The family seem to have got over the death of Lady Sybil - Lady Mary now though seems rather tiresome, it is Lady Edith who is the interesting one. A bitch no more (as in Series 1) after being jilted at the altar she seemed to be embracing her spinsterhood, but now has a new admirer, her newspaper editor in London but he is married to - I can't say it - a madwoman in an asylum! - shades of JANE EYRE ! How will this develop in Series 4 (there will presumably be one?). Mrs Crawley too has been doing wonders with Ethel, the ex-prostitute. Mrs Hughes survived her cancer scare, and was more tolerant of Thomas than Carson the butler who thought him "foul" initially ... Mrs Patmore and Daisy continue their spats. It seems Dan Stevens may not be returning, but we will see. There is another Christmas special to look forward to next month - and perhaps another baby? Branson too, the Irish firebrand, seems to be settling in to his new status nicely.
Series 2 got bogged down in The Great War and the changes it meant to the family and society in general - now we are moving on to the '20s. There was one amusing scene set in a jazzy speakeasy: "one of the outer circles of Dante's Inferno" according to Matthew, when they tracked down Lucy, the Dowager's new relative, there. Shirley McLaine was only in 2 episodes, but bickered nicely with Dame Maggie ... how will they survive as the '20s unfold ... and can the estate be managed right? It is all high class hokum of course, a house that big would require a lot of cleaning staff and surely more than one cook? - and the benevolent attitude of the toffs to the domestic staff seems rather wishful thinking too, but, as in GOSFORD PARK, Fellowes certainly knows how to deliver succinct dramas and quotable lines.