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Downton Abbey Recap: 7 Quotable Moments That Made Us Fall in Love

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Nick Briggs

An estimated 100 million viewers tuned in to watch the battle between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl. But if you chose FOX over PBS on Sunday night, here’s everything you need to know about the state of the Crawleys, in seven classic quotes:

1. said a candid Lady Edith to her father, who protests, “I love all my children equally.” Not willing to be comforted by Lord Grantham when he stumbles upon her having a good cry in the parlor, Edith seems to have given up the life of a lady journalist in favor of tearfully skulking around Downton. She has a good reason for her tears, though: Not only has her married paramour, Michael Gregson, gone M.I.A. in Munich, but she received a letter confirming that she is (gulp!) pregnant.

2. noted Dr. Clarkson when he was called in to back up Isobel Crawley, who’s made it her mission to get the wrongfully accused under-gardener Pegg his job back. What Clarkson witnessed instead was Isobel’s good intentions served back to her on a silver platter by Violet, the Dowager Countess. As it turns out, once Violet had realized her mistake with Pegg, she had immediately tracked him down, re-hired him and, perhaps most shocking of all, apologized. As the good doctor said, Violet did indeed win that round, which hopefully won’t damage Isobel’s new-found verve (since, as Violet noted, “she runs on indignation”).

3. said Lady Mary to new found frenemy Charles Blake. She had invited Evelyn Napier and Blake – both handsome in their way – to stay at Downton while they surveyed the condition of the estates in the area, and though Mary thought they would help her shore up Downton’s finances, the two seem more concerned about the nation’s food supply than the landed aristocracy. All of which leads Mary to chide Napier: “You seem to have brought a traitor into our midst.” Mary butts heads with the socialist Blake immediately, but being a good hostess, she still invited both men to her father’s birthday party, where she and Blake promptly spent the evening arguing. Come to think of it, that’s always the first sign of a blooming romance in Downton.

4. When a spot opens up in the Ritz Hotel cooking program, Alfred decides to leave Downton and pursue his fortune cooking. That leaves a vacancy in the Downton staff roster that Molesley hopes to fill. He travels to Downton and tells Carson he will happily take the position, but after Molesley’s initial reluctance to earlier offers, an especially judgmental Carson tells him, “I don t want someone who has to be dragged into the house by his heels.” Not until both Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes intervene is Molesley ultimately hired. Now he just needs to remember to wear his gloves.

5. said Cora to Robert, following his birthday surprise that involved sneaking a London band (and the dashing Jack Rose) into Downton. While Violet wasn’t sold on the jazz music itself (“Do you think any of them know what the others are playing?” she queried), the touchy inhabitants of Downton managed to avoid clutching their pearls over the fact that a black man had entered the estate. While Edith was a bit stunned by the invasion, Violet suggested, “Try to let your time in London rub off on you a little more.” Meanwhile, Isobel used the opportunity to point out to Tom Branson, who is still eyeing a move to America, “Things can happen at Downton that no one could imagine a few years ago.” Things like Rose making out with Jack, for example.

6. said Cora to Bates and Anna, who were trying to enjoy a nice evening out at a fashionable restaurant until the uppity maitre d’ unconvincingly lost their reservation. Luckily, Cora was dining in the same restaurant and chided the maitre d’ for being rude to her friends. The shocked host then bent over backwards to ensure that Anna and Bates had a splendid evening, as they set out to make new happy memories. Unfortunately, Bates’s desire for revenge and Anna’s wish to not be seen as a victim killed the mood.

7. sighed Isobel during a very sweet scene in which the widows and widower of Downton – Mary, Isobel and Tom –, sat in the children’s nursery and reminisced about their lost loves. Tom sweetly recounted his days with Sybil: “Days. Weeks. All I could think about was her.” Isobel recalled that when she first met her husband she was “sick with love, literally,” and Mary happily remembered when Matthew proposed to her in the snow. In the shadows of so much loss, seeing the three reminisce about better days was a small but hopeful reminder of the bigger picture.

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