Now granted, I’m sick. I’m also in and out feverish, so it can certainly be argued I’m not “with it” at the moment. But I don’t think I’m so far “out of it” to not be able to realize that nothing is going on in this show at all right now.
If you want an example of a TV series that does a whole lot of nothing over 45+ minutes, then look no more. I can’t think of a single plot that was really advanced at all. All we had was a nice retread of all the conflicts we’ve already seen. Allow me to elucidate:
- Mary and Gillipants–After much deliberation, Mary finally decides to tell Gillipants exactly where to put those pants. What’s the result? He basically says, “I’m not listening!” Yup. We leave the conflict with nothing whatsoever resolved. They just kind of walk off, with him saying “We’ll get through this somehow.” I’m going to try that line the next time a team I’m rooting for loses. I’ll just sort of shake my head and say “This is something we need to get through together. We haven’t lost. We just need to keep working at this.” Maybe I’ll feel better. (And on a side note, of course Mary just happened to run into Beau #2 when she’s about to dump Beau #1. I’m starting to think this season is basically “There’s Something about Mary,” Downton-style. Think about it. I’m on to something . . .)
- Edith–Oh. My. Golly. Talk about a whole lot of nothing. We have shot after shot of Edith looking drippy eyed. We have another confrontation with the mom. Another one with the dad. Snoozeville, people. Also, in a move that surprised no one, her fiance seems to have gotten himself killed by Nazis, which is a pretty impressive feat for someone who’d just gotten to Germany. At this point, the only way I see Edith’s story becoming interesting is for her to steampunk up, grab a flight to Germany, and start kicking some Nazi butt in her quest for her boyfriend, who turns out to have fallen prey to a Nazi experiment, giving him superpowers, but at such a great cost. And he and Mecha-Edith have a big showdown, right before he switches back to the good side and beats all the Nazis and some ninjas and a couple of pirates who had been just sort of hanging out. Also, jazz music.
- Schoolmarm–She really deserves her own theme song at this point. “Who’s the most tactless person around? Who will wreck a party without making a sound? Who’s as dogged as a ruddy blood hound? Who deserves to take a trip to the pound? Schoolmarm!” It’s a slight consolation that she wasn’t invited by Rose this time. Nope. Everyone else in the family thought this was a great idea. My guess is that they can’t stand Lord Grantham, and they’re hoping to send him into cardiac arrest in one of the most contrived, boring murder plots ever schemed. I can’t wait for them to figure out a new party to invite her to next week. This is way better than Lucy and that football with Charlie Brown. (Ugh . . .)
- Isobel gets a proposal. Wait. What? Is that actual plot movement? Did we actually make progress somewhere? Nope. Because real movement would be Isobel giving an answer. Instead, Lord Hoitytoity just asks her to think about it for several episodes. Writers have trouble with plots, you know. We need to milk this one as long as we can.
- Violet and the Russian–Yup, they meet again. Yup, they talk. Nope, nothing of import happens. (Although I will say I did like the contrast the show made between what happened to the Russian elite and the British elite. That was a nice touch, and deftly made. Can’t be all negative, even when I’m sick.)
- Shrimpy’s getting a divorce–Because let’s face it: no woman wants to be married to a man named Shrimpy.
- Thomas continues to be secretive about something. I continue to not really care.
- Daisy’s still taking lessons. Next week, she discovers the cure for cancer, then gives it up to stick to her pies.
- The murder investigation continues, as apparently London police have literally nothing else going on than hanging around cold cases in the hopes that something might happen months later. Maybe this is how things were done back then. Maybe they had so many policemen, they just had to come up with random assignments like “Hey–go hang outside this house 24/7 in case a lead shows up.” Because that worked all the time?
- Art Critic Guy seems intent on somehow making out with Lady Grantham while Lord Grantham is literally watching. And Lady Grantham is like, “Challenge accepted!” This plot is lame. I was over it two episodes before it began.
Please. Someone defend this episode to me. And don’t give me any tripe about costumes or setting. If you want to watch a still life, go to an art museum and stare at one for a while. I like my television to actually do something. And here I’d been thinking the worst that could happen was more soap opera dramatics.