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Showing posts by: Naz Keynejad click to see Naz Keynejad's profile
Mon
Aug 3 2015 1:00pm

Working Towards an HEA: Poldark Season 1 Finale

And here we are ...one more fantastic period drama with too few episodes comes to an end. Having read the books, I knew what was coming, but it still didn’t take away from my anticipation of the show’s final two episodes (which Masterpiece PBS aired as a two-hour finale). The good news is that Season 2 is in the works and we’ll have more of Aidan Turner’s smoldering on our TV. The bad news is that we’ll have to wait a whole year for it. In the meantime, let’s do a quick recap of the last four episodes, and maybe speculate about what might be coming up in the next season.

After Ross married Demelza and faced the derision of his neighbors, business partners, and family friends (including the woe-is-me doe-eyed looks from Elizabeth), he embarked on a venture to not only open his father’s old mine, but to outsmart the Warleggans’ quest to monopolize all aspects of the copper industry. Honoring his uncle’s request, Ross (perhaps reluctantly) asked Francis to join him in his new ventures, but Francis, too deeply enmeshed in the machination of the Warleggans, refused and was ultimately ruined. Gambling away his money, mortgaging his estate and mines, spending time with the local prostitute, Francis is the epitome of the weakling lord, who is easily influenced by conniving “friends” like Warleggan. His relationship with Elizabeth deteriorated to the point of barely-contained hostility and of course, true to form, he somehow found a way to blame it all on Ross.

[What a beautiful romance...]

Mon
Jul 6 2015 11:00am

Romelza Forever: Poldark’s Ross and Demelza Turn Up the Heat!

Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers of all aired episodes of Poldark, including (especially!) last night's game-changing episode. Read with caution!

Last night’s episode of Poldark was nothing short of swoon-worthy. For those of you who are new to the show, I’m sure (or at least, hoping) that you were just as much of a melting puddle of goo on the floor as I was when Ross and Demelza finally got together. I’ve read the first few books in the series, so I knew what was going to happen, but the show definitely surpassed my expectations. The perfect combination of the smoldering hero and the fair maiden, Ross and Demelza are now firmly established as members of favorite period-drama OTPs.

Let’s start with a quick recap and move on to dissecting the deliciousness of Romelza.

When we first met Ross Poldark, he was a heartbroken war veteran, brooding over the loss of the love of his life to his milquetoast cousin. Elizabeth had betrayed him by agreeing to marry his cousin Francis, but as viewers, we all probably felt for her predicament: she’d thought Ross was dead! What else was she supposed to do? We all watched as Ross struggled with the news, gripped the railings in the church pew during the wedding, and tossed aside Elizabeth’s ring as he struggled to come to terms with her loss. He contemplated leaving Cornwall for London and abandoning his inheritance. He drank. He buried himself in work. But underneath it all, the wound was still raw, and every time he saw Elizabeth, it bled afresh.

[Ross and Demelza fight and then have a steamy makeup...]

Sun
Jun 14 2015 2:15pm

Romancing Romelza: Top 5 Reasons to Watch Poldark

 

Source: princessofpoldark.tumblr.com

If you were on Twitter in March, you may have noticed quite a bit of chatter about a new Poldark miniseries starring Being Human (UK)'s Aidan Turner. The 8-part series aired weekly on BBC in the U.K. and will debut on Masterpiece on PBS in the U.S. starting June 21. If you're still on the fence about the show, though, we have five reasons you need to tune in next Sunday (for more Poldark-love, we also ran a piece back in March previewing the show with fond comparisons to the books and to the original TV series—which you can read all about in our 2011 post “Romp & Circumstance: Poldark—so please be aware there could be minor plot SPOILERS).

If you’re like me and absolutely love everything about period dramas, then this list is moot. If you’re not, and have been wondering why us period-drama lovers drool at the prospect of a new series, then here are top five reasons why Poldark is a good place to whet your appetite!

[We're feeling hungry for it already...]

Fri
Dec 26 2014 2:25pm

Downton Abbey Season 5 (Series 5) Christmas Special Recap: Joy to the World

Lady Mary and George in Downton Abbey Season 5 Christmas specialWelcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5 Christmas Special. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Here we are, the true finale of the season.

