Even More Downton Abbey — Updated

Most of the media has been trying to avoid many spoilers (but liberal with hints), but TV Guide a spilled few secrets I think. So proceed with caution in this post.

First, they quote Elizabeth McGovern who reveals her character, Cora, Countess of Grantham, does not adapt well to the war at first and takes a little while to get active.

But the biggest news are the quotes from Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary Crawley:

According to the previews, Mary will do a lot of weeping, and for good reason. Dockery explains, “You first meet Lady Mary in the second series when she returns from London, having done one of the seasons. It’s very obvious from the very beginning that she’s still in love with Matthew. She finds out quite spitefully through her sister Edith that he’s engaged. He has moved on, so Mary very quickly moves on herself and she brings home someone she met in London. He’s a media mogul, Sir Richard Carlisle played by Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), who you may be familiar with. She tries to move on and make a life with him. But it’s not easy. There are complications. It’s not completely resolved with Matthew so don’t lose hope. As far as her war effort goes, she’s reluctant to get her hands dirty in the beginning when Downton becomes a convalescent home. She’s not quite as productive as the other girls because she is a snob in some ways. She does roll with it and she goes with the changes and she does wear an apron at one point.”

There’s a lot to absorb here:

  1. Mary attends a season in London during the war? Wow.
  2. Edith is the one to reveal that Matthew is engaged. (We were debating about what the line was in the temporarily available teaser. Makes me think the news must be delivered over one of those new newfangled telephones.)
  3. Nice to hear the Mary and Edith do eventually soften their relationship some (but we’d heard that before somewhere).
  4. Mary actually brings Carlisle home with her from London, so he isn’t a walking-wounded convalescing at Downton. (Suspected the latter, but not really the first part of that).
  5. Not surprising that she’s the last of the three Crawley sisters to get more involved in the war effort. (I always sort of envisioned her teaching local children once the men where gone, alas, no.)
  6. And most critical to all the shippers, “It’s not completely resolved with Matthew so don’t lose hope.” This actually puts more dampers than hope on them getting together. Just like them to tease about something that won’t happen. ;-)

There’s more in the article, including lorry driving. Enjoy and comment!

UPDATED per one of the Comments:

A reporter for the Independent visited the set of Downton Abbey during filming. And though he says his purpose is not to reveal secrets about S2, but instead is to justify S1, he does in fact give a possible leak. He writes:

…shoot a supper scene from the eighth and final episode (not counting a Christmas special) of the forthcoming series…Seated around the table, waiting for the call to action while peering into plates of what looks like Brown Windsor soup, are Bonneville; Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora, the American heiress married to the Earl); Maggie Smith (Violet, Cora’s mother-in-law from hell – the Dowager Duchess of Grantham); Penelope Wilton (Violet’s sparring partner, Isobel Crawley); Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary); and Dan Stevens (Lady Mary’s true love, Matthew Crawley).

Let’s break this down (such fun and a picture to boot):

  1. The eighth episode in the UK is apparently going the sixth episode in the US (we’re getting the exact same number of minutes, but a different number of episodes).
  2. We don’t know if the author has listed everyone at the table. We must acknowledge that as a truth.
  3. If he has listed everyone, this seems to be very good news for Mary/Matthew shippers.
  4. He identifies Matthew as “Lady Mary’s true love.” Again, we don’t know if that’s his opinion or something he knows from watching the filming.
  5. If he knows this from something that was said during filming, the Mary/Matthew shippers can begin squee’ing! Maybe, cause it does sound like an engagement dinner, but of course we don’t really know.
  6. Later in the article he talks about “McGovern, in Lady Cora’s black velvet dress.” Look at the picture below. I think we have a match, even though it isn’t in the dining room.


The family chatting before or after dinner? Copyright Daily Mail.

OK, so this picture may have nothing to do with the scene mentioned by the Independent writer, but!!!! We clearly see four of the characters mentioned in the quote (Cora, Robert, Isobel, and Mary). Cora is even wearing black ?velvet.? I can’t tell, but it might be Matthew over Cora’s shoulder in the doorway, but Sybil isn’t mentioned in the article and she might be the person between Isobel and the door. I think William is behind Mary, so maybe he survives the war (yay!). Also, Mary’s outfit is very much trending toward the flapper’s dresses of the 1920s, so this must be late in S2.

Your thoughts? Did I match the correct picture?

9 comments to Even More Downton Abbey — Updated

  • Eolivet

    Hee! I thought it might be Edith! So it is after all. :)

    (Isn’t it odd that Mary attends a season, but doesn’t hear about Matthew’s engagement? I find that weird — but maybe he’s not front page news anymore [if he ever was] now that he’s a soldier and not just The Heir To Downton Abbey.)

    Never thought Carlisle was a convalescing soldier because of the press packet — when they said he was a media mogul. Now I wonder if he’s just off on the train back to London (clearly not to war) when she sees him off and he proposes to her (that seems SO MUCH like the last scene of 2×01, for some strange reason…or at least very close to the end…)

    This actually puts more dampers than hope on them getting together. Just like them to tease about something that won’t happen.

    Regardless, the Independent article just said there was a scene filmed in ep 8 that was a dinner with Robert, Cora, Violet, Isobel and Mary and Matthew. No Carlisle, no Lavinia (no Edith or Sybil) but: I cling to that. :)

    The spec continues…heeee, so fun! :D

  • OK, per your comment, I’ll add the quote from the Independent article…and a picture I think goes with it. ;-)

  • Eolivet

    We don’t know if the author has listed everyone at the table. We must acknowledge that as a truth.

