Crawley House

My Downton Abbey - Mary/Matthew - centric Little Corner....Also write fic as Evangeline1920....ask me anything!
 Favourite underrated scenes:
Series 2,Episode 04: William and the letter-bomb

Always adored this small, yet brilliant scene from S2E04. We see Matthew reading over Mary’s letter (again), then he puts it down to go on that seemingly impromptu patrol. A second later William asks him quite specifically „Has Mary set a date yet?“ as if he knew what was going on.
I loveWilliam in this entire scene, for all his cheeky prodding and knowing looks. He calls her ‘Mary’ sans ‘Lady’. Matthew must have either read out the letter to William or told him the content at some earlier point, because William is quite interested in its content. Next thing he comments that Mary could have told Matthew in person. He’s clearly pushing Matthew to talk about Mary, aware that the letter has affected him more than he wants to admit. William also questions this spontaneous (and kind of idiotic) patrol, which seems almost like a desperate measure on Matthew’s part, to give himself an activity, to have something to do, to be in charge of something and to take his mind off the letter. William, however, won’t let it go, despite Matthew’s scoffing about the ‘logic pills’. We do not know how much Matthew and William share with each other about their private lives. Matthew certainly knows about Daisy, but William also knows (perhaps better than Matthew himself) that he is still in love with ‘Mary’ and not so much with ‘Miss Swire’ (seriously why does Matthew not call her Lavinia, when they talk openly about ‘Daisy’ and ‘Mary’). It also seems a bit forced when Matthew casually waxes on about „fresh Yorkshire air, followed by London and Miss Swire.“ and William’s reaction is just brilliant. He doesn’t buy it and he sees that Matthew is putting on a bit of a show here (again probably not even aware of it) This scene is so intruiging, because it’s so layered and loaded, with Mary’s letter, her words (even in voice-over just like Matthew would hear her voice in his head) and Matthew’s reaction to it (or pointed lack thereof). There is a hectic edge to the scene as well: Matthew’s orders, grabbing the toy dog (the only thing of Mary’s he has) and hurrying out of the bunker as if to put distance between himself and the letter. All the while William goes on asking all the right questions – indirectly. Why did Mary write to him, she could have waited to tell him in person! If she hasn’t set a date yet, perhaps she doesn’t really want it to happen! But Matthew casually blocks any deeper thought of Mary and her motivations. Then completely out of the blue, Matthew suddenly turns around, halting his ‘mission’ for only a second, and asks William ‘You’d never swap, would you?“ They are discussing Daisy and ‘Miss Swire’ here…and yet, Mary’s letter hangs all over their conversation and this scene – the question is not whether William would swap Daisy for another, but wouldn’t Matthew rather swap Lavinia for Mary – and the fact that Mary has just officially replaced Matthew. There are so many subconscious slips in this scene, and the role William plays here is wonderful, not allowing Matthew to just breeze over Mary’s wedding plans, but questioning it, questioning Matthew’s heart really. About his plans to see Lavinia in London he goes: „Alright for some, Sir.“ William himself is deeply deeply in love with Daisy and from that perspective he can clearly spot a man who is definitely not deeply in love with his fiancée ‘Miss Swire’. To me this is one of the most telling scenes to show that Matthew is far from being over Mary. Ironically, Mary concedes to write the letter to prove her theory that Matthew definitely loves Lavinia, that he would open his chest and carve her name on his heart, so she has no scruples writing to him, sure that he will be delighted for her and Richard. Of course this backfires completely. Robert was right to suppose that Matthew would be affected by it, more than Mary can guess. As far as we know, this is also the first letter she ever wrote to him at the front. So two things happen here: not only does Mary ‘invade’ Matthew’s life at the front for the first time, but she also drops a huge bomb on him with her engagement news. As Matthew points out in the deleted scene that was stolen from us in the UK, there is a huge discrepancy between the world at the front and the world of Downton in Matthew’s head. Downton and Mary (and they are sort of one thing to him really) appear like a distant dream, an unreal world of beauty and wonder and secret love. But underneath it, they are also a painful reminder of his broken heart and all the emotions to come with it. So far, Matthew had been a good soldier and a good Captain because he had kept a very tight control over his negative emotions, his personal losses and regrets, in order to function at the front. Mary’s letter, even just for a moment, completely undermines that grip he has on his feelings. It’s just one rash decision he makes, one unthinking badly conceived order, but it could have cost his own and William’s life. At the front, one single bad move means sudden death. Later, Matthew will plays it down, saying they haven’t been in real danger, but we know better, having seen the German soldiers, seen how close they were to being shot or captured. Matthew of course betrays his own understatement the moment when he sees Mary singing. His face, his eyes, spontaneously bursting into song with her…He had come so very close to never seeing Mary again, and the joy of reunion is simply overwhelming, the emotions fully exposed on his face and hers. Only later, the letter is brought up again and the distance between them returns. Mary’s engagement to Carlisle truly seems like the last nail in the coffin for them. As long as Mary was safe at Downton, single and unchanging, the dream world that had lingered at the back of his mind had remained intact. Now, Mary is engaged and her future was moving forwards, because she was not stuck in the war. When I think of Matthew’s engagement to Lavinia, that seemingly spur of the moment decision he made (again another rash decision that turned out bad in the long run), Isobel’s words come to mind: They don’t talk much about the future, because it is like tempting fate. In war, the idea of Lavinia and marrying her in the future is as much of a distant un-reality as the idea of Mary and and that he could have married her in the past. We don’t really know that much about the Matthew-Lavinia relationship, but it is clear that in the end he did regret his decision to propose when the time drew closer to their real wedding. When the engagement threatened to become reality and he had to stand by his word, Matthew must have realized how war had also a way of distorting the things that matter and the things that don’t. In the horrors of war, he had wanted to put meaning into his engagement to Lavinia, when there was no real connection, at least nothing compared to the one he had with Mary. Then in turn he had tried to ignore and belittle the love he still harboured for Mary. To no avail. His subconscious would not allow it. Robert later said that Matthew could not be blamed for ‘feelings beyond his control’. Having control over his own life and feelings had been a big point in Matthew’s decision to leave at the end of S1, when he said that he needed to take charge of his life again and that he is not a puppet. Soldier!Matthew is doing a great job keeping up this facade of control and duty and rationality. But when it comes to Mary, her letter and her life, that tightly shut door in Matthew’s head creaks open and the feelings come flooding out. The tragic effect is, Matthew deludes himself into thinking he can prevent it from affecting him, he can keep it in, keep himself together about Mary, though the people close to him like Lavinia or William can see deeper into his soul and what is really there. If anyone’s name would be found carved on his heart it is certainly not Lavinia’s.

