Julianne’s Recap and Future Speculations for Downton Season 3, Episode 1.

WELL. If you didn’t watch Downton last night, I hope your DVR did. And that’s about all I can say before I insert the obligatory spoiler alert.

*Spolier Alert: Don’t read on if you don’t want to know what happened or what I think might happen!

We quickly discovered last night that Lord Grantham put all of Cora’s fortune into a railroad business that he thought was going to boom but ended up tanking. Whoops. We also learn that Matthew was the third (and only living) possible heir to Reggie Swire’s (Matthew’s late, ex-fiancé Lavinia’s father) fortune. However, being the gentleman that he is, Matthew does not believe Swire money should be used to save Downton because he and Mary broke Lavinia’s heart and were thus partially responsible for her death blah blah blah. The use of the Swire inheritance remains a sore subject between Matthew and Mary. The Dowager Countess and Mary even try to get Cora’s mother to give more money to Downton, but to no avail as her late husband tied up her fortune so she wouldn’t be able to do that very thing.

The guests arrive at Downton for the marriage, including Cora’s mother, Martha Levinson, who stirs everyone up with her progressive American ways. Lady Sybil and her former-chauffer-turned-husband Tom Branson also return. Sybil’s visit was paid for anonymously, until the Dowager Countess confesses to providing the fare. (Although I still thought it was Cousin Isobel.)

The best news is that Matthew and Mary get married! Yes, they actually tied the knot. Hooray! Then they return from their honeymoon with a new car. Groovy.

Lady Edith has a thing for that funny-looking old man whose name I can’t remember. She’s quite forward with the chap. Lord Grantham tells OldmanwhosenameIcan’tremember to leave Edith alone and then recants on his word after Edith and Mrs. Levinson talk to him. So that’s cool.

Cousin Isobel has a new way to help people. This time it’s helping prostitutes get back on their feet and find respectable business. Ethel, the former maid, makes an appearance at this clinic but runs away because evidently she’s not ready to say whatever it was she was going to say. Ugh.

A new footman arrives at Downton. His name is Alfred and he’s evidently Miss O’Brien’s nephew. It sounds like trouble, but I actually like him, and I think O’Brien is getting nicer.

Thomas still dislikes everyone and is scheming as usual.

Mr. Moseley seems to have a hard time accepting the fact that Matthew doesn’t want him to be his personal valet in his new married life. I feel like Moseley is up to something. I think he means well, but is he trying to hide something? Why does he desperately want to be Matthew’s valet?

Mrs. Hughes discovers a lump on her breast, and after taking an inconclusive biopsy, Dr. Clarkson sends it off for analysis that will take two months. She has only confided in Mrs. Patmore and doesn’t want to tell Mr. Carson or anyone else.

In the meantime, poor Mr. Bates is still in jail, and his lovely wife Anna is trying all she can to prove his innocence. I still think his late, wretched wife Vera framed him, but my dad thinks it was Sir Richard.

So the two-hour premiere of season 3 was jam-packed with information to keep us wondering and coming back for more. Lingering questions: What will become of Downton? If they save Downton, where will the money come from? Will Matthew change his mind about the Swire inheritance? Isn’t Sybil preggers? When will the baby bump appear? Will there be any evidence that will prove Mr. Bates innocent? What is up with Moseley? Is Edith going to marry whats-his-face? Does anyone really even like Edith? What’s married life hold for the new Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Crawley? Will Ethel decide she’s ready to say whatever it was she was going to say? What is Thomas going to try and ruin next? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

I’ll tune in next Sunday to find out.

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