Dear Bates: How is gaol? Everything still gray? Love, Anna.
[Spoilers are telling secrets downstairs herein.]
Oh the goings-on at Downton this week! And at Gray Gaol! ("Gray Gaol—where everything is gray and the gruel is gray-flavored!") Anna is sad because Bates isn't writing her. And Bates is sad because Anna isn't writing him. Immediately, I suspect that Thomas is somehow intercepting their letters and using them as smoking papers, but it turns out there's some non-Thomas-related gaol intrigue that I don't totally understand because I'm not fluent in gaolmumble. Something something shiv in a loofah, and the letters start flowing again. Yay!
Meanwhile, back at Downton, Lord Whoops thinks that Matthew should take a look at Downton's finances, because Matthew "might have some good ideas." Maybe! Like: Don't invest all your money in one place! Or: Mayhaps we don't ALL need to wear diamond-encrusted tiaras to dinner! Matthew is lucky there's a violent revolutionary in the family, so his dirty red communism is only a blushing pink by comparison!
Speaking of: Tom Branson shows up at Downton's door seeking refuge after he helped burn down a castle in Ireland, but then got sad when he realized it was actually someone's home. Looks like we've got a solid contender for the title of Lord Whoops once ol' Robert kicks the gold-plated bucket (which is also full of rubies and emeralds)! Everyone is mad that T-Bone left Sybil, who is a PREGNANT LADY, to fend for herself at their flat and then make her way back to Downton on her own. There is so much yelling about how shitty T-Bone is to abandon Sybil that everyone forgets to yell at him for being a hypocrite who seeks refuge in the privilege and influence of Downton to protect him from being sent to O'Gray Gaol for violently revolutioning against privilege and influence. This guy. Ugh.
The only thing worse than violent revolutionaries is electric toasters, amirite?
Something something Ethyl. I'm sorry, Ethyl! Your story is very sad, but I can only be invested in so many sub-plots, and I spent all my energy on Daisy and her surrogate dad!
Because Carson's precious toaster-hating time is being taken up with duties that are beneath him, Lord Whoops, to the sound of Matthew's grinding teeth, consents to let Carson hire a new footman, who will be competing against Alfred in a nail-biting round of Footmen: Beyond Thunderdome! to see who gets first footman. The new guy is very handsome, and Alfred can't identify a bouillon spoon. COME ON, ALFRED! That's the easiest of ALL THE SPOONS!
If Carson asked me to identify all those spoons, I would've looked at him with wide eyes and a stoic face and said: "There is no spoon." And he would've said, "Nice Matrix reference, dipshit. That movie won't come out for seven decades."
Finally, Lady Edith wants the vote, and she pens a stern letter to the editor about it, which is obviously a huge scandal, because Lord Whoops is tiresome. But Matthew is proud of her, and she is definitely proud of herself, which makes me so happy! And she gets great advice from the Dowager Countess, who obviously had like 200 great sassy lines in this episode: "Edith, you're a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do!"
And that's when Lady Edith invented blogging! Discuss.
[Please proceed to talk about all things Downton Abbey, but only through the third episode of Season 3. Please don't share things from later in the season, even with a spoiler warning, because I've got to mod the thread, which requires reading everything. So be kind, if you're elsewhere in the world where the whole season has already aired.]