I feel like I really need to discuss the William/Daisy situation. Firstly, I cannot fathom how each of them feel. In Britain, conscription was first introduced in 1916 and that is how William is sent to war. Now in William’s case he is one of the men who is happy to go to war to do his bit, but in most situations soldiers put up for mandatory service were scared and displeased. William is very brave in wanting to go to war but like every other man he has his doubts of survival. William has loved Daisy for a long time now but Daisy just thinks of William as her best friend. Before he goes to war Daisy wants to cheer William up by giving him a kiss before he leaves. Unfortunately, William mistakes Daisy’s meaning and asks if she will be his “girl” (which I think is so cute!) I feel badly for Daisy on the grounds that she just meant the kiss as innocent, she knew William had a crush on her but she didn’t think anything would become of it. It must be really hard for Daisy since William is her friend. I know she certainly wouldn’t want to send William to war with a broken heart. Especially after he says “I know Daisy, that if you were my girl I could tackle anything”. Like come on! There is certainly no way that conscription would fly today. This makes me very grateful for some of the perks we have now or else I may not have my Dad or half of my friends and cousins.
Another thing, what with Mr.Bates unwillingly leaving Downton we have the arrival of Mr.Lang. When we are first introduced to him I wasn’t sure what was wrong with him but as the episode progressed and I saw him nervous and shaky I knew it was shell-shock. Well done me. I feel a lot of sympathy for Mr.Lang, he was taken home from war because his condition got so bad it disabled his skills in almost everything. Men who had shell-shock were never fully the same after the war. Mr.Lang had to be sent home, but he is not fortunate enough to live without an occupation. As his time at Downton unravels we see him struggle more and more with simple tasks like serving dinner and straightening clothes. shell-shock must have been a horrific thing to go through, it would be like a dog in a thunder-storm every single day. Fortunately my favourite person in Downton recognises his condition. Go O’Brien! I really love how we get to see her being compassionate toward someone. This episode also contains the only little back story there is of her. O’Brien tells Mr.Lang that her favourite brother had shell-shock and was sent home, eventually to be sent back and he died. Why does O’Brien have to be such a secret person??? I must know more!!!
Lastly, the discussion of Downton Abbey becoming a convalescent home brings on a major turning point in the series. It also brings on one of my favourite Dowager Countess moments.
Dowager Countess Quote(s):
Dowager Countess: I think it’s a ridiculous idea!
Lady Sybil: Why?
Dowager Countess: Because this is a house, not a hospital.
Lady Mary: But, Granny, a convalescent home is where people rest and recuperate.
Dowager Countess: But if there are relapses? What then? Amputation in the dining room? Resuscitation in the pantry?
Lady Grantham: It would certainly be the most tremendous disturbance. If you knew how chaotic things are as it is.
Isobel Crawley: But when there’s so much good can be done.
[Dowager Countess slams her cane on the floor.]
Dowager Countess: I forbid it. To have strange men prodding and prying around the house, to say nothing of pocketing the spoons. It’s out of the question.
Lady Grantham: I hesitate to remind you, but this is my house now. Robert’s and mine, and we will make the decision.
Dowager Countess: Oh, I see. So now I’m an outsider…who need not be consulted.
Lady Grantham: Since you put it like that, yes.