Marc Naimark Obviously Cora's mother is a great matchmaker. She will deal with the widowed Sybil and the spinster Edith in a thrice.
June Thomas: Cora's mother had a fortune to offer when she was looking for a husband for Cora. She doesn't have that ace in the hole when it comes to Edith.
Seth Stevenson: Will be delicious to see Shirley Maclaine and Dame Maggie negotiating over Edith's future.
June Thomas: If Lavinia could get a man, Edith certainly can. I don't for a minute believe she's not eminently marriagable.
Seth Stevenson: Evidence suggests otherwise ... Perhaps Edith would do better in the age of OK Cupid?
Catherine Rose Weisinger: I'm totally cracking up at the thought of Edith posting a profile on OKCupid.
June Thomas: What interests would Edith list in her OK Cupid profile? Church visiting? Driving? Farmer-snogging?
Seth Stevenson: Edith's OK Cupid profile today would definitely mention yoga, Thai food, and travel. They are the church visiting, motorcar piloting, and farmer snogging of modern times.
Seth Stevenson: It would also definitely include the phrase "I love Yorkshire and all it has to offer."
Dan Kois : June!!! "If Lavinia could get a man"? Can I PLEASE make an argument for Lavinia as the #1 unheralded hottie of Downton?
June Thomas: I'm not saying Lavinia was a coldie, merely that Edith is just as much of a hauttie as Lavi ever was.
Marc Naimark: Agree with Dan Kois: Lavinia was not a non-entity. She was extremely beatiful, kind, and in fact quite brave. She had inner resources.
Seth Stevenson: Speaking of Edith, her storyline is still in the balance–do we think she'll end up with Sir Anthony? Should she choose him, or could she do better?
Nnenna Okoro: Edith can do better. They should add a new male character that can be a possible prospect for her. Edit needs something to do, while one sister plans a wedding and the other a birth.
Dan Kois: Here I quote my notes during that scene between Edith and Sir Anthony: "God he's annoying. I hope he dumps her. YES"
Maryann Gorman: I'm thinking Branson might get killed in the Irish business, and we'll have Sybil back home raising her baby.
June Thomas: Maryann, that seems like a reasonable prediction. The love objects of the Crawley girls do have a short life span.
Barb Ross: Yes, Maryann. Especially since there's no chemistry between the actors.
Marc Naimark Maybe Sybil's child could marry Charley. Although at the rate he's growing he'll be far too old for her by season 3.
June Thomas: I think that Charley is growing older at the rate that the dowager countess is getting younger. Maybe she's from Ork?
Tricia Guidry: I'm wondering if Ethel and little Charley will end up at Downton and cause a stir.
Seth Stevenson: They sort of disappeared, didn't they? But Ethel and Charlie have no claim on Downton (besides Mrs. Hughes' kindness) so I'm not sure why we'd see them again. That was one of multiple weak, unrewarding storylines that popped up and went away this season.
Marc Naimark: Maybe Ethel gets real, begs the grandparents to take Charley, and comes back to work at DA, chastened and humbled and ready to get it on with another guest.
Kathleen Welch Henneberry: Im hoping Ethel gets a job downstairs at Downton, and brings the baby to work. Early modes of child care, were true sometimes back then. My irish grandmother was a maid in USA, brought my father to work with her.
Seth Stevenson: I think Matthew might die somewhere in season three. The heart of the Downton narrative is what will become of the three single daughters. When all of their stories are resolved, the show is done. Thus I predict upcoming happiness for Edith and corresponding misfortune for Sybil and Mary.
Maryann Gorman: I agree the sisters' marital fortunes are key, but it would be quite unrealistic to keep Mary alone forever. I think Fellowes is probably capable of creating drama out of a new generation of marriages.
Tricia Guidry: I know ... I thought they were leading up to a bigger part of the story. Maybe that The Earl and Jane would actually consumate their love and there'd be another bastard baby to keep Charly company.
June Thomas : Tricia, that could be a spinoff. The Nameless Products of Drudges!
Dan Kois: What was everyone's favorite scene this season? Dibs on the dowager countess talking on the phone.
