Downton parody part 4

Part Four:  You Though Cora Was a Good Woman, Too, Didn’t You?

Cora has well-hidden her bitterness over Robert’s foolish loss of her fortune in Canadian railroad stocks.  She has also well-hidden her long-standing affair with art historian Simon Bricker, which began in Season 5, and her disgust with her 3 slutty daughters, one of whom ran off with the chauffer, another who ended up with a Turkish diplomat’s son dead in her bed and the last – most shameful of all – ending up with an illegitimate child whose identity must be hidden from the world.  Cora is a bitter, bitter woman, who has played by the rules all her life and feels ill-rewarded for it.

She thought she was finally free when Robert’s ulcer burst in Season 6.  But, Robert stubbornly survives and Cora’s desperation becomes so overwhelming that she realizes she must find some means of achieving both revenge and the freedom to marry Bricker. Cora has never liked Bates, and sees a way of killing two birds with one stone.  Over a period of weeks, she confides to Baxter her “concerns” about Bates:  how she overheard him complaining to the other servants about what a hard master Robert is ad his disappointment that Robert survived the burst ulcer.  She points out a bruise on Anna’s cheek and asks Mrs. Hughes if Anna had ever shared with her any confession of being abused by Bates.  She confides privately to Bates that she’s worried about rats in her bedroom and insists that he must go and buy the rat poison; she’s too embarrassed to let any of the other servants know. 

Knowing that Bates has been bringing Robert a forbidden nightcap each evening, she adds some of the rat poison to the brandy.  The loyal, honorable Bates thus becomes the instrument of his beloved master’s demise and finds himself in prison a third time. 

Unintended consequence:  Unknown to Cora, Carson has been taking nips of the brandy, to calm his nerves over his wife’s terrible housekeeping.  With Carson also dead, Thomas Barrow is saved from unemployment and becomes the butler at Downton Abbey.

After a suitable period of mourning, Cora marries Bricker, and they depart for the French Riviera, planning to live out the rest of their lives there.  The rest of their lives are short, however.  Violet suspects that Cora is the real mastermind behind Robert’s poisoning.  When she confides this to her former Russian lover, Prince Kuragin, he becomes enraged on her behalf and travels to the Rivieria, where he shoots both Cora and Bricker in a Riviera casino, then turns the gun on himself.  It is later learned that Kuragin was dying of cancer anyway.    

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