Thursday, 17 January 2013

Downton Abbey Series One, Episode Two

 September 1912. Matthew Crawley, a young solicitor and the new heir to the Grantham earldom and estate, arrives at Downton Abbey with his mother, Isobel. He is reluctant to adapt to his new mode of life but his mother feels that they should avoid satisfying the family's assumptions about their class and behaviour. Matthew ridicules the prospect of marrying one of the daughters, when Mary suddenly appears and he is immediately attracted to her. The Dowager is openly hostile towards Isobel, as is Mary towards Matthew. There is also some culture clash between the families due to their differing aristocratic and upper-middle-class backgrounds. Matthew astonishes the Dowager when he declares his intention to continue working as a solicitor. Isobel, too, is determined to hold her own against the Dowager and, as she trained as a nurse during the Anglo-Boer War, occupies herself with the local hospital.


Meanwhile, Mr Carson is extremely distressed by a letter, and Anna sees him stealing food. It turns out that Carson is a former music-hall performer and is being blackmailed by his show partner Charles Grigg, now a petty thief hiding from the law, to whom he's been providing food and lodging. However, only Mr Bates, Anna, Lady Sybil and Lord Grantham are privy to this, so there is no fear of exposure.

Lord Grantham is merely amused by Carson's background and pays off Grigg, threatening to turn him over to the police if he returns. The hostility between Mrs. Crawley and the Dowager escalates when Isobel pressures Dr Clarkson into performing pericardiocentesis on a hospital patient suffering from dropsy. The Dowager tries to prevent this, but the treatment is successful, and Robert decides to make Mrs. Crawley chair of the hospital board, feeling that his mother has too much control. The Dowager herself begins to consider the possibility of Mary marrying Matthew, but Mary is firmly opposed to this plan.


This is the first time we see the gorgeous Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley! ;) xx

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