What a truly superb series this is. Beautifully written and superbly acted by all the principals. Dame Maggie Smith is about as amazing as it gets. There isn't one line that she can't deliver with that perfect poker face which makes it so very, very funny. No wonder she and the show itself keep winning awards.
So terribly, terribly sad when Ethel gave up her son to the Bryants. I was crying my eyes out. Wonderful performance by Amy Nuttall - extremely convincing. Such a pity Mrs. Hughes is judging her more for what she did than understanding how it must be for her. Phyllis Logan (who plays Mrs. Hughes) described the character as 'extremely snobbish at times' and I certainly agree with that assessment. Isobel is really trying to help but Mrs. Hughes is more about judgement.
I feel sympathy and pity for Branson. He is stuck between two worlds and two differing desires and the Crawleys can't seem to understand that. They have always lived lives of privilege and nothing else seems to make sense to them. It was an attitude of this kind which has caused so many revolutions throughout history.
Daisy is being unpleasant to someone who has done nothing to her and that doesn't sit well with me. She is very young, but I hope she 'grows up' soon, because this is how she used to treat William, with Thomas egging her on. Speking of Thomas, good for Jimmy Kent, reporting his unseemly behaviour. I'm glad someone has finally mentioned it. If he gets into serious trouble, O' Brien will be delighted!
Matthew has made a wise choice in selecting Violet to assist him with regard to the problems facing Downton, but he may have other troubles to deal with. Is Mary pregnant and doesn't want to be, or is conception a problem? They need to put more blonde in Dan Stevens' hair as well, all the dark roots are showing!
Carson and the toaster was hilarious. He is SO predictable!
Brilliant show, brilliant episode. Keep them coming, Lord Fellowes.