‘Downton Abbey’ season 3, episode 6 review: Ethel’s risk, Bates is [spoiler]

We will start off this week’s review of “Downton Abbey” with a major shocker: Ethel can actually cook! Of course, even something as simple as acquiring a skill does not come unattached to a massive heap of drama. The former prostitute spent the earlier part of this episode struggling to cook a meal for Isobel’s guests in Mary, Edith, Cora, and Violet, but thanks in part to Mrs. Patmore, she managed to work it out.

The problem here? Let’s just say that there were many. For one, Mrs. Patmore violated an order from Mr. Carson to stay away from the Crawley house; in addition to that, Robert tried (but failed) to extract the women of his family from their luncheon the moment he learned just who it was that was going to be serving them food.

While we thoroughly enjoyed Ethel’s story this week, it was far from the only thing happening at the Abbey this week. For one, everyone was desperate to try and save the relationship of Robert and Cora after the two started to fall apart over the death of Sybil. Tom had also decided to name his daughter after his late wife, and a massive fight ensued over whether or not he had the right to raise his child Catholic, which is something that the stubborn Robert objected to at first. None of this helped Robert and Cora’s relationship at all, but they were actually brought together by a lie of all things from Dr. Clarkson, who was convinced to say a few certain things to keep the resentment from becoming a full-on split.

Of course, we could not write a story about this show in any capacity without bringing up what is happening with Bates at the moment. Unfortunately, his plan with Anna and Mr. Murray backfired courtesy of someone tipping off the necessary testimony to secure his freedom. What happened from here, though, was a bit more surprising as he took to violence as a way to try and win people over in his favor … and ensure that he got the testimony he so needed to escape. Did this actually work? It was an enormous risk, but it actually worked! While we were a bit shocked at the way that it happened, we literally jumped up and down the moment was revealed that Bates is going to be released.

What did you think about this episode overall? From our standpoint, we found it a little bit of everything: it was excellent, funny, but also at times extraordinarily sad.

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