Claire Morisset Mickelson: "Shrimpy? Shrimpy, is that you?" ;-)
Cheryl Duncan: Favorite romantic scene: Mary and Matthew's dancing to "Zip Goes a Million" before Lavinia pops up. Favorite dramatic scene: Daisy and William's wedding and the way the upstairs and downstairs characters were united. Favorite overall: The DC and all of her pronouncements and one-liners.
Marc Naimark: And if I recall, they were on opposite sides, just like when they welcome guests to the house.
Seth Stevenson: I will stick with a D-C scene, but go earnest: her talk with Matthew in his bedroom was full of humanity, respect, and kindness. And so well acted.
Tricia Guidry: I loved Lady Violet's line to Sir Richard ... "do you promise?" Maggie Smith has been excellent!
Lyn Poats: I replayed the "nut cracker scene" eight times. Well played Cousin Isobel!
Seth Stevenson: I had the sense that Isobel's line in the nutcracker scene might have been improvised. She seemed to break up a little when she said "It's for your nuts." (And does anyone know where I can get an actual implement that will remove the stones from horses' hooves?)
June Thomas: I, too, though I detected a bit of a crackup when Cousin Isobel referenced the nuts.
Catherine Rose Weisinger: Does anyone else think there's more to the relationship between O'Brien and Thomas than meets the eye? Maybe he's secretly her son, born out of wedlock? I thought that the first time I saw them plotting together.
Dan Kois: YES. I view that as Downton's #1 most delicious plot development yet to come. I really want to know their backstory, and what their bond is, and why they stick together. Later episodes this season showed that relationship fraying a bit; I hope that as it is ripped asunder, the show explores what connected them in the first place.
Marc Naimark: But I just don't see O'Brien as a housemaid somewhere getting seduced by a houseguest. She's no Ethel.
Dan Kois: Absolutely not. Her devotion to Cora (and her over-the-top reaction when she felt spurned) makes me wonder if O'Brien's friendship with Thomas might not be at least in part due to shared "otherness."
Claire Morisset Mickelson: Ooh, Dan, I like that on O'Brien! Didn't occur to me.
June Thomas: O'Brien and Thomas are my very favorite characters—and O'Brien at least is a great actress. (Thomas is fine—he does a good crackup.) I plus-one the demand for more Tho'Brien back story.
Lyn Poats: I wonder about the "pretender" heir.
Matt Leach: Pretender Heir will return, seeking vengeance for his mistreatment. Edith's love will reconcile everyone. And we will all complain mightily about the plot development.
June Thomas: The only reason I doubt they'll bring back P. Gordon is that even during a brutal war, they shied away from giving prominent characters disfiguring problems. William's death was so pretty—not a scratch on him, and other than a bit of dried blood on his face, even Matthew's terrible injuries left him lovely to look at.
Seth Stevenson: If P. Gordon never comes back I will demand a personal explanation from Julian Fellowes as to what the heck that lip-swiping gesture was that got Lord G all hot and bothered.
Dan Kois: Seth: I assume the real Patrick Crawley and his lip-swipe will show up in Downton Babies: The Animated Prequel.
Seth Stevenson: Or on 2Downton2Furious.
Dawn Loges: I'm worried about Isis' mating prospects. One of those baying hounds from the hunt? Or a village stud she met on her one night of freedom?
Seth Stevenson: Wonderful point re: Isis. I do hope she'll find a suitable match. But times are changing for dogs in 1920s Britain, so anything could happen.
Dan Kois: Dawn—YES, me too. Especially after so many dogs came back three-legged after the war.
Dawn Loges: Isis may be the only female at DA that the Earl of Grantham can actually control.
Dan Kois: All right, we're heading out in a few moments, but thank you so much everyone for participating! Please check out the last few dispatches in the TV Club.
June Thomas: Thanks, everyone, this was really fun!
Seth Stevenson: Okay, thanks all, it's been delightful dishing Downton with you!
Cheryl Duncan: I want to thank the three of you for some great reading this season. I loved all of your entries and it made following this season even more enjoyable. I will suffer D.A. withdrawal starting at 4 this afternoon!
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.