We start with Mary visiting poor Anna in jail. Anna’s worried that Mary’s visit will leave a black mark on the Crawley name, but Mary assures her that her visit will actually prove to the world that they Crawley family believes Anna to be innocent.  She also promises that the testimony of one man claiming to have seen Anna at the scene of the crime is not enough for a conviction, and that Anna will be released soon. I hope so! This is seriously ridiculous.

[Things can only get better from here...right?...]

Mon
Nov 10 2014 11:15am

Downton Abbey 5x08: Loose Ends and Tied Knots

Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5, Episode 8. Enjoy!

And here we are! The final episode of the official season. Yes, we still have the Christmas Special to look forward to, but for all intents and purposes, this is the last episode of Season 5. Let’s hope some loose ends are tied up!

The episode starts with the servants running around, preparing for the trip to London. Thomas, looking like his old, spry self, hands copies of the inventory to Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, and in the kitchen, Mrs. Patmore and Daisy are busy creating edible flowers to decorate the wedding cake. Wait— whose wedding are we celebrating? Rose and Atticus? That was fast!

Yes. It’s Rose’s wedding. Upstairs, she’s trying on clothes with all the ladies of the house (minus Edith, but including Violet and Isobel) in attendance. The show’s jumped ahead a few months, clearly. Rose’s parents are going to meet everyone at St. James’s for the wedding. They couldn’t arrive earlier, due to the government hand-over being pushed back. For those of you who are wondering, this is not the actual hand over of India back to the Indian government, but Shrimpie’s handing over his post to the person who’s succeeding him. The wedding is taking place in London, because Rose wants to placate Lord Sinderby with a blessing in a synagogue. Ah, this is going to be a lot of fun! Susan and Shrimpie, pretending to be happily married, in a room with the grumy Lord Sinderby. Can’t you just imagine how things will disintegrate rather rapidly?

[Yeah, we're guessing it's not going to go well...]

Mon
Nov 3 2014 12:14pm

Downton Abbey 5x07 Recap: Classless Differences

Atticus and Rose gaze at each other in Downton Abbey Season 5, episode 7Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5, Episode 7. Enjoy!

This is going to be a really fun episode. I can feel it!

We start with Violet picking Rosamund up at the train station, and figuring out a plan to deal with Edith’s departure. Violet wants to let Cora know everything immediately, because as Edith’s mother, it’s her right to know. According to Violet, Robert, however, doesn’t have any rights, because he’s a man! Ha ha ha! As Mrs. Hughes tells Mr. Carson, Rosamund’s addition to the motley array of dinner guests already at Downton is going to “make for a funny evening.”

[And does it? Let's find out...]

Mon
Nov 3 2014 10:20am

Death Comes to Pemberley Episode 2: Prejudicial Proceedings

PBS's new two-part British miniseries, Death Comes to Pemberley, is based on P.D. James's book of the same name and first aired in three parts on BBC One in the UK last December. The story begins six years after Pride and Prejudice's iconic couple Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (now Mrs. Darcy!!!) have gotten married, as there's been a murder on the night before the annual Pemberley ball. The miniseries stars Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House, South Riding) as Elizabeth Darcy, Matthew Rhys (The Americans) as Mr. Darcy, Matthew Goode (The Good Wife) as Wickham, and Jenna Coleman (Doctor Whoas Lydia.

NOTE: This post contains spoilers for the second half of the PBS (and BBC One) miniseries Death Comes to Pemberley. Enjoy!

We continue the story with Elizabeth sitting alone on the steps of one of the old chapels at Pemberley, surrounded by the beauty of the land. She remembers Darcy’s initial (and disastrous) proposal, and his words about what degradation it would be to marry her. Since Darcy’s been giving her the cold shoulder since the incident, it’s no wonder that she remembers his hurtful words! She must feel that he was right, and that he blames this scandal (although he refuses to call it that) on her and her family. Jane finds her crying, and tries to convince her that Darcy does not regret marrying her, and that it’s just the stressful situation that has everyone, most of all him, on edge.