    Darn you and your…logic! :)

    I’d acknowledge, as well, however that DA isn’t exactly known for its shocking! plot! twists! (i.e., it isn’t LOST) and the writer doesn’t feel that mentioning the two what looks from all indications by their characterization [and comments from other actors] to be temporary/less than a season-long love interests are (gasp!) no longer there is any kind of big spoiler (why leave out Edith and Sybil though? Hmmm…)

    (Heh, I woke up at this early hour, read your spec and put together “engagement, dinner,” like he just blurts it out while they’re eating. OK, that’d be kind of awesome — for Violet’s reaction alone. :) )

    (Wow, I NEVER considered the person Mary was talking to was Isobel. Nice catch! :D Though Mary is wearing the same dress as [what I'm shorthanding here as the] L/M/M photo on the last page of the press packet. Hmmm. Oddly enough, the one who gives me pause in all this is Robert, because I believe there was a Twitter photo taken from around the time of 2×08 where both he and Matthew were in black tie tuxes [the style later on, I guess?] not white tie. [In fact, the black tie vs. white tie confused me a great deal when I first saw it, because the Entertainment Weekly photo — unbeknownst to us — was from 2×01, while it was released when later eps were filming). Then again, I’m very easily confused when it comes to this show…)

  • I’m not sure if I’ve seen the Entertainment Weekly cover pic, which was it? I think the L/M/M photo from the press book is Photoshopped; the perspectives are wrong on it. Matthew is sitting, Mary is standing, but I can’t tell if Lavinia is sitting or standing…either way, the perspective seems off, so I think it’s Photoshopped and not really from a scene. The picture of Matthew and Robert in tuxes/black tie was taken when a journalist was visiting; do we know what episode was being filmed then? I’d think the tuxes were more party-wear than dinner-wear, but, what do I know?

  • Eolivet

    Oh, it wasn’t a cover pic for EW — it was just a behind-the-scenes pic. One with Violet talking to Edith (the latter was wearing a red dress) and the other is Matthew in white tie (getting his hair done by a hair person, hee!) Both in the drawing room. It was released around the time they were filming eps 7 and 8 (at least according to IMDB — neither had a director or writer at that point), so that tripped me up.

    We have a feeling ep 8 was being filmed with the Robert and Matthew pic, because a few days afterwards, they wrapped filming (I think according to HB’s Twitter, it was late June). Someone on the DA forums said the style of tuxes began to change closer to 1920/end of WWI, so that would make sense. I had no clue — especially since men still wear tuxes today, if they’d even be costumes — but that seemed to be the consensus.

    OK — here’s the thing with the entail: a Radio Times article that was in the print edition (which had the first pic of Matthew in the Somme/at the front — all gritty-like) said…well, said one utterly stupid thing which everyone picked up and ran with (namely DS was all “I don’t know if I survive! Well, I’m in the Christmas special, but still! My fate is unknown!” Which we obviously know is just idiocy/coy, glib teasing because of the ep 8 behind the scenes filming account). But the second thing dealt with “the latest development the entail will take.”

    The behind the scenes Australian Better Homes and Gardens special had a scene in it (where we first saw a pic that it looked like Matthew might be in a wheelchair — probably around the time of 2×06 or 2×07) with just the immediate Crawley family (plus Isobel and Matthew) and we could hear MD rehearsing some kind of line like “What does Murray say…” (their old lawyer from S1).

    I thought it might be something having to do with Carlisle, like maybe the estate gets into trouble (?) because of him. I have no idea if entail laws changed or what could bring it on, but I just have some kind of feeling that Mary is going to get the money, and Matthew the title. This way, it removes the “business deal” aspect of their relationship — it also gives Mary more power to manage her own affairs. So, this way, if/when she and Matthew do marry, it’s just because they love each other and not any kind of “save the estate” thing.

    Hee, you can see why this was difficult to explain over Twitter! I posted a bunch about it in my LJ — thoughts? :)

  • But if Mary has the money now, then it will look like Matthew, who previously withdrew his offer when he had the money, is after for the money. Does that make sense? Oh what a tangled web!

    If Matthew dumps Lavinia and turns back to Mary after Mary gets the money, then he looks like he’s chasing the money. Unless Lavinia’s wealth is equal to Mary’s?

    So…not sure about that thought. Maybe the romance is settled before or during the upheaval of the entail…or that upheaval is a red herring?

    I’m holding out for Patrick Crawley to return!!!! I wrote a blog about it, but laughed it off, but really…Patrick may appear!

  • Eolivet

    But it’s *Matthew* — who doesn’t care about money (unlike Mary, who does). Who says “I will choose my own wife!” I mean…I guess I’m saying you’re right, but if it doesn’t matter, he shouldn’t be tarred with that brush. :p

    But I LOVE the idea of Patrick returning!!! Oh, that would make them all put their money where their mouth is (so to speak). HA, hilarious for them to angst about it for a couple seasons, and have Patrick come back, marry Edith and get it all. ;)

  • Yes, WE know Matthew’s character, but society at large won’t and that’s what he would care about. ;-)

    Should I post my Patrick blog post?

  • Eolivet

    (You think Matthew would care what society would think of him? He…doesn’t seem like the type. The Crawleys [Robert/Cora/Violet] maybe, but I don’t think a middle class solicitor much cares what London society thinks… :p ) Just my opinion, though…

    Absolutely! Go for it. :D (I kind of want to see the theory all laid out!!! :) )

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