Just another day in the life of ‘Downton Abbey’

John Kelly
Columnist February 10, 2013

Did you miss last night’s “Downton Abbey”? Never fear. Here’s the script. Warning: spoiler alerts!

Open on Interior, the servants’ dining room in the basement of Downton Abbey. Mrs. Hughes is in conversation with Alfred, the footman.

John Kelly writes "John Kelly's Washington," a daily look at Washington's less-famous side. Born in Washington, John started at The Post in 1989 as deputy editor in the Weekend section. View Archive

Mrs. Hughes: Well, there’s nothing for it. We’ll just have to tell Mr. Carson.

Carson [walking by]: Tell me what, Mrs. Hughes?

Mrs. Hughes: It’s Buttercup, the Earl of Grantham’s yellow Labrador retriever. She’s pregnant.

Carson: A cause for celebration, surely, Mrs. Hughes.

Mrs. Hughes: Not quite. The father is the butcher’s dog.

Carson: The butcher’s dog! Never in all my years at Downton Abbey did I think I would see the day when the Earl’s pedigreed bitch would be impregnated by a common tradesman’s mutt.

Alfred: Ah, but Mr. Carson. Times is changin’.

Carson: Too fast, if you ask me.

Cut to Interior, Mrs. Crawley’s house. About 30 women are crammed into her drawing room.

Mrs. Crawley: I want to thank you all for coming here today, and I want to stress that I make no judgment about the choices you have made during your wretched lives. I know you are all prostitutes, but I also know you are good inside and that it is my job to find that goodness.

Male voice at the back: Can you speak up, ma’am? We can’t hear you at the back.

Mrs. Crawley: Is that a man’s voice I hear?

Male voice at the back: Yes it is, ma’am. I am a man.

Mrs. Crawley: A man and a prostitute? How can that be?

Male voice at the back: I am a male prostitute, ma’am. It’s 1922 and men are experimenting with new roles. Men can be anything they want now. Even prostitutes. My name is Adam.

Mrs. Crawley: Jolly good. You may have fallen from God’s grace, Adam, but you have not fallen from mine.

Cut to Interior, Downton Abbey library. A maid, Olive, is in the foreground, dusting an occasional table. [Occasionally, it’s a table; occasionally, it’s a chair.] Enter: Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary.

Lady Mary: Matthew, I just wanted to . . . Excuse me [she addresses Olive], what are you doing here?

Olive [curtsying]: I’m Olive, m’lady, the new table-dusting maid.

Lady Mary: I didn’t ask who you are, I asked what you are doing here. You are an extra. If you are going to be in this room at all, be in the background of the shot, over there with the bookcases or curtains. Do not get so close to the camera that viewers can discern your facial features. Do you understand me?

Olive [curtsying]: Yes, m’lady. [She retreats to a far corner.]

Lady Mary: Now, where was I? Ah yes, Matthew, I’m so grateful to you for sinking your fortune into Downton Abbey. I love you so much.

Matthew: I love you too, Mary.

Lady Mary: And yet I can’t help despising you. [She slaps him in the face and storms from the room.]

Cut to Interior, York Prison. It is visiting day and Anna Bates is sitting with her wrongfully incarcerated husband, John Bates.

Bates: How is everyone at Downton, Anna? Mrs. Hughes?

Anna Bates: It wasn’t cancer, after all.

Bates: Daisy?

Anna Bates: She loves Alfred, but Alfred doesn’t love her.

Bates: Mrs. Patmore?

Anna Bates: Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Bates: Lady Sybil?

Anna Bates: Dead, buried, reanimated as a zombie and now stalking the village feasting on brains.

Bates: Buttercup?

Anna Bates: Pregnant. [She buries her face in her hands and weeps.]

Cut to Interior, Downton Abbey dining room.

Robert, Earl of Grantham: Cora, may I have a word? Why are there 30 prostitutes living in tents in our back garden?

Cora, Countess of Grantham: Oh Robert, it’s Matthew’s mother’s idea. They need work, and she has them here at Downton learning to hunt voles.

Robert, Earl of Grantham: Well, I suppose times are changing and Downton must change with them.

Cora, Countess of Grantham: Oh Robert, I so hoped you would see it that way.

[The party sits for dinner. At dinner’s end, Cora stands.]

Cora, Countess of Grantham: Everyone, I have an announcement. You may have noticed a bulge in our under butler Thomas’s pocket. It’s because he has a new toy. Oh, Thomas, you’ve been playing with Adam’s yo-yo, haven’t you? Oh, please do show us.

Thomas: Of course, ma’am. [Thomas pulls a yo-yo from his trouser pocket and proceeds to demonstrate Around the World, Pop the Clutch and Walk the Dog.]

Cora, Countess of Grantham: Oh, isn’t that marvelous?

Dowager Countess: How perfectly ghastly. The only thing I’d like to see dangling at the end of a string is a suffragist. May I have that “yo-yo” please, Thomas.

Thomas: Of course, ma’am. [He hands the Dowager Countess the yo-yo. She takes it in her gloved hand, examines it as if it was a dead vole then deftly flings it at Lady Edith, striking her smartly in the brow.]

Lady Edith: Oww! Granny, that hurt! Why did you do that?

Dowager Countess: Because you’re ugly, and we hate you.

[Roll credits.]

To read previous columns, go to washingtonpost.com/johnkelly.

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