My dear Mr. Molesley, I'm writing because I fear I must inform you that I do not understand why I am supposed to care about your storyline on the television series Downton Abbey. The subject of your employment was given much attention in last night's premiere—you are either present or discussed in over 10 scenes this extended two hour—though for what reason I do not know. Everyone seems concerned about your fate, Mr. Molesley, now that you are unemployed following Matthew Crawley's death. That, I do admit, is sad. Aside from Lady Mary, Matthew's widow, you were probably the person whose daily life was most impacted by the death of the late Mr. Crawley. But how bad for you should I feel? You do seem to have a number of supporters both in Downton's upstairs and downstairs realms. The Dowager Countess even went out of her way to host a luncheon so as to impress you on a certain Lady Shackleton. Seeing you laboring in the village all covered in soot, Anna was nearly brought to tears. Bates finagled getting you some money.
Mr. Molesley, what is your purpose on Downton? If you are comic relief, then you have proved to be quite terrible at your job. Your role on the show is quite depressing. (On this newfangled device called a Twitter, one Richard Lawson wrote: "Really dreading the episode when Molesley hangs himself." This is not good, Mr. Molesley.)
Now, this is not entirely your fault. You've been around since the first season, but even dedicated fans of the show might have trouble recalling what exactly has happened to you in that time. You got drunk once! That was fun, wasn't it? The fact that you are so easily forgotten is the fault of the people creating you.
The worst part of this regrettable insistence on featuring your stories, Mr. Molesely, is that there are more intriguing story lines we could be spending our time on downstairs. Why, for instance, are we not revisiting Thomas' struggles with his sexuality? That plot has been completely abandoned this season. I'm sorry, but I would even take more of lovesick Daisy over you, Mr. Molesley. I know that stings, but it's true.
All I know, Mr. Molesley, is that we will see a lot more of you this season. And I can't say we should be pleased about it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.