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Roseanna

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  1. Roseanna

    Stan: The Patriot

    That would be true irl, but these shows have their own logic. F.ex. Homeland is full of improbalities. The most of them was that Carrie could bring Brody to the Canadian border after the CIA headquarters were bombed - as if there weren't surveillance cameras everywhere! I guess that we should believe that by being the first to suspect Jennings, Stan has secured his back - at least if Paige doesn't babble in the interrogations.
  2. Roseanna

    Mary and Edith, Edith and Mary

    In Jane Austen's time marriage was the only option for the upper and upper middle-class women, but in the time of the show it wasn't as women could study and work, even live alone. Mary's motivations had elemental to do with her choices and options. Before the scandal she had two chances to marry well, but refused to marry only for materialistic motives (as with her cousin and the duke). On the other hand, her dealings with Matthew and Napier show also that Mary suffered of hubris as if there was an endless supply of titled men from she could choose and spend so much time she wanted in choosing a husband. Both characteristic aren't about defending or bashing Mary but understanding her character which was indeed fascinatingly complex in S1. If she had simply been an offer of others and general misogony, there would have been no need to the long purification process in S2 where she was in her best.
  3. Roseanna

    Tusk to Tchaikovsky: Re-watching the Americans

    Patterson also describes himself only as such who doesn't make decisions but only follows orders - which seems a clear lie as he is the chief CIA - and therefore isn't responsible for the murders. Instead, Philip is in S6 takes a responsibility for following the orders and urges Elizabeth to do the same. Of course Zhukov is no more innocent than Patterson, but killing Zhukov is stupid as after that Patterson becomes a target (although not officially).
  4. Roseanna

    Mary and Edith, Edith and Mary

    Already in Jane Austen's novels, although it was stupid to marry without money, it was inmoral to marry without love. Anyway, it was Edith who was willing to marry any suitable man (Strallan) whereas Mary didn't after the first episode. Although Mary no doubt was a success with men, she was 21 years old which mean that she had had two or three seasons but the best offer she had got was her cousin, the heir, who evidently did so mostly out of duty. Mary said that she had married him if "nothing better" had come. That "better" was the duke who was going to propose only after he believed that Mary was a heiress which she, as an intelligent person, must have known. So far, Mary had regarded the marriage solely on material terms. But that changes already in the second episode. She dismisses Matthew because of his bourgeois background and hurt by his chance remark she happened to hear (even if or because it was true) although he would be as good a match as her cousin and it's evident that she could easily charm him. Next, she dismisses Napier with whom she had changed letters and who she knows comes to Dowton to propose her - and she does that on a whim as she likes to flirt with Pamuk, the result being that Napier declines to propose because she haven't even care to pretend to be interested in him, unlike with the duke. Thus, before the scandal, Mary has two chances to marry well, but she declines them because she she doesn't any more aim to marry well on only materialistic reasons. She begins to be interested in Matthew when he shows his honesty and empathy, but finally loses him because of her fears and insecurity. That leads in S2 a long process of purification where Mary is at her best, even treating Lavinia with unselbfish kindness (minus the kiss of course). After daring to be honest with Matthew about her past she knows that he loves her as she is, not some ideal image. Whereas Matthew was Mary's lover, husband and best friend, Henry's only benefit seems to be his sex appeal to Mary (albeit not to me). She never even reveals him her fears about his racing. And unlike with Matthew, there is any evidence that Henry has seen Mary's other, softer side as Anna claims to Bates.
  5. Roseanna

    Mary and Edith, Edith and Mary

    Well, later Edith did just that. When Matthew was missing, she was kind to Mary. When Sybil died, she asked Mary if they could get better to together. When Gregson was missing, she asked her mother if she was bad because she had her bad thoughts, and Cora answered that one is bad only if one does bad. And finally she first attacked Mary straightway and silencetr her and then showed her kindness by coming to her wedding. Mary, however, chose to the tactics that made the made situation worse. Even Macchiavelli says that if you want to crush your enemy, you must do it completely, otherwise he would revenge, if given the chance. Which is indeed what happened in S1. But later Mary couldn't stand Edith being genuinely sad for a very real reason when Gregson was missing and dead, but she couldn't stand Edith being successful and happy, either. Both strongly points out that Mary saw Edith as her shadow to whom she projected her negative sides and fears. Plus, as Mary saw herself superior in all, she couldn't admit Edith as equal with her, still less superior. It seems that Mary couldn't even stand Edith simply existing, f.ex. when Edith said that she had in a restaurant with Gregson, and Mary said that she made everything gloomy and Edith said that actually it was happy memory. Well, if simply Edith's existence was such a burden to Mary, the best tactics would be to help her to marry Bertie. But she did just the opposite. And falling low, she lied to Tom.
  6. Roseanna

