Previously on Downton Jihadi....
Following Great Aunt Robin Nedwell's spontaneous combustion, Cora immerses herself in rehearsals for her esperanto production of 'Oh what a lovely Boer war'. A sudden refrigeration crisis leads Robert Peston, Thomas and Carson to abandon their ambitious attempt to build a three quarter scale facsimile of the Humber Bridge out of Dairy Lea Triangles. We still have no idea what an entail is....
Now read on....
The heir presumptuous, Mahfuz Crawley, and his mother, Ishraq, arrive
in Downton where they have been allotted a spacious biovouac. As a doctor’s widow,
Ishraq asks about helping out at the village hospital - she would like to become the widow of a younger, better looking doctor, preferably a specialist or a brain surgeon. Violent assures her the hospital does not
need help from Ishraq or anyone - the doctors there are perfectly capable of widowing themselves thank you very much. It is clear these two will be at scimitars drawn from the start.
Cora’s maid, Brien O'Edna O'Brien, is openly contemptuous of the newcomers - well, they're foreigeners for a kick off.
And Hindus. She and Thomas encourage the servants to snub them as much as they dare, although they have to be careful as stocks of snub are getting perilously low thanks to the imminent (well, it is only two and a half years away - or three episodes) First World War.
However, she has misjudged Cora - who is upon closer inspection really a rather hirsute and stocky Bermudan gentleman - and finds herself being reprimanded in
front of the staff. Cora has further offended by taking on a local man,
Alfred Molestation, as butler and valet for Mahfuz. Thomas is furious he
has not been offered this post as his first foot may be missing its rightful partner but with the proper assistance (i.e. a crutch or shooting stick arrangement) he can kick ass with the best of them. Mahfuz finds it hard having a valet - he's not too sure of the spelling either and had conjured up something wholly more agreeably treelined and pastoral than the disgusting one footed wretch he was presented with - and
in the process offends Molestation who attempts, unsuccessfully at first, to behead him. It is Robert who makes Mahfuz aware
of his new responsibilities. Even so, he cannot dissuade Mahfuz from
taking a job with a local turf accountants, even though gambling is expressly forbidden under the yet to be invented Hindu green cross code. Violent finds this tradesman-like
thinking absurd, especially as he insists upon going to work wearing a suit of armour and sling-backs.
Meanwhile, the butler Carson, a stickler for standards and
dignity, is mortified when he is confronted with his own past. Charles
Grigg has been blackmailing him, revealing that before working at
Downton, Carson was one half of a transgendered pantomime horse, in point of fact, he had once been the graphically accurate nether quarters of "Cheerful
Charlotte" - 'the droopless brewer's dray with a fanciful fetlock and a sting in the tail!!' Together, Robert Peston and Bates defend Carson, and Bates gains
respect from Carson as a result - especially once it's discovered that Bates too has a theatrical past. He was third understudy in the Bracknell Folies for several years and once had to perform in an emergency, unscripted and with no notice whatever, as a chorus girl's appendage. 'It was the best job I ever had....' he tells them, dreamily.
One of the housemaids, Gwenda, seems to have a secret
correspondent. She has received several packages, all in the shape of a hexagon, and is seen hurrying
into the village to post a rhombus shaped letter. Second Footman, William, who has the second foot that Thomas was so cruelly denied, but is in turn without a good first foot of his own, develops a
crush on Daisy, but she is far too taken by Thomas' first foot to notice his second. She secretly dreams of a tall, handsome third footman who will be able to sweep her off both her feet and win three-legged races all on his own.
Defying Violent’s strictures, Ishraq visits the hospital and sees a
villager, John Drake, who is suffering from dropsy. It's so serious, in fact, that he's had to be put on a dripsy. She is determined
he should benefit from the latest Cure, but Dr. Clarkson would prefer to
treat him in a more traditional way, so Tony Bennett it is. At last he is persuaded, and a
distraught Violent witnesses a seemingly barbaric procedure only to have
to accept Isobel’s victory following Drake’s impressive recovery after extended exposure to side two of the 'Pornography' album.
Despite her dislike of him, Violent can’t help promoting a match
between Mahfuz and Mary. Even Ishraq can see the benefits - especially as the disposable lighter is still some way from being invented. So does Cora
who is coming to like the new heir, even if she doesn’t want to have him and his filthy kind living next door. Yet. But
Mahfuz is unconvinced and Mary is insulted by the very notion and insists on holding out for a proper zippo. The idea
is consequently dead in the water, meaning that Violent and Cora have to
resume their fight to get the entail (a belt of some sort??) overturned. Later, whilst talking
to her sisters, Mary reveals she has a viscount’s heir in play, The Hon.
Evelyn Nappier-Rash. She'll be happy to introduce him to the rest of the family once she's cleaned him up and got him out of his romper suit.
Dr. Clarkson is nervous after Violent’s protests, but Robert
Peston supports him, proposing that Ishraq will be brought on to the hospital
board so that she can personally select her next victim...erm.. husband. The offer is made to Ishraq and accepted. Ishraq and Violent are
consequently, if anything, even more at war than ever....