[We'd be on edge too...]

Mon
Oct 27 2014 11:26am

Death Comes to Pemberley Episode 1 Recap: Death and the Darcys

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth in Death Comes to PemberleyPBS's new two-part British miniseries, Death Comes to Pemberley, is based on P.D. James's book of the same name and first aired in three parts on BBC One in the UK last December. The story begins six years after Pride and Prejudice's iconic couple Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (now Mrs. Darcy!!!) have gotten married, as there's been a murder on the night before the annual Pemberley ball. The miniseries stars Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House, South Riding) as Elizabeth Darcy, Matthew Rhys (The Americans) as Mr. Darcy, Matthew Goode (The Good Wife) as Wickham, and Jenna Coleman (Doctor Whoas Lydia. Check in next Monday for a recap of the second and final episode!

NOTE: This post contains spoilers for the first half of the PBS (and BBC One) miniseries Death Comes to Pemberley. Enjoy!

Before I start the recap, I want to admit something: I’m a Janeite, through and through. I’m not just a fan, I’m an uber fan. A fanatic. I’ve read all of Austen’s books numerous times (even the Juvenalia), am a proud, card-carrying member of JASNA, have taken classes and written papers about her work, have watched every movie/TV show iteration of her books, and have devoured multiple fanfics repeatedly. Pride and Prejudice is my second favorite Austen novel, and I’m absolutely delighted to share this recap with you! For those of you who haven’t read my recaps before, I tend to write them as I watch, so they are written rather loosely, and edited only enough to make the transitions between scenes easier to navigate.

The story is set six years after the events of Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth is now clearly comfortable in her position as Mrs. Darcy, and is running the household with a sure hand. We first meet her as she’s overseeing the preparations for a ball at Pemberley. We get a small glimpse of her son, Fitzwilliam, as he runs through the house, dodging servants and his nanny, and we see a grown-up, elegant Georgiana, clearly at ease with her sister-in-law. Amidst the chaos, Mr. Darcy comes out of his study roaring about the noise, only to pass a sweet note to Elizabeth and offer to get out of her hair for a few of hours (she can’t bear his being away for longer than that). It’s an idyllic picture of a comfortable marriage and loving family.

[So naturally that can't last...]

Mon
Oct 27 2014 10:55am

Downton Abbey Series 5 (Season 5), Episode 6: Revelations and Complications

Cora and Robert in Downton Abbey 5x06Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5, Episode 6. Enjoy!

This week, the episode started with the arrival of a telegram for Edith. Her London editor is planning on visiting the house in the afternoon with some news about Gregson. Robert, who is still clearly upset with his wife and hasn’t moved back into their bedroom, tells Cora that they should expect the worst.

Meanwhile, Mary promises Anna to not make fun of Edith’s predicament, and tells her about a point-to-point (thoroughbred) county to county race with both Charles Blake and Tony Gillingham participating! Apparently, the men are planning to stop by the Abbey after meeting and Canningford, and Mary tells Anna that she might join the race, too, now that they’ve allowed women to participate. Anna wonders how Tony could think of stopping by at the house after being rejected and Mary tells her that it’s because he doesn’t believe that she “knows her own mind.” Oh oh. Is it just me, or do you see this turning into a fiasco? Eep!

[Yeah...we're sensing that too...]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 2:45pm

Downton Abbey Series 5 (Season 5), Episode 5 Recap: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marigold?

Edith in Downton Abbey 5x05Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5, Episode 5. Enjoy!

This week, we start with Rosamund coming over to the Abbey for a visit. Now we all know that’s a ruse! She’s probably there to figure out what’s going on with Edith! And, of course, she is. She tells Edith to come see her in her room before dinner. Uh oh! Any way, Rosamund finds out that Marigold is staying with the Drewes, and that Mrs. Drewe is not too keen about Edith stopping by all the time. She tells Edith that they are in a bad position, where Edith’s reputation is on the line, but there is no emotional reward at the end. I hope she can figure something out. I’m honestly tired of Edith being miserable all the time.

[She deserves something better...]

