Well, Lady Mary’s gone and done it. She left Downton Abbey for a “sketching vacation” with a girlfriend, but instead shacked up with Lord Gillingham in Liverpool, a trial run, if you will, prior to agreeing to the bigger step of marriage. He’s a fox, isn’t he? And much smitten with Lady Mary, who I find to be always bored and rather sour, even on her best days.
In a delicious twist (and the series is full of them, no?) the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) found out what Mary had been up to in that Liverpool hotel, because the countess’ nosey butler saw her kissing Lord G goodbye –both with their suitcases–and tattled. The dowager was, in a word, horrified. She confronted Lady Mary and let loose with what has to be the best line of the TV show’s current season:
“In my day a lady was incapable of feeling physical attraction until she was instructed to do so by her mama,” she sniffed (accent on the second ma in mama, of course.)
The dowager had already slut-shamed Mary by telling her she couldn’t possibly have sexual feelings if she was the “daughter of an earl.” But it’s hard to slut-shame Lady Mary, whose virginity was “taken” years before her marriage by a dark-skinned, foreign lover who instantly died in her bed, forcing the women of the house to drag the body into his own room in a hilarious coverup.
Viewers aren’t let in on exactly what happened in Liverpool, but by the end of the trip, Lady Mary had decided that she and Lord G. may not have had as much in common as she’d thought, and she dumped him. Rather quickly, too.
When he asks if he hadn’t been a good enough lover, she evades, leading me to hope one day we’ll learn more about her decision. I hope it’s juicy, but I think she probably figured out that he isn’t all that bright. More’s the pity, as he is delightful to look at, especially in white tie. Quite dishy. And we were due a handsome character because we were all taken aback when Lady Mary’s hunky husband had to be killed off so he could leave the show.
Downton Abbey is a delightful experience –an upscale soap opera full of so much great acting, fabulous writing and unintended hilarity that I don’t even have to pretend it’s a guilty pleasure. I EMBRACE it! I’m not alone in my fantasies about leading the life of the idle rich, having no responsibilities because servants take care of everything, leaving me to concern myself only with wearing stylish and expensive gowns. The PBS show allows me to live in that world every Sunday night during its season.
It’s one of my favorite times of the week.
So tell me. Do you watch? Who is your favorite character?
Do you have a favorite line of dialogue?
What has happened that really rings your chimes in a good or bad way?
And if you don’t watch, is there a TV program that you escape into and almost wish you could live in its world?