Jan 132015

Downton Abbey: Lady Mary kissing Tony There is something so “aren’t we sophisticated” about Lady Mary having the dirty with Tony. Like she’s decided that having actual sex makes her sophisticated and modern and smart, so she’ll do that. There’s no sense of actual desire in it, just smugness. Downton Abbey this season is full of smugness about modernity. I’m all in favor of having sex before, during, and after marriage, but Lady Mary’s idea that having sex with Tony will allow her to know for sure whether or not the marriage will work out is hilarious. I will happily explain to her in gruesome detail exactly how much premarital sex I had with the two men I ultimately divorced. Ah, well.

Thomas has had no sex at all with anyone lately, certainly not Jimmy, who likes him, but not “that way.” Baxter and Mosely, and Isobel and Lord Merton, are flirting around the edges of sex but they may never get there. Or we may fall asleep before it happens. Carson and Mrs. Hughes? Lady Grantham and that very tan guy? The Abbey could be full of sex if people would stop being so damn genteel.

I am not terribly interested in Lady Mary’s Quest for Dirty Hot Sex, but I do love when she’s a stone bitch, and telling Edith she behaved like an idiot was highly entertaining. There’s our Mary.

Let’s talk about Edith. Everyone’s objection to her becoming a patron for the little girl who is actually her daughter is that she may get bored after a while. You can’t lavish all this attention on a child and then wander off! Really? That’s the whole objection? What about the part where the Drewes have three other children who are being utterly ignored by the Great Lady who sweeps into the house, pays attention only to Marigold (ferfuxake, what a dumb name) and then sweeps out? I bet they feel like shit. Also, she’s stealing a baby. Seriously. She gave up her child for adoption and is now utterly ignoring the needs and feelings of that child’s mother. Because Mrs. Drewe is Marigold’s mother.

Lord Grantham, meanwhile, is a petulant bitch. Speaking of stealing children, his temper tantrum about how Tom can’t steal their grandchild? He’s the child’s father. That’s. His. Child. Grandparents see children on the sufferance of parents, even if those grandparents are titled, you fuckwit. By treating Tom’s politics as some kind of derangement of his recent past, and making Miss Bunting so incredibly unwelcome, he’s doing a fine job of driving Tom into her arms. I loved the conversation Tom and Miss Bunting had about Sybil, as in, there was a reason she ran away with him. That was sweet. And smart. There’s nothing particularly smart about having Daisy suddenly need a teacher in order to force this couple together; the seams of the script are glaring, but I’d like something to happen with Tom other than standing around wondering where he fits in, so fine.

Lord Grantham is also bitchy about the war memorial, but let’s face it, cricket is more important. They’re British.


  14 Responses to “Downton Abbey: Season 5 Episode 2: The Condom Episode”

  1. Did Edith actually give the child up for adoption? I don’t think the Drewes actually adopted Marigold. They already have three of their own and apparently not a lot of money to adopt another child.

  2. “Marigold” is the name Roger Sterling’s daughter took when she moved to the commune…

  3. Well done.

    BTW, Marigold & other flower names are not/were not unusual at all in England. Coming from a family of flowers, I can attest to this fact. 🙂


  4. I quite like that you have taken over Downton Duties this season, Deborah. I’ll have to keep the episodes on ye-old-recorder awhile longer.

    It’s quite likely that I don’t have the suitable professional reviewer’s distance (being a big Mary fan) or the suitable emotional antennae, but it seemed to me that Mary is hot for her suitor (in a well-born Edwardian-era way). That said, I’m sure that the suitor is more eager (dinner first? Damn dinner!). Her “explanation” to her lady’s maid seemed more for the maid than it was for her.

    As for pre-nuptial sex as a marriage-success predictor – that IS hilarious – however 1920s English sensibilities and marriage-expectations are not that congruent with 1980s American ones.

    Speaking for Marigold’s father, I approve that he fished for Edith’s support in whatever way she’ll give it. I wonder if the other three kids won’t eventually think of Edith as a weird aunt. Plus, surely both the Missus and the Mister suspect the truth about Edith?

    As for Thomas not getting any (nor the others in-service), this speaks to the post-premiere feature which indicated that it was not so unusual for those in-service to never marry (apparently Anna and Bates are an exception).

    Tom’s travails are fascinating – not the least because he respects the advantages of wealth for his child. But it sure looks like a split is coming. I credit Fellowes for making Lord Grantham a clear-eyed critic of Bolshevik atrocities – which so-called “intellectuals” ignored then and for decades to come.

    And I agree that Cricket was more suitable for that space. I admire how Carson handled that particular bind.

    • Missus Drewe thinks Edith is hot for hubby; that blinds her to the truth.

    • John,

      I think Tom is going to find his own path but it is not with that un-lady like school teacher! Tom is a gent and an Irish man and has grown accustom to the set up he has. Certainly he will want his precious baby girl to have all the advantages. So, while he may feel stirred up a bit…I think he will sacrifice his “needs” for the good of his daughter. Maybe in his 50s he will take up with sweet young Marigold!

      Fun stuff!

  5. Deb,
    Thanks a million for this DA spot.

    I so enjoy the show. But I have wondered since Sunday why was Mary in charge of the condoms?

    Wouldn’t the guy be responsible for the procurement of such merchandise?

    I am so glad you mention condom in this thread because I thought it was a primitive diaphragm Anna was getting at the pharmacy. Especially since the old biddy mentioned directions as poor embarrassed Anna flew out the door.

    Will Tony put it on after his scrumptious meal?

    Stay tuned!

    • I still think it was a diaphragm or cervical cap. As you said, Susan, there is the mention of directions, but also Anna only seemed to buy one (although early rubber condoms were reusable – ewww) AND Mary gave it back to Anna to hide at the cottage when she returned home.


      • Yes, surely Mary wouldn’t have given a used condom to Anna to hide.

        • Well, I cannot wait to find out the birth control practices of the day.
          And will Bates see it and think Anna is betraying him?
          This has all the earmarks of good dirt!!!
          Love it!

  6. I think you’ve got Mary down just right. I haven’t seen that elsewhere.

  7. But the best lines, as always, are Maggie Smiths,,,I just about choked on my coffee last week when she said “I was referring to companionship of course, as I am sure you were”. The look on Mrs. Crawleys face! And this week another great word fight in the tea room. Interesting history point, Winston Churchill and his wife had a daughter they named Marigold, born about the same time I think. A good point about adoption, at that time in the UK there was no way to legally adopt a child which is why you read about “wards” in Agatha Christie type books.

  8. I think Marigold fits right in with great-granny Lady Violet. 😉

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