ESPECIALLY, ESPECIALLY GO AWAY if you haven’t seen THIS one yet, good GRIEF.
OK, this was a TWO-HOUR episode, so forgive me if I have to skim pretty lightly over a few things. War’s over, Matthew’s feeling tingles in his lower regions (ahem, I meant his LEGS, you perv), Lord G’s getting a little too share-y with Jane, Lady G is being horrid, Sir Richard is still a [naughty word redacted], Sybil and Branson are still involved in the least-compelling romance ever, and I WAS RIGHT ABOUT SPANISH FLU, HA.
Since it was such an emotional episode, we’re just going to go with pure emotion to “organize” this.
STUFF I WAS RELIEVED ABOUT: Bates and Anna, finally, for crying out loud, got married. This is another handy plot device since now everything he’s ever said to her is inadmissible in court — and as far as I know, she can’t even be called to testify. Ethel decides NOT to give up her baby to that awful bully even if Charlie IS his grandson. And oh goodness, in a house where the secrets are so layered that the layers have layers, it was so great that Anna went immediately to Carson and tattled on Sir [Nickname Redacted] AND that Violet had a very firm (and surprisingly tender-hearted and open) sit-down chat with Matthew, and just outright told him that Mary was in love with him Hoorah! AND, FINALLY AGAIN, Isobel actually wept for joy over THE OTHER THING I PREDICTED, HA!
Obviously, the huge reveal this episode was that Matthew can walk, just with a cane for the moment, but still. Duh. Of course he can. But the other big deal was that LORD GRANTHAM SHOOK BRANSON’S HAND!
Stuff I was delighted with: O’Brien. Is she softening at last? Sybil and Branson also — just for growing up a bit, and making plans and following through with them. You’ve got to respect their refusal to be blackballed from the family, and their persistence in turning everyone’s objections back on them! No money? Fine, your choice. No visits? Stupid, but again, your choice. And in the end, even Violet came around!
STUFF I WAS ANGSTY ABOUT (but understood): Man, people were wigging out about Lord G’s little tryst with Jane, which he cut off. Not cool, kissing a housemaid, and there’s no excuse, but it’s not totally not-understandable, when stupid Cora kept being snippy and dismissive and pompous and nasty. And he did give her up, and reconciled with Cora. So I think it’s safe to file this under “foolish” rather than “catastrophic.”
The whole deal with Edith and Mary chasing Sybil and Branson down was equal parts angsty and HILARIOUS. I wish it’d had plonky music from a silent film under it instead of dramatic strings — “They won’t expect us to be in pursuit until the morning!” Hand me my magnifying glass and my moustache wax — just there, behind the dramatic cape and deerstalker hat — and we’ll set off to solve the Mystery of the Missing Heiress, what ho! And then bursting into the hotel room! And Mary telling Branson to pipe down! HA! I was nervous that Sybil would tell Mary where to shove it and run off with Branson just to spite her family, but gosh, isn’t Mary so blinking reasonable these days, and she was absolutely right that running off in the night made it look all wrong.
Stuff I’m a bit annoyed by: Thomas. Hmmm… Schemer. Is he for real? Did the Black Market Grocery Debacle finally set him straight? Or is he just angling for Carson’s job, or more likely Carson’s keys to the silver pantry? Good grief. I don’t see Thomas doing well in prison. And also DAISY. UGH. Look, just TELL William’s father that you married him as a kindness and because it was his last wish, not because you were in love with him, but that you did care about him in your own way and don’t want to dishonor his memory by pretending to be a heartbroken widow. All this whiny protestation is wearing me out.
STUFF I AM JUST STRAIGHT UP ANGSTY ABOUT: Mary and Matthew, dancing! And kissing! And Lavinia SAW THEM OH NOES, and then broke off their engagement and then she DIED! And Sir Richard is trying to spy on Mary and he’s still such a jerk and he needs to go away! And Bates got arrested for EVIL VERA’s death! And Matthew is so blasted hurt and guilt-ridden that he’s lashing out at Mary! And AUGH!
Next week’s the Christmas special, and hallelujah I don’t have school the day after because it’s ANOTHER two-hour episode! So excited! Too many exclamation points!