TV: Downton Abbey S3 – Episode 7 Summary + Review

“We belong together”

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(“I’m finally free. Now, let’s find the dratted neighbour and kill her.”)

Airing on: ITV

Genre: Family, Slice of Life, Drama, Age: All ages

Released: 16th September 2012 – onwards (UK Version)

From the previous episode, Mr Bates is released from prison, and is reunited with Anna. He is welcomed back with open arms by everyone at Downton Abbey. The only issue is, how will he get his old job back from Thomas?

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Lady Violet Grantham interferes with Ethel’s employment at Mrs Crawley house. She even goes as far as putting out an advertisement for a replacement, without telling Mrs Crawley.

Although Ethel may be happy there, and Mrs Crawley is enjoying her recently improved cooking skills, the house’s reputation is falling into more scandal as news of a prostitute-turned-maid spreads.

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(“Would ma’am like to try some slutty cakes?”)

Matthew Crawley confronts Lord Grantham and his estate manager about the management of Downton Abbey. It ends in an argument, and the resignation of the estate manager.

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(“You want to try calling me a nincompoop one more time…?”)

O’Brien hints to Thomas that James may be interested in him. Thomas brushes it off as O’Brien’s scheming, but she put the seeds of doubt in his mind, and he wants to test James for himself.

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(“He writes my name with hearts in his diary ehh…?”)

James seems to comply with everything that Thomas says, under the impression that schmoozing Thomas will get him a better career at Downton.

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(“Yes, Mr Barlow, I do have diary. Why?”)

Later that night while James is sleeping, Thomas sneaks into Jame’s room and kisses him. This is witnessed by Alfred, who had just come back from a date with Ivy.

A tense moment occurs where either of the trio want to be the first one to break the news, but feel that it could also jeopardise their reputation.

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(In Thomas’s defense, he last scandalous scene was in series 1)

Edith meets the newspaper editor Michael Gregson, who is very flirtatious towards her. She finally feels that he can have a positive reaction from men.

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(Shaking hands for too long. Could be romance!)

Tom’s brother arrives from Ireland. Tom’s plan is for him and the baby Sybil to live together, outside of the privileged life that Downton provides. Kieran is a mechanic, living in the upstairs apartment of a garage. He turns out to be a sarcastic, unreliable sort of person, and the family are desperately trying to get Tom to stay with them at Downton.

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(“We got a shoebox where we can keep the baby.”)

Alfred cracks first and reports James’s and Thomas’s nightly scandal to Mr Carson.

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(“Can you point out where Thomas kissed James on this doll?”)

Thomas is immediately disciplined and told to leave Downton at the first opportunity. He will receive a reference so that he will find work at another place.

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(“If I’m fired, fans will abandon this series, I tell you! Bates has got nothing on me!”)

Tom decides to stay at Downton after witnessing the love the family has for Sybil, after allowing her to have a Catholic  Christening.

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(Awesome family photo. Just awesome!)

Overall, this was a rather overly happy episode at the beginning. As nice as it was to have Mr Bates back (he’s been in prison for 75% of this series), he didn’t fit in immediately with the cast which had been functioning pretty well without him. The smiles and reunions were a bit fake sounding.

The episode swiftly moves on from the happy scenes, and dives into the predicament between James and Thomas. It’s a tight weave that O’Brien has weaved over those two, and the fruits of her labour finally paid off.  She is not as evil as in the first series, where her and Thomas made a formidable team, but these slier schemes still caught out two lost characters.

Is it just me, or is it really pathetic the way Alfred hankers after Ivy? Disappointingly, she refuses him, which means there are more angst-filled scenes in the next episode.

And I couldn’t care less if Tom or Sybil stayed at Downton. They don’t contribute much, if anything, to the series.

Rated 3.5/5 – Tense moments between major characters.

See the next episode!

See the previous episode!

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