Go away Edna
The episode's secondary big story line involves Edna Braithwaite doing what she does best: being kind of awful. We can all agree that she's really unlikable and a solid eight out of 10 on the Thomas Barrow Conniving Scale, right?
After the last episode's regrettable indiscretion between Edna and Branson (Branson blames it on "low spirits and self-indulgence," which is the proper way of saying "I drank too much"), Edna wastes no time digging in her claws.
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"Suppose I'm pregnant," she offers.
"You can't be pregnant. It's not as easy as that," Branson replies.
Actually, IT IS as easy as that, but OK. Edna has clear intentions here -- she wants to elevate her status in life and sees a forced marriage with Branson as her way into the Crawley family and Downton. She demands to know whether he will marry her if she's pregnant and says she will be a great wife, by the way.
Branson's freaking. Later, in London, he vaguely asks Mary for advice without sharing any details, and Mary, who has experience in dealing with sticky situations (one word: Pamuk) advises that he tell someone who can help.
Enter Mrs. Hughes, who agrees to assist. Hughes and Branson summon Edna, who figures that they will pay her off.
But Mrs. Hughes takes a risk. She says they won't pay her off because there is no baby (and there won't be). Without really knowing if this is the case, Hughes says that Edna would never have gotten pregnant by Branson until she knew for sure if he would agree to be with her. And if he had agreed to love her, Edna would have gotten pregnant by someone else and trap him into marriage.
Mrs. Hughes even produces a book she found in Edna's room that covers "unmarried love" and other such plans to be sneaky and awful. Edna rushes out of the room in a huff, leaves Downton the next day and Branson is seemingly in the clear. We'll see.
Anna and Bates
The most painful part of the episode (besides having to hear Edna talk) was seeing Anna emotionally wrecked by her rape -- and unable to even let her husband touch her. She doesn't walk with her husband to Downton, she is forced to sit next to her attacker, Green, at the staff table before the party guests leave, she shivers in fear when Bates tries to comfort her by touching her shoulder.
When she goes to Hughes and asks to move into the house, it's so tough. It's equally tough to hear her tell Hughes that now she feels like she's not good enough for Bates, that now "I can't let him touch me because I'm soiled," oh, and "Somehow I must have made it happen," referring to the rape.
Hughes, again, urges her to go to the police and also tell her husband what happened. Anna says that a) if she tells Bates he will kill Green and then go to the gallows and b) that if she's pregnant, she'll kill herself.
People who were so angry that the writers would "do this to the relationship of Anna and Bates," will not enjoy this episode.
Throughout the episode, Anna suffers in silence, her facial wounds still visible. Even Lady Mary and Robert notice that something is off and ask her what's wrong. She refuses to say. And in the end, she gets a room in Downton -- away from the home she was once so happy to make and share with Bates.
MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PART THREE
Introducing Jack Ross: Remember when much was made of the news that "Downton" would -- shock! -- introduce an African American character this season? Here, we meet Jack Ross, a bandleader/singer at the jazz club that Mary, Branson and Rose go to with Rosamund.
Jack saves Rose from embarassment as a drunk John Bullock ditches his dance partner to run to the bathroom to vomit. He dances with Rose to deflect attention, but instead grabs the attention of Rosamund who is positively scandalized by seeing Rose dance with a black man.
Later, back at home, Rosamund tells her: "Things have come to a pretty pass when you have to be rescued by a black bandleader." Ouch.
P.S.: What did you think of his singing? It was, uh, an acquired taste.
Edith behaving 'badly': Edith is still in so much love with Michael Gregson. Also in London, she spends the night with him (after signing papers to have some sort of power over his interests and property and such as he prepares to move to Germany -- romantic!) and is caught by Rosamund's maid after returning to her house at 6 a.m.
I'm beginning to think Rosamund needs some happiness in her life because she scolds Edith and then harshly reminds her not to trust people and that she trusted Anthony Strallan and that old guy left her at the altar. Remember that Edith!? "That was rather unkind," Edith says. Yes, rather.
Gregson's goal: He's going to write a novel in Germany because he always fancied himself a novelist. Sounds like a solid plan.
Best interaction: Hughes giving Carson a framed photo of his lost love, so he can put it on his desk. "It's good for you to be reminded that you once had a heart," she tells him. "And it will reassure the staff to know that you belong to the human race."
Carson's rules for breakfast: Be quiet and don't show joy or happiness. "I always think there's something rather foreign about high spirits at breakfast."
Best Dowager Countess line: After watching Isobel gracefully give her approval of Lord Gillingham after earlier expressing how hard it is for her to see Mary move on from her dead son: "There are moments when her virtue demands admiration."
What's Barrow up to?: He's overjoyed when Edna leaves, but seems even more excited about being able to help fill the position of her ladyship's maid for the family. To Robert, he mentions he has a candidate. Does he still want to just know everything going on upstairs and feels worried now that he won't since O'Brien is gone, or is it something more devious?
Continuing to be uninteresting: The Alfred-Jimmy-Ivy-Daisy love rectangle. In this episode, Daisy makes sure Alfred walks in on Jimmy and Ivy kissing. In related news, no one cares or in invested in any of this plot line.