'Downton Abbey' Insufferability Index: Ya Burnt, Mr. Green

This week, Violet and Isobel played cards and Lord Grantham traveled to America while the inner circle around Anna's secret expanded further. Mr. Green is still the worst of the worst. 

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It seems like we're inching closer and closer to Paul Giamatti showing up onscreen as Cora's ne'er-do-well brother, but for now Lord Grantham journeys to the States to help lend an air of English respectability to the man. There's some business about getting Lord G to take Thomas with him as his valet, so Bates doesn't have to leave Anna's side, during which Lady Mary gets brought in on the secret. Still, it's only Anna and Mrs. Hughes who know that Anna's rapist was Mr. Green ... until Bates puts the pieces together, which is looks like he may well have.

Meanwhile, Edith treks to London to deal with her unwanted pregnancy, Lord Gillingham returns and comes face-to-face with his rival for Mary's attentions, and Mary makes eggs! For Charles Blake! Eggs!


Aunt Rosamund: Well, Aunt Rosamund, you certainly took a turn. After we labeled you insufferable earlier this season for being unfairly judgy, you turned out to be incredibly supportive to Lady Edith in her time of need. In fact, for Downton, it was amazing how remarkably nonjudgmental Aunt Rosamund was. Yes, Rosamund made some asides when she went with Edith for her abortion appointment, but she went with her, and that's the important part. "Of course I do," she said, when Edith told her she didn't have to stay.

Lady Mary and Charles Blake: Lady Mary is at her best when she has a worthy adversary, and Charles Blake seems to be that adversary. Unlike, Lord Gillingham, Blake doesn't fawn over Mary, but their spiky banter took a lovely turn when they set out to save Downton's pigs. (Would it really have taken too long to get the pig man? Who knows! We got Lady Mary in the mud!) Their willingness to have fun with one another—throwing mud! Making eggs!—made us ship them hard. (Read our Q&A with Julian Ovenden, who plays Blake.) 

Isobel Crawley and the Dowager Countess: These two have always been destined to operate as a pair—something the universe acknowledged when Penelope Wilton and Maggie Smith starred in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel together—so it was inevitable, really, that Violet would come down with bronchitis and that Isobel would nurse her to health or kill her trying. If this was all just an excuse to get these two women playing gin rummy in their pajamas, well, to that we say goody-goody.


Baxter: Hey lady, we want to like you. That time you brought orange juice to Cora still resonates. But if you insist on following through with Thomas's (rather ridiculous) information-gathering schemes, maybe cut down on all that bug-eyed staring? You look like a fool.

Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Carson: Once again, we're so beyond over this whole Ivy/Daisy/Alfred storyline that we've moved on to resenting the people who aid and abet the story. For example, Carson and Mrs. Patmore, who so wanted to avoid a scene when Alfred came back to visit downton that they faked a flu outbreak and had the poor boy stay at the nearby ale house, rather than just telling Daisy to knock it off already. Here's a better idea: Daisy and Ivy (and Jimmy, for that matter) can stay at the ale house. Forever.

Lord Grantham: Come on, Lord G. Don't pretend like Thomas isn't way better company for a trans-Atlantic voyage than Bates would be. Do not even front.

Most Insufferable

Gillingham's Valet: Look, this was an easy choice, but in an episode with a lot of sufferable people, the presence of Gillingham's valet, Anna's vile rapist Green, has to be acknowledged as the most insufferable thing here. Just that awful smirky face he gave Mrs. Hughes when she cornered him would probably have been enough to do it, though he followed it with an even more disgusting line that both he and Anna were drunk and shared the blame. This guy is pure evil. From the way that breakfast scene played out, Green mentioning that he went downstairs during the concert that night and Bates registering that his suspicions may well have been confirmed, it looks like Bates is on his way to taking out retribution himself. Though we're secretly hoping Lady Mary exacts some Downton justice now that she's in on the secret.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.