Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Downton Abbey 3.07 : Trapped In The Closet

Bates is free, y'all!!!!!!
He and Anna couldn't be happier and neither can anyone else at Downton...except Thomas. Bates' exoneration isn't a good thing for Thomas, considering he was only promoted to footman because they needed to fill the gap left when Bates was imprisoned. It also doesn't help that Bates is a favorite of Lord Grantham's.
Lord Grantham is so happy that Bates is out of the pokie that he offers to find a cottage for he & Anna since he feels it is no longer suitable. Lord Grantham also promises that the situation with Thomas occupying his position will be sorted out very soon.

Uh oh!
As if we didn't need any more proof of just how much Bates is loved and appreciated, Lord Grantham suggests that he stay in bed, read books, and not worry about working for the foreseeable future.

Suck  it, peasants!

The editor in London is still very interested in having Lady Edith writing for him and has asked her to come to London to meet with him. Lord Grantham is still insisting on being a complete turd and tries, yet again, to discourage her. Thankfully, Edith has no plans to listen to him.

Edith wants this so bad that she asks the Dowager Countess to talk with her father. She lets Edith know right away that she agrees with Robert. When she suggested Edith find something to do with her time, she expected her to paint watercolors not become something as common as a journalist.
But, in true Dowager style, if it's something she can use to her advantage, she will. She agrees to go to bat for her as long as she does her a favor.
This change in stance is so out of character for the Dowager that it prompts Isobel to ask if she has switched her pills.
It works and Lady Edith takes her trip to London where she meets with the editor. Things go very well for her and he asks that she make up her own mind regarding the opportunity. He seems to be smitten with her and Edith decides to take the job.

The Dowager Countess decides to pay Isobel a follow up visit from the luncheon she hosted for Cora & the girls. The Dowager was not pleased at all with Isobel's decision to hire Ethel and only stayed in support of the girls when Robert demanded that they leave. In fact, she thinks that Isobel's new pet project is bringing scandal upon the family.
Alfred finally gets up enough nerve to ask Ivy out to a movie. Apparently, it's improper for them to go alone so Mrs. Hughes only gives them the thumbs up if others go along.
They have a great time but Ivy only has eyes for James and Alfred can't persuade her to think otherwise.
Alfred can't win with the ladies and he can't win with the guys either. Thomas and James have taken a liking to busting his chops. When Mr. Carson chastises him for his teasing, James thinks he's playing favorites.
While Isobel has been treating Ethel with the utmost respect, everyone else is giving her hell. Not only is she being heckled but business owners are refusing to serve her. While it's something that she says she's gotten used to, Isobel isn't OK with it. She doesn't think Ethel should ever get used to being mistreated and vows to take their business elsewhere.
Isobel is none too pleased when she learns that the Dowager has placed an ad for someone to replace Ethel. The Dowager uses Lady Edith to talk up the idea as a good think to Isobel. Now we know what favor The Dowager expected from Edith.
When Isobel still won't budge, Mrs. Hughes is enlisted. She agrees that it's best for Ethel to find some place where she can truly start over without the stigma of her past. Now that she has worked for Isobel, she will come with a recommendation. Isobel is a bit angry but agrees to talk with Ethel about it.

Matthew is eager to get the ball rolling on changes that need to happen at Downton but Robert still isn't happy about it. When Matthew is finally able to coordinate a meeting with Robert and Jarvis, everyone is butting heads. Neither of them is willing to give Matthew the respect due to someone who just kept the estate from going bankrupt. Both think that there is no way Matthew can know what he is talking about because he is so new to their way of life.
This causes Matthew to finally reach his breaking point and he reads them for filth! He reminds them of the state that Downton was in before he invested and that Robert's been bailing Downton out with Cora's money for years.
Matthew tells them flat out that the old way of doing things will no longer work. Downton must be self-sustaining to survive. Jarvis admits that the past isn't a model for how to run Downton & resigns when he feels he's been accused of mismanaging the estate.

Lord Grantham gets the joy of trying to figure out what to do with Thomas now that Bates is back. Luckily for Thomas, Cora is there to urge him to have Carson find a position for him, rather than just giving him the boot.
Robert is also wondering when Branson will leave. Why he is in such a rush is beyond me. Cora reminds him that they have an obligation to Branson now that Sybil is gone. If Branson leaves, so does their grand baby.
Branson is busy trying to be a father to baby Sybil and trying to find a way to move on with his life. He has already made arrangements with the local Catholic church for the christening. Mary and Matthew are the only ones he expects to be there since they are the only ones who have supported him. He shares a really sweet moment with Lady Mary when he asks her to be the baby's godmother.

Commercial Break:
Branson has plans to move on from Downton soon and move to Liverpool. His brother has a garage there and has asked him to help run it. He has also asked him to be baby Sybil's godfather so he is invited by Lady Mary to stay at Downton during the christening. When he shows up, he wants to hang out with the servants and no one thinks this is proper. Branson is quick to put him in his place in front of everyone downstairs. He's way more rough around the edges than Branson and even Mr. Carson has to acknowledge this. Carson is very impressed with the amount of respect for the family Branson has shown in that moment.
Matthew and Branson go over the plans he has for Downton and asks his opinion about them. Branson agrees with what he wants to do with the place. His grandfather was a sheep farmer so he knows a little about land and making it profitable. Once again, someone is acknowledging that Branson is a human being so Lord Grantham isn't pleased.
To every one's surprise, Branson would like everyone to be at the christening because it is what Sybil would have wanted. For once, we have something that Robert can't argue against.
In a surprise move, the Dowager suggests that Lord Grantham keep Branson on as overseer. After all, he knows his way around the land better than any of them and they owe as much to Sybil.
Thomas is concerned about his job security while still jonesing for James. While he's doing that, O'Brien is sitting back in the crack plotting her revenge.
She gets into Thomas' head by telling him that he and James make a cozy couple and tells the lie that Alfred says James goes on and on about him. Thomas tells her that he thinks Alfred is making all of this up but deep down he's buying what O'Brien is selling.
Thomas decides to sneak into James' room & kisses him while he's asleep. Alfred walks in as it is happening and James wakes up.
Both men are beyond pissed and the ruckus wakes up Mr. Carson. The next day, you can cut the tension with a knife and the entire staff is wondering what is going on. O'Brien, in the relishing in the final phase of Operation Annihilate Thomas, decides to put the final nail in the coffin and encourages Alfred to speak up. She tells him that Carson will be mad if he finds out about it from anyone other than him. Needless to say, Mr. Carson is not pleased at all.
Mr. Carson forbids Alfred from speaking of it and tells him he will handle it. When Carson confronts Thomas he admits everything.
It seems that this type of thing is a criminal offense and Thomas is lucky that James hasn't gone to the police. Carson sends him off while he figures out what to do next. I wonder what that will be.

Until next time...

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