'Downton Abbey' Season 3 episode 3: Branson on the run, Ethel breaks our hearts

sybil-branson-downton-abbey-season-3-premiere.jpgWhat an excellent episode of "Downton Abbey," gang. Intrigue with the estate, Lady Edith does something interesting and poor Ethel makes everyone cry.

Upstairs

So over in Ireland, Tom is on the run from the police, so he leaves his pregnant wife to travel separately from her. Robert is pretty outraged and so are we, frankly. We get that Sybil is her own woman and was in on the scheme but that still seems awfully risky.

Robert manages to keep Tom out of jail, but he can never return to his homeland, so Sybil thinks they should just stay at Downton (and we agree, as viewers, because we love Tom and Sybil). Hopefully this does not end in Tom abandoning Sybil because of his principles.

In other news, Downton's books are in complete disarray and Matthew wants to do something about it, now that he is co-owner of the estate thanks to deux ex machin-Swire. It's interesting that Matthew goes to Lady Violet to shore up support in the face of Robert's brush off. Anytime Lady Violet gets involved everything gets better.

And finally, Lady Edith gets kind of awesome in penning a letter to the editor about women's suffrage. Robert may be "outraged" but he's also kind of proud. Grandpa Carson may be more disapproving than papa.

Downstairs

Bates continues to be rather boring, turning the table on his cellmate Craig, who had been trying to frame him with the help of one of the guards. Let's hope there's a break soon and this prison nonsense can all go away. Though we will say that Bates and Anna finally getting each other's letters at the end was beautifully done.

The staff gets some new faces in James the footman and Ivy the kitchen maid, which leads to all sorts of new romantic entanglements. Ivy likes James, but Alfred likes Ivy, but Daisy likes Alfred, so Daisy hates Ivy. And Thomas likes James, too. Oh, those scalawags in the staff.

Finally, the most heart-wrenching story of the week is that Ethel has decided to give Charlie up to the Bryants. She's been a rather tiresome character, but Amy Nuttall really nailed her scenes in this week's episode. So sad.

What did you think of the latest episode of "Downton"?
Photo/Video credit: PBS
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