Downton Abbey
Episode Three

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Couch Baron: B | 8 USERS: A+
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When Irish Eyes Are Crying

Oh dear. Outside Crawley House, it's all apparently been settled, but Mrs. Bryant suggests Ethel will want to say goodbye. Ethel kneels down to her child's level and smiles that she gives him her blessings for his whole life. "You won't remember that or me. But they'll stay with you all the same." I'm not going to say anything other than that the doleful strings playing feel pretty appropriate, and the looks on Isobel's and Mrs. Hughes' face agree with me. Ethel holds it together for a decent length of time, but Bryant is finally like, places to be, and as much as he's probably doing her a favor not dragging it out, this is the part where she loses it completely. Mrs. Bryant tells her she'll write, and when Ethel despairingly responds that she'll never see Charlie again, Mrs. Bryant gently demurs, adding that Ethel was right -- her husband really does love Charlie. She takes her leave and as the car starts to drive off, Charlie looks back at her through the window and Ethel covers her mouth in abject grief. Mrs. Hughes steps forward and offers that Ethel has done the hardest thing possible, and Ethel turns to ask Isobel if she disagrees with her action. Isobel's like, kind of too late for that now, but Mrs. Hughes proves her strength of character by begging Isobel's pardon -- Ethel did the right thing for the boy. Isobel, who probably wanted this to happen out of desire for things to be different for women in this world than anything else, concedes that she's probably right. Ethel heads off, and I think we all realize the significance of this storyline in the context of the feminist issues threaded throughout the episode, so you'll forgive me if I find Mrs. Hughes follow-up of "What chance is there for a woman like her" a bit overdone. Or maybe it's just that the mournful strings still haven't let up.

It's time for Cell Search 2: Electric Switcheroo, as some guards come into Bates' cell, but this time, they're checking Craig's bunk and what do they find therein but the very package with which he unsuccessfully attempted to frame Bates? Craig says he doesn't know anything about it, but they haul him out of there anyway, though not before he tells Bates he'll be sorry. And honestly, I'm not sure how Bates thinks this is going to be the end of it, but hopefully he'll enjoy having the place to himself in the meantime.

Back at Downton, who should walk in, looking around the place with new appreciation, but Sybil. Branson, having heard her car approach, rushes into the room and thanks God she's safe. They kiss with all appropriate passion and 360-degree camera coverage and Branson gets his hopelessly attractive cry-face on again...

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Downton Abbey

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