    Mary and Edith, Edith and Mary

    Norse sagas show best how revenge begins, how it escalates and how it can stopped. "Responding in kind" is the worst tactic one can chose because that only makes the situation worse. Why would anyone deliberately want to have a bad relationship with a family member? In the relationships it's reasonable not to look at the behaviour but the motive behind it. Why the wife always nags? Was it because the husband didn't listen to her when she asked something for the first, second and third time? Even more, it's not only about the relationship but even more about the person one wants to be. Every time Mary "responds in kind", she becomes nastier and nastier. Finally she is nasty towards her mother and father for no reason at all. Because Mary never learned to contain her nastiness, she can't do in the morning table.
  7. Roseanna

    S05.E06: Episode 6

    Well, if a woman is in love, the man has promised to marry her, the courting has been long and they are often alone in his home, it would be rare if they didn't have made love sooner or later. If only Gregson had lived, the child wouldn't be a problem, at least in the long term.
  8. Roseanna

    Mary and Edith, Edith and Mary

    Wouldn't the word "vendetta" in itself include the thought that there was something to revenge? It's true that Edith's revenge was far too much compared with Mary's deed, but that's just what happends in the sagas of Iceland. One party does something, the other party revenges it, and so begins the escalation that reaches to others. In Njall's saga, somebody finally refuses to continue the chain of revenge. Responsiblity is indeed the crux of the matter. You have stressed on Edith's habit to provoke Mary which always lead to her own defeat. But Mary was equally responsible for her habit to let herself to be provoked. A person who is really sure that she is "superior" than the other doesn't always have a need to prove it, rather she is amused and let the other have her small "victory" as she knows that isn't real. And really a decent person doesn't be nice only towards those whom she likes and/or who deserve it, but treats all with basic decency, simply because they are human. As for "marrying well" as a survival tactic, that requires that we accept the class system or at least Mary's basic belief that she was entitled to get all good things of the British aristocracy simply because of accident of her birth.
  9. Roseanna

    Lady Edith: Sex and the Single Girl

    Actually, Mary and Edith didn't have a good education. They didn'y travel abroad except when they were on the honeymoon. Mary herself said that they had a governess who learnt them French and prejudices, When Downton was opened to the public, neither Mary nor Edith didn't know even the paintings in their own home. Compare this with a girl irl in my country, also born in 1892. Already in the school she learned several languages. Her family wasn's wealthy and her father died but her mother worked hard and she studied at the university, as also her older sister and brother, and in Paris. Even when studying, she earned money by writing to newspapers and translating novels. Unlike Crawleys, her family was education-oriented and she learned to work hard already as youg.
  10. Roseanna

    Lady Edith: Sex and the Single Girl

    I don't remenber that Mary was interested in charity. As she said to Matthew, her life was waiting for marriage. Generally, priviledges aren't the same as opportunities, they can rather be a prison. Of the Crawley girls, only Sybil had an independent spirit to break from the prison of priviledges and become a nurse and even that demanded the war.
  11. Roseanna

    Mary and Edith, Edith and Mary

    I don't think that one can totally abandon the morality of the age in one matter and accept in another matter. First, Mary and Edith were brought up to regard sex outside as a sin and the ruin of their reputation and chances to marry well. If we just abandon that because we think differently, why wouldn't we also dismiss also their aim to "marry well" - that's a trivial life, therefore the ruined reputation didn't mean anything, they could go abroad and have a much better life. Especially Mary was presented as cold as ice and calculating only how to get the most profitable marriage, but by sleeping with Pamuk, a man she had just met, she showed that she had passion and could act recklessly, putting all her future chances in risk. What if she had become pregnant? What if Pamuk had lived and boasted of his conquest? As for Edith, the letter was of course malicious but she hardly "got mad on pretty shit" but for Mary destroying her only chance to marry (Strallan) and all (as she thought) that Mary had caused her in her whole life (for of course their feud hadn't begun in the first episode). One must also remember that Edith was an inexperienced girl to whom sleeping with a man, a virtual stranger, seemed, well, whoring, especially as she didn't know that Pamuk had come to Mary's room uninvited and threatened her. She earnestly thought that Mary was "damaged goods" but presented herself as "pure" and virtuous.
  12. Roseanna

