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DOWNTON ABBEY, Season 5 Finale

This week’s DOWNTON ABBEY was chock-full of holiday goodness, resolving most of the major storylines of the season. There were castles, hot men, reconciliations, the comeuppance of Lord Sinderby, drunken Lord Grantham, flirting, a stupid fight over chicken broth, ending with a surprise marriage proposal...
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DOWNTON ABBEY: Season 5, Episode 8

Rose and Atticus are getting married! Yes, those two crazy kids, who hardly know each and who only got engaged last episode, are tying the knot. The bride’s mother and the bridegroom’s father don’t approve of the marriage, the bride’s parents are broke and getting a divorce, the servants are running amok, there’s an awkward dinner party, the word shiksa is bandied about, and someone gets arrested. Why it’s just an average, everyday wedding but with posh people...
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DOWNTON ABBEY: Season 5, Episode 7

Cora has really had it tough this season: she found out her maid was a convicted thief, she had to fight off the unwanted attentions of Simon Bricker, had to deal with Robert’s bruised ego, and now she’s just learned that she has a secret grandchild. It’s a wonder that she didn’t start throwing things or get out one of Robert’s shotguns. But before she finds out the truth, it’s yet another dinner party at Downton Abbey...
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DOWNTON ABBEY, Season 5, Episode5

This week’s episode was filled with some relationships ending, some relationships beginning, and more talk than anyone needed to hear about change.  This was also the episode where literally everyone tells Barrow that he looks like crap. Because Barrow is trying to change his nature by shooting himself up with what is probably apomorphine (a drug used for psychiatric treatment of homosexuality in the early 20th century). Some commentators have suggested that Barrow is shooting heroin; if so, he seems to have skipped the euphoric stage of that drug altogether.  Baxter, who has no reason at all to be kind to Barrow, tries to get him to stop what he’s doing but he’s set on ‘changing his path.’  He even tells her that it’s working. Oh Barrow, I would have more sympathy for you, if… Continue
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DOWNTON ABBEY, Season 5, Episode 4

I’m writing this as I sit in the break room in the courthouse downtown waiting to see if I’m summoned for a jury pool, worrying about whether or not poor Anna Bates might be facing a jury of her peers sometime soon. See, Sergeant Willis returned to Downton Abbey this week. Anna was seen loitering in front of The Albany, where Lord Gillingham lives, by a plainclothes detective.  Mrs. Hughes explains that Anna and Lord Mary were in London, and Anna was simply dropping off a note for Lord G.  But there’s more, Anna was also seen visiting the scene of Mr. Green’s death near the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus which seems suspicious. Mrs. Hughes assures Sergeant Willis that Anna was nowhere near that statue on the day that Mr. Green met his… Continue
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DOWNTON ABBEY, Season Five, Episode 3

Sunday night’s episode of Downton Abbey was chock full of juicy revelations, with a heavy focus on the women in the house. Despite Tony the Tiger’s best efforts, Mary is having buyer‘s remorse.  While he may be a stud muffin between the sheets, out of bed it appears he bores Mary to tears. Still she’s not ready to cut him loose just yet.  When he suggests announcing their engagement as quickly as possible, she tells him that she wants to do things right, her reputation has been tarnished once already. So Mary must have played true confessions and told Tony all about her dalliance with Mr. Parmuk. But did she also tell him that she killed Parmuk with her lady parts? Just as Mary is remarking to Tony how lucky they were that they haven’t… Continue
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DOWNTON ABBEY, Season 5, Episode 1

Welcome to season five of Downton Abbey everyone!  Last night’s episode was a marked improvement over last season, filled with sex, blackmail, dubious fashion choices, class warfare, and Jane Austen allusions. It’s 1924, and the times they are changing, and not everyone is happy about it. There is a Labor government in power and both Lord Grantham and Carson have their knickers in a twist about it.  When the townspeople ask Lord Grantham for help building a war memorial for the villagers who fought in the Great War, he assumes that he will be the chairman. While they would like him to donate the land, they want Carson to be the chairman, since he knew most of the young men, and due to his standing in the village.  Lord Grantham swallows his pride, and tells… Continue
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Trailer: DOWNTON ABBEY, Season Five

We have to wait a bit longer than our friends across the pond for Downton Abbey season five (it premieres in the U.K. on September 21 while here in the U.S. the date is January 4) — but that just gives us all the more time to build up our anticipation! In the meantime, this trailer promises a season of high drama and more changes for Downton.… Continue
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Primetime Emmy Awards Nominees Announced

The Emmy Award nominations were announced this morning. Downton Abbey and was nominated for Outstanding Drama and Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary) is up for Outstanding Lead Actress in a drama, as well as Dame Maggie Smith (the Dowager Countess) for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a drama.  My personal favorite performance of the year, Matthew McConaughey as anti-hero Rust Cohle on True Detective, also got a nomination. Here is the complete list of the nominees. (The awards ceremony will air on August 25 on NBC.) Did any of your favs get left out?… Continue
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DOWNTON ABBEY Season Five Filming Has Begun

The New York Daily News reports this morning that filming has begun on Downton Abbey’s fifth season. Mary’s love life was left up in the air at the conclusion of last season, with more than one suitor in the running. From the looks of at least one of these photos, it seems possible that Branson is a dark horse in the race. (I can dream, can’t I?) View all photos from the set of Downton Abbey, Season Five… Continue
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Downton Season Finale

