Downton Abbey Series 3 Episode 3 Review

downton abbey series 3 episode 3

Here’s the thing about Downton Abbey: It’s only been on for two full series so far, plus these three latest episodes and a christmas special, but it feels like it’s been on for much longer — probably because events have spanned almost a decade. One thing that’s been consistent all that time is Edith, or more specifically, how Edith is the most unlucky Crawley. That poor girl just cannot catch a break.

To backtrack a bit, this week saw Edith finally preparing to marry Sir Anthony. Robert still wasn’t convinced that the pairing was the best thing for his daughter, in fact none of the Crawley’s seemed particularly excited by Edith’s intended, but the wedding approached seemingly without a hitch. Edith, who usually views herself (or is viewed) as the ‘ugly’ sister, looked stunning in her wedding dress. Even Mary set aside their differences to wish her happiness. And then came the ceremony.

Or not. Before the priest could even get out his first sentence, Anthony was cutting him off and telling Edith how he can’t marry her because she shouldn’t waste her life on him. It’s nothing Edith hasn’t heard before, but really, on her wedding day, Anthony? Shame on you. Edith is thoroughly heartbroken and by the end of the episode she was calling herself the ‘useful spinster’.

Sadly that’s exactly what Edith seems to be. I know it’s only a television series, and drama is necessary, but while the other characters’ low points always lead to happier times, poor Edith is consistently set aside. I really hope she’s going to get a decent happy ending one day.

Downton’s money trouble ended quite neatly this week. Matthew was given a letter written by Lavinia’s father, Reggie Swires, before his death, which revealed that Reggie knew about the situation between Lavinia and Matthew, thanks to a letter sent from Lavinia on her deathbed. Matthew is suspicious, thinking that Lavinia couldn’t possibly have sent Reggie a letter. But Mary does some (very brief) detective work and discovers that Daisy did post a letter for Lavinia, to Reggie. Matthew can now claim the money without guilt.

Ignoring how horribly convenient this new titbit of information is, can we be sure that the letter from Reggie isn’t a fake? It would certainly make things more interesting if it was. If not, it still allowed Downton Abbey to remain the Crawley family home. Since Robert wouldn’t allow Matthew to just give him the money, they are now going to be joint masters.

This sounds like a simple enough situation, since Matthew doesn’t seem the sort to step on Robert’s toes, but I wonder how Mary will react. I’ve found her to be obnoxious these last two episodes, and while I hope it’ll pass now, I do wonder if she’ll start thinking of herself as a Lady of the Manor now. Could there be clashes between her and Cora? I find myself hoping so.

Downstairs, Thomas has been up to his old tricks. He told Molesley that O’Brien was going to be leaving Downton, which Molesley mentioned to Cora, who then mentioned it to Carson. The error was eventually cleared up, though not before it caused everyone some worry about who would take her place, and O’Brien was more than a little upset. Thomas better watch his back next week!

Mrs Hughes got her test results back this week. It turns out that she doesn’t have cancer (or so she’s told everyone), but she only learns this after the good folk of Downton show their support. Carson — having overheard that she was sick and then subtly extracting the necessary information from the doctor and Mrs Patmore — tried to ensure that Mrs Hughes got some rest, and Cora told her that she would always have a place at Downton, and a nurse too, if necessary.

It was all incredibly sweet and showed just how valued she is amongst both the staff and the Crawley family. My favourite scene of the episode has to be Carson, right there at the end, happily singing after learning that Mrs Hughes will be alright. Fantastic.

Overall, a good episode. Parts seemed a bit contrived, even by Downton Abbey standards, and Edith having her heartbroken was painful to watch, but it was an enjoyable episode and sets up some interesting times ahead for the people of Downton Abbey. (That teaser for next week’s episode has me eager for next Sunday to arrive…)

What did you think about this week’s Downton Abbey? Sympathise with Edith? Disappointed that we’ll never get to see the Crawley’s installed in ‘Downton Place’? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!