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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.    

Downton ending parody #3: But What of “Poor Edith”?

Part Three: But What of “Poor Edith”?

In another tragic case of mistaken identity, Michael Gregson was not, in fact, murdered in Germany.  His remains were misidentified, as we learn when he, too, makes his way back to Downton in the penultimate episode.  Looking much the worse for the wear after four years in a German prison for inciting a riot, Gregson returns just in time to become a complication to Edith and Bertie’s wedding plans. 

In the final episode, Edith makes her choice – in favor of the father of her child, Gregson.  But we learn something that Edith does not yet know:  that Gregson’s time in prison has had an effect of his mental stability, that he is subject to bouts of madness that come and go.   

In the Downton Abbey spinoff, “Haxby” (see yesterday’s post, The Surprising Triumph of Molesley), we watch as the truth of Gregson’s condition slowly becomes apparent to the pregnant Edith (that woman is a veritable fertility machine, can’t have sex a single time without conceiving).   Gregson’s madness progresses and he must be confined to an asylum.  Bertie and Edith commence a passionate illicit affair, and Edith ironically finds herself in the situation that started the whole mess:  she is married to a lunatic whom she cannot, under British law, divorce.  So she heads for Germany…..

Downton Abbey Ending Parody (part 2)

Part Two:  The Surprising Triumph of Molesley

Molesley fans (all 3 of them) were heartened by the surprising turns of events leading to the long-suffering Molesley at last leaving service to take up a teaching post at the local school.  But that was only the beginning of his triumphal march.

That suspicious-looking fellow at the end of Episode 7, taking notes outside Mrs. Patmore’s B&B?  A private detective, of course.  The “doctor” and his “wife” who were Mrs. Patmore’s first guests were really a Member of Parliament and his mistress.  When scandal surrounds Mrs. Patmore’s establishment, she becomes notorious and appears headed for ruin – until Molesley comes to the rescue.

Molesley recalls from his reading that Mrs. Patmore’s B&B is near the site of the seat of an ancient Viking king, from back in the days when the city of York was known as Jorvik.  Further research reveals a legend of buried Viking treasure nearby – in fact, more than nearby, as the relentless Molesley digs further into history – the treasure may be directly beneath Mrs. Patmore’s cellar.  Molesley, Mr. Mason and the doughty young Andy initiate a dig – and hit literal pay dirt when they find the largest trove of Viking treasure ever uncovered in the British Isles.  The cranky, red-faced Mrs. Patmore is now considerably wealthier even than Lord Grantham, and, in her gratitude, shares her newfound wealth with Molesley, Mason & Andy. 

Mr. Molesly uses his proceeds to purchase Haxby from Sir Richard Carlisle, and turns it into a boys’ boarding school founded on the lunatic notion that young men thrive in an atmosphere of kindness and curiosity rather than deprivation and brutality.  In the “Downton Abbey” spinoff, “Haxby”,  we follow Molesly and his young charges through the 1930s and into World War II.   We learn that Haxby produces more than its share of young war heroes, including the young men who break Germany’s Enigma code, possibly winning the war for the Allies. 

Parody: Shocking Downton Abbey Ending (#1)

Part One: And You Thought Isobel was such a Goody Two Shoes…..

In a flashback to 1885, we learn that the late Dr. Crawley was a man so fastidious as to make Mr. Carson look like a hodad.  He was not pleased to learn of Isobel’s pregnancy, children having a way of making messes and interfering with plans.  When Isobel suspected she was carrying twins, she arranged to have a midwife friend deliver the babies at a remote hospital and spirit one of the babies away for adoption.  She couldn’t bear to give up both children, but feared that two infants at once would spell the end of her marriage to the persnickety Dr. Crawley.  Her guilt was overwhelming, and her good deeds in the years since have been an attempt to atone for the sin of giving away one of her identical twin boys.

Fast forward to 1918, and the last months of World War One.  What we weren’t shown in Season Two was the shocking meeting between Matthew Crawley and his long-lost twin in the trenches.  Private Richard Starkey, a working-class lad from York, has just lit a cigarette after an 8-hour watch when a young captain strides by, inspecting the trench.  The two men lock eyes, stunned:  they look exactly alike.  They share some wretched coffee and have a chat.  In the weeks that come, they meet several more times and learn about each other’s lives. Starkey has no idea that he was adopted, and the two men can discover no known family relationship, so they chalk up their uncanny resemblance to coincidence or some distant family connection.  One night during a firefight with the Germans, Captain Crawley, who has just awakened, wants to set out for what is believed to be a weakness in the German line, and asks Starkey for directions.   Private Starkey may be poor, but he isn’t stupid and he sees here an opportunity.  He directs the Captain instead to the area of fiercest fire.  He then watches as the Captain is cut down by enemy fire, and quickly makes his way to the Captain’s quarters.  Shedding his own private’s uniform and donning Matthew’s captain’s attire, Private Starkey takes on the identity of Matthew Crawley.  Thus it is Starkey who is injured in the late-war foray with young William Mason, Starkey who returns home to Downton at war’s end to break poor Lavinia Swire’s heart, and Starkey who is killed in the car accident following the birth of his son.

Matthew, meanwhile, was not cut down by German fire as supposed.  He received a severe head wound, causing amnesia, and was taken prisoner.  Released at the end of the war, without identity or memory but speaking fluent German, he wandered Germany for several years as a beggar and occasional itinerant worker, until joining the Brown Shirts.  In 1925, in a scuffle at a Brown Shirt rally, he receives a blow to the head, suddenly remembers who he is, and makes his way back to England.  In the final episode of Season Six of Downton Abbey, Matthew returns to Downton and is reunited with an ecstatic Mary.  Buh-bye, Henry Talbot!

TOMORROW:  Part Two:  The Surprising Triumph of Molesley