Quotable Quotes from Downton Abbey Season 3

These are some of my favourite lines from Season 3. They remind me of why I enjoy Downton Abbey in the first place, the humor and subtext, and the superb cast that delivers every time.

Episode 1

The family must never be a topic of conversation. – Violet Crawley

Miss O’Brien, we are about to host a society wedding. I have no time for training young hobbledehoys. – Mr. Carson

Daisy: You’ve still kept me here with a dishonest representation.
Mrs. Patmore: Oh dear. Have you swallowed a dictionary?

Don’t worry about me. I’m an American. Have gun, will travel.  – Cora

Have gun will travel

Forgive, perhaps. Forget, never. – Violet

Come war and peace, Downton still stands and the Crawleys are still in it. – Martha Levinson

Mary, dearest Mary. Now, you tell me all of your wedding plans. I’ll see what I can do to improve them.  – Martha

Edith: There you are. I see you’ve said hello to Grandmama.
Violet: She is like a homing pigeon. She finds our underbelly every time.

I should hate to be predictable. – Mary to Matthew, at her wedding altar

Episode 2

Let me call you sweetheart...

Nothing succeeds like excess. – Violet

Are you not popular downstairs? – Robert to Thomas

Some animals adapt to new surroundings. It seems a better choice than extinction. – Martha to Robert

Well, in my opinion, to misquote Dr. Johnson, if you’re tired of style, you are tired of life. – Mr. Carson

Episode 3

At my age, one must ration one’s excitement.  – Violet

Let him go, let him go. You know he’s right. Don’t stop him doing the only sensible thing he’s come up with in months. – Violet to Edith at the altar

Being tested only makes you stronger. – Cora to Edith

If the poor don’t want it, you can bring it over to me. – Violet to Carson re. the wedding food.

Wedding gourmet for downstairs

And the food? Here it is… probably the best quote of the Episode. In answering Alfred’s remark of: Is this all we’re getting? Just these picketty bits:

These are canapés, Alfred. For your first course, some truffled egg on toast, perhaps? Some oysters a la Russe? There’s lobster rissoles in Mousseline sauce or Calvados-glazed duckling, or do you fancy a little asparagus salad with Champagne-saffron vinaigrette? – Thomas and Mrs. Patmore

Episode 4

Robert: What a harsh world you live in.
Tom: We all live in a harsh world. But at least I know I do.

Carson: But Alfred is very good, you know. He’s very willing. Even if he is Miss O’Brien’s nephew.
Matthew: Clearly, nothing worse could be said of any man.

Episode 5

Cora: Sir Philip mustn’t bully him into silence.
Robert: My dear, this is just Clarkson’s professional pride like barbers asking, “Who last cut your hair?”

A woman of my age can face reality far better than most men. – Violet

Sybil, Tom & baby

Edith: She was the only person living who always thought you and I were such nice people. Oh Mary… Do you think we might get along a little better in the future?
Mary: I doubt it. But since this is the last time we three will all be together in this life, let’s love each other now, as sisters should.

Episode 6

There hasn’t been a Catholic Crawley since the Reformation. – Robert

Anyone who has use of their limbs can make a salmon mousse. – Mrs. Patmore

You know the trouble with you lot? You’re all in love with the wrong people. Now take those upstairs! – Mrs. Patmore

Robert: I’m flabbergasted.
Cora: You’re always flabbergasted by the unconventional.

Dr. Clarkson: So you want me to lie to them and say there was no chance at all?
Violet: Lie… is so unmusical a word. I want you to review the evidence honestly and without bias.
Clarkson: Even to ease suffering, I could never justify telling an outright lie.
Violet: Have we nothing in common?

Episode 7

Bates and Anna

But in the meantime, you just rest. Stay in bed, read books. – Robert to Bates

Convince me again. – Matthew to Mary

I do think a woman’s place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there. – Violet

What is The Scarlet Letter? – Violet

Robert: Second [condition], you will both admit it when you realize you were wrong.
Violet: Oh, well that is an easy caveat to accept because I’m never wrong.

