"I’d give a limb to re-write that whole chapter of my life. But I can’t, Mr. Molesley. Even for you."
She is literally saying she would give anything to change her past. For him. She would change it all
He literally means that much to her.
DA, Series 5, Episode 2 Rewatch Commentary (1/???)
I’m about to start my second viewing of episode 2, and given how I felt last week during my rewatch, I’m certain I’ll be terribly upset. That said, this might be my only public comment about the episode.
I’m not sure Robert’s behavior was that out-of-character. As my lovely friend modernamericangirl recently put it in a PM, Robert has always had the emotional development of a twelve year old boy. When he gets frustrated and upset, he doesn’t know what to do with his emotions. He subsequently says things he doesn’t mean, realizes the error of his ways, and readily admits his mistake, often in a grand way (i.e., the “…but most of all I’m thankful for my wife” speech in the series 3 Christmas special).
He feels belittled in the changing world he lives in, and even though that has nothing to do with Sarah Bunting, she becomes his scapegoat. He hurls his anger and resentment towards her because she’s a convenient target. And after he sees Simon flirting overtly with his wife, he makes a rather stupid comment about Isis instead of saying what we know he feels but doesn’t know how to express - “Please don’t encourage that man. I need you. I love you. I can’t survive without you.”
But, all that said, I’m so furious with him I could scream.
Maybe I am in the minority here, but I truly believe that Robert has become rather OOC since s3. In season 1 and 2 he could be rather dramatic and somewhat childish at times [it was kind of endearing, tbh], but not like this. I am appalled at the way Robert is being written. I’m not sure if this is Fellowes wanting to make sure that we, as an audience, would believe Cora would stray? But he doesn’t have to turn Robert into a nasty ignorant bully to do that.
Because Fellowes is currently handling Carson/Hughes and Molesley/Baxter quite well I am of the belief that he is just being a lazy writer with Cobert. And that makes me mad. Carson and Robert are VERY similar characters, constructed to mirror one another as the upstairs and downstairs “heads” as Cora and Elsie are the upstairs and downstairs “necks” (referring to the old saying: the man is the head of the house but the woman is the neck [aka the women are really the ones holding it all together]). So if Carson is being written with a gentler hand, why isn’t Robert being written as such?
I think that you hit REALLY well on the scapegoat point. He is DEFINITELY struggling with his emotions as most men do (because they are taught to hide them and not express them). I have NO doubt that is what he’s doing and I think it understandable. Robert as an aristocratic man in a changing society is going to understandably have a lot of trouble dealing: #1 with the fact that he is no longer the center as the patriarchal head and on a personal level, that is no longer needed the way he used to be. With grown children running the estate, and a wife with far more independence than she had before the 1920’s…
He is overwhelmed. He feels under-appreciated. He is upset. And he’s going to be upset. But where I disagree with you is that I do not think he has the emotional development of a 12 year old. At least that wasn’t how he was ORIGINALLY written. Now he suddenly does? It makes NO sense to me at all. (I.E. how he handled Mary losing her virginity to Pamuk in 2. How would he react to that from s3 writing on? I would be scared to find out).
He’s been written to such an extreme angle since s3, that it’s become impossible for people to understand and sympathize with him because they can’t see past what they call his “temper tantrums” (I have such a problem with this. Such a massive, massive problem).
He’s been downright MEAN and Robert Crawley is NOT mean. Nastily flinging things at Tom about Sarah Bunting and bullying Tom himself?? Yelling at people, Cora included, about his granddaughter being stolen?? About Isis?? I mean, WHAT?
He’s overreacting to such a dramatic extent that it’s laughable. It is doing nothing but a disservice to his character and a disservice to the show. What happened to the gentler, kinder Robert Crawley from before 3x06? What happened to the Robert that listened to Cora and his daughters? That was trying to accept Tom’s differing viewpoints? That didn’t obsess over an f-ing dog? WHERE DID THAT ROBERT CRAWLEY GO. If he makes a 180 now and returns to the gentler more understanding ORIGINAL Robert, in order to win Cora back, I will be EVER so grateful and happy but people are going to not believe it.
Robert Crawley has, rather unjustly, become an unstable character. People are not going to sympathize with him when Cora inevitably strays, people are not going to care, and then this storyline will have been all for nothing if Cobert reconciles because people aren’t going to pay a lick of attention to it.
Robert Crawley can be filled with anger, resentment, and be struggling with a changing world without becoming this monster that everyone seems to think he is. I could understand Cora straying, even if Robert weren’t written this way, as a normal part of many marriages that just get “old” after awhile and need the romance rekindled.
I am not furious with Robert I am SAD. I am SAD that people have to feel furious at him for this storyline to work. I am sad that Fellowes has demonized him. I am SAD that Robert has become this absurd caricature that makes Cobert shippers sad and the casual viewers furious. Amidst how well the rest of s5 has been written so far, it makes me SAD.