13 March 2012
Downton Abbey, Season Two, Episodes Three and Four
In episode three, everyone is adjusting to Downton Abbey becoming a convalescent home. This is perfect for Sibyl, who can now do her nursing work at home, but it is Ethel who really shines. I don't like her, but she seems to find purpose caring for the soldiers and that makes her a lot less grating. Isobel and Cora compete to run things, with Cora ultimately winning. She is a pleasant person, but she proves herself to be just as formidable as both Isobel and the Dowager Countesss.
I guess we can go ahead and name the new housemaid. I haven't referred to her by name, because I don't like her, but her name is Ethel. She's obnoxious and always trying to get ahead, but she's not very smart about it. She's a shameless flirt and at the end of Episode four, she announces she's pregnant. This is the only time I have ever rolled my eyes during this show. Ethel had been fired and it was obvious that nobody liked her. I don't understand why she would return to Downton for help. I must admit that this will give us some good drama during the rest of the season.
Mary and Matthew continue to win my heart in each episode. I love that Matthew's fiance is so wonderful, though. Having a horrible girl in the way of the perfect romance is a cliche I am glad the show avoided. It's funny, because Mary and Matthew aren't together, although they each want to be, and Daisy and William are engaged, although Daisy didn't mean to say yes.
The show explores a lot of the fallout of the war, as well. Branson gives us a very different view from the "fight for your King" mentality generally held by the other characters and Mrs. Bird starts a soup kitchen for wounded soldiers who are no longer able to work.
Because, I am really excited to go watch Episode Five, I am going to say that Branson and Lady Sibyl are flirting quite dangerously... something I love. I can't wait to see how this plays out.