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Title: The Patrick Gordon storyline
Description: (series 2 discussion)


Ariadne - October 23, 2011 10:15 PM (GMT)
Well, what we've all either anticipated or dreaded has finally happened and Patrick Crawley is returned from the dead! He's seemingly gone from Downton for the moment, but he leaves behind a lot of questions...

Do you think it was really Patrick Crawley or an impostor Peter Gordon? Was Edith right that the real Patrick was driven away by the family or was she seeing what she wanted to see?

Do you think he's gone for good or do you expect him back again?

I think the storyline itself is undeniably soapy, but do you think it was handled well or has Downton gone a bit too far with this one?

Robert Cora Fan - October 23, 2011 10:49 PM (GMT)
Here's my theory...I think it IS the real Patrick. Robert knows and he's hiding it.

When Robert met the solider, he rubbed his hands over his face. It's a gesture that Robert recognised from the real Patrick. However, it's not in Robert's interests to acknowledge and recognise Patrick. He's now so close to Matthew and doesn't want him to lose out - he mentioned this a couple of times in the episode. Also the scene of Robert sitting by the fire - mulling over what to do or what he saw??

There's no way of Patrick "proving" his identity now. Without the family's (particularly Lord Grantham's) support, he's nothing.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking with it - what do you think??

3down1up - October 24, 2011 12:25 AM (GMT)
But if that was a gesture that Patrick Crawley did a lot, and Peter Gordon worked with Patrick, couldn't Peter have just picked up on that gesture and used it as part of his con?

I think he was a fake through and through and I was both sad for and annoyed at Edith for falling for it.

Ariadne - October 24, 2011 12:48 AM (GMT)
I think Patrick was an impostor. I think Violet was right; he was an opportunist who figured that every cloud has a silver lining. I think he is very smart and conniving - he plants the idea from the beginning by mentioning a "family connection" in his original request through Dr. Clarkson; he tells Edith he kept hoping she would recognize him without him needing to spell out who he is, all while he is leading her along nicely; he plays Edith very well, knowing that she is the most susceptible because of her feelings for Patrick; he makes the gesture at a convenient moment with Robert and then pretends innocence; etc. If he really is Patrick, there is no need to maneuver his way to Downton to recuperate - it would be more kind if he approached Robert discretely - and I see his actions as an attempt to emotionally manipulate the family. Of course, I am very biased because I think the entire storyline was over the top, so I want him to be an impostor and I might be seeing what I want.

I don't really know if we've seen the last of Patrick, but I would be even more upset with this plotline if he doesn't reappear in their lives. If this is the end, then I really don't see the point of the plot except to give Edith another temporary love interest (poor Edith!), Mary yet another chance to showcase her love for Matthew, and Matthew some lines that show how depressed he is and I'd hate to see such a soapy story have so little payoff. Whether or not he is an impostor, the claim is a big deal and needs to be more properly resolved, I think.

Scarlet - October 24, 2011 01:01 AM (GMT)
I think he was the real one. It adds poignancy if he was the real one I think, makes the letter he leaves Edith at the end a great deal sadder. If he was a fake why on earth would he bother to leave her a note? If he was a fake and no one believed him surely they're not going to suddenly come round so why bother leaving a note?

Robert Cora Fan - October 24, 2011 09:19 AM (GMT)
You're right - I must stop posting in the early hours of the morning (and after watching Spooks!) :rolleyes:

Michelle - October 24, 2011 01:14 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Scarlet @ Oct 24 2011, 01:01 AM)
I think he was the real one. It adds poignancy if he was the real one I think, makes the letter he leaves Edith at the end a great deal sadder. If he was a fake why on earth would he bother to leave her a note? If he was a fake and no one believed him surely they're not going to suddenly come round so why bother leaving a note?

