god talking to nicole about o’brien just makes me so upset because yes the 2011 CS established that o’brien had limits to her cruelty (or rather, re-enforced this bc we already knew this after the S1 finale) and thomas didn’t have any limits yet and that was the difference and that was what was driving the wedge between them but no apparently not according to S3
I am so glad you asked. So glad I wrote over a thousand words (I’m so sorry).
more facts than headcanon, but under a cut to save everyone the headache
putting this under a readmore because I can? in any event, I really hope we never get facts because like a) they’ll probably be inconsistent and b) I’m really picky about my headcanon at this point.
Awhile ago I stopped wading into tags and such, but one point I’ve been seeing going around for past few months? or so is that ~Mary has no interests. This is a really confusing point for me because I definitely think you can see that Mary has a fairly healthy set of them. So here’s a post on how Mary has interests, the parallel nature of duty in Downton Abbey, and what I think the general meaning of this show is.
um, so it’s no big secret that a lot of the downstairs plotlines in particular were kind of disappointing for me? so sometimes, for fun, I just like to rehash things idk.
Since we’ve discovered that a current indefinite number of s1 characters are making reappearances, I thought the thing to do would be to go through the options and throw around some of my opinions. Because everyone cares, obviously.
So a little while ago I finally went through PBS’ s3 bios for the cast. And I was really pleasantly surprised by them, mostly because they affirmed a lot of my own observations and that’s always nice. In particular:
An immoveable standard bearer, Carson may butt heads with his cohort Mrs. Hughes, but he extends great loyalty to her, as he does to the dowager countess, Violet, and always, to Lady Mary.
Now, this really isn’t anything new and I feel like everyone recognizes that these three women are clearly Carson’s sun, moon, and stars (possibly in reverse order but I’m not going to get into that metaphor). But I thought maybe I’d like to talk about why this is and what Carson sees in them and how they’re rather inherently similar. But then I also made a graphic last night with Violet, Cora, and Mary all sitting in a row as countesses (or would-be countesses) of Grantham and I thought that would also be fun to discuss. So, um, since my thoughts tag is mostly a mess of poorly written ideas (especially when it comes to Mary/Hughes parallels that was not written well and really needs to properly be done wow I’ll get on that later) and most of it is cringe-worthy and embarrassing so – let’s add more to that? Yes, great.
I’m going to try and only talk about three-ish things, so this is a sort of grab bag of hopefully short-ish meta thoughts prefaced by this pretentious write-ups and just so I don’t get off track and seem even more full of myself here is a table of contents complete with roman numerals:
i. On Carson (and Duty)
ii. Mary and Violet vs. Cora
iii. Mary and Mrs. Hughes and Embodying One’s Position
iv. A Summation of Carson’s Love
I really don’t expect anyone to read this because it’s bizarre and incoherent and tedious and long, but um, here we go:
okay, it’s been awhile since I watched s3, but one thing i briefly wanted to incoherently talk about was grief? because what i do remember of last night’s episode is that two of the scenes that were most painful for me were cora’s and violet’s.
and they’re similar scenes. violet resting against the wall only to walk across the room, toss her veil over her eyes and straighten her back and transform herself into the idea of the matriarch instead of who she actually is and what she’s actually feeling. and then that scene with cora. when mary comes in and asks her if she’s alright, asks her if she wants her company and cora says no, like in the scene with violet, she has her back to the sole spectator (in the case mary, in violet’s it was carson), but her face doesn’t break; it holds a blank expression until mary leaves. then it breaks, then cora lets the façade drop, then she allows herself to express her emotions.
we see this sort of behaviour with multiple other members of the core crawley family. in fact, every one of them save sybil (isobel and matthew also don’t count because of a separate upbringing). following p gordon’s disappearance, edith isolates herself in the yard to cry and mary is constantly removing herself from rooms or waiting until she’s alone to cry throughout season two. at the end of season one, robert is crying alone.
some of them openly weep in front of the servants: violet lets carson witness a rare moment of weakness, mary has no reservations about crying in front of anna, robert doesn’t hide his tears from bates, but when it comes to each other, when it comes to other members of the family, there’s this strong push and general trend of being “strong” in front of each other - for each other - instead of sharing and expressing what they’re really feeling.
i was going to make a graphic and these would be the tags or w/e but I’m very tired and nothing’s working out and I want to talk about this so. monotonous stuff about carson/hughes/christmas special
Okay, so I feel we’ve played pin the Grinch on Carson again? And while the man has a lot of foibles and is notorious for being anti-fun, that’s actually not how I read this episode. So, um, journey into the centre of Carson’s mind with me and let’s dissect parts of this episode. This is going to be rather short and simple, because there really isn’t much to say.
but I also really love how the whole undertone of this episode was parenthood (mostly motherhood tho lbr the ladies are who matter). and we had cora still processing her grief for sybil and some reflections on her own role as a mother with violet. and then becoming a surrogate mother for rose, while rose and her mom just couldn’t get it right. and matthew and isobel re-emerged as a thing that still exists and mrs. hughes and branson enforcing this tiptoed around this makeshift almost-not-quite mother/son downstairs/not-quite-downstairs relationship. and carson and the baby and carson frantic over mary. and carson and mrs. hughes towards the staff in general. and we closed with mary becoming a mother while isobel loses her son ahahaha