Mon
Oct 13 2014 10:15am

Downton Abbey Series 5 (Season 5), Episode 4: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5, Episode 4. Enjoy!

This week, the episode starts with Thomas returning from his trip to (ostensibly) visit his sick father. Guess what? His father is completely recovered! Shocker.

Upstairs, the family’s all gathered for lunch and we find that Rose’s father is due for a visit and is planning to stay at the Abbey. Yay! Shrimpy’s back! I wonder how he’s doing with his wife these days, and whether or not O’Brien will return, too. That would certainly be interesting. Any way, we’re definitely not going to see that during this episode, because Shrimpy’s traveling alone. Something’s up, though, because when Robert asks where Shrimpy’s next assignment is going to be, Mary shakes her head implying that the subject is not up for discussion.

[Let it lie for a while...]

Mon
Oct 6 2014 10:46am

Downton Abbey Series 5 (Season 5), Episode 3 Recap: Free Will and Weekends Away

Lady Mary in Downton Abbey Season 5

Editor's Note 1/19/15: Downton Abbey Season 5 is now airing in the U.S. on PBS, woo-hoo! H&H will be re-promoting each of Naz's wonderful recaps the morning after the episode airs for those watching weekly, so stick with us and enjoy the ride! (That said, if you're dying for spoilers and want to read ahead, scroll to the bottom of the post for “related articles” and/or visit our Downton Abbey Collection and you may just find what you're looking for. ;) )

***

Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5 premiere. Enjoy!

Well, here we are! The episode starts with Mary waking up in bed with Tony. They banter back and forth about the “rituals and routines” of early morning preparations. It’s their last day, and while Tony wants to simply continue on, Mary insists on their being as proper as possible and not “tarnish” her reputation again. He talks about their marrying as a foregone conclusion, but as soon as he leaves the room, Mary looks a bit concerned. Hmm. I wonder if she’s really going to marry Tony or is just looking at this as a bit of fun? Any way, she leaves Liverpool and leaves Tony with a “we’ll talk soon” farewell. As she gives him a quick peck on the cheek and gets in her car, we see Violet’s butler, Mr. Spratt, on the street, looking at the departing car. Uh-oh. It seems that Mary’s secret might be out. Can’t wait for the lecture she’s going to get from her grandmamma!

[Keep calm and carry on...]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 1:00pm

Downton Abbey Series 5 (Season 5), Episode 2 Recap: Uncertain Futures

Mary and Gillingham in Downton Abbey 5x02

Editor's Note 1/12/15: Downton Abbey Season 5 is now airing in the U.S. on PBS, woo-hoo! H&H will be re-promoting each of Naz's wonderful recaps the morning after the episode airs for those watching weekly, so stick with us and enjoy the ride! (That said, if you're dying for spoilers and want to read ahead, scroll to the bottom of the post for “related articles” and/or visit our Downton Abbey Collection and you may just find what you're looking for. ;) )

***

Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Series 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5, episode 2. Enjoy!

This week’s episode starts with the staff cleaning up Edith’s burnt-out room. As Mrs. Hughes and Anna go through the singed items, Anna finds a picture of a baby under Edith’s pillow, which she promptly hands over to Mrs. Hughes. Oh oh. We all know both these ladies are pretty smart, so they’re going to figure it out.

Jimmy in Downton Abbey 5x02Jimmy leaves (after a heartfelt, friendly farewell scene with Thomas) and the downstairs staff bemoans the lack of a “bonny lad” in their ranks. Molesley is happy about being the first footman, until Mr. Carson reminds him that since he is the only footman, there really isn’t much of a distinction.

Luncheon is a rather tense affair with Mary accusing Edith of behaving like an  idiot for setting her room on fire, and Robert berating the revolution in Russia for displacing so many people who have to establish new communities in order to preserve their culture. He directs his comments to Tom, who of course, immediately responds that he feels bad for anyone who has been exiled from his country! Meanwhile, Charles Blake is going to stop by for a visit (yay!) with an art historian friend of his to look at a della Francesca painting. Mary reminds the family that she’s going to be off with her friend Annabelle for a rambling-through-the-countryside holiday, but of course WE know that she’s going away with Gillingham. When Isobel mentions the addition of a wireless at the hospital, Rose hints at getting one installed at the Abbey to which Robert responds with an emphatic “No.”

