The clouds are clearing after the death of Downton‘s beloved Lady Sybil. The programme is returning to normal, with witty writing, fabulous one-liners, thought-provoking story lines and relatable characters.
First and foremost, Bates (Brendan Coyle) is free. Whether or not he actually killed his former wife, Vera, we still don’t know, but he is back at Downton with Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and the Crawley family.
He says: “I still can’t believe I’m here. I keep pinching myself.”
Poor old Daisy (Sophie McShera) is still harbouring her love for Alfred (Matt Milne). Alfred is after Ivy (Cara Theobold). Ivy is after Jimmy / James (Ed Speleers) and she isn’t the only one.
Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) is on the loose again, but now he has set his sights on Jimmy. Creeping into his bedroom, in a climatic point in the episode, Thomas makes his move. Jimmy is disgusted, but Alfred has seen. This isn’t the last we’re going to hear of Thomas and his infatuation.
Ethel’s (Amy Nuttall) time as Cousin Isobel’s (Penelope Wilton) housekeeper may be coming to an end as Isobel is encouraged to send her somewhere people don’t know about her past as a prostitute.
Upstairs, the marriage of the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) is back on the straight and narrow.
The family all come together for baby Sybil’s Catholic christening, where Tom Branson (Allen Leech) agrees to manage the Downton estate. He isn’t the only one to find new employment, as Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) travels to London to meet with a newspaper editor.
She announces: “You’ve got a journalist in the family”, to which the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) replies: “Well we already have a country lawyer and a garage man, so it was only to be expected.”
Downton Abbey continues to occupy the Nation’s Sunday nights and it’s no wonder why.