 Favourite underrated scenes:

Series 2,Episode 04: William and the letter-bomb

Always adored this small, yet brilliant scene from S2E04. We see Matthew reading over Mary’s letter (again), then he puts it down to go on that seemingly impromptu patrol. A second later William asks him quite specifically „Has Mary set a date yet?“ as if he knew what was going on.

I loveWilliam in this entire scene, for all his cheeky prodding and knowing looks. He calls her ‘Mary’ sans ‘Lady’. Matthew must have either read out the letter to William or told him the content at some earlier point, because William is quite interested in its content. Next thing he comments that Mary could have told Matthew in person. He’s clearly pushing Matthew to talk about Mary, aware that the letter has affected him more than he wants to admit. William also questions this spontaneous (and kind of idiotic) patrol, which seems almost like a desperate measure on Matthew’s part, to give himself an activity, to have something to do, to be in charge of something and to take his mind off the letter. William, however, won’t let it go, despite Matthew’s scoffing about the ‘logic pills’. We do not know how much Matthew and William share with each other about their private lives. Matthew certainly knows about Daisy, but William also knows (perhaps better than Matthew himself) that he is still in love with ‘Mary’ and not so much with ‘Miss Swire’ (seriously why does Matthew not call her Lavinia, when they talk openly about ‘Daisy’ and ‘Mary’). It also seems a bit forced when Matthew casually waxes on about „fresh Yorkshire air, followed by London and Miss Swire.“ and William’s reaction is just brilliant. He doesn’t buy it and he sees that Matthew is putting on a bit of a show here (again probably not even aware of it) This scene is so intruiging, because it’s so layered and loaded, with Mary’s letter, her words (even in voice-over just like Matthew would hear her voice in his head) and Matthew’s reaction to it (or pointed lack thereof). There is a hectic edge to the scene as well: Matthew’s orders, grabbing the toy dog (the only thing of Mary’s he has) and hurrying out of the bunker as if to put distance between himself and the letter. All the while William goes on asking all the right questions – indirectly. Why did Mary write to him, she could have waited to tell him in person! If she hasn’t set a date yet, perhaps she doesn’t really want it to happen! But Matthew casually blocks any deeper thought of Mary and her motivations. Then completely out of the blue, Matthew suddenly turns around, halting his ‘mission’ for only a second, and asks William ‘You’d never swap, would you?“ They are discussing Daisy and ‘Miss Swire’ here…and yet, Mary’s letter hangs all over their conversation and this scene – the question is not whether William would swap Daisy for another, but wouldn’t Matthew rather swap Lavinia for Mary – and the fact that Mary has just officially replaced Matthew. There are so many subconscious slips in this scene, and the role William plays here is wonderful, not allowing Matthew to just breeze over Mary’s wedding plans, but questioning it, questioning Matthew’s heart really. About his plans to see Lavinia in London he goes: „Alright for some, Sir.“ William himself is deeply deeply in love with Daisy and from that perspective he can clearly spot a man who is definitely not deeply in love with his fiancée ‘Miss Swire’. To me this is one of the most telling scenes to show that Matthew is far from being over Mary. Ironically, Mary concedes to write the letter to prove her theory that Matthew definitely loves Lavinia, that he would open his chest and carve her name on his heart, so she has no scruples writing to him, sure that he will be delighted for her and Richard. Of course this backfires completely. Robert was right to suppose that Matthew would be affected by it, more than Mary can guess. As far as we know, this is also the first letter she ever wrote to him at the front. So two things happen here: not only does Mary ‘invade’ Matthew’s life at the front for the first time, but she also drops a huge bomb on him with her engagement news. As Matthew points out in the deleted scene that was stolen from us in the UK, there is a huge discrepancy between the world at the front and the world of Downton in Matthew’s head. Downton and Mary (and they are sort of one thing to him really) appear like a distant dream, an unreal world of beauty and wonder and secret love. But underneath it, they are also a painful reminder of his broken heart and all the emotions to come with it. So far, Matthew had been a good soldier and a good Captain because he had kept a very tight control over his negative emotions, his personal losses and regrets, in order to function at the front. Mary’s