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Downton Abbey, Season 3, Episode 1
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Downton Abbey, Season 3, Episode 1

It’s back! Downton Abbey is back, and I’m thrilled to be checking in on the Lords and Ladies and butlers and maids and footmen of the castle.

And after following Mr. Bates and Anna Bates on Twitter all year, it’s nice to see that their love for each other remains steadfast, despite the fact that he’s still languishing in prison for being wrongfully accused of killing his wife. It pains me to see her going to the prison to see him, but I expect nothing less noble.

A few more thoughts on this episode:

After all the build-up to Matthew and Mary’s wedding, we certainly didn’t get to see much of it. A quick glimpse of her in her gorgeous dress, a glance at the sumptuous feast prepared by the staff, the ride to the church with the villagers crowding behind her carriage, and then … it’s over. Wham, they’re back from the honeymoon and Anna is opening their curtains in the morning while the two wake up in the same bed.

Times are tough for the Crawley family. and the future of Downton Abbey is uncertain. Look, I’m all for virtue as much as the next girl, but Matthew needs to think of his family, including his wife and future children. Whatever inheritance he gets should go to saving Downton, despite his misgivings about inheriting the money under false pretenses. Money is money. We give it altogether too much power. And speaking of which …

Interesting to see how everyone reacts to Tom Branson now being part of the family. It’s just awkward all the way around for both the former chauffeur and the family he used to drive here and there. I guess you can’t blame any of the servants for not wanting to “dress” him, or being weirded out when he pays them a visit downstairs while they’re eating dinner. The whole idea of such strict classes seems so foreign to me. Maybe they need Martha Levinson to shake things up. And speaking of which …

How fun to see Maggie Smith’s Violet and Shirley MacLaine’s Martha trade barbs. “When I’m with her, I”m reminded of the virtues of the English,” says Violet. But then Martha makes me appreciate her by 1) saving the day when the stove breaks down by suggesting an indoor picnic; and 2) consoling Lady Edith when her father sends the man she loves away because he’s too old for her. I’m with Edith. Her father has no right to decide what’s best for her. And if she thinks Sir Anthony is best for her, then they should be together.

Your thoughts on the first episode of season three?

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