[But it's the future!...]

Mon
Sep 22 2014 10:59am

Downton Abbey Series 5 (Season 5), Episode 1 Recap: Live the Truth

Edith and Marigold in Downton Abbey Series 5/Season 5Editor's Note 1/4/15: Downton Abbey Season 5 has finally begun airing in the U.S. on PBS, woo-hoo! H&H will be re-promoting each of Naz's wonderful recaps the morning after the episode airs for those watching weekly, so stick with us and enjoy the ride! (That said, if you're dying for spoilers and want to read ahead, scroll to the bottom of the post for “related articles” and/or visit our Downton Abbey Collection and you may just find what you're looking for. ;) )

***

Welcome back to Downton Abbey and what's sure to be another year of delicious upstairs/downstairs drama. Come, let's see what Season 5 has in store for our beloved Crawley family, shall we?

Note for U.S. Viewers: Downton Abbey returns to PBS for Season 5 on January 4, 2015. We'll be repromoting Naz's recaps then, so feel free to wait to read them until that time to remain unspoiled.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Series 5 premiere. Enjoy!

And here we are again! When we left the Crawley family last Christmas, Mary was being pursued by a gaggle of suitors (well, okay, really two serious contenders. Poor Evelyn doesn’t really count, does he?) and Edith was planning on reclaiming her daughter, bringing her to Downton and having her raised with one of their tenants, Mr. Drewe. Tom was showing interest in Sarah, the new girl in town, and Isobel was flirting with Lord Merton. And of course, the ever-exuberant Rose fell in and out of love (with the “wrong” man), and had a spectacular coming-out during the course of which, she helped save the Crown Prince from a royal disaster. Downstairs, Daisy emerged as a confident, self-assured young woman, who doesn’t need the attentions of a man to validate herself any more. Anna and Mr. Bates were carrying on as usual, having put Anna’s horrific experience with Green to rest. Or have they? We were left wondering if Mr. Bates really was responsible for Green’s death. Thomas had a hold over Mrs. Baxter, and she, in turn, was looking to Mr. Molesley to protect her. We also saw a glimpse of a possible (?) romance brewing between Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes.

So, here we go.

[Whatever happens, we're in this together...]

Thu
Dec 26 2013 12:58pm

Downton Abbey Series 4 (Season 4) Christmas Special Recap: Two Lords a-Leaping!

Downton Abbey Season 4 episode 9, 4.09The Crawley family and their devoted staff are back in Downton Abbey Season 4, now airing in the U.K. (U.S. viewers, stick with us! We'll be re-posting Naz's recaps when Season 4 airs on PBS beginning in January.) We're sure you're just as eager as we are to get to it, so without further ado...

Note for U.S. Viewers: Last night's episode of Downton Abbey was aired as “Episode 8” on PBS but originally aired as “Episode 9,” or “the Christmas Special,” in the U.K. in December, when this recap was first posted.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's season finale/Christmas special, 4x09. Enjoy!

And we’re finally here! The two-hour Christmas special that will (hopefully) tie up some loose ends (who will Mary end up with?) and give us a nice, uplifting ending to the season. Yes, I’m holding out hope that we won’t have anyone dying at the end of this season!

We start eight months after we left off, with Mrs. Hughes telling Daisy that the two of them will be going to London while the family’s in residence for Rose’s coming out extravaganza. Apparently, the London housekeeper has fallen ill and Mrs. Hughes has no choice but to step in and help. It’ll be fun to see Daisy in London! And Thomas is back to his bitter self, and is resenting the fact that he has to serve Tom, who if he had remained the chauffeur, would technically be beneath Thomas in the pecking order. Oy, Thomas! Seriously man. Give it up!

[Just let it go, Thomas...]

