I’m glad to see:
– Mary emerging from her grief. And while the new Mary may not be the kinder, gentler Matthew’s Mary, she’s a stronger and more clear-sighted person. Actually, I’ve never been entirely convinced that she softened much under Matthew’s influence. Her response to Edith right after Sybil’s death wasn’t particularly kind, gentle or conciliatory. But she is taking an active interest in management of the estate and recognizing the need for a new and different approach to preserving it. And she has enough backbone to pull it off.
– Edith with a man who appears to value her as she deserves (or at least I HOPE so!)
– Cora and the girls calling Lord Grantham on his outdated snobbery in regard to the singer.
– Jimmy showing off and getting what he deserves for it.
– Alfred stepping in as cook when Mrs. Patmore has her episode.
Did they have to?
– Have Anna be raped? Can’t the Bates’s catch any kind of a break? Are the writers so unimaginative that they can’t find ways to use a HAPPY couple?
– Bring back the conniving Edna? Why didn’t Mrs. Hughes go directly to Lady Grantham and tell her why hiring that woman wouldn’t be a good idea? To me that doesn’t seem consistent for Mrs. Hughes. I can’t believe she would hide what she knows, given the potential dangers. And while we’re on the subject– Wasn’t what was implied happened to Branson sort of like rape as well? Especially if he really did drink himself to sleep, as suggested. If the gender roles had been reversed, wouldn’t we call it that?
– Continue to make Lord Grantham look stupid and insanely stubborn? We know he’s human and makes mistakes, but the constant stream of them don’t seem consistent with him being the man Cora fell in love with and who raised three smart, interesting, and strong-willed daughters. Resisting change is one thing; being totally stupid about it is another.
– Appear to pair Mary with ANOTHER guy who’s already engaged to someone else? Please let this storyline play out differently this time.