letter, even just for a moment, completely undermines that grip he has on his feelings. It’s just one rash decision he makes, one unthinking badly conceived order, but it could have cost his own and William’s life. At the front, one single bad move means sudden death. Later, Matthew will plays it down, saying they haven’t been in real danger, but we know better, having seen the German soldiers, seen how close they were to being shot or captured. Matthew of course betrays his own understatement the moment when he sees Mary singing. His face, his eyes, spontaneously bursting into song with her…He had come so very close to never seeing Mary again, and the joy of reunion is simply overwhelming, the emotions fully exposed on his face and hers. Only later, the letter is brought up again and the distance between them returns. Mary’s engagement to Carlisle truly seems like the last nail in the coffin for them. As long as Mary was safe at Downton, single and unchanging, the dream world that had lingered at the back of his mind had remained intact. Now, Mary is engaged and her future was moving forwards, because she was not stuck in the war. When I think of Matthew’s engagement to Lavinia, that seemingly spur of the moment decision he made (again another rash decision that turned out bad in the long run), Isobel’s words come to mind: They don’t talk much about the future, because it is like tempting fate. In war, the idea of Lavinia and marrying her in the future is as much of a distant un-reality as the idea of Mary and and that he could have married her in the past. We don’t really know that much about the Matthew-Lavinia relationship, but it is clear that in the end he did regret his decision to propose when the time drew closer to their real wedding. When the engagement threatened to become reality and he had to stand by his word, Matthew must have realized how war had also a way of distorting the things that matter and the things that don’t. In the horrors of war, he had wanted to put meaning into his engagement to Lavinia, when there was no real connection, at least nothing compared to the one he had with Mary. Then in turn he had tried to ignore and belittle the love he still harboured for Mary. To no avail. His subconscious would not allow it. Robert later said that Matthew could not be blamed for ‘feelings beyond his control’. Having control over his own life and feelings had been a big point in Matthew’s decision to leave at the end of S1, when he said that he needed to take charge of his life again and that he is not a puppet. Soldier!Matthew is doing a great job keeping up this facade of control and duty and rationality. But when it comes to Mary, her letter and her life, that tightly shut door in Matthew’s head creaks open and the feelings come flooding out. The tragic effect is, Matthew deludes himself into thinking he can prevent it from affecting him, he can keep it in, keep himself together about Mary, though the people close to him like Lavinia or William can see deeper into his soul and what is really there. If anyone’s name would be found carved on his heart it is certainly not Lavinia’s.

  1. retro-beauty reblogged this from miscreantrose
  2. downton-love reblogged this from oneithersidetheriverlie
  3. lala-kate reblogged this from oneithersidetheriverlie
  4. oneithersidetheriverlie reblogged this from haslemere and added:
    ”When the engagement threatened to become reality and he had to stand by his word, Matthew must have realized how war...
  5. snowball4 reblogged this from miscreantrose and added:
    This is excellent! I keep thinking of that first visit back of M/M sitting at the table and he asks her if she’s happy....
  6. haslemere reblogged this from orangeshipper
  7. miscreantrose reblogged this from orangeshipper
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  10. hobbithaley321 reblogged this from potterintheskywiththedoctor
  11. amerigirltn reblogged this from orangeshipper and added:
    This is fabulous. I just love fanfics that get into the mind of M/M. Seemed to me that Fellowes just skimmed the top of...
  12. potterintheskywiththedoctor reblogged this from ladyannacrawley
  13. ladyannacrawley reblogged this from orangeshipper
  14. orangeshipper reblogged this from crawleyhouse and added:
    This is absolutely wonderful. One of the best analyses of soldier!Matthew and the subconscious battle of his feelings...
  15. flawlessdownton reblogged this from patsan
  16. i-can-if-i-want-to reblogged this from crawleyhouse
  17. patsan reblogged this from crawleyhouse and added:
    A wonderful meta on the carefully drawn line between the world of Downton and life at the front in Matthew’s head and...
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  19. crawleyhouse posted this