touching story line last night! Dame Maggie broke my heart when she spoke with Carson and entered the drawing room. I just wanted to punch Robert in the face, repeatedly; he showed how incompetent he truly is.

Downton Abbey is a soap opera of course but it is well done - no one is forcing anyone to watch it.

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Reply 26 - Posted by: dittohead, 1/28/2013 7:45:33 PM     (No. 9145173)

Very few things worth watching on the TV, but this is very worth watching. Where can I see season 2 online for free?

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Reply 27 - Posted by: gartenfrau, 1/28/2013 7:52:30 PM     (No. 9145184)

You knew something bad was going to happen with all the forshadowing. I got very frustrted with the OB, as Sybil was showing classic symptoms of pre-eclampsia, something that was known at the time. I was hoping that she would be OK after the delivery, since that is what ultimtely cures it, but she was obviously too toxemic. Maggie Smith was wonderful in that last scene where she´s bent with grief, sobs once, then straightens her back and walks into the room where everyone else is.

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Reply 28 - Posted by: smcchk, 1/28/2013 7:57:09 PM     (No. 9145191)

I am glad for the spoiler; I will have to brace myself to watch this heartbreaker! It´s a wonderful show and has my husband and I chatting about the characters as if they were family. Yes, we have lives. And yes, they need to lighten up the Mr. Bates´ story!

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Reply 29 - Posted by: absalom, 1/28/2013 8:57:10 PM     (No. 9145268)

In ´31 Sir Noel Coward wrote a 3 Act play, ´Cavalcade´, chronicling the impact of the Boer War, Victoria´s death, the loss of the Titanic, culminating with the ´29 crash; on an upper class English Family. The pivotal event in his play was the annihilating impact of the Great War on the British Empire, in the mud of Flanders. The movie version of his play was some 140 min. Downtown Abbey is pure soap opera, suited to the modern audience devoid of any historical perspective and in thrall to gossip, hearsay, rumor and innuendo. Mercifully Coward is not around to whiteness this endless pastiche to low brow melodrama.

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Reply 30 - Posted by: belwhatter, 1/29/2013 1:36:37 AM     (No. 9145528)

I guess it´s a bit harder for modern Americans to fully grasp what was the way of life of the early 20th century. Without an understanding of the continuity of history and the male inheritance factor as evinced in these old stately homes of Britain, some viewers are tempted into putting contemporary assessments on what they are seeing. In this period piece, one´s place in life was understood if not totally accepted.
There was change in the wind, as was true of the whole of the 20th century; the downstairs personnel were at first slow to pick it up as it would challenge the relative safe life of service - where food and a roof overhead were assured. And similarly too the change in the upstairs people was hardest on the older members raised as they were on a tightly proscribed set of societal rules. Their fashions and manners were forced to change forever by World War 1. The stately homes offered security for those within. Outside, the struggles for justice and decent jurisprudence played out, the Dickensian legacy of the inner city miseries of long work hours and poor wages and overindulgence in cheap liquor still prevailed. With this backdrop, Julian Fellowes crafted a fine entertainment. Downton Abbey became a huge hit in it´s initial series, as audiences shared all these experiences and got to know and love/hate the characters and realize how few secrets could remain secret. Don´t try and predict what will happen, let it unfold in front of you. Let Fellowes be the story teller.

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