Maybe because he ended up falling for Edith...just a thought. I'm still not sure whether or not he was the real one. I'm kind of torn in two. I want him to be for Edith's sake, yet I don't want him to be for Matthew's sake.

wildblue - October 25, 2011 03:54 AM (GMT)
I thought for sure he was a fake. The whole conversation he had with Edith as they were walking the grounds about the evil governess seems like that classic con you always see on TV - say a little and let the person you're fooling fill in the details. Add in the fact he took off as soon as Peter Gordon was introduced into conversation, and I just don't see him as the real deal. I felt terrible for Edith the whole way through the episode.

I do hope P. Gordon comes back though. What's the point of bringing it up for one episode?

Ju-dou - October 25, 2011 04:14 AM (GMT)
Oh dear, I did not approve of this storyline at all. Personally I felt it was a filler to pad out the key subplots for the last two episodes, at least I hope that's what it is because it seems a really pointless complication in an already fairly complex plot.

Mary and Violet were spot on, anyone could play that part and he immediately could see Edith was vulnerable, it was not subtle. The only thing I liked about it were Mary's reactions and how it brought things to a head with Mary and Carlisle, it was only a matter of time before he showed a dark side. I'm enjoying Carlisle more and more, unlike Lavinia he does not reek of 'plot device' and is an engaging character with some depth.

Kate - October 25, 2011 04:14 AM (GMT)
I think he was a fake. I thought in the final conversation with Edith where he admitted that Patrick and Peter Gordon were good friends he seemed at times to be talking from Peter's perspective rather than Patrick's. My take was that he felt he had lost everything in the war and decided to roll the dice and see if he could score an inheritance, but then Edith's kindness towards him and obvious love for Patrick made him feel guilty and he realised that he couldn't go through with the fraud. The storyline reminded me a little of The English Patient (and I won't say more to avoid spoiling that) which may have influenced how I saw this storyline. He didn't reveal any memories that he couldn't have fabricated or learned from his friendship with Patrick and the things he didn't remember were the things that Patrick would have been unlikely to have revealed to him - i.e. asking Edith if he really loved Mary and then picking up on her reaction to ask if Edith really loved him.

I don't know whether he is gone for good. I kind of hope so because I found the storyline a bit over the top. But perhaps there will be some fallout for Edith who may resent her family for showing a lack of kindness or driving away the person she loved.


Ariadne - October 25, 2011 04:23 AM (GMT)
Did it bother anyone else that none of the family, other than Robert, seemed to make any effort to go and see Patrick? I mean, even if they don't know if he's real or an impostor, it would seem a natural reaction to want to meet the man who might be their cousin and was a pretty big part of their lives before the Titanic. Maybe they just didn't show it, but no one talked about having spoken to him during their family meetings. It might be legally advisable to stay away, but it seems pretty cold to me.

Kate - October 25, 2011 04:30 AM (GMT)
I think it depends on whether you believe he was for real or a fraud. If he was a fraud then it is pretty cruel deception to try and convince a family that someone they had loved and lost was still alive. I certainly think it suited most of the family to believe that he was a fraud because of their love for Matthew and sympathy over his war injury. If people in the family were suspicious I can see that they may have avoided him out of anger.

However, if he was being truthful then ignoring him was incredibly unkind. And he had been terribly injured so I guess that in itself was grounds for compassion.

mlt - October 25, 2011 04:35 AM (GMT)
I can't really say whether or not he was the real Patrick. One the one hand, everything he did was very manipulative and he actually revealed nothing to prove he was the real Patrick, but a part of me hopes he was real because otherwise, what was the point of the plot? It will end up being wasted screen time that could have been better spent on the other 840384092802 plot threads going on at the moment.

QUOTE
Maybe because he ended up falling for Edith...just a thought. I'm still not sure whether or not he was the real one.


I agree. I think by the end (if he is indeed fake) he had started falling for Edith, or at least feeling horrible at the way he was leading her on, and left her the note to make her feel better. It's a bit sappy for someone who is supposedly cold-hearted enough to pretend to be his dead friend and bring up deep wounds of a whole family he doesn't even know but....eh.

QUOTE
Did it bother anyone else that none of the family, other than Robert, seemed to make any effort to go and see Patrick? I


Maybe it happened off screen? I find that a lot of things happen off screen this season.

