Downton Abbey Blog – Series Three, Episode 3

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Poor Edith.  Or should that be lucky escape?  Either way, her Carrie moment at the alter was sad to watch, especially after spending the best part of ten years with all her eggs in one basket.  It did, however, enable the arresting shot of the veil tumbling down the staircase, which made her heartache almost worthwhile.  Perhaps now she can start an illicit affair with the farmer she met during the war.  That or spend the rest of her life helping Isabelle at the shelter like a proper spinster.

Is that now the second or third brief shot we’ve had of Ethel at said shelter?  I can’t remember exactly but I hope next week reveals what’s going on with her; she wasn’t that involving in the last series so all the build up over the last few episodes is a little trying.

Trying, but less irritating, is the Bates and Anna storyline, which hasn’t really progressed very much yet grows more intriguing each week.  Partly this might be because it’s hard to tell which way the writers are driving us.  Are we meant to be doubting his innocence?  It certainly seems like prison’s bringing out his dark side, but prison’s hardly likely to cultivate his love of pastoral poetry is it?  And as I recall, as usual with Bates, any threatening outburst has only been an act of self-defence.  Meanwhile, Anna went to visit one of evil Vera’s friends and was visibly shocked that this woman didn’t take Bates’ side.  What exactly did she expect?

Downton almost double-bluffed us when it comes to Mrs Hughes, but I don’t resent it at all.  Knowing that having saved Mrs Patmore we would expect Mrs Hughes’ plight to be far more severe, it turns out she’s fine!  Yay!  Although she did look quite ill, hopefully that was just down to all the worrying.  I don’t trust the doctor at all after Matthew jumped out of his wheelchair, so let’s be thankful he didn’t do the biopsy.

Who, exactly, is Mr Barrow?  Oh yes, it’s Thomas.  Interesting that over the past 10 years we’ve never heard Thomas’s surname and then all at once it was used frequently in one episode.  It’s almost as if it’s a piece of information the audience now needs to know.  Almost as if it might help to distinguish him from another character with the same Christian name.  Another character who was previously known by his surname but for whom convention now dictates we must use his first name.

Tom (the one that’s not Mr Barrow) and Sybil are back!  Very pleased to see them, though slightly puzzled as to how they could afford it when the rest of the family is now also penniless.  Other than their presence they didn’t really add much, though next week looks quite exciting as Sybil appears to be on the run.

Why has Daisy fallen for William reincarnate?

A very convenient letter from Lavinia to her father enabled Matthew to receive a very convenient letter from Lavinia’s father meaning that the estate is saved (try saying that sentence quickly).  No principles have been sacrificed, no staff have been sacked.  The dismay that Matthew almost left the letter unread was almost as great as the dismay that such a very convenient letter wasn’t forged by Mary.  But it seems to be Downton 3, Financial Ruin 0, so long as no troublesome thought-long-dead-heirs turn up.

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