What’s the matter, Robert? Are you afraid you’ll be converted while you’re not looking? – Cora

Episode 8

Cricket Match

Matthew: Bates must count himself lucky to be out of it [cricket match].
Anna: I think he’d like to walk normally, sir, even if playing cricket was the price he had to pay.

She hates London, so she’s coming to a great-aunt in Yorkshire to have a good time. How original. –Isobel to Violet re. Rose

Isobel: Of course, if you had had to sell Charlie to the butcher to be chopped up as stew to achieve the same ends, you would have done so.
Violet: Happily, it was not needed.

Episode 9 Finale

Edna: He’s nice looking, I give him that.
Mrs. Hughes: I don’t think you’re required to give him anything.

Don’t dislike him before you know him. That’s the hallmark of our parents’ generation, and I forbid it.  – Matthew to Mary, re. Gregson.

What I want is for her [Rose] to know that family can be a loving thing… Love is like riding or speaking French. If you don’t learn it young, it’s hard to get the trick of it later.  – Shrimpie

Matthew: I fall more in love with you every day that passes.
Mary: I’ll remind you of that next time I scratch the car.

Downton Abbey Christmas Special


Oh, but it’s more than just a scratch in the car. We’ll forgive, but not forget. – Arti


CLICK HERE to Quotable Quotes from Downton Abbey Season 1 and 2


Downton Abbey Season 3: Episodes 4 & 5

Spoilers Alert! But if you’ve seen the Episodes, throw in your 2 pebbles and make some ripples.

The SAG Win

First off, a huge CONGRATS to the cast of Downton Abbey for their win in the Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. Too bad there were only five of them there. An unexpected win, no doubt. Click here to view Mrs. Hughes’s acceptance speech and Tom’s big smile.

Episode 4: Saddest Scene

Now, to a sombre tone. Episode 4 left me stunned and speechless. It will go down my TV viewing history as the saddest scene. Eclampsia was even trending on Twitter, I suppose. But if you Google the word, Sybil and Eclampsia will show up on the first page.

Ok, just a little deconstruction. At least this is how I take myself out of a daze. Sybil’s post-partum death is I’m sure a real life contract issue, and not the misdiagnosis of the high brow Sir Philip from London’s Harley Street. The last time I checked IMDb, Jessica Brown Findlay is filming with Russell Crowe in Winter’s Tale. So, Downton is a nice springboard.

Nevertheless, we will remember her as the most angelic character of them all. The deathbed scene is heart-wrenching. Did you not notice the positions of all the characters? The two doctors turn their backs, friends in need indeed, thanks. Matthew holds onto the bedpost wincing helplessly and Robert stands there stunned. Mary tries to be helpful but has to step back at the end, for the scene belongs to Tom and Cora.

CHRISTMAS 2012 Review 113034

Reaction downstairs is moving too, especially with Thomas. Can he not be a changed man just like the two remaining Crawley sisters, pledge to get along better? But he is a bit changed already, hasn’t he? It’s Mrs. O’Brien who remains the schemer now.

And I must mention the impressive performance by Maggie Smith as the grieving grandmother. Her posture alone is heart-breaking. But soon we find she rises above the tragedy and takes the rational helm of the family. “Cherish our memories, and the child.” She tells Robert.

Episode 5: Quotable Quotes

Just when I thought E4 is a good one, E5 gets even better. Every storyline captures my attention. We have numerous one liners from almost everybody. E5 once again confirms why I like Downton Abbey. Let these dialogues speak for themselves…

Violet Crawley: Grief makes one so terribly tired.

Go home, lie down, life goes on.

And what does life bring? A rift on religion in the Crawley family. Downton writers sure know how to stir the pot, plot. Tom is going to christen his daughter, baby Sybil, in the Catholic tradition. Robert understandably is outraged. He knows his history.

Robert: There hasn’t been a Catholic Crawley since the Reformation!

But Robert, Tom Branson is not a Crawley. For the first time, Robert feels he has totally lost his daughter, and his authority.

