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Saturday, January 5, 2013
American Horror Story season 2, episode 10, and Downton Abbey season 3, episode 9
We laughed pretty hard during the musical number in this episode. It was hilarious, and it was also funny that Ryan Murphy found a way to bring Glee to AHS. Jessica Lange did a good job selling it, and it was a good moment of levity for this extra-dark show.
We thought that maybe sister Jude would end up being a powerful protagonist, taking down the asylum, but after this episode, we think this is the beginning of her deterioration. We think the asylum will win. Ryan Murphy said he wanted to do some commentary on the mental health system in the United States. We'd love to see anyone BUT Ryan Murphy do that commentary. It's much-needed, but the idea needs to go into the hands of, say, Vince Gilligan.
Who else is excited that Pepper is getting more to do? Monsignor Howard lived, and we're really surprised. Then Eunice/The Devil raped him, and he wondered what he would do next. Walk away from his vows and faith? Um, no. He should repent and move on. Then Dr. Arden saw them and had a total meltdown. He shot his experiments (thank the Lord, although we believe he has more out there).
After Howard pushed Eunice to her death (nooooooo, she was the best thing about this whole season!), Arden cremated her body...and himself with it. We loved the imagery of a Nazi doctor going into an oven. Justice at its finest. Obviously, Arden was so obsessed with Eunice and her innocence that her losing it caused him to close his heart (what little there was of it) for good and want to stop trying in life. We get that, after thinking about it, even though it seemed abrupt in the episode.
In other news, Grace has a son, and Lana is awesome.
Episode grade: B+
The Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2012
We finally saw this. We honest-to-God forgot that the British shows air Christmas specials during the actual Christmas holidays. Leeard found out a huge spoiler (Matthew, duh) and texted Ern about it, spoiling Ern. Ern texted back with extreme prejudice. Leeard apologized, so we must forgive her. Leeard thought Ern was caught up, because Ern is usually caught up on that show. All's well that ends well, but the fact remains that Ern was spoiled for both Matthew and Sybil's deaths. Grrr.
The best thing about this episode, for us, was Branson's lesson in accepting his new role in society. That maid was despicable, but she was basically us. We would totally try to tap that. As a Christmas present, the show gave us Branson shirtless, which wasn't as good as your imagination. The guy isn't a body builder. But it was better than a sharp stick in the eye or Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike. We also liked Thomas doing something nice and brave for a change and making up with James.
Also, the show made cousin Rose more sympathetic, which is great since she'll likely be a main character come next year. She needed to be more than a floozy. Edith and Michael are living Jane Eyre, but Edith isn't making Jane's wise choices, it seems like. We're so glad she's going to be stupid! It will be way more entertaining and romantic. Edith needs some good drama.
We loved Matthew's last words to Mary. We like how he encouraged her and told her that he sees a version of Mary that no one else sees. It's tough to have the reputation in your family for being the cold and selfish one, and when someone comes along who thinks differently of you, it's easier to become that version of yourself. The real you. Matthew is really dead. We're sad and teared up, clearly, but we weren't incensed like we were when Sybil bit the dust.
The actor chose not to renew after season three. Killing him was the best option. We couldn't have him taking a job in America and existing only offscreen, to be talked about by Mary, who would have to stay, because she's such a big part of the show. We couldn't have them break up. That would cheapen all we went through to get them together and the loving marriage they had built. Death was the only option. And hey, since this show has been getting repetitive, it can't hurt to have the leading lady single again so that the writers can get back to doing what they do best: Mary Romance Drama.
Episode grade: A-