The episode wasn't bad, it just felt like the middle movie to a trilogy. You know, where they move the plot along, but nothing really happens. Yes, I know that there were some key plot points, but seeing as they centered on Ethel, Branson and Bates in prison, (my three least favorite plots), well, you can see how I might have been left disappointed.
If you haven't seen it, stop reading now.
THAT ONE TIME I FELT SORRY FOR ETHEL - She gave up her baby and it was sad. I had all of two thoughts about this. 1. While I was watching the goodbye scene, all I could think was "I am so glad this isn't more sad, because I am not prepared to feel that sorry for Ethel." I know. I'm a jerk. It's a tv show, so I am ok with it. 2. When did granddad decide that Ethel wasn't lying about his boy being the baby daddy? I'm guessing his wife spent the two years or so since first laying eyes on baby Charlie to wear him down (but does he really seem like the type who could be worn down?). I was hoping that this was where we could part ways with Ethel, but alas, we see that Isobel is going to "fix" her in the next episode. Let's hope for some character growth here.
BRANSON - Tom got in trouble and was sent to bed by Lord Grantham. He got in over his head with the Irish Freedom politics and found himself a wanted man. Leaving his pregnant wife to fend for herself while they ran for it was not his shining moment, that is for sure. I'm torn between appreciating that he isn't an arrogant know it all anymore and feeling sorry that he couldn't stomach the "destruction of property" as Lord Grantham put it. I mean, if you are going to fight for your country's freedom, fight like you mean it, man! Not that I am all for "destroying of property" (no matter how ugly, right, Dowager?), or for him being an idealistic rebel, but the Irish Rebellion is a compelling storyline. I hope it isn't over yet, though with Tom being banned from Irish soil, things aren't looking good for his rebellion career. Darn it. I did find how irate the Lord was over "the destruction of property" rather comical.
FREE BATES ALREADY! - Look, with all these other storylines progressing rapidly or at least at all, I just do not understand why Bates is still languishing in jail. I don't care how compelling this insane rabbit trial is, I AM TIRED OF SEEING BATES IN JAIL. I'd rather see him keeping Thomas on his toes and trading barbs with O'Brien like only classy English valets can. You know I am right, people. I don't care why or how far Vera's suicide/murder treachery goes. Get that man back to his woman so they can make babies and open their hotel and I can be happy for them again. Thank you.
MISMANAGEMENT- Hasn't Lord Granthan learned yet that Matthew isn't one for gestures that don't actually mean anything? Don't offer to co manage if you have no real intentions of doing it. Really? Did Robert not see that one coming? Of COURSE Matthew was going to delve into the books! Sidenote: I love how everyone goes to Dowager when they want to be all sneaky and underhanded.
YOU GO, GIRL! - Lady Edith, the feminist. I wish it wasn't such an obvious plotline for an ugly duckling jilted bride to take, but there it is. I hope she does something wonderful with it. I still want to see her be appreciated and fall madly in love. A handsome, dashing supporter of women's rights perhaps?
PREDICTIONS: I think Mary is pregnant and freaked out by it, seeing as she is completely lacking in maternal instinct. Between her coldness and Isobel's overbearing personality that child is going to need Granny Cora to save it from its gene pool.
Do you think Sybil will give birth in England? Do you still wish American Grandmamma was around? I do. I liked how she laughed at them all. It would have been nice to have someone to keep the Crawleys from taking themselves so seriously all the time.