Not only that, Robert has lost control of all the ladies in the house, as he finds them sitting at Isobel’s table being served by Ethel the ex-prostitute. More outrage. Flabbergasted.

Cora: You’re always flabbergasted by the unconventional.

Robert, have you forgotten your fling with your former maid, what’s her name?

And all this cannot have happened without Mrs. Patmore going over to help Ethel to fortify her career move as Isobel’s cook.

Ethel: Can I really do it? Salmon mousse?

Mrs. Patmore: Anyone who has use of their limbs can make a salmon mousse.


Ethel and Mrs. Patmore

Meanwhile downstairs, Mr. Carson, Robert’s alter ego, is equally indignant with his staff, from associating with an ex-prostitute, to Fox-Trotting, to the giggling of the maids. Don’t they learn any manners from home? Flabbergasted.

Mrs. Hughes: Perhaps their mothers don’t want them in service.

Mr. Carson: What are they supposed to do? Become BANKERS and LAWYERS?

Violet Crawley can certainly add, ‘so middle class.’

As for the vibes downstairs, Daisy, Alfred, Ivy, Jimmy, and Thomas form a love pentagon. Mrs. Patmore is most sensitive with this sort of things.

Mrs. Patmore: You’re all in love with the wrong people. 

And Violet Crawley, she’s always the most rational of them all. Robert and Cora not on speaking terms, the marriage of the grieving couple is crumbling. Grief does not only make one tired, but tired of one another, and let blame set in. Violet knows where the key lies (no pun intended). She persuades Dr. Clarkson to research on Eclampsia to denounce his previous diagnosis.

Dr. Clarkson: Even to ease suffering, I could never justify telling an outright lie.

Violet: Lie is so unmusical a word… Have we nothing in common?

Well, Dr. Clarkson just might not have needed to lie, for as a Tweet says, even a Caecarean Section could not have prevented Eclampsia and death in Sybil’s case in their time, citing this medical article.

You see why Downton Abbey is amazing? Its viewers would go all out to fuse facts and fiction, living vicariously with its characters.

While E4 ends with mourning, sending viewers to devastation, E5 ends with hope and good news. After all his ordeals, Mr. Bates will finally be released from prison. Thanks to the investigative work of Anna. Now, Mr. Bates Legal Team on Twitter can disband, and the real life ‘Free Mr. Bates’ signs can come down.




Other Downton Posts:

Downton Abbey Season 3: Episode 6 & 7 Finale

Downton Abbey Season 3: Episodes 2 & 3

Downton Abbey Season 3: Episodes 1

Quotable Quotes from Downton Abbey

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey


Downton Abbey Season 3: Episodes 2 & 3

Posts like this should go without saying: Spoilers Alert!

After a shaky start in E1, slowly picks up in E2, Downton Abbey is back on track and full steam ahead in E3. What a relief! I want to see it go on and on, season after season. But I would not wish to see it just ride on its popularity. I want the Downton feel back, that appeal which first captivated me from Seasons 1 and 2. I can feel it again in last night’s E3.

Previously in E2, the main event is the Runaway Groom: Sir Anthony Strallan gets cold feet and jilts Edith at the altar. Dramatic? Yes. Contrived? No. It takes courage for him to run away like that. Of course, he should have done that long ago and not wait till everyone is all dressed up. But I know, he isn’t sure before. I give him credits though for stopping the new career of Edith right there at the altar. And he needs to get out of there quick, before he changes his mind again.

I trust Sir Anthony is altruistic, thinking only of Edith. It’s not right for her to give up her life for an old man even though she sees him as her life work. Violet Crawley is quick to step in, contradicting Robert, with the three words that show who is still in charge: “Let him go.” With this dramatic scene, all else in E2 seems to fade by comparison.

The fancy wedding cuisine goes to the servants downstairs, and to the poor. But if they don’t want it, Violet Crawley wants them doggie bagged.