Mon
Nov 11 2013 11:32am

Downton Abbey Series 4 (Season 4), Episode 8 Recap: Pressing Engagements

Downton Abbey Series 4 castThe Crawley family and their devoted staff are back in Downton Abbey Season 4, now airing in the U.K. (U.S. viewers, stick with us! We'll be re-posting Naz's recaps when Season 4 airs on PBS beginning in January.) We're sure you're just as eager as we are to get to it, so without further ado...

Note for U.S. Viewers: Last night's episode of Downton Abbey was aired as “Episode 7” on PBS but originally aired as “Episode 8” in the U.K. in November, when this recap was first posted.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's Season 4 finale, 4x08. And be sure to check in with H&H again the day after the Christmas episode airs for the final Season 4 recap. Enjoy!

Well, here we are! The final episode (not including the Christmas special, of course) of the season. We start with Mary, Tom, and Edith walking over to check on the pigs. Mr. Drewe (the farmer who borrowed money from Robert to…er…pay Robert back for back rent on his farm) is taking care of the pigs and apparently, he’s doing a great job. Mary and Tom ask him to take on the management of this new farming venture permanently, and he agrees. He thanks them for giving him this opportunity and promises to return the favor if and when they need it.

Violet seems to be feeling better, but she’s going a bit stir-crazy sitting at home all day, so Isobel, who’s stopped by to check on her, suggests they take a walk over to the Abbey in the afternoon and enquire after Robert’s adventures in America. In a bit of expository explanation, we find out about the “Teapot Dome Scandal,” which is what Cora’s brother is involved in. In a nutshell, the scandal involved the U.S. Secretary of the Interior leasing out the naval oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming, to a private oil company without going through the process of asking for competitive bids. There was an investigation, and the Secretary (who had gotten quite rich from the scheme) ended up in prison. For the purposes of our story, Cora’s brother is involved with one of the private companies. Violet, not surprisingly, is not a fan of Harold’s.

[How will the regular season end?...]

Mon
Nov 4 2013 10:36am

Downton Abbey Season 4 (Series 4), Episode 7 Recap: Like Pigs in ....

Jack Ross and Rose in Downton Abbey Season 4 episode 7

The Crawley family and their devoted staff are back in Downton Abbey Season 4, now airing in the U.K. (U.S. viewers, stick with us! We'll be re-posting Naz's recaps when Season 4 airs on PBS beginning in January.) We're sure you're just as eager as we are to get to it, so without further ado...

Note for U.S. Viewers: Last night's episode of Downton Abbey was aired as “Episode 6” on PBS but originally aired as “Episode 7” in the U.K. in November, when this recap was first posted.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's episode, 4x07. Enjoy!

The episode starts with crazy morning activity downstairs. These are the times when we get a feel for what it’s like to run such a huge house. As the camera pans through the different sections, we end up in Mrs. Hughes’ office where Bates lets her know that Robert is planning to go to America…like, today. Apparently, Robert received a telegram from Cora’s mother urging him to come and help Harold with his Senate hearing.

Bates doesn’t want to go because he doesn’t want to abandon Anna. So, Mrs. Hughes appeals to Mary to see if it’s okay for Bates to stay, and in typical Mary fashion, she tells her that while they are good employers, they “expect to get what we pay for,” and that since Bates’ role in the house is to be Robert’s valet, then he needs to do his job. When Mrs. Hughes tells her that this is a special circumstance, Mary insists on knowing all the details. I guess Hughes tells her, because we see Mary in Robert’s room telling him that Bates simply can’t go with him to America, and that he should take Thomas. Good job, Mary! I’m glad she redeemed her hoity comment about getting what they pay for with this. She even makes a joke about how Thomas would love to go on the trip, what with all those handsome stewards strolling around the ship’s decks! Anyway, obviously, Bates realizes that Mary knows, but she tells him that it’s not his fault, nor is it Anna’s. I’m glad a member of the family knows now. If only she would find out that it was Green!

[Keep looking into it, Mary, won't you?...]

Mon
Oct 28 2013 10:33am

Downton Abbey Season 4 (Series 4), Episode 6 Recap: Birthday Surprises

Earl Grantham and his countess in Downton Abbey 4.06

The Crawley family and their devoted staff are back in Downton Abbey Series 4, now airing in the U.K. (U.S. viewers, stick with us! We'll be re-posting Naz's recaps when Season 4 airs on PBS beginning in January.) We're sure you're just as eager as we are to get to it, so without further ado...

