Well, Mrs. Crawley is certainly enjoying bossing everyone around Downton Abbey! Watching her setting up the house for recuperating soldiers was like watching a virus move through an elementary school. I think she'd move the family into a tent, giving their rooms to soldiers, given a chance. I did love seeing Cora and then Lord Grantham give Mrs. Crawley a smackdown when she tries to tell them they can not have a friend convalesce there. I do so enjoy the constant sniping between Mrs. Crawley and Cora - here's hoping for a catfight!
Smack down number one:
Smack down number two:
Dame Maggie and Rosamund (the Earl's sister) seem bound and determined to hate Lavinia, even though Mary seems resigned to the marriage and appears to like Lavinia. Watching them having tea and leaping to conclusions was like a glimpse into a very elegant high school. I'm surprised Mary's eyes didn't roll out of her head after listening to hear aunt conjecturing about Lavinia's role in a political scandal and telling Mary that she must warn poor Matthew about his fiancée. Sheesh!
Mr. Bates has started working in the pub in the village, which is a big step down from being the Earl's valet, judging by the horrified reaction of Anna when she learns this. Before she learned this, she had seen him in the village, where he managed to miraculously disappear from a large grassy are immediately after she saw him. Did he climb a tree? Was he hunkered down behind a low wall when she rushed to the tree where she saw him? We all know he can't run, or even walk quickly.
I wish there was some resolution to the Bates/Anna situation. I would hate to have to watch Anna offer to be Bates's mistress again. Thank goodness he was gentleman enough to refuse her!
Downton is graced by a visit from a General (I'm sorry, I can't remember his name and the Internet is not being helpful) to review the convalescent facility there. I know there aren't many people who like Edith out there, but I was so happy when she was recognized by the General during dinner for her help in keeping the injured officers' spirits up. At last, Edith has found her niche!
Let's talk about Branson and the Smelly Bath of Resistance he tried to give the General. Once the staff figured out what was about to happen, they moved on him like Hartsfield security on someone who carried a bottle of water through security. Mr. Carson showed us exactly why you wouldn't want to be on his bad side.
Of course, the staff thought Branson was going to kill the General, but even after learning he was just going to dump something stinky on him, he was still fired. Good riddance, but let's not pretend that we actually believe that we won't be seeing him again.
I must say, I can see why some reviewers have been writing that Downton is getting more soap-opera like. Bates disappears from a grassy knoll, Mary learns from Lavinia that her part in the political scandal is due to Lavinia being forced into it to pay off her father's debt, Daisy is pushed into accepting Matthew's marriage proposal, and Mr. Lang, the shell shocked valet, has a breakdown in front of the General. And yes, I have a photo.
He was lucky to be working in a house so compassionate that they would see that he got care instead of just being tossed out. Yes, the household does contain its share of troublemakers, but they do pull together when needed.
What did you think of the episode?