AT LAST! Matthew Goode, it feels like we’ve been waiting forever. I cannot drag out this prelude any longer! To the warm embrace of your manly arms!

Okay, that was a lie. Some preliminary thoughts, before we leap onto Matthew Goode’s lean, tuxedoed form: I actually enjoyed this episode quite a lot — some of the Violet scenes were gloriously quippy — and the outfits were extra good, and Branson being back is a joy and also, obviously, my future husband Matthew Goode is a delectable treat of a man ALTHOUGH MY GOD JUST TELL HIM YOUR HUSBAND DIED IN A CAR ACCIDENT, MARY, THIS IS SO OBVIOUSLY A SOURCE OF CONFLICT BETWEEN YOU TWO AND IT’S DUMB, SO DUMB, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE HE REALLY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ANYWAY BECAUSE THE DOWNTON HEIR CRASHING HIS CAR INTO A TREE ON THE DAY OF HIS CHILD’S BIRTH WOULD HAVE BEEN SOME HOT GOSSIP. ARGH. On that tip, the Bateses inability to tell each other anything EVER drives me bonkers but…well, we’ll get into that. Will we ever.

PS: A gentle reminder to please be mindful of spoilers if you’ve already seen this season. I know it’s so tempting to be like, “ooooh, you’re going to love what happens when Batman shows up!” (or whatever), but please refrain! Thank you very very much for everyone’s thoughtfulness thus far as regards this issue.