Finally, Downton Abbey returns to more scheming and plotting in episode 3 as Thomas and O’Brien join forces to sway the balance the power at Downton in their favor while Edith, the plain one, turns heads and Isobel, despite her best efforts to maintain control, gets put in her place.

Downton Abbey, Season 2, Episode 3— While Downton Abbey is being turned into a convalescent home for wounded officers, tempers flare, and aren’t you glad? Things were getting too pleasant and it’s nice to see the show return to form with a string of japes and jabs that make it all sooo juicy to watch.

While the wounded soldiers make their way into the home, Isobel is starting to drive, well, everyone insane, but especially Cora, who feels like she’s losing control of her house. The Dowager Countess, Violet, also reminds us that mixing ranks is not suitable.

But what I would like to know is, how is it that O’Brien can manage to convince Cora to do just about anything? Amongst the confusion at Downton, O’Brien convinces Cora to have Thomas take charge of the household, as he’s now a corporal. This way, Thomas can make sure Isobel stays in check. And once again, Cora is played like a puppet. Is Cora really that naïve?













While O’Brien stirs trouble, new maid Ethel is becomes hot and bothered when she sees a very handsome soldier. They make ‘googley eyes’ at each other, which makes one wonder, what is she up to? There is a very serious no fraternizing with soldiers rule in place, but Ethel seems to like to break the rules.

Poor Daisy gets pressured by Mrs. Patmore to accept William’s affections of love before he goes off to war. She agrees, but then finds herself in a pickle when she suddenly becomes engaged to him. Although she’s often portrayed as being meek and feeble, it’s good to know that Daisy has some sense of worth. But sadly, it doesn’t last long and she gives into William and Mrs. Patmore’s pressures.

Branson also has a hot fire under his butt. He’s strongly against the war and he wants to proclaim his resistance. The one thing about this storyline, is that the show never really explains why he’s like this. We know from a conversation he has with Sybil that he lost a cousin but we really don’t why. So, I really don’t feel much for Branson. But when he finds out he’s been rejected for service and he won’t get his chance to revolt, he plots to make his opinions known to a visiting general.

Branson shocks the entire household staff when it appears as though he is attempting to assassinate an important General at dinner but after Carson saves the day, it turns out Branson only intended to tip the soup bowl of filthy crap over the General’s head and not kill him. No one is impressed and frankly at this point, I’m sick of Branson.

Back on Mary’s love life, Violet and Rosamund are still determined to separate Matthew from Lavinia by finding out what Sir Richard Carlisle has on her but Lavinia beats them to the punch.  She confesses to Mary her entire story on how her father owed Sir Richard Carlisle a large sum of money and that’s why she stole documents from her Uncle, which provided proof he was involved in the Marconi Scandal of 1912. She did it in order to save her father from financial ruin. She wasn’t in fact having an affair with Sir Richard. This is great news because it confirms what a scoundrel Sir Richard really is, but a real let down that Lavinia has no real scandal that would damage her relationship with Matthew after last episodes build up.

And poor Edith. All of the confusion seems to be making her more lost than she ever was. But as she genuinely begins to take care of the officers, she’s shocked when, at dinner, the Major who is a guest at Downton applauds her efforts in particular. Of course, everyone looks stunned. Come on, people, is it really so surprising that the plain one can do good? Good on Edith for shining the spotlight on herself yet again.

While in town, Anna finds out that Mr. Bates is working as a bar hand and he tells her that he thinks he’s found a way to get rid of nasty Vera once and for all as he has proof she’s been unfaithful. But something tells me this is way too easy. Don’t ya think? No love story at Downton ever goes smoothly.


—Toni-Marie Ippolito

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