Downton Abbey
Episode Three

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

Edith tremulously relates what little she knows to Cora and Mary, but they don't have time to discuss it, as Carson announces that dinner is served. Cut to inside, where the Dowager Countess is asking the Archbishop if the war has driven people back into the churches, "or further away than ever?" Hee. The Archbishop doesn't get a chance to reply, however, as there's an urgent knocking at the front door. Mary seems possibly to connect this with the phone call on some level, judging from her reaction, and Carson nods to Alfred to go see what's up...

...and then Alfred is opening the door to find Branson, and the fact that he's alone obviously means something is very wrong. Alfred asks if he has any luggage, but Branson tells him he barely has the clothes he stands in, and out of respect for the gravity of the situation I'm just going to let that one go. Wild-eyed, he asks where "they" are, but whether I'm right or not about Mary's thought process, she appears, and after she sees him, she asks where Sybil is. Branson blurts out that he had to leave her, but he made arrangements and she should be on her way by now. Obviously, that doesn't satisfy Mary, but he promises that he can explain and while his tone suggests that the explanation might not be all that savory, she doesn't have time to deal with that now with the dinner going on. She starts to say that she'll tell everyone he's there, but he grabs her wrist and urgently tells her that no one (i.e., any outsiders) must know. This has taken long enough that Matthew now appears, but -- knowing that they'd better get a move on if they don't want the entire dinner party gathered in the hall -- Mary tells Branson to go up and borrow some of Matthew's dry clothes, and she'll come for him when the guests have departed. Matthew walks Branson off, Mary asks Alfred to get Mrs. Hughes to sort out some food for Branson...

...and then Mary, composed as you like, strides back into the dining room explaining that it was merely "an idiotic man delivering a village pamphlet." Cora, however, knows her daughter well enough still to look concerned, as well she might, given that Mary "whispers" to Lord Grantham the true identity of the caller. She goes on that he'll explain when their guest is gone and the Dowager Countess pipes up, "Something to look forward to." It's not a compliment you hear every day, but she's got the ears of a twenty-year-old. Lord Grantham complains about how other families don't have Irish revolutionary sons-in-law, but the Dowager Countess counters that no family is what it seems from the outside, which seems kind of redundant for viewers of this show.

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Downton Abbey

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