It didn't bother me since the show made it clear Edith was the only one who really believed him. Why would you go visit a person you think is impersonating your dead relative?

Ariadne - October 25, 2011 04:51 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Mei)
Why would you go visit a person you think is impersonating your dead relative?

Perhaps I'm just an overly curious person, but I would want to meet this person to be able to draw my own conclusion. I mean, I might think he most likely is an impostor, but in an era where there was no DNA testing, I would feel an obligation to the memory of my relative to give this guy a chance to talk to me in case he actually is the real person.

QUOTE (Kate)
If people in the family were suspicious I can see that they may have avoided him out of anger.

I can see that, but I still think they are less curious than I am. I'd be sort of fascinated to meet the man who tried to impersonate my dead cousin to steal an inheritance. (Probably not advisable, I know.) :)

C. - January 7, 2012 11:44 PM (GMT)
I think this Patrick Gordon is indeed Patrick Crawley! It must be, why would you bring Edith hopes up. She was the one who really loved him and out of all people she recognised him, that's got to count for something. And so did Robert! He saw the hand gesture and knew but did nothing for poor Matthew. And Patrick was so appalled by the rejection of his own family that he didn't felt like he belonged there anymore and he just wanted to get away! I think Patrick will be back for the third series! I really hope so. I know that this storyline is a little bit melodramatic but I was really struck by the scene where he dropped a tear. Therefore I really want them to have the same happy ending as Branson and Sybil. Matthew and Mary. Otherwise it will be so unfair to lady Edith.

osofine - February 6, 2012 05:46 PM (GMT)
I think the whole thing was a cruel plot device. As all of the reactions here spell out, there was nothing in the episode that was made P. Gordon's claim probable. As someone raised to be the future Earl of Grantham, he would have known and understood the proper way to behave and present his case - he would never have gone to Edith first. His petulant behavior reminded me more of poor, naive Edith pushing her way in to see her baby's grandparents and frankly she has a lot more at stake than P. Gordon who could surely return to Canada with at least a soldier's pension. Speaking of Cananda, I've never heard of a case of amnesia (granted, most cases I know of are fictional but I have read some non-fiction cases) in which the person retained their powers of speech but lost their native accent. Why would he sound Canadian? He didn't say anything about having to re-learn to speak while in Canada, which is the only thing that would make sense. I suppose that could be seen as a flaw in favor of his being Patrick as a con man would surely have worked on sounding like the Crawley heir, but I'm guessing that he is just an amateur con man. As his voice is the only thing (along with his height and maybe his shoe size, I suppose.... do they have any of Patrick's old shoes? It could be like Cinderella...) that would remain the same it was ridiculous that he didn't even try to put on a British accent.

I watched these second series episodes in something of a marathon fashion and when I got to that episode it all suddenly seemed so ridiculous. P. Gordon's bandages never got changed or moved and his right eye looked like it was about to fall right out of his head. (I also can't imagine that he would have been up and about the way he was only 2 months after sustaining such burns... see, "The English Patient".) Even Matthew sulking in his chair-on-wheels seemed over-the-top, especially in the scene where they were all crowded into the little room to hear the news about the possible Titanic survivor. :rolleyes: It all just seemed to creep a bit into parody. Luckily, by next episode I was able to suspend my disbelief again (although I'm still not sure how or why that thing with Jane happened...:unsure: ).

I say P. Gordon is nobody until Julian Fellowes writes more about him and keeps the script and has it produced.

janelle - February 7, 2012 06:35 AM (GMT)
Here is my prediction. The Patrick/Peter storyline will carry on to the point that the family will be convinced he is indeed the real Patrick Crawley. Mary will have a chance to prove to Matthew that she really does love him without his inheritance of the estate. In the end, I think he will prove to be a fraud...but like I said, not until Mary has a chance to prove her true love for Matthew.

