Nov 5 2012 12:37pm

Downton Abbey Season 3 (Series 3), Episode 8 Recap: Lying, Love, and Loose Ends

Mr. Carson and Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey series 3 episode 8Season 3 finale Part 2

Please note: The Season 3 premiere and last night's Season 3 finale were both two hours—or two episodes—long on PBS, but aired as individual episodes when they originally aired in the UK last fall. So last night's episode was known as Episode 6 on PBS but was episodes 7 and 8 in the UK when these recaps were originally written. Apologies for any confusion.


Editor's note: If you are spoiled for events beyond this episode, please do NOT post those spoilers in the comments—this recap is the place to discuss what has happened through this episode and no further. Series 3 aired in the fall in the U.K. and is airing now as Season 3 in the U.S.

Need a refresher? Don't miss Naz Keynejad's recaps of the Series 3 premiereepisode 3.02episode 3.03episode 3.04episode 3.05episode 3.06, and last week's episode 3.07And now, onto the recap for the Downton Abbey Series 3 finale, episode 8:

This was a fun episode, but I don’t feel that it packed enough of a punch for a finale.  I know there’s a Christmas special as well, so maybe they’re saving some of it for that episode.

Anyway, we start with Molesley and his dad surveying a field for a cricket match between the household and the village teams. This should be fun!  As the team captain for the household staff, Lord G. is determined that his team win, since apparently, they were “thrashed” by the village the year prior. Matthew has vowed to play, if only to avenge the bitter defeat of last year, and Tom is refusing to play, claiming that contrary to what Lord G. might believe, he’s actually never played a game of cricket in his life.

The family’s getting a visitor! Violet’s niece and godchild is sending her daughter Rose to stay with the Dowager, because apparently, the young girl really doesn’t like London.  As Isobel points out, it seems a bit odd that a young woman who finds London lacking would prefer spending time with her great aunt in the country, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what sort of mischief young Rose brings with her. Isobel: “I couldn’t manage an 18-year old, not these days. I wouldn’t know what she was talking about!”

Violet:  “My husband was a great traveler, so I’ve spent many happy evenings without understanding a word.  The thing is to keep smiling, and never look as if you disapprove!”

Meanwhile, Mary’s been to London to visit with her doctor and she has a hush-hush meeting with Cora to discuss it, when Matthew walks in and interrupts them.  I have a feeling this has to do with her getting pregnant.  I don’t think she’s trying not to, I think there actually might be a problem.  I hope not!  And, Edith is busy writing her columns for the paper and seems to be very happy with her new occupation.

Lord Grantham and Matthew CrowleyMatthew’s pretty excited about the cricket game; he feels that it would be a good way to show Robert how the old traditions can remain intact, while the estate is run in a more modern way, more like a business. He asks Mary to help him persuade her father that this is the best way. Just as things start to heat up between them, she tells him that he can’t really go any further than kissing, claiming that the trip to London has made her tired. Okay. There is definitely something wrong with her.

Downstairs, Carson lays down the law for Thomas. Basically, the offer is that Thomas resign “voluntarily” using Bates’s return as an excuse.  Poor Thomas (I never thought I’d feel this sorry for him), seems to accept and steps out to dress his Lordship for dinner one last time.  O’Brien is still not done with her scheming, however.  She encourages James to speak out about how “disgusted” he was by Thomas’ behavior, and cautions that if he doesn’t, then no one will believe that he didn’t want the attention.  She tells him that he should threaten to go to the police unless Mr. Carson guarantees Thomas be dismissed with no reference. Wow!  I guess hell hath no fury like O’Brien!

Violet takes Rose (who seems a bit flighty) along with her to the Crawley House for a visit, and to deliver responses to the advertisements she placed on behalf of Ethel.  Isobel is still pretty upset about the whole thing.

Isobel:  “Cousin Violet is trying to find a new job for my cook.”

Rose:  “Well, that sounds rather inconvenient.”

Isobel:  “Cousin Violet has never let a matter of inconvenience stand in the way of a principle.”

