Downton Abbey Season 3 is airing Episode 6 or 7 tonight (Sunday, February 10) on PBS — depending on whether you counted the two-hour premiere as Episodes 1 and 2 or just Episode 1. Anyway, this has all aired already in the U.K., so we know what's going to happen this week.
Do you want major spoiler details? Here's a short version, adapted from Heroes and Heartbreakers.
BATES IS FREE! Finally! Now the Anna/Bates drama can shift in new directions instead of all those prison conversations. The only person at Downton who isn’t that thrilled to see Bates is Thomas because it could threaten his position as Lord Grantham’s valet.
EDITH IS TIRED OF BEING INVISIBLE: Lord Grantham is still not happy with the idea of Edith writing for the London newspaper, but Edith goes to visit the editor anyway. Violet agrees with Robert that it’s not a good idea, but she says she’ll talk to Robert. But Violet also talks to Isobel to try and get her to fire Ethel. She’s not happy about the former prostitute being around either, she was just showing her support last week for Cora.
LORD AND LADY G ARE BACK TO NORMAL: They take walks together and Cora suggests Robert let Mr. Carson handle the situation between Thomas and Bates. She also wants to keep Branson and the baby around, at least until Tom finds a job.
MARY AS GODMOTHER? More like evil stepsister most of the time, but anyway. Branson wants to have baby Sybil christened at a Catholic church and he asked Mary to be godmother. Godfather will be Tom’s brother. Mary invites Tom’s bro, Kieran, to stay at Downton while in town. Branson’s brother is a bit of a wild card and makes things even more awkward for everyone, but that’s fine.
MATTHEW LAYS DOWN THE LAW: Matthew is all New School about everything and when he talks about managing Downton he upsets both Robert and estate manager Mr. Jarvis. Matthew really goes after Lord Grantham for mismanaging money. Good for him.
DATE NIGHT DOWNSTAIRS! Alfred asks Ivy to go to the movies with him. Daisy is upset, as you can imagine. James and Alfred compete for the job of first footman. O’Brien keeps pushing her ruse about James having a crush on Thomas. O’Brien can be such a beyotch.
DINNER IS AWKWARD: Alfred dumps food on Violet’s lap (!) and there’s more talk about Ethel, Edith, and Branson.
DOES MARY HAVE A SECRET? Matthew thinks he’s the cause of Mary not being able to conceive. She tried to reassure him, but maybe she’s hiding something?
THOMAS GETS CAUGHT KISSING JAMES: Poor Thomas. Here’s a recap of what happens: “Downstairs, Alfred and Ivy have gone off to the movies, and Thomas gets the chance to find out more about James. Turns out that James has no family left and is quite alone. Thomas is trying real hard to be friendly, without being overtly obvious. O’Brien walks in on them and as soon as James leaves, starts egging Thomas on. She keeps pushing until Thomas finally loses it and tells her that 'Jimmy' is not interested in him. Well, it seems that her tactic worked, because Thomas takes a chance and sneaks in to James’s room. Jimmy’s asleep and just as Thomas leans down and kisses him, Alfred walks in on them. James wakes up with a start and is furious. He kicks Thomas out of his room, and all the ruckus wakes up Mr. Carson, but Thomas covers for James and goes back to his room. So now, Alfred is aware of Thomas’s secret.” There’s more drama with that later in the episode. Poor Thomas!
DOES EDITH’S EDITOR HAVE A CRUSH ON HER? Edith goes to London to meet with the editor, Mr. Gregson. He asks her to meet him for lunch. They appear at ease together and she even shares her dumped-at-the-altar story.
BRANSON WILL STAY AT DOWNTON: Since Tom has farming experience and gets along well with Matthew, Violet suggests Tom stay on as Jarvis’s replacement. Cora backs her on this and even though Robert thinks things will go wrong, he offers the position to Branson and Branson accepts.
ALFRED TALKS TO MR. CARSON ABOUT THOMAS: He tells Carson what he saw, but he actually sticks up for James. Carson tells Alfred not to tell anyone else. Carson confronts Thomas and says what he did was a criminal offense. Thomas admits he was drawn to James and thought the feeling was mutual.
COMING NEXT WEEK: Carson lets Thomas go without a reference! Also, a girl named Rose arrives and Edith resigns her position at the newspaper.
Read this full recap for a lot more.
Source: Heroes and Heartbreakers