Downton Abbey

Season 2 Episode 2

Episode 2

17
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 25, 2011 on ITV
8.9
out of 10
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67 votes
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Episode Summary

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In April of 1917, O'Brien, who has kept in touch with Thomas, suggests to Cora that he be transferred to the village hospital so he may continue to serve. Cora presses Robert who uses his influence to have Clarkson approve the transfer. Thomas arrives in Downton with a disfigured hand, but, otherwise, in good condition.


The war hits home in many ways as Sybil is officially working as a nurse and the new valet, Lang, exhibits signs that O'Brien recognizes as shell shock, William has been called up for training and Mrs. Patmore learns that her nephew is missing in action. After asking Lord Grantham for his help, he makes inquiries and gives her the sad news that the young man was shot for cowardice.


Determined to be useful, Edith volunteers to drive the tractor for local farmers John Drake and his wife who have lost their hired man to the war. She enjoys the work, but gets too close to Mr. Drake for his wife's comfort. After spotting Drake kissing Edith, Mrs. Drake hires a farmhand and sends word to Downton that Edith's help isn't needed anymore.


Molesley expresses interest in Anna who lets him down easily, admitting that Mr. Bates is the only one for her.


Thomas and Sybil befriend a young soldier blinded in the war and work to teach him how to adjust to his surroundings. When his initial treatment is over, protocol requires that he be transferred to a far off convalescent center. Thomas and Sybil prevail upon Dr. Clarkson to make an exception as they fear their new friend is depressed. When the doctor will not bend regulations, the young man kills himself with a smuggled razor, leaving Thomas shaken up and Sybil determined to convince her parents to allow part of Downton to be used for convalescing men.


Aunt Rosamund overhears Sir Richard Carlisle threatening Lavinia Swire, Matthew's fiancee, in the garden.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • We always knew that Thomas would find his way back to Downton somehow...

    8.5
    It's 1917 and Matthew and Dr Clarkson have both been given higher ranks in the military. Thomas's wounded hand means that he is no longer fit for military service but with help from the scheming Miss O'Brien, he's able to find a place for himself, working with wounded soldiers at the cottage hospital. O'Brien also shows that she has a softer side to her nature when is sympathetic to Henry Lang, Lord Grantham's new valet, who is suffering the horrors of shell shock after being at the front. There is still no word from Mr Bates and poor Mr Carson is trying to run a household with only female, in light of William being about to enlist and Lang not being conversant with his duties.



    Sybil meanwhile is now Nurse Crawley and is doing her bit at the hospital, facing things she never thought she would see and knowing that she will never be the same again. While Edith is driving a tracker at the Drake farm and getting involved in a romantic entanglement that she could never have imagined. For Mary it is a time of turbulent emotions, as seeing Matthew again is extremely difficult for her. After Carson suffers a collapse due to over work, he tells his beloved Lady Mary that she must be honest with Matthew or she will regret it for the rest of her life. But although determined to do so, Mary loses her courage and ends up saying nothing. Sir Richard Carlisle, newspaper magnate and man of great wealth, wants to marry her, envisaging them making a 'great team' but she is yet to give him her answer, as she feels conflicted given her feelings for Matthew. Meanwhile, Mary's Aunt Rosamund overhears a conversation between Sir Richard and Miss Swire which could spell trouble.



    Some excellent acting in this episode, most particularly from Dame Maggie Smith as always, and from Rob James-Collier whose portrayal of Thomas was especially poignant. Can't wait to see what happens next week.moreless
Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville

Robert, Earl of Grantham

Jessica Brown-Findlay

Jessica Brown-Findlay

Lady Sybil Crawley

Laura Carmichael

Laura Carmichael

Lady Edith Crawley

Jim Carter

Jim Carter

Mr. Charles Carson

Brendan Coyle

Brendan Coyle

John Bates

Michelle Dockery

Michelle Dockery

Lady Mary Crawley

Allen Leech

Allen Leech

Tom Branson

Guest Star

Zoe Boyle

Zoe Boyle

Lavinia Swire

Guest Star

Samantha Bond

Samantha Bond

Lady Rosamund Painswick

Guest Star

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