Violet:  “As the kettle said to the pot.”

Regardless, Isobel finally has the conversation with Ethel and gives her the responses to the ad. Sadly, Ethel doesn’t find any of the offers to her liking, except one, which is just too close to where the Bryants live, and of course, she doesn’t want to be in too close a proximity with her son, if she can’t really be with him. 

Once Violet finds out about this, she doesn’t let it go. She invites Mrs. Bryant to the Dowager house, and asks Isobel and Ethel to visit. Mrs. Bryant assures Ethel that they would have no problems with her living close to Charlie. She tells Isobel that she’ll handle Mr. Bryant when the time comes. And so, Ethel gets a job close to her son and is able to start fresh. Nice ending to her story.

Meanwhile, James takes O’Brien’s advice, and approaches Mr. Carson, who is horrified that James would even consider causing a scandal and contacting the police about the “incident.” James doesn’t back down and tells Carson that he won’t “turn a blind eye to sin,” and is going to proceed with his plans to report Thomas to the authorities, unless Carson agrees to write a bad reference, and basically prevent Thomas from finding a good job in someone else’s house.  Thomas is devastated that after ten years of service, he’s going to be turned out without any reference. He wants to tell Lord G. about it, but Carson reminds him that he really can’t, unless he wants to tell the whole story. Oh, poor Thomas!

Mrs. Hughes finds Thomas crying outside in the rain later that evening and convinces him to tell her what’s been going on.  Afterwards, she tries to talk Mr. Carson out of sending Thomas out in such a horrible way.  She also tells him of her suspicions that James might have (inadvertently) been leading Thomas on.  The entire conversation makes Carson very uncomfortable, and he reminds Mrs. Hughes that if they don’t give in to James’s threat, Thomas could end up in jail.  I’m sure Mrs. Hughes is going to come up with something to save Thomas.

Over dinner, the family’s trying to figure out ways to “amuse” Rose while she’s staying with the Dowager, and Robert suggests Edith take her to the market in Whitby. Edith, unfortunately, is not available since she’s going up to London to meet with her editor, and Rose immediately jumps at the chance to go with her.  Seems the claims of her not liking London have been exaggerated by her mama. She does this whole (pretty thin) song and dance about how she needs to go to London to arrange a surprise for her mother, and asks the family not to give her away.  Oh good grief!  

Matthew decides to tag along, much to Edith’s relief. She’s worried about being able to handle Rose. They’re all going to stay with Rosamund. What could possibly go wrong, I ask sarcastically? The next day, Mary asks Edith to make sure Matthew doesn’t catch an earlier train back home, but won’t tell her why.  Hm.  The plot thickens! 

Mr. Bates and Anna in Downton Abbey Series 3Oh how nice! Bates and Anna have been given a cottage. Yay!  It’s a bit run-down, but it’s so cute to see them in their own home. Finally, it seems like these two are getting a break. That night, Thomas pays Bates an unexpected visit outside the cottage, and hints at being in trouble without divulging too much. Bates had seen (and maybe overheard?) O’Brien’s earlier conversation with James, and Thomas’ strange comment gets him thinking. He talks it over with Anna and decides to find out what’s happening from Mrs. Hughes. 

Mrs. Hughes tells Bates everything, and he shares his suspicions that someone must’ve put James up to this with Mr. Carson. Meanwhile, James continues to make a fuss downstairs about Thomas still being around. The rest of the staff has begun to suspect that something’s not quite right with the situation, but James just keeps telling them to “keep their nose out of it.” Finally, Bates decides to let Lord G. in on the situation, and actually, Robert’s pretty blasé about the whole thing. 

Lord G.:  “If I shouted blue murder every time someone tried to kiss me at Eaton, I’d have gone hoarse in a month!  What a tiresome fellow.”

Bates:  “It’s not the boy’s fault, my Lord.  He’s being whipped up.  Told if he doesn’t see it through, we’d all suspect him of batting for the same team. “

Lord G.:  “Who’d do that?  Who’s got it in for Barrow?”

Bates:  “Miss O’Brien.”