Michelle - February 7, 2012 02:25 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (janelle @ Feb 7 2012, 06:35 AM)
Here is my prediction. The Patrick/Peter storyline will carry on to the point that the family will be convinced he is indeed the real Patrick Crawley. Mary will have a chance to prove to Matthew that she really does love him without his inheritance of the estate. In the end, I think he will prove to be a fraud...but like I said, not until Mary has a chance to prove her true love for Matthew.

Maybe, and while I'd love for Mary to get that chance, it would be terrible for Edith. Poor girl!

angel - February 7, 2012 08:47 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Speaking of Cananda, I've never heard of a case of amnesia (granted, most cases I know of are fictional but I have read some non-fiction cases) in which the person retained their powers of speech but lost their native accent. Why would he sound Canadian? He didn't say anything about having to re-learn to speak while in Canada, which is the only thing that would make sense.

Believe it or not, there is such a thing called Foreign Accent Syndrome. Essentially, after a head injury or a stroke, a person develops another accent. It's extremely rare (according to Wiki only 60 cases have been recorded between 1941 and present day) but it does happen. Also, some people just have knack for picking up accents. It's entirely possible for a person from England to move to Canada and over time develop a Canadian accent.

With all that said, I think the man was really Peter Gordon. It was a classic con. He used what information did have and exploited it. There was a reason why he didn't approach Robert first. Peter knew, probably because Patrick shared the information with Peter, that Edith loved Patrick. Naturally, she would be the family member who would want him alive the most. Look how he interacted with Edith. He gave very broad statements and allowed Edith to fill in the details. This is how fake psychics convince people that they have the ability to communicate with dead loved ones. The biggest evidence that the man was actually Peter Gordon is the fact he was clearly panicking when Edith informed him that the family had discovered Peter Gordon's existence. When he said, "What if Peter Gordon joined the Victoria Pat Regiment (I think that was the name)?" he might as had said, "Never mind! I'm Peter Gordon!"

Alex - February 12, 2012 09:17 PM (GMT)
Couldn't they use handwriting analysis on the history and note that wounded soldier wrote? If they have handwritten documents from the real Peter, couldn't they just give the wounded soldier a copied version and have him write it out to get a good idea if he was the real thing?

Antigone - February 17, 2012 07:25 AM (GMT)
How was Patrick Crawley related to the Granthams? I watched the first episode again and couldn't figure it out.

Ariadne - February 17, 2012 05:50 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Alex)
Couldn't they use handwriting analysis on the history and note that wounded soldier wrote?

Yeah, I think handwriting analysis is one of the many things they could have tested for if they had cared to do so. I guess Fellowes can say they hadn't gotten around to it before Patrick ran off again. It did seem that they were still in the "check out the story" stage and not so much the "test the person" stage so perhaps it makes sense they didn't go that far, but I think this is probably just another of the various holes in this plotline.

QUOTE (Antigone)
How was Patrick Crawley related to the Granthams? I watched the first episode again and couldn't figure it out.

If I remember correctly, I think he was Robert's second cousin one removed. His dad James Crawley was Robert's second cousin. I guess that would make him third cousin to the girls, meaning they shared a great-great grandparent. (I'm not very good at dealing in cousins, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Constance - March 1, 2012 03:05 PM (GMT)
The whole segment with the "Patrick" return was just weird and creepy to me...as was the way he simply left because his feelings were hurt...nothing in how he approached the whole thing made any sense. Why should they believe him? And really, he did not say one thing that anyone couldn't have said, as Mary pointed out.

If he is gone for good, then that plot line was really a waste of time and JF must have just lost the thread of where he wanted to go with it...the reactions of the family were over-the-top hostile, considering he COULD have been Patrick...

Guest - April 13, 2013 11:42 PM (GMT)
I agree with some of the previous posters about this being a pretty ridiculous storyline...it just didn't seem to fit into the other brilliantly written and believable plots going on in this series. Whenever they showed P Gordon or I heard his very strange sounding voice, I felt as though I was watching a really bad episode of Days of our lives or General Hospital. Hopefully they have no intentions of re-hashing this very strange detour of a plot.




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