Monday, February 11th

Meet the New Valet, Same as the Old Valet

Not only is Downton Abbey brave enough to air during the Grammys, but they have the audacity to show a double episode. LL Cool J vs. Dow-Count? That’s a fair fight if you ask me.

Bates is out of prison! Finally. He is promised is job as valet back, uprooting Thomas. The two exchange intense steely glares. Fight! Fight! Fight! Bates and Anna move from the servant living quarters to their own little cottage. They paint, decorate and turn a dump in to a home. I knew Anna had it in her.

Lady Edith, despite her father’s wishes, takes the journalist job she’s been offered. Yay, Edith! Even better? It brings her to London all the time. The icing on the cake? Her handsome editor, Michael Gregson, is clearly smitten and it seems the feeling is mutual. Turns out he is married and Edith is not happy. But his wife is a madwoman in an asylum and Michael is not legally permitted to divorce her. Let the unconventional relationship commence.

Edith and Michael GregsonBranson finalizes the christening plans for Sybil, or Sibbie, as he refers to her. He asks Mary to be the godmother and his angry Irish brother, Kieran, is to be the godfather. Kieran is awful. Mr. Betty loves him. Robert happily bashes Catholics and the christening goes well. When Matthew ropes Branson in to helping manage the estate, he decides to stay at Downton and raise the baby there.

Kieran Branson

 

Baby Sybil ChristeningMatthew continues to make progress on fixing the estate and planning for the future, despite Robert acting like a total douche about it. His nagging fear that he is unable to conceive brings him to the doctor, where he runs into Mary. We find out she had a problem “down there” and had a minor surgery. Green light to move forward and start making heirs. They are as happy and in love as ever.

Matthew and Mary

Isobel and Ethel are getting along nicely. Well, Isobel is. Poor Ethel is being treated like crap by everyone in town. But she’s used to it. Dow-Count steps in and secretly places an ad for Ethel to go live and work elsewhere. Isobel will miss her and resents the Dow-Count’s interference, but knows that a fresh start is in Ethel’s best interest. After some hemming and hawing, she lands a spot near where her son lives. Even better, she has the blessing of Charlie’s grandmother to visit and maintain a relationship with her son. This is indeed a happy ending to Ethel’s story.

If only things were going so smoothly with the staff. Mrs. O’Brien is unrelenting on her mission to destroy Thomas. She convinces him that Jimmy is interested. But when Thomas sneaks into Jimmy’s room, lays on top of him and kisses him, it’s clear that Jimmy is not down. Lurch walks in and witnesses the whole thing. What a mess.

Thomas Kisses Jimmy

There’s a lot of tattling to Carson. Carson is a hard ass, and disgusted by the gay thing, but takes pity on Thomas. He is going to let it slide. Of course Thomas no longer has a job now that Bates is back, so he’s leaving anyway. But O’Brien keeps pushing until Thomas is left with nothing and no chance of getting another job.

This is the point in the series when we finally see Thomas as a person. His struggles as a gay man during this time are poignant and when he stands up for himself, we let out a collective cheer. You’re gay and it’s okay, Thomas! After a bunch of drama, it is Bates who ultimately saves the day. He threatens O’Brien and sets things right. Through the help of Carson and Robert, Thomas gets a new position working under Carson. Junior Butler or something. And Robert makes Jimmy the first footman. I’m not clear on the hierarchy of the staff, only that it is extremely important to them.

There is only one episode left this season, but even at the end they are keeping it fresh. Enter new character Rose, a niece of the Dow-Count. We can see from the start that this curly-haired beauty will be trouble. She has a secret flapper life and gets caught cavorting with a married man. Oh yes, I like this Rose very much.

Downton Abbey Rose

Oh yeah. There’s an awesome cricket game and they wear white and everything is lovely. Nice touch, Downton.

Downton Abbey Cricket

Robert and Matthew

3 Responses

  1. [...] still total bitches, only last season they turned on each other. Thomas’ gayness became a bigger plot line and he evolved from total douche to actual human [...]

  2. Jodi says:

    I enjoyed this recap so much more than the actual episode. Either two hours is too long, or Downton has jumped the shark, or both! My favorite line from your post: “I’m not clear on the hierarchy of the staff, only that it is extremely important to them.”

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