Uh-oh. Now the secret is out and you know Robert’s going to tell Cora about this, who is then going to confront O’Brien, and we get to watch her squirm her way out of it. Who would’ve thought that Bates would go this far to save Thomas? Nicely done. 

Edith and Michael Gregson in London in Downton Abbey Series 3 episode 8Over in London, Edith meets with her editor, Michael Gregson, who likes her “mature female voice,” in tackling issues like the soldiers’ plight—issues most women wouldn’t necessarily concern themselves with. This guy is clearly enamored with Edith. I don’t know if she realizes it, but he is totally smitten! 

As suspected, Rose is up to no good.  She takes advantage of Edith and Matthew’s absence and sneaks off in a cab to meet with her lover. She makes the cab driver wait for a couple of hours while they get…er…reacquainted, and then goes off to some club. The cabbie goes back to Rosamund’s house, ostensibly to return Rose’s scarf, but proceeds to give them all the happenings of the day in great detail. Matthew, Rosamund, and Edith all rush to the club (which Matthew refers to as “the outer circle of Dante’s inferno”), and find Rose, drunk, and making out with “Terence,” a married man, who is clearly having a pretty sordid affair with Rose while his wife is away in the country.  Turns out that he also works for Rose’s father, cousin “Shrimpy.” Matthew drags Rose away for a dance and finds out that Rose is being duped with a pretty standard scheme: Terence claims that his wife is horrible, and that he wants to divorce her (but it’s just so complicated, really!) and marry Rose. So, Matthew offers Rose an out if she agrees to leave the club immediately and never see this Terence guy again. Matthew also gets Rosamund and Edith to keep everything to themselves, but promises that if Rose makes one false move, he’ll personally let her mother know everything.

It turns out that Matthew’s reason for wanting to tag along was really to go see the doctor and get checked out. Of course, as fate would have it, the minute he leaves the doctor’s office, he runs into “Mrs. Levinson,” i.e. Mary, who’s there to see the doctor herself. Aha! So this is why she didn’t want Matthew to catch an earlier train back home. She wanted to sneak in and out of London with him none the wiser. Apparently, she’s been seeing the doctor for a while, and actually had an operation (which is why she was avoiding having sex), to fix some sort of problem.

Back home, Violet overhears Edith telling Rose that she needs to stop reading romance novels that make feistiness an admirable quality, so she figures out that something must’ve happened in London. In her own, typically sneaky way, she worms the whole thing out of Rose, by hinting that she’s going to be sent to Scotland with her aunt Agatha after her visit at Downton. Rose breaks down and in a fit, asks who told her mother about Terence. Of course, Violet doesn’t let her get away with it and tells her that regardless of who Terence is, Rose is being sent to Scotland, accompanied by Violet’s maid, and will abide by her mother’s wishes until she’s old enough to be out of their “power.” We find out later that Violet ferreted the details of Rose’s escapade out of Rosamund by telling her that Edith had spilled the beans already! Classic maneuvering by a master schemer! I love sneaky Violet!  

Matthew and Tom approach Robert about their management schemes, and Robert goes ballistic. He thinks their methods are too direct and severe, and suggests they invest some capital, and make changes gradually. He even mentions going in with a “chap in America,” a Mr. Charles Ponzi, who can triple any investment money in 90 days! Ha ha ha ha … oh Robert! Tempers run high until Mary, and then Cora step in and basically tell Robert that his old way of doing things isn’t going to work. Robert reluctantly agrees, and decides to “take a backseat” in the management of the estate. 

The next morning at breakfast, as soon as Matthew heads out, Tom takes the opportunity to try and get Robert to see reason.

Tom:  “Every man or woman who marries into this house, every child born into it, has to put their gifts at the family’s disposal.  I’m a hard worker, and I have some knowledge of the land.  Matthew knows the law and the nature of business.”

Robert:  “Which I do not.”

Tom:  “You understand the responsibilities we owe to the people around here.  Those who work for the estate and those that don’t.  It seems to me, if we could manage to pool all of that, if we each do what we can do, then Downton has a real chance.”

