Downton Abbey recap: The Fighting Irish

Branson abandons Sybil, Anna thinks Bates wants her to move on, and Carson hires a hot new footman
Ep. 03 | Aired Jan 20, 2013

K-I-S-S-I-N-G Branson and Sybil reunite at Downton, but that doesn't mean the ex-chauffeur is happy to be back with his in-laws. And they're not really happy to have him, either.

PBS

The Bates and Anna saga continues. Down in the servants' hall, Anna is absolutely heartbroken as Carson hands out the mail. "Nothing for me, Mr. Carson?" "No Anna, once again, there's nothing for you." Come on Carson, you could be a little bit nicer about it. Her husband is in jail. Then we fade to the prison, and -- not surprisingly -- there's nothing for Bates in the post, either. Something's afoot!

Anna's dismay over not hearing for Bates keeps her from being properly excited over her promotion to lady's maid. "I haven't had a letter from Mr. Bates in weeks. I worry, I worry that he's being gallant and trying to set me free. He wants me to make a new life without him," she tells Mrs. Hughes. "I doubt it very much," she replies, and convinces Anna that there is a good reason for the radio silence.

As it turns out, Bates' cellmate Craig conspired with the guards and reported Bates as a violent prisoner -- meaning, he couldn't send or receive letters, and no one could come to visit. "Thank God, what a relief," Bates says when his prison friend tells him this news. "Don't thank God until you know what else they've got in store for you," his informant warns. (I must note that Bates is a bit of a violent prisoner. He did threaten Craig with physical force two episodes ago, right?)

Bates turns the tables on Craig by planting something in his bunk that the guards easily find. (Was it drugs?) At any rate, Bates privileges are re-instated -- he's back "in favor" now -- and both he and Anna receive a stack of letters from each other. All is right with the world.

NEXT: Matthew apparently didn't get the memo about spinsters and breakfast


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