    Mary and Edith, Edith and Mary

    In our modern eyes there is of course nothing wrong to have sex before marriage but at that time it caused problems to a woman. Edith's letter ruined Mary's reputation in London (Matthew never learned it) but weakened her chances to marry a titled husband, However, even if nobody had known of it, Mary either had had to decide whether to fake virginity in her wedding night - or dare to tell the truth before marriage and take the risk that she would abandoned. As for Edith, she had a child outside wedlock whom she wanted to bring with her. As a marchioness she would become a public figure. Ambitous journalists would hunt just for that kind secrets that would make a scandal that would hurt also Bertie and Marigold. Edith had a duty either to refuse Bertie's offer without telling him the true reason or to tell him and let him decide if he wanted to take the risk. But she thought only how happy she would become.
  13. Roseanna

    Mary and Edith, Edith and Mary

    I don't think Cora and Robert loved Sybil more than Mary - they, or at least Cora, loved her in an different way. To her mother Sybil was "my baby" who never gave her a moment's worry until she decided to marry a chauffer whereas Cora worried about Mary's future and did most for her in S1. No doubt Mary loved Sybil but that love was never really tested - would it have lasted if, f.ex., Matthew had preferred Sybil? There was a curious incident whose meaning was unclear: after Matthew had saved Sybil from the crowd, Mary said to Matthew that Sybil was falling for him. It could be a friendly warning for Matthew that, as Sybil was so young, he shouldn't treat Sybil in such a way which Sybil would interpret as courting and thus save her from breaking her heart. But it could be also a jealous woman's way to stop Matthew to become interested in her younger sister who thus could eventually become the next Countess.
  14. Roseanna

    Lady Edith: Sex and the Single Girl

    But some of them were Cora's fault. We see later when Edith got clothes of right kind that she wasn't ugly at all, indeed quite the opposite, and more than looks, she simply radiated with Gregson and Bertie. Cora could have, indeed her duty as a mother should have, to learn Edith to choose clothes where she looked her best as well as learn her to discuss with men without looking "too eager". And as, as it was evident, Edith had no success among younger men, Cora could have invited older men to Downton. Or at least encourage her to think that there was other options in life than to get married which she didn't do even after the war when many suitable single men were fallen. Most of all, as a mother Cora failed in the most mportant matter: she hadn'tr treated her daughters impartiality and fairly, learning them that also other things were important than to look pretty and charm men, such as a kind heart, or at least stopped the sibling rivalry at least after Mary and Edith's teen age. I think it was mostly Carson who spoiled Mary. He never saw anything wrong in her behavior whereas her parents sometimes did.
  15. Roseanna

    Past Seasons Talk: Upstairs Downstairs Revisited

    Well, many people are like that - their own matters are always most important. And Edith wasn't present, so she wasn't hurt, But when Edith had just leaned that Gregson is dead, her family behaves horribly. Mary chooses the same day to get a new hairstyle and wants everybody admire it. All plan to have a nice trip and invite guests for how could they disappoint Rose? When Edith rebukes Mary, she doesn't even say the automatic "sorry" but "you spoil everything". And yet she herself had rushed from the room hearing the gramophone play after Matthew had been dead six months! Most of all, nobody says nothing to criticize Mary, not even (if that was impolite among the upper class) afterwards alone. Nobody goes to comfort Edith, either. And Fellowes goes to describe in great detail the horse race where Mary beats Mabel - as if Mary's love interests haven't already become quite boring. Notice that in the morning even the ever faithful Anna had for once criticized Mary for making fun of Edith not to realize that Gregson was dead. Also othewise, the servants, except Thomas, were sympathic towards Edith. When Edith is missing, Mary behaves quite indifferently - of course she doesn't know about Marigold but common sense would tell that there is a possibility of suicide (which would be a shame to the whole family if nothing else). Then at least Violet reproachs Mary: lack of empathy is as vulgar as a flood of tears.
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