Monday, January 11, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: ALI on Downton Abbey

I already knew that reproductive matters have been key plot points in past episodes/seasons of "Downton Abbey." And they were front and centre in last night's episode. 
*  Lady Mary's maid, Anna -- previously a rape victim and a murder suspect (!) -- is miserable again:  she's had at least two, maybe three miscarriages to date, and believes she will never have children. She and her husband, Mr. Bates, talk about adoption, but she's convinced he won't be happy without a biological child.  Lady Mary to the rescue with a visit to her Harley Street surgeon in London, who diagnoses her with incompetent cervix and prescribes a cerclage for the next time around. Problem solved!! (Why am I not convinced?) 
*  Meanwhile, I have to remind myself that times were much different in the 1920s, as Lady Edith continues to jump through ridiculous hoops to preserve her reputation by concealing the fact that she's little Marigold's mother (even though it seems like most of the family is in on the secret anyway). As I've noted, this is the first season where I've been watching complete episodes of Downton -- but my understanding is that after a lengthy "vacation" abroad (during which she delivered the baby), Edith enlisted one of Downton's tenant farmers, Mr. Drewe, to take the baby in to raise, while she would visit regularly as "godmother." Meanwhile, Mrs. Drewe (unaware of the baby's true parentage) quite understandably became attached to the little girl, and was heartbroken when Lady Edith changed her mind and decided to bring Marigold to Downton Abbey to live as her ward and give her all the advantages of a Downton upbringing. It was difficult to watch the clear distress both women were feeling in last night's episode, while poor little Marigold was caught in the middle. This was an argument for openness -- and a cautionary tale about the destructive powers of secrecy -- if I ever saw one.
*  Anyone else watch? Thoughts?
* (I'll try to refrain from turning all of my future #MM posts into "Downton Abbey" discussions, lol. Although the timing is perfect...!) 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.    


  1. I've started watching too. And oh there are so many thoughts! Saving them for the finale.

  2. I have never seen Downton Abbey (gasp!) though you're making me want to see it.

  3. I'm trying hard not to give any spoilers. But at least in Downton they have addressed issues of the time such as death in childbirth, infertility, and adoption and/or pregnancy/birth out of wedlock, as you've noted. These issues are still relevant of course now.

    I'm personally much more relaxed about how they deal with the story lines, knowing they can only really skim the surface of issues, but I'm thankful that at least they raise them.

  4. Ahhh! Thank you for the spoiler warning - I got as far as that sentence, and scooted down here. I'll be back to comment once I've seen the latest ep (still waiting for me on the DVR). :)

  5. Edith's whole story line is totally annoying me right now - she's got all kinds of options, and she takes advantage of none of them. Sooooo frustrating! And the situation with Mrs. Drewe seems at once cruel and contrived. Mrs. Drewe would obviously be upset about giving Marigold up...but shouldn't she be sympathetic once she learned that Edith had to give her up first? This all seems like a simplistic way to kick out the Drewes and make room for Mr. Mason...

  6. I have to add, Edith came back without child and only later decided she can't live without Marigold and took her back from Swiss adoptive parents.