Note for U.S. Viewers: Last night's episode of Downton Abbey was aired as “Episode 5” on PBS but originally aired as “Episode 6” in the U.K. in October, when this recap was first posted.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's episode, 4x06. Enjoy!

We start the episode with Daisy happily giving Alfred preferential treatment at the breakfast table because he’s staying at Downton. Upstairs, Mary tells Anna that Evelyn and his boss, Mr. Blake, are coming to stay in a few days, and that she’s looking forward to learning how to manage the estate better from them. She also asks Anna if everything is “sorted out” now that Anna’s moved back to the cottage and looks a bit better, and Anna tells her that things are not all better, but they’re getting there. It still amazes me how no-one pressed Anna to tell them what was wrong. The infamous British stiff upper lip and all that, I suppose! Bates is “brooding” (as he puts it), but at least the two of them are smiling at each other again.

Meanwhile, Robert has received a letter from America, and apparently, “Uncle Harold” (Cora’s brother) has made a bad investment (involving oil leases) and is in a bit of trouble. I can’t wait for him to show up at Downton! We all know that the incomparable Paul Giamatti has the role, so it’s definitely going to be something to look forward to!

[Every family needs a crazy Uncle Harold...]

Mon
Oct 21 2013 10:29am

Downton Abbey Season 4 (Series 4), Episode 5 Recap: Secrets Revealed!

Mr. Bates and Anna in Downton Abbey Season 4The Crawley family and their devoted staff are back in Downton Abbey Series 4, now airing in the U.K. (U.S. viewers, stick with us! We'll be re-posting Naz's recaps when Season 4 airs on PBS beginning in January.) We're sure you're just as eager as we are to get to it, so without further ado...

Note for U.S. Viewers: Last night's episode of Downton Abbey was aired as “Episode 4” on PBS but originally aired as “Episode 5” in the U.K. in October, when this recap was first posted.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's episode, 4x05. Enjoy!

This week’s episode begins with Mr. Bates walking out of his home, alone. We see Anna back in her room at the Abbey, trying to compose herself, and applying makeup to cover up the bruise under her eye. She walks down to the servants’ hall and sees Bates waiting for her. She tells him that it’s not necessary for him to wait every morning, and he tells her it is, because his “life was perfect, and then in a space of one day, it is nothing.” They’re interrupted by Miss Baxter, the new ladies’ maid, and for about a minute, are back to their old selves: talking about the new hired help, and wondering why such a nice person is friends with Thomas. And then, Anna shuts down again and walks away. This is absolutely heartbreaking.

[Just hang in there, Anna and Bates...]

Mon
Oct 14 2013 10:03am

Downton Abbey Season 4 (Series 4), Episode 4 Recap: Staying Silent, Speaking Up

Gary Carr and Rose in Downton Abbey Season 4

The Crawley family and their devoted staff are back in Downton Abbey Series 4, now airing in the U.K. (U.S. viewers, stick with us! We'll be re-posting Naz's recaps when Season 4 airs on PBS beginning in January.) We're sure you're just as eager as we are to get to it, so without further ado...

Note for U.S. Viewers: Tonight's episode of Downton Abbey was aired as “Episode 3” on PBS but originally aired as “Episode 4” in the U.K. in October, when this recap was first posted.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Downton Abbey, including last night's episode, 4x04. Enjoy!

Author's Note: I just want to let everyone know that watching this week’s episode was extremely difficult due to the current plotline involving Anna. It is a horrific storyline, and while the show is handling it in a realistic manner, it is not easy to watch. Please be kind in your comments to this post, and keep in mind the incredibly sensitive and delicate nature of this turn of events. Thank you.

Well, like most of you, my biggest concern was how the situation with Anna was going to play out. The episode starts with her walking somberly to the Abbey without Bates. He’s very confused and worried that he’s done something to upset her, but of course, she’s avoiding him, and telling him that nothing’s wrong.

[Oh, my heart...]