|I'm betting St. Paul is the patron saint |
of online streaming.
See how God is
reaching down from heaven with
TV waves? Like a cosmic, "Hey! St. Paul!
go inspire those PBS folks to share the
Where was I?
Oh yeah. The episode.
So when Ken gets home on Monday night, we pull the two big armchairs into the kitchen, grab a some wine, and watch the show while speaking in British accents and asking where our servants are to bring us some brandy.
All this, after a day carefully spent reading the internets with one eye closed, lest I accidentally read a spoiler and then have to blurt out said spoiler to Ken because I am fundamentally unable to keep a secret.
Despite my best efforts, I kept reading that this newest episode was a Very Special Episode. Grab your kleenex. You're going to be emotionally spent.
Last night we watched it, and I came away feeling...underwhelmed.
Don't get me wrong. I liked Sybil. I liked her raspy voice and her hair and how her sweetness was a good tonic to Mary's brusqueness and Edith's whining. But I loathed Branson so, so much, that his awfulness eclipsed my enjoyment of Sybil.
But here's the real reason I didn't find this episode of Downton to be the emotional train wreck others did.
Because the episode before it killed me.
In that scene, I hated Isobel more than I ever did, for letting her dreams of being the "great white light for fallen women everywhere" get in the way of seeing this woman and child for who they were. It was only sweet Mrs. Hughes, sweet, heart as deep as the ocean Mrs. Hughes, who saw the horror of what was going on.
And I hated Ethel a bit, for refusing to take Charlie's grandparents' money that could help her keep her child and lead a healthier life, because she was so full of that poisonous mix of self-loathing and pride.
I cried during that whole scene. I endured Ken laughing at me for it. But it was so, so wrong what happened, that by the time Sybil died, I knew I had already seen something worse.
On Sunday, when it was time to get ready for Mass, Gabriel and Jude came up with one of their ideas. They had been wearing matching Superman costumes all day, and they didn't want to take them off to put on church clothes. So they told me they were going to be Clark Kent, and sure enough, there they were in pants and collared shirts, with their Superman costumes still on underneath.
How can a mother say no to such ingenuity? So off we went to Mass, with the understanding that they had to keep their secret identity secret, and no displaying of costumes was allowed.
Then it happened. The Gloria hadn't even started, and Gabriel turned to me, "I have to go to the bathroom." I groaned. To go to the bathroom, Gabriel would have to take off his shirt entirely, untie the strings at the neck of the costume, peel off the costume halfway, pee, then put the costume back on, tie it back up, then put on and button up his shirt.
This is Gabriel we're talking about. Not exactly the best follower of multiple-step instructions.
I tasked Joaquin as "Your Brother's Keeper" and sent the two of them to the bathroom, with the shining hope that Joaquin could help his brother get redressed and back out to Mass before the Consecration.
I waited and waited.
Ken saw it first, and I followed the line of his horrified sight to see the double doors burst open, and Gabriel fly out, Superman costume on full display, though untied and falling halfway off one shoulder.
Luckily we were in the second to last pew, which means only 1/4th of the church turned around to view Superman's semi-nude dash to his seat.
The whole thing was hilarious to me. The boy came back, whisperyelling that Joaquin couldn't put the shirt on but they didn't get any pee on it, not even a bit! And I just nodded and tried to stop cracking up as I helped Clark Kent get his clothes back on.
I love my kids so much. So much it makes my eyes burn even typing that sentence. And the thought of giving them up to anyone is something I can't wrap my mind around. If there was a single option left available to me, I'd take it. The thought of having all these moments of Mass madness and sweetness and aggravation and then saying "No more" crushes me.
Whether she knew it or not, Sybil was surrounded by people who loved her when she passed, and her daughter will be surrounded by people who love both mother and child.
Ethel and her son had none of this. Ethel knows what she's given up. She may feel dead inside, but she has to keep walking around among the living, and that's why that episode was so much more emotionally charged for me.
I don't know. Maybe I'm too invested in this show and need to take a step back. Concentrate on something happier- like the fabulous dresses and the dog that I'm not convinced is even real it's so motionless.
And hey, there's always the chance that the writers will make one of my fondest dreams come true- reveal Mr. Bates as Jack the Ripper and write his boring creepy butt right off the show.