“If she’s got a boyfriend, I’m a giraffe.” (O’Brian)

Now who doesn’t like the fair? I sure as hell don’t – today fairs are synonym for teenage kids drinking breezers and barfing on the bumper carts. But back when life was different, fairs were different, too. They filled some of the abbey’s inhabitants with childlike glee and showed us a further instance of how (and why) the old upstairs-downstairs system is falling apart.

For me, Mrs. Hughes was the episode’s real protagonist. A silent, dutifully righteous lady, it was nice to see her fall out of her work act.  As we all expected, the Mrs. Hughes behind the Mrs. Hughes was just as nice and righteous, albeit less dutiful. There’s something about plots concerning older women rediscovering their youths that sparks my emotions. The scenes with Joe were just the right amount of awkward, too. It’s hard to handle, sure, but Downton Abbey handled it wonderfully using the usual love for their characters.

Another fair-related incident revolved around the continuing love triangle between Thomas, William and Daisy. It’s a bit of a shame that Thomas is so evil. He seems to be the trash can character of the show at the moment; whereas the others are developed and round, Thomas seems to come off as evil for the heck of it. Things might change though, there could be redemption for him just yet. But cockblocking a nice lad like William like that? Not cool. I loved Mr. Bates’ response at the end and am excited about future developments.

And I’ve said very little about the upstairs part of the abbey. I remember Sybill getting pants. That was pretty exciting. Seriously, it was.

Thoughts and things

  • A new character has arrived! I’m of course talking about Tom Branson, the chauffeur. He seemed to be very present in the background. Looking through windows. He instantly reminds me of Herman from Van Vlees en Bloed, who was always included in the back of the scene two minutes before he would start talking. Very awkward.
  • I love the power struggles between Violet and Isobel. It’s obvious they would be best friends had they not met under these circumstances.
  • Oh, poor, poor Gwen.

In all…

Another very strong episode. There seems to be some set-up for future episodes. What stunts will Tom Branson pull? Will Gwen find a decent job? While Downton Abbey might not have gone very deep (yet), I’m enjoying every moment of its wonderful execution.


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