Title: Downton Abbey S3.E01 “Episode One”
Downton Abbey S3.E02 “Episode Two”
Released: 2012
Series:  Downton Abbey

The other day, we found ourselves wondering why on earth we haven’t been recappingĀ Downton Abbey. I mean, we love this show! And we want to discuss it with y’all! So why haven’t we been writing about it? Then we finally realized the answer–WE’RE AMERICAN. And Americans are CRAZY!

Today, we are finally making things right, like a tall footman removing his stilts. So check out our scientific analysis below, then join us for a lively discussion in the comments!

What Happened Upstairs

Matthew and Mary get married! Which means they can talk dirty to each other as much as they want. (How fantastic was that “closed eye” kiss?!!) The Earl of Grantham finds out that all of the money he invested in railroads is totally gone, which means he might have to sell Downton (gasp!) and move into a smaller house (double gasp!). Matthew discovers that he inherited a great deal of money from Lavinia’s dad, but he feels too guilty to keep the money and save Downton. GAH GET OVER YOURSELF MATTHEW.

Sybil and Branson come to Downton for the wedding, and everyone feels weird about it, especially after one of the Crawley’s douchebag relations drugs him (um ok?!) and makes him complain loudly about the monarchy at dinner. Fortunately, Matthew saves the day by asking Branson to be his best man, and Branson in turn helps Matthew to convince Mary to marry him, in spite of the fact that he won’t save Downton. Cora’s mom, aka Shirley MacClaine, comes for the wedding and sticks around, making waves with her American ways. Is it just me, or was the writing for Shirley totally weak? Like, it felt as if the writers were winking at us the entire time. “She’s so fierce, right? She’s so SASSY and AMERICAN! It’s all so SHOCKING, right?!”

The Dowager Countess and Mary try to persuade Martha (MacLaine) to save Downton, but her money is too tied up to do much good. Edith is still apparently in love with Sir Anthony, aka the Old Dude, but Lord Grantham tries to put a stop to it. She begs him to change his mind, and so now it appears that Edith might be headed down the aisle. Um, go Edith? If only we could send some Viagra back in time.

What Happened Downstairs

O’Brien gets her nephew, Tall Ginger, hired as a footman, and he quickly becomes Matthew’s valet. Thomas is jealous, so he plays a trick on Tall Ginger, but then O’Brien gets him back by stealing Lord Grantham’s shirts. OH SNAP. Carson is stressed because Lord Grantham won’t let him hire more staff, and Mrs. Hughes finds out that she might have CANCER. OH SHIZZ. You guys, I CANNOT HANDLE IT IF MRS. HUGHES DIES. The ginger girl with the baby (sorry, can’t remember her name) shows up at Isobel Crawley’s Center for Reforming Prostitutes, but she runs away before Isobel can ask any questions. Daisy, upset that she’s still the kitchen maid, in spite of her promotion, tries to protest, and Bates remains in prison, with a vaguely threatening new roommate. Anna is writing to all of Mrs. Bates’ old friends in the hopes of finding new clues, and does anyone else think that Bates’ prison hair is sexy?

Upstairs Winner: Matthew & Branson

Hello, CUTEST BROMANCE EVER!!!!! I love that these dudes have bonded over being outsiders, and I fantasize about them going on hunting trips, cracking open a sixpack, and ranting about their wives.

Downstairs Winner: US!

While I am TOTES rooting for Mrs. Hughes to kick cancer to the curb, I can’t help but feel that *we* emerged as the true downstairs victors of this episode, because we got to watch O’Brien and Thomas face off. This is only the beginning of what I hope will be an epic battle, and like a good limbo contest, I can’t wait to see how low this can go.

Best Maggie Smith Line

Referring to Martha, aka Shirley MacClaine:

Dowager: “When I’m with her, I’m reminded of the virtues of the English.”

And a close second, in reference to cocktails:

Dowager: “They look too exciting for so early in the evening.”

Also, how great was it when she mistook Lord G for a waiter?

Best Outfit

While I’m a big fan of Sybil’s new haircut and Edith’s green velvet dress (and hairstyle), I obviously have to hand it over to Mary and her stunning wedding dress. She looked absolutely heavenly, stylish yet classic, and her two dads couldn’t have been prouder.

Burning Questions

  • How many more times can the show refer to something or someone as being “AMERICAN”?!

  • Will Matthew give his new inheritance to Downton? And if so, will the second heir be discovered immediately afterwards?

  • Will Tall Ginger manage to stick around downstairs?

  • Who will win the next battle: O’Brien or Thomas?

  • Will Edith seriously marry Sir Anthony? And, if so, will he pull a Mr. Pamuk and have a heart attack when they’re having sex?

  • Is that ginger girl with baby Charlie pregnant again?! She kept touching her stomach, which is TV language for KNOCKED UP.

  • Does Mrs. Hughes have cancer? And will Isobel organize the first ever Race for the Cure?

Now it’s time to share your theories and rants/raves in the comments! Because we’re Americans, and Americans are ever so bold.


Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.