Rewatching the cart scene, with Bates and Anna, I am starting to wonder if his leg injury is an indicator of impotence. Damn. Poor Anna.
That was my immediate thought. Poor Bates. Killer vocal pipes, but not so killer lower pipes?
I dearly hope his secret instead involves a mad wife stashed in an attic or a past life as a jewel thief.
Wow, this is eerie. Those are the other two possibilities that crossed my mind. I was thinking more of a criminal past in general, but jewel thief sounds good.
[The part below was written after I watched the episode.]Hal9000
, I'm happy to report that the function of Mr. Bates's lower pipes is not in doubt.
But let me mention before I go any further that we were told the DVDs go on sale in the UK on November 8th and can be pre-ordered now. So no reason to spoil yourself if you have the funds (and a compatible DVD player).
If you must know what happened tonight, here's the short version:
We open in May 1914, even though it feels like only days have gone by since the last episode. So clearly the story took a leap in time or two at some point, and I never noticed. At the pace things seemed to be going, I didn't think we'd make it to the war in this series, but it looks like I was wrong.
The rest is spoilered just to give you a chance to think twice.
Edith's scurrilous (and apparently highly detailed) letter to the Turkish embassy succeeded in spreading enough gossip for word of Mary's misadventures to make its way to Carson (via butler-to-butler letter) and to the Countess Dowager (via socialite-to-socialite letter). This results in two marvelous scenes between Elizabeth McGovern and Maggie Smith, who eventually work their way to an understanding of how to get Mary settled in spite of the rumour: If she won't have Matthew Crawley, marry her off to some willing Italian.
Romance was blooming all over in the episode. Edith manages to hook Sir Anthony by asking him questions about his dead wife. Sybil develops a crush on Matthew (after he rescues her from a political riot, don't ask), but he's still besotted with Mary who finally lets him in on the fact that she doesn't actually dislike him. They kiss. He proposes. She says she'll think about it but then tells her mum that she (Mary) must come clean first about Mr. Pamouk. Both Countesses of Grantham are suitably aghast at her naivete.
Anna and Mr. Bates don't actually kiss. I know! Some random background noise interrupted them at the crucial moment, damn it. Anna had just told Mr. Bates (again) that he's the cat's meow, even though he had just offered his resignation after confessing to Carson that he's a reformed drunkard and an ex-con! We called it. All this came about after Thomas's and O'Brien's latest attempt to railroad him, this time over the missing wine. The attempt fails -- thanks to a rare moment of clarity for Daisy -- but Mr. Bates's future at Downton is now in jeopardy, depending on how Lord Grantham takes the news of Bates's jail stint when Carson breaks it to him.
Oh, and Mrs. Patmore's affliction is indeed cataracts.
All in all, a very good episode. It really saddens me that the series ends next week.
Edited by noisack, Nov 1, 2010 @ 5:19 AM.