Best Lines on TV This Week: ‘Does It Ever Get Cold on the Moral High Ground?’

Nick Briggs/PBS

The best quips, quotes and quick bits of dialogue from this past week’s shows.

Downton Abbey

“Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?”
— Lady Violet (Maggie Smith) gets snarky about Isobel’s (Penelope Wilton) moral standards

Mrs. Hughes: “I’m not sure I can let him see me as I am now.”
Mrs. Patmore: “Perhaps you can keep the lights off.”
Mrs. Hughes: “That is not helpful, Mrs. Patmore.”
Mrs. Patmore: “Well, won’t he feel the same? I mean, no-one’s clapped eyes on him without his togs for years. Except the doctor.”
— Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) and Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) wonder what Mr. Carson’s (Jim Carter) bedroom expectations will be

Lady Mary: “You’re not the first person who’s tried to blackmail me.”
Miss Bevan: “Well, I’m glad you know how it works.”
— Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) warns Miss Bevan (Rita Bevan) that she won’t be easily bullied

Miss Denker: “Oh, dear. I do hope I haven’t cast a shadow.”
Mrs. Patmore: “What did you think you were doing? Sprinkling sunshine?”
— Miss Denker (Sue Johnston) tries to stir up trouble at Downton with rumors of staff reductions

“Tell her this, Mrs Patmore. That, in my eyes, she is beautiful … You say she asks if I want a ‘full’ marriage…and the answer is…yes, I do. I want a real marriage, a true marriage, with everything that that involves…and I hope I do not ask the indelicate when I send you back to relay this message … I love her, Mrs Patmore. I am happy and tickled and…bursting with pride that she would agree to be my wife. And I want us to live as closely as two people can, for the time that remains to us on earth.”
— Mr. Carson’s (Jim Carter) speech about his love for Mrs. Hughes proves he’s a romantic at heart

“My darling Papa transformed into Machiavelli at a touch. Will wonders never cease?”
— Lady Mary shares her admiration for Lord Grantham’s (Hugh Bonneville) counter-blackmail strategies

“I’d rather be alone than with the wrong man.”
— Lady Mary reveals it’s still not easy to replace her late husband, Matthew

“Mr Carson wouldn’t be vulgar if they put him on a seaside postcard.”
— Mrs. Patmore shares she was impressed with Mr. Carson’s romantic speech about Mrs. Hughes

“I daresay Guy Fawkes regretted trying to blow up Parliament, m’lady, but he still had to pay the price.”
— Mr. Carson is not impressed with Daisy’s (Sophie McShera) revolutionary tendencies to speak up for the servants

RELATED: Read More Best Lines on TV

Sherlock (Victorian Special)

“Mrs. Hudson, there is a woman in my sitting room! Is it intentional?”
— Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) reveals he’s still not used to having female clients

Mary: “And am I just to sit here?”
Watson: “Not at all, my dear. We’ll be hungry later.”
— Watson (Martin Freeman) reveals he’s a misogynistic man of his times to his wife, Mary (Amanda Abbington)

“Give her some lines or she’s perfectly capable of starving us.”
— Sherlock admonishes Watson to treat Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) better in his stories


“Honey, Galavant is gone. He was a tall drink of water, and I will keep him forever in my spank bank, but it’s time to move on.”
— Isabella’s (Karen David) mom tries to get her daughter to move on

“Uh, it’s been a tough year. I lost my wife, my best friend, my brother tried to kill me. I really just want to curl up in my room and eat like 1,000 pounds of cake and just let my people adore me.”
— King Richard (Timothy Omundson) knows cake is the only viable plan to wallow


“Oh, please. I’ve been single ever since I joined the Bureau. Do you think I haven’t slept with anyone here? We’re busy. How else are we supposed to meet people?”
— Naz (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) divulges she’s had a fling or two…or maybe more…at the FBI

The Expanse

“With our track record, we’ll probably get Tycho blown to smithereens, too.”
— Amos (Wes Chatham) reassures Holden (Steven Strait) that their plan to trust a questionable savior might not work out


Glenn: “You don’t know the first thing about babies. Do you even know how to swaddle?”
Dina: “I used to work part-time at chipotle. Same principle as a burrito.”
— Glenn (Mark McKinney) and Dina (Lauren Ash) try to one-up their parenting knowledge

Cheyenne: “To get a sense of what our child’s life would be like with you, what’s your neighborhood like?”
Glenn: “Picket fences. Good schools.”
Dina: “Are you familiar with a gang called Los Guapos? It’s their turf, but, uh, we have an understanding. So I assume that would extend to my baby as well.”
— Cheyenne’s (Nicole Bloom) attempt to narrow down an adoption candidate yields some surprising (and slightly disturbing) answers

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

“I’m done with that playboy lifestyle… out till 11:00, drunk on sangria. I don’t want that anymore. I just want to be a papa.”
— Boyle’s (Joe Lo Truglia) idea of the bachelor life may actually not be that ideal

Diaz: “I thought we were gonna to try to scare him.”
Capt. Holt: “There’s nothing scarier than the realities of the municipal court system. Now, come on; Let’s get back in there and tell him about how bad the website is.”
— Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) and Capt. Holt (André Braugher) have very different ideas of what it means to scare a perp

“Oh, my wedding day. I should’ve known it was a mistake when she said, ‘I suppose,’ instead of, “I do.””
— Boyle realizes (years too late) that he missed all the warning signs for not marrying his ex-wife

The Middle

“Angelina Jolie was never in a sorority, and she married Brad Pitt.”
— Frankie (Patricia Heaton) tries to encourage Sue (Eden Sher)

People’s Choice Awards 2016

From Ellen DeGeneres’s acceptance speech for Favorite Humanitarian:

“It’s a little strange to actually get an award for being nice and generous and kind, which is what we’re all supposed to do with one another. That’s the point of being human.”

“I mean, would I call myself the Mother Teresa of Talk Shows, the Dalai Lama of Daytime? No. But I’m sure someone out there has.”


“You can always tell when a white guys like you, because he smiles so big, you can see his top and bottom teeth.”
— Mimi (Diana Maria Riva) gives Ana Sofia (Eva Longoria) some insight into certain types of men

James: “I want to date the girl who leaves cheese puff prints on the back of my suit… and uses the wall to scratch your back and climbs out car windows instead of re-parking.”
Ana Sofia: “You saw that?”
James: “I see everything. I told you… there’s cameras everywhere.”
— Network executive James McMahon (Zachary Levi) lets Ana know exactly the type of woman he’s looking to date

The Shannara Chronicles

Shades of Blue

New Girl

“As you can see from my preliminary vision board, our wedding will borrow equally from the holy trinity of Liz Taylor, Jackie O and The Power Gays.”
— Schmidt (Max Greenfield) shows off his strategy for wedding planning

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Life in Pieces

Joan: “So, tell me, how was your date?”
Gary: “Not good. She was so bored, she activated her Life Alert bracelet just so somebody would interrupt us.”
— Gary Timpkins (Martin Mull) tells Joan (Dianne Wiest) why his date was a disaster



Modern Family

Haley: “I’m planning on making some bad choices tonight, and I’m gonna need her on my side.”
Alex: “I never realized the forethought that went into being a disappointment.”
— Alex (Ariel Winter) gets a dig in at Haley’s (Sarah Hyland) expense