Go Tom!  Robert agrees to think about it, on the condition that Tom play in the cricket match!  During a break in the game, Matthew asks Robert if he’s given it any thought, and Robert finally agrees to do things Matthew’s way. 

In the meantime, suspecting that Mr. Gregson was flirting with her, Edith does the smart thing and decides to check up on him.  She finds out that he’s married, and goes up to London to confront him and offer her resignation. But, it turns out that it’s not at all what it looks like. Michael’s wife is in an asylum.  Sadly, he can’t get a divorce, so he’s stuck being lonely for the rest of his life.  He asks her to reconsider her resignation. Sadly, we don’t see her response to his request!

Downstairs, Bates approaches Thomas and tells him of his suspicions, wondering if there is anything Thomas can use against O’Brien. Thomas is a bit shocked that Bates is on his side in this, but he’s basically given up.  Bates, on the other hand, is not so easily dissuaded. He doesn’t like the unfairness of it all and tries to convince Thomas to do something, anything, to at least be able to leave with a good recommendation.  When Thomas demurs, Bates tells him that all he has to do is give him “the weapon,” and he’ll “do the work.”  We find out later that all Thomas gave Bates was the phrase, “her Ladyship’s soap.” 

So, Bates invites O’Brien over to the cottage (over Anna’s slight objection) and tells her to convince James to drop the nonsense about reporting Thomas to the police, and allow Mr. Carson to write Thomas a reference.  She declines, and as she gets up, Bates whispers in her ear.  Clearly upset and visibly shaken, she leaves after Bates tells her to “sort it out by this evening,” or risk her secret revealed.  The plan is a success, and O’Brien manages to get James to change his mind about the reference. Bates tells Lord G. that James has given up his threat, and Robert suggests they keep Thomas on, and find him a job. Okay, this was not what Bates wanted! 

When the idea is brought to Mr. Carson, he decides to give Thomas the Under Butler position (which technically makes him Bates’s superior), and in order to avoid any ugliness with James, he suggests that Lord G. be the one to clear everything up.  After the cricket match, Lord G. approaches James and thanks him for being generous enough to let Thomas stay on, much to James’s surprise. He then congratulates James on being promoted to First Footman, much to Mr. Carson’s surprise!

But wait!!!  It isn’t over yet! Apparently, Alfred, who was upset with James for letting the matter drop, went ahead and called the police! They show up at the cricket match and ask to see Alfred. Robert offers to go get him, and has a long chat with Alfred, telling him he should be kind to Thomas. He tells Alfred that he shouldn’t be quick to judge and ruin a man’s life, based on something that is basically out of Thomas’s control. They tell the police that Alfred was a bit drunk, and misinterpreted rough-housing between two staff members for something else.  The police leave, and that’s the end of that.

As a side note, throughout the episode, Tom had been talking about moving into Jarvis’s old house with baby Sybil, and Cora had been gently trying to persuade him to stay with them. At the cricket match, Tom sees Mary holding the baby, and I guess the sense of family overwhelms him, because he goes to Cora and agrees to stay at the big house, at least until Sybil is a bit older. 

And that’s really it. Not much of a season finale, and frankly, a few too many neat fixes to some of the storylines. Let’s hope that the Christmas special brings more of a bang, since this episode was a bit of a fizzle.

* * *

Can't get enough of Downton Abbey? These books may be relevant to your interests:

The Wit and Wisdom of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes  
Downton Abbey - A Celebration by Jessica Fellowes  
A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes  
Downton Abbey: Rules for Household Staff by Carson    
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by the Countess of Carnarvon  


Naz Keynejad is an avid reader, wanna-be writer, editor and self-professed geek. She has a “thing” for period dramas and will watch anything as long as it’s filled with suppressed sexual tension, angst and of course, period costumes. Oh, and there has to be tea. Lots of tea.

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1. Canucks
As with the second season, the real season finale at DA will be with their Christmas Special. And if every year’s ending to-date is any indication, this year, too, will likely end with an M&M story. But viewers must be watchful: M&M’s S01 outcome was not a good one, setting everyone up for S02. So S03 can easily be another (bad to neutral) non-ending, as it appears S04 is now virtually inevitable.