Gourmet wedding cuisine for downstairs

And oh yes, a letter suddenly appears, from Lavinia’s dead father, its content releases Matthew of his guilt for inheriting the large sum. So he is now free to chip in to save Downton Abbey from appearing on the real estate page in the paper. Does this deus ex machina device qualify the show as melodrama, or just sloppy screenwriting? Oh, who cares, the Crawleys don’t have to move, and that’s what’s important. A big hassle, downsizing. You can ask the Dashwoods of Sense and Sensibility, no fun moving from a big mansion to a little cottage.

Good news for Mrs. Hughes, it’s benign something something, not cancer. The relief is equally shared by Mr. Carson. Good man, the news sends him back to his former showbiz days, singing his heart out. But the kind words from Cora Crawley should not go unchecked. I’m sure Mrs. Hughes will be forever grateful: “You will stay here, and we will look after you.” Even though not getting cancer is still better.


With that we move on to E3, that’s where the drama begins, and the plot thickens.

Watching E3, I’m captivated once again as in previous Seasons. There are witty LOL lines, mostly from Violet Crawley as always; there are some not so LOL lines that are equally well said by others.

First off, I’m glad that Edith is no Ms. Havisham. Life is too good to be bogged down, even when you’re being jilted at the altar. And, as her mother says, testing can only make you stronger. That turns her from a jilted bride to women’s suffrage advocate. Take that, Ms. Havisham. So Edith has shifted her life purpose from taking care of an old man donning an arm sling to writing letters to the editor.

But the main event here in E3 involves Tom Branson, the former Downton chauffer turned Downton son-in-law turned Irish revolutionary. Woa, what drama. He escapes from Dublin police and slips back into Downton, leaving Sybil to run for her life. Oh, it’s all planned. But still, herein lies the dilemma. He wants to go back to Dublin but he’ll be arrested as soon as he sets foot there. Sybil wants to give birth in Downton, peaceful and safe, two words that are not in her husband’s dictionary.

Some memorable lines come from Tom’s confrontation with his father-in-law Robert Crawley, patriarch of Downton, who seldom wears anything else other than a tux, choice of wardrobe being black or white ties, with clout in high places, albeit still a good man he is.

Robert:  What a harsh world you live in.

Tom: We all live in a harsh world, but at least I know I do.

Something Robert would not have understood.

Ethel saying goodbye

Ethel the former maid turned prostitute can surely understand. It is a harsh world she lives in, having to raise a child with little means. Of course it’s heart wrenching to have to give up her son, handing him back to his grandparents, out of her own choice this time, knowing the child will have the best opportunities with them; with her, he has no chance. She had fought to keep him, tried to raise him on her own, but it didn’t work. That’s what makes it sad. It is poignant to see her wave goodbye as the coach moves away, with Mrs. Hughes and Isobel Crawley standing behind her, supportive yet each holding a different opinion about her choice.

New footman Jimmy is the main attraction downstairs, a timed bomb I can tell. And Mrs. Patmore finally gets a new kitchen maid to lighten up Daisy’s work load. But with this new gal, I’m sure Daisy regrets having started labor grievances. Alfred wants to make the new kitchen maid feel at home in no time. Be careful what you wish for, Daisy, you just may get it, nemesis in disguise.

I haven’t mentioned Bates and Anna you may have noticed. I know, Bates legal team is working day and night on Twitter, and free John Bates signs in the real world. But for dramatic effects, and a change of scenery from the lofty and elegant Downton Abbey, we see Bates debased in a prison cell. Here’s another person to agree with Tom. It’s a harsh world outside Downton. But then as Cora Crawley has said, testing would only make you stronger. Bates and Anna are exemplary in living out this motto. That Julian fellow sure knows how to lead and tease. With Bates and Anna madly reading each other’s letters after weeks of non-communication, Episode 3 ends, leaving us wishing the week would just fly by.


Other Related Posts:

Downton Abbey Season 3, Episode 1

Season 3, Episodes 4 & 5

Season 3, Episodes 6 & 7 Finale

Quotable Quotes from Downton Abbey

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: Facts that Give Rise to Fiction