“A year ago, I thought I’d be alone forever. That I would mourn Mathew til the end of my days. Now I know that isn’t true. That there will be a new life for me one day. And even if I can’t decide yet what life that should be, isn’t that something for us to celebrate?” — Lady Mary As the season comes to a close, everyone is in London for Rose’s presentation to society. We have skipped ahead eight months from when we last saw the family, and we know this because Edith is already back from Switzerland, sans baby. It’s the first time we’ve seen the family’s London townhouse, and we also meet a new character:  Cora’s scandalized brother, Harold (Paul Giamatti). The staff and family members make it over to London in… Continue
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Downton Abbey, Episode 6 Recap

This week, the drama hits high gear. Poor Bates. Will the turmoil never end? A telegraph has just arrived alerting him to the fact that Robert has go to America — some problem with Cora’s brother. But he doesn’t want to leave now considering what’s going on with Anna. Robert is in the bedroom freaking out to Cora that her mother is calling him to America to help save her brother’s reputation. Mrs. Hughes appeals to Mary to see if her father can go to America without Bates. Mary says, “I hope we are good employers. But even we expect to get what we pay for.” Mary says, “If you wish to enlist my help, I must know the facts.” Bates tells Anna he won’t go. She tells him to pack, but then cries when… Continue
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Downton Abbey Episode Five Recap

“I’m not unhappy. I’m just not quite ready to be happy.” — Lady Mary Things are heating up. Edith is still anxiously awaiting the mail. Still no word from Michael.  Robert has some sort of correspondence from Cora’s brother, “Uncle Harold,” about his business problems. Anna catches Bates looking deep in thought. She doesn’t want him worrying about her. “Your husband is a brooder,” he tells her. “And brooders brood.” Rose has a surprise planned for Robert’s birthday celebration. Rose tells Mrs. Hughes that she is bringing in a band for that evening’s festivities. Apparently, this is borderline scandalous. Barrow is snooping around looking to uncover secrets, pumping Baxter for information. Cora finds Edith just getting off the phone, in tears. She tells her that “Michael has vanished into thin air.” Cora assures her it’s Continue
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Downton Abbey, Episode Four Recap

  “If we don’t respect the past we’ll find it harder to build our future.” — Robert Bates is walking from his cottage up to the main house, where he meets up with Anna. Sad music is playing, in case you’ve forgotten that she should be there with him but has instead moved back into the servants’ quarters to avoid him. Anna descends the stairs and he is waiting for her. “I don’t know why you always wait for me.” “Because I want to be the first to greet you.” She tells him there is no need for that and he says there is every need. And he will keep it up until she explains what is going on. Explain what? He tells her that one minute his life is perfect, “And then, in the… Continue
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Downton Abbey – Episode Three Recap

“The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that’s all there is.” — Carson Since we left off in such a tragic place, it’s not surprising this episode opens with solemn music.  Anna is shining shoes, clearly grieving. Bates asks he why she’s avoiding him — is it something he’s done? And then, salt in the wound: At the staff breakfast table, somehow Anna ends up sitting next to Mr. Green! She quickly gets up and leaves quickly with an excuse that she has things to do. Outside, the guests are leaving. Michael Gregson thanks Robert, and an unusually humbled Robert replises, “Nonsense — I’m the one who should be thanking you.” The visiting servants file outside, and Carson asks Mr. Green if he’s forgotten anything. Mr. Green says no,… Continue
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Downton Abbey, Episode Two Recap

Once, reading a book while lying on my stomach,  my cat pounced on me and bit me on the rear. My reaction? “What was that all about!?” I experienced a  similar feeling watching Downton last night. But let’s start at the beginning. Similar to the film Gosford Park (written by Downton creator Julian Fellows), all of the action takes place during a dinner party weekend. One of the guests is a young man named Lord Gillingham. He’s dark and relatively handsome, and it’s clear from the first scene that he and Mary are on a courtship  collision course, but personally I didn’t feel the chemistry. They apparently knew each other as children, and they play the catch-up game. He’s never been married, but is “Close.” When he turns the question to her, he momentarily… Continue
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Downton Abbey Season 4 Premiere – recap

“I’m not a complete stranger to romance.” — Carson It’s Valentine’s Day, 1922. Six months after Mathew’s death, and there is a pall over Downton. Not only is Mary a widow, but O’Brien is gone! She’s the woman I love to hate, and I miss her already. But apparently, Rose’s mother stole her away during the festivities at the end of last season. And now we are stuck with Rose, who is irritating at best. But Mary, in her grief, is riveting as always. In her dark clothes, with her pale complexion and stick-thin frame, she is spectral. But her misery – and thinly veiled rage that gets unleashed on poor Carson – is the liveliest part of this episode. Her fear that the best part of her only existed in Mathew’s eyes speaks volumes… Continue

Guest Post from Kiana Davenport, The Spy Lover

Awesome post from Kiana, if you were deceived by someone you loved, could you ever love them again? Enjoy! In my new novel THE SPY LOVER set during the American Civil War, a nurse and a Confederate soldier fall in love. But one of them is deceiving the other. The nurse is spying for the North. As I wrote this novel I wondered, when he finds out, how could the soldier still love this woman? Can love exist without trust? Once someone has deceived you, can you ever have full confidence in their integrity?… Continue