‘Downton Abbey’ season 3, episode 2 review (PBS): Talking Shirley MacLaine

Downton Abbey CastWho knew that Shirley MacLaine was capable of throwing such a party? By “Downton Abbey” standards, this was incredible, at least when it comes to shaking up the notion of what a party should be. (Warning: the following contains spoilers from season 3, episode 2. Read on at your own risk.)

Since we’ve already presented a full review for Sunday night’s new episode already from the show’s airing in the UK, we are here to continue our tradition of focusing our review solely on a question. Last time, it was whether or not the show did the right thing in not showing us the wedding. This time around, we are putting much of our focus on the legendary actress MacLaine.

So was MacLaine’s arc on the show worthy of all of the hype? We’re not going to tell you whether or not Martha is going to turn up again during season 3, but there is no question that this was her finest hour as she offered to help the Grantham family out, but only on the condition that they move to America. We knew from the beginning that she was going to be around forever, but we almost wish that Julian Fellowes had figured out a little bit more of a way to give her a little bit more time on screen in the first two episodes save for a great moment of music. After all, the showdowns with the Dowager Countess were subtle, and not quite as epic as some out there were probably hoping.

Nonetheless, there’s little doubt that this season is already well on its way to doing some really incredible things, and the storyline regarding the servants’ mad scramble this week was the most entertaining part of what happened here. As for the tragedy, isn’t anyone else tearing up now that Lady Edith did not have her happy ending with Sir Anthony? In between this, the Mrs. Hughest storyline, and what was going on with Anna and Bates, we had a rather rough go at things.

Do you want to take a look at what is coming up on “Downton Abbey” season 4? If so, we do have an article worth sharing now that is really about what one of the show’s actors is doing to relax.

Photo: ITV / PBS

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