More with Ethel

Finally, a conclusion to the needless Ethel sideplot. The Dowager gets involved, telling Isobel that even though she didn't leave the lunch in the previous episode, she is aghast that Ethel works there, you know, former-prostituting and whatnot.

But her demands aren't that heartless, especially since she later sees Ethel crying in the village after a shopkeeper refuses to serve her. She decides, with the help of Ethel, to put out an ad in Ethel's behalf for employment elsewhere. The girl needs a fresh start, right?

One arrives of particular interest -- a home that needs a cook that's near the Bryants, which would mean Ethel can see her kid sometimes. Still, she's hestitant to accept until the Dowager contacts Mrs. Bryant who tells Ethel that she should take the job, without worry that it will bother the Bryants. 

Now she can see Charlie! And now we can all move on!


OH, EDITH: After much debate within the family, Edith decides to take the job as a columnist with The Sketch, which is perhaps the worst name ever for a magazine. She's writing legimitate stuff though (the plight of ex-soldiers for example) and fielding serious flirtation time with her editor, Michael Gregson. 

Michael's a bit of an Anthony Strallan Part 2, though he's slightly younger and not as creepy. Edith seems interested, until she discovers that Gregson is married. She confronts him about this, and Gregson tells him that it's true but that his wife is in an asylum and has been for years. Divorce laws don't let him move on. 

How very "General Hospital" of the writers here.

I AGREE: When Edith tries to convince her grandma to be on her side about taking a job, saying that the Dowager urged her to move on and be busy with something the Dowager says, "I meant run a local charity or paint watercolors or something."

MORE HARD FACTS FOR EDITH'S LOVE LIFE: "Edith isn't getting any younger. Perhaps she's just not cut out for domestic life." -- Dowager Countess.

MOST CRINGE-WORTHY LINE: When Branson describes his brother as "a bit of a rough diamond," Mary says that "I'm quite fond of diamonds."

WORST NEW START: Mr. and Mrs. Bates' new cottage. Gross. 

O'BRIEN ACTUALLY MAKES A FUNNY: When Alfred describes the movie he's going to see as being about a "wronged woman who survives in the wilderness through her own wits and courage," O'Brien says, "Blimey, they've stolen my story."

MOST RANDOM SIDE PLOT: The whole dealing-with-cousin-Rose situation. She runs off with a married man (to dance at a jazz club!), whines, screams, is generally a brat...exhausting. 

MOST STUFFY OVER-REACTION TO BEING IN THE JAZZ CLUB: "This is like the outer circle from Dante's "Inferno." -- Matthew

DOWAGER AS A MOM: When Isobel mentions that she expected that the Dowager spent just "an hour after tea with her children, the Dowager responds that "Yes, but it was an hour every day." Good enough for me.

BEST ADVICE FOR DEALING WITH AN 18-YEAR-OLD: "Keep smiling and never look as though you disapprove" -- Dowager. 

AND ONE MORE GREAT DOWAGER COUNTESS LINE: When Edith announces that "you have a journalist in the family," the Dowager responds awesomely. "Since we have a county solicitor and a car mechanic, it was only a matter of time."