I don’t know what the opening odds are at London bookies these days, but it is hard to bet against a baby story at Christmas. However, at this point I am betting (50:50) that it will be a good or a bad baby story!

Why? Because it feels like this “show must go on,” come hell or high water!

I watched this episode rather “fast” and so my comments on it will also be the same (and somewhat random):

* Watching Thomas’s story unfold in this episode was akin to understanding how it might feel to be(come) a pretzel! Halfway through it, it felt like being in the backseat of a car on a curvy and bumpy road … when you are ready, at any moment, to roll down the window and … barf. Perhaps Thomas felt the same way!

* In my earlier comments, I had once mentioned about folks coming in and out of some of these DA episodes with no nutritional or enduring value. Perhaps some of these characters should be served with a “Nutrition Facts” label with their estimated calorie content. For my taste, Rose in this episode had exactly 0 calories!

* Speaking of Rose, and especially of her day/night in London... call me old fashioned, but it turns me off completely to see a 1920’s bar scene evolving out of a show which is culturally, visually, dramatically, and xxxxxlly has its genetic make-up in the country. However briefly, when you take this show out of its core element, I think you lose its essence. I just don’t think 1920s or 30s London city scapes “fit in” with the historical narrative of the Abbey. . In short, and for my viewing taste, a DA@London.Bar was the most oxy (and moronic) idea I could ever imagine in the narrative and/or imagery of this episode.

* Parenthetically, I must also confess that I am having a great deal of difficulty “growing-up” with the costumes, hair styles, and even some of the mannerisms in this show as the years pass. At times, it feels strange that no one seems to age, the furniture, and home décor elements never change, but people constantly update their hair styles and fashions. (Perhaps the key here is not to “think” about such things!)

* Finally, I take it that this cricket-match-business has been going on here for several centuries (!) but for some reason we have never been made aware of its centrality to life in Downton. Perhaps, during war years there was a hiatus, but am I the only one who never heard the word “cricket” at the Abbey over the last three years? In fact, the only thing I can remember about “sports” in this show (aside horse riding and shooting) was when Ms. Patmore dropped a cooking pan in S01 and Thomas caught it in mid-flight … at which time Daisy fell in love with the “athletic” Thomas with good teeth!

It just seemed odd to me that a sporting event was made such a central story narrative, that moved people and plot lines, but with no priors at all. It felt a bit like they came from Mars, while the audience was from Venus!

Until we all meet here, again in the New Year … I wish you, Naz, and everyone … happy and well!
Naz Keynejad
2. nazkey
I am just going to go on record and agree with everything you've said above. The whole Rose plotline felt so contrived and out of place, and frankly? Pretty pointless. And, I hate that they left the Edith/Michael story hanging like that, while they went on an on with Rose. The episode was a mish-mash. Frankly, it was difficult to write the recap with any enthusiasm. Let's see what the Xmas show will bring.
3. HollyP
I do like that Edith has a real story this season. She finally stopped whining and given a feminist voice instead. I agree that the whole Rose thing is useless. I was a bit disconcerted when I saw the Crawley entourage enter the club. They don't belong, you know what I mean? And if this is any indication of where the DA's plotline is going next season, well, it will be cruel indeed.
Naz Keynejad
4. nazkey
I love that Edith has a real story line too, but they're not really exploring it, you know? That's what really bothered me with all the time wasted on Rose. I would've loved to see more Edith/Michael!
5. Friederike H. Keck
Naz, I just want to say thank you again for your great recaps. I really enjoyed them. Today the DVD hit my home. So tonight is DA time here in Munich. I am looking forward to read from you at Xmas.
Friederike Keck (Munich).
6. Canucks
After rewatching S03E08 a bit more leisurely, I thought I would be amiss if I did not add a few more comments on this episode.

