Downton Abbey season premiere recap: The Walking Dead

Matthew's death affects all of the Downton residents, from upstairs and down, and another loss -- of a certain lady's maid -- brings new trouble to the Abbey
Ep. 01 | Aired Jan 5, 2014

HAIL MARY The eldest Crawley daughter needs something to do to keep her spirits up after her husband's tragic ending.


When Robert opens a package sent to Mary of the late Mr. Crawley's things, the Earl finds a letter that Matthew wrote. (Let's call it the "immaculate will," to crib from Pat Forde.) This immaculate will, of course, gives everything to Mary. Robert doesn't want to show this to her daughter. He says it's because he doesn't want to upset her. We all know that it's because he doesn't want to give up control. Luckily, Violet sets her son straight, and Robert mans up and shows it to Mary and the rest of the family.

There's still the question of the immaculate will's legality, however. Robert sends it off to Murray, telling everyone that they shouldn't get their hopes up. With less enthusiasm than Fox News announcing the results of the 2012 election, Robert reports that the immaculate will is legal. Huzzah! Mary will inherit. That doesn't stop Robert from being a complete jerk to his daughter about it at the dinner table. Robert is really the worst.

A few stray thoughts:

Poor Edith. She looks incredible, she's more assured, and much nicer. Yet, she's hung up on SASYB, who says he's going to become a German citizen to he can divorce his crazy wife and marry Edith. Edith is flattered by this prospect. It's definitely cool when your semi-boyfriend basically says he's going to become an eventual Nazi for you. So hot.

We know Robert sucks. I'm beginning to think Cora isn't much better. Cora has the worst luck when it comes to ladymaids. And it must be her fault. First, O'Brien. Now, the dreadful Edna. Plus, she trusts everything Thomas says. Who would do that? (Sure, he was right about Nanny West. That, however, was definitely a lucky guess.) Cora so easily believes him about Anna, too. Anna, who has been so loyal to the family and not at all deceitful like Thomas.

Why are the last names of Charlie Grigg and Michael Gregson so similar?

How does everyone not know that Thomas is the worst?

Is the family eating at a smaller dining room table?

When the Dowager arranges a a luncheon to show off Molesley's talents -- why didn't she just tell her own butler? He sabotages Molesley's skills, and the poor fellow is left to work on the side of the road.

Also, what exactly is Molesley's new job? It looks like he was pounding hot rocks into the ground with a shovel.

Ygritte (aka Gwen) got married! They mentioned her a lot. There's no way Rose Leslie returns, is there?

Cousin Rose isn't as Cousin Oliver-esque as I was expecting. She's grown up a bit, as evidenced by her dance-escapade leading to the subsequent let down of the undergardner she meets there.

NEXT: A weekly ranking and the Dowager's best quotes

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