Matthew, surrounded by books, looks like he's in the high weeds when Mary comes in and asks if there was any news while she was out. Matthew says no and wonders if the Home Secretary won't see Lord Grantham, but Mary thinks that's unlikely before asking how Matthew's getting on. Contradicting my assessment -- you can't really blame me, he always looks a bit overwhelmed -- Matthew says he's getting the hang of how Downton works and then Carson comes in. Mary requests some tea before asking how the search for a footman is going, and Carson tells her there are two candidates in the mix. "One of them was steady, if not much else. But the ladies downstairs want the other one." And it's not just the ones downstairs, as Mary, sight unseen, asks Carson to pick the hot one so as to cheer them all up a bit, as if she's the one who got left by someone who was her age back in the Belle Époque. But in this case, her point is that the standard of looks among their footmen could bear a lift: "Alfred's nice, but he does look like a puppy who's been rescued from a puddle." Hee. Even Matthew giggles at that one and when Carson notes that Jimmy seems very sure of himself, Matthew supposes Carson can manage such an attitude, and Carson, having already done so once that we've seen, agrees. To his credit, though, before he goes, Carson takes a moment to stick up for Alfred, saying he's very good and very willing. "Even if he is Miss O'Brien's nephew." Even though Carson is one of the few people O'Brien wouldn't actually dismember for such a comment, such direct sass is unusual for him so when he's gone, Matthew and Mary bust up, with Matthew adding, "Clearly nothing worse could be said of any man." You know how I feel about O'Brien, but I don't mind giving Matthew that one.
Episode Report CardCouch Baron: B | 216 USERS: B-
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