Downton Abbey S3/E4: Something Actually Happened!
So end of last episode, Edith is a sodden heap of unmarried nothingness. This episode, she seems pretty okay apart from the fact that she's bored. Not one single word about the loss of the man she insisted she loved. She just can't think of anything else to do. So instead of taking up the horror of gardening, she embraces the suffragette cause by writing a letter to the newspaper.
Because that is where suffragettes come from, you see. Mildly unattractive women who can't get husbands. Thank you for that history lesson, Julian Fellowes. And I hope you weren't expecting to actually be let in on Edith's specific views on women's rights because that would mean the screenplay would have to go beyond plot point level so no. Sorry.
And then Sybil's tediously hostile little husband burns down a castle. But no, you don't get to see that, either. Instead, you get to see him blubbering about leaving his pregnant wife behind in Ireland and everyone's all pissed at him but then Sybil arrives safe and sound* so nothing happened there, of course. Except now it looks like they're stuck with the grumpy leprechaun because he can't go back to Ireland.
But then there was that one big thing that actually happened. Remember Ethel? The maid? The maid we didn't know very well? She had a baby with that guy we didn't know at all? Well, now the maid we don't know very well wants to give away the baby of the guy we didn't know at all to the grandparents we really don't know. Isn't that sad? It might be, if we knew who these people were.**
Other than that, this was a pretty drab little episode. So what else did we have:
Matthew being his usual doughy ass of a self over the damned money he never wanted in the first place.
Anna and Bates separately sniveling over letters. The waterworks were on full blast in this episode.
Then in a move employed by no lady ever in the entire history of running a large household, Mary actually instructs Carson to hire a hot new footman*** because the maids will like him. Dear merciful goodness. Yes, let's deliberately set up as much conflict amongst the servants as we possibly can because it will be so amusing and won't upset the household one jot!
And boy were the anvils falling fast and heavy over Mary re-doing the nursery. (Only a complete moron like Matthew would have bought that line about hay fever.) We're going to have an old fashioned soap opera conception drama with a miracle pregnancy. Mark my words. God forbid there should be no heir and this appalling family should not continue into the next generation. What a loss to mankind that would be.
*Except for her hair, which looks worse than ever.
**Not to mention, it was all a little too reminiscent of Violet giving away Tizzy in Flambards for me.
***And really, he's not even all that good looking. Though he doesn't have a lot of competition among this pasty bunch.