I know that a fair number of you visit here having not yet seen the season or the episode. And I am sure you find Naz’s summary and commentary very helpful … and enjoy the show even more when you do! In this context, and with the same aim, I would like to append my earlier observations on the most recent episode by outlining a few more.

Putting aside some of its shortcomings, I think that this last installment of DA can perhaps be best summarized by a word that was largely missing from the others: “Tenderness.”

If you have not yet seen it, in this episode you will see some of the most “tender” DA moments … and not only between the series’ “usual” suspects, but also among unlikely others which might surprise you. Perhaps the most salient among these are the following:

M&M and J&A … who are now in the early stages of “establishing their respective homes and families” and who are variously falling on a couch or painting together, longing for closeness, or gently kissing in-between a cricket inning or during a quiet walk to a cottage (in E07) …

Look for these. They are heartwarming, life affirming, demonstrative of the power of love … lost, found, lost, misplaced, and found again. These are tender moments for any couple, from any walk of life, and DA S03 serves a fair bit of these moments in this and previous episodes.

There is also “tenderness” that a real (Ethel), and prospective mother (Mary) or a grandmother (Cora) all feel towards their respective babies (Charlie), and (Sybil). If you are a mother or hope to be one, the human expressions you will find in this episode from some of these ladies will be memorable. Sometimes, you ache for and with them. If you are a parent or a grandparent, I think you will doubly understand and feel what these characters are feeling.

You will also find a whole new level of “tenderness” that comes from and just being ... Edith. She may not be the late Sybil, but Ethel is an “evolving” sort of an angel—a hardened angel who takes a fair bit of time and effort to discover! But when the patient work is done, and I hope someone someday does, they will find and experience in Edith the true power of unconditional and utterly selfless love. (And if the writers don’t yet know, or do that, they would all be fools!)

But there is also “tenderness” in this episode among some unlikely characters. To “catch” and experience these, however, you will have to dig a little deeper!

For example, do look closely, and you might catch the “tenderness” in the eyes of a Mr. Carson seeing Mr. Barrow breaking down in front of his eyes; or when Mr. Bates looks into Mr. Barrow’s eyes.

Both of these older men have seen and experienced enough of life’s difficulties to truly appreciate the value of that precious commodity called “compassion,” and deep down, understand what it means to be in search of “tenderness.”

No one should judge, or “throw the first stone” this show reminds us. And no, this not just a gender thing: Mrs. Elsie Hughes also knows what “tenderness” is … as she helps a helpless, broken men, crumbled into a heap in the rain, up to his feet, hold his back, and lead him to a warm space … to listen to his story.

And then there is a whole another type of “tenderness” … but this one, I am afraid, is best understood among only one gender class to the near exclusion of the other!

And you will see this in ample display among Messrs. Crawley, Jr. Crawley, Sr. and Branson throughout this week’s show. But you really have to be quick (as this may be as rapid as a glance from one’s paper over breakfast, or a quick sip from a glass as you dart your gaze from your subject); and/or you have to really understand what “male shouting matches” are all about!

You see, for one species in our world, it has never been very easy to openly express “tenderness” or display emotions. So this group does these things in ways that might be completely missed, misplaced, or misconstrued by the members of the other “club.”

In that sense, it really is true: Men Are from Mars, and Women Are from Venus!

But god bless them all!
7. Canucks
. . . . .

You will also find a whole new level of “tenderness” that comes from and just being ... Edith. She may not be the late Sybil, but Edith is an “evolving” sort of an angel—a hardened angel who takes a fair bit of time and effort to discover! But when the patient work is done, and I hope someone someday does, they will find and experience in Edith the true power of unconditional and utterly selfless love. (And if the writers don’t yet know, or do that, they would all be fools!)

. . . . .


Perhaps not quite an "angel," but everyone deserves a second chance.
8. JeriMH
The business with Rose was franky, a bit lame. Maybe they just needed a plot device to get Matthew to London so Mary could be found out. Possibly she's there to lay the groundwork for Edith to have a fling with a married man. Either way, I felt underwhelmed and she's probably just there to get a new "up and coming" pretty blonde face on the screen.

I found the wishy-washyness with Thomas to be kind of strained. He's gone! He's here! Except gone! Except.. I think the whole under-butler thing was
1. kind of a pathetic way to keep the tension between the pot-stirrers going and
2. a little shallow of Lord G. because he only wants Thomas around to win at cricket and
3. am I the only one who would have just made him Branson's valet? He'd still be demoted for causing trouble, he'd probably leave on his own anyway and while Branson probably doesn't need someone to dress him, he probably does need someone to fetch his clean shirts.

Of course that would leave next season with none of the awkward tension between Thomas and Bates and the rest of the staff as he continues to rise undeservedly through the ranks, because that hasn't gotten tiresome AT ALL.

However I have come around to like Tom Branson and I'm glad that he and Matthew have each other to depend on. Hopefully Lord G. stops his pity-party campaign of "now YOU are against me! now YOU are AGAINST ME!" and the estate can move on.

Am looking forward to the Christmas episode and hope that they can wind up some happiness for everyone. Kisses for Carson and Mrs. Hughes! Alfred runs away to be a chef! Daisy the heiress! What do you think the big season-ending cliffhanger will be this time? Last year it was Bates' arrest and jail sentence. This year? Edith runs off with Newspaper Guy? Isobel will start campagning for the rights of estranged/insane wives? The meaning of the phrase "Her Ladyship's Soap" suddenly dawns on Anna? Big things are happening in the Irish Revolution from late 1920-spring 1921. Maybe Tom will run away to be part of it?

I think Violet will open a Tea Shoppe and that will be the end of it.
9. AnnaP
Can anyone tall me how Thomas new about the soap? I don't remember O'Brian telling him or anyone else about it.
10. Chelseaaa
I loathed the Rose storyline but I think, perhaps, its purpose was to show us that the world outside the walls of Downtown Abbey in 1920 is changing fast, and DA will not be immune to it. In Season 4, I imagine we will see some dramatic shifts because the times, they are a'changin'.
Jamie Brenner
11. jamieloganbrenner
@Chelseaaa - Yes, absolutely. The tension between outside world and within the walls of the house is vital to the show, even though we all loved the insular drama of season one.
I keep thinking about what someone wrote in this thread last week: Julian Fellowes does seem like a bit of a misogynist. Why is it always the men who save the day, and the women who are the shrews? Even Thomas, one of the most reprehensable characters on the show, somehow becomes sympathetic when compared to O'Brian.
12. texasmytexas
@jamieloganbrenner -
Sybil saved the day for Gwen. She saved the day for the hospital in numerous ways.
Anna saved the day multiple times for Bates, among others.
Mrs. Patmore has saved the day for Mrs. Hughes, who in turn has been a key factor in finding solutions for multiple people, including Thomas and Ethel.
Isobel has even saved patients' lives, such as the farmer with dropsy, in addition to her reformer activities.
For all her flaws, can we even count the number of times Violet has saved the day? For Mary, for Cora and Robert, for Sybil, for Branson, for Ethel (granted, she had ulterior motives as usual),
Cora, Mary, and Edith each at some point have done something I'd remember for this post if I left myself a little more time, and Daisy has saved the day for Mrs. Patmore, for Bates (when T. and O'B. were conspiring to frame him), for William's, and for William's dad. O'Brien has had her sympathetic moments as well, such as with the shell-shock fella. It's not a gender-specific thing.
13. Bill MacQuoid
I have searched and searched and cannot find anything on the wife of the Scottish lord (Shrimpy) in the last segment. She doesn't seem to be on any credits but she looks very familiar, like she was a movie actress in Hollywood in the same era as Shirley MacLaine. Anyone know her name?
14. Friederike H. Keck
Phoebe Nicholls (age 55) plays Lady Flinshire. Look her up at wikipedia.
Hope that helps.
Greetings from Munich
15. Steve K
The Wikipedia listing of DA episodes puts a date of "Before 30 September 1920" on episode 8. Any clue why this date limit? What happens between now and the next episode. I see no historical event in either England or Ireland to warrant this.
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