Welcome back, dear friends, to the Downton Abbey recaps! This show brings me great pleasure and many wonderful coats and I delighted that it is BACK. As ever, I sincerely thank everyone who has already seen this season (either by non-televisual means, or because you live in the UK) for not spoiling those of us who prefer to have it unfurl for us on PBS right after The Great British Baking Show, with which I am also obsessed.

AND NOW ONTO DOWNTON. Please say it with me: POOR EDITH.

Seriously, Edith makes the worst, most terrible, choices and now she can’t even burn down the building properly. But we’ll get to that. She DOES at least have great coats. Like this one:

As ever, what a hideous visage being forced upon us. Such a terrible eyesore. How can anyone bear to shoot and/or live there? (Note: I am endlessly distraught that Heather and I didn’t get to take the Downton tour whilst we were in England this time last year researching our new book, and we also didn’t have time to go to do the Harry Potter tour, all of which means that our next book should probably be a Harry Potter/Downton mash-up, right? Can’t you just see it? Harry and Mary would argue all the time, but Mary and Hermione would be secret besties because they feel [and possibly are] ever so slightly superior to a lot of people, and Edith would obviously fall thrall to You Know Who and have to be rescued before she got eaten by Nagini. Harry and Ron and Hermione would also spend a lot of time asking the Dowager Countess if they know her from somewhere, and she’d be all, “NO I DON’T THINK SO MUST GO CHECK ON MY ORCHIDS GOODBYE TEN POINTS TO GRYFFINDOR.”)

ANYWAY, Our Edith is biking off to see her daughter, Marigold, whom she has retrieved from the nice Swiss family who adopted her and instead farmed out to THE DOWNTON PIG FARMER. And she makes all kinds of horribly sad faces about it, even though her coat is totally freaking great:

Don’t worry, Marigold is being extremely well cared for, and much loved and cossetted and you can tell that Edith adores her but is also sort of jealous, and of course it turns out that Mrs Pig Farmer doesn’t even know the truth (she thinks Marigold is the child of some rando friend of the Pig Farmer, and it’s clear that Mr and Mrs Pig Farmer do not have the kind of marriage I personally would wish for, in which I would be able to turn to my Pig Farmer Husband and say, “seriously, dude, who gave you this small child for me to raise?!”) and yadda yadda yadda, we don’t even get an entire episode into this season before the Pig Farmer is like, “my wife finds this whole thing suspicious and we need to find another way.” UM NO KIDDING, YOU GUYS. You cannot just leave your baby with the Pig Farmer whilst your Baby Daddy is off doing God knows what in Germany (slowly turning into a Nazi?!!? It’s still only 1924 but you know. This way he’ll be in QUITE deep) and expect that to go off smoothly. POOR EDITH.

As for the rest of the kids, they’re fine and quite adorable:

And speaking of the rest of the Downtonites, Lord and Lady G are celebrating their wedding anniversary (with very little canoodling indeed); Lord G has got his knickers in a twist because the new Prime Minister is Labour (cue loads of grumbling about their endangered way of life, he’s so misunderstood, etc etc, you know the drill, and PS, your way of life would be saved IF YOU FOUND THAT GUTENBERG BIBLE I KEEP REMINDING YOU ABOUT); Lord G has ALSO got his knickers in a twist because the village is putting up a war memorial and only wants a piece of his land but NOT any of his advice, opting instead to ask Carson to lead their committee (don’t worry, Carson refuses to do it unless they make Lord G patron, which they do; Carson’s knickers are likewise twisted about Their Changing World, which is why he and Lord G are basically soulmates); and, finally, Lord G has his knickers in a twist because he’s still all worked up about thinking that Branson was banging the local schoolteacher whilst everyone was in London for Rose’s presentation at court. (Branson wasn’t, but EvilButler.com said that he was because Thomas holds onto a grudge like nobody’s business, I guess. That said, FINALLY, Thomas had a lot to do this week, which we’ll get to, and which was primarily tying people to train tracks and twirling his mustache.)

In short: Lord G’s knickers are very twisty indeed at the moment. Look on the bright side, man: You haven’t yet run the estate into the ground. AGAIN.

I just chose this shot because Lady Mary’s dress is a gorgeous color on her and also you never see her smile that widely:

I love you, Lady Mary, you uptight ice queen. I understand you. You have SO MANY FEELINGS.  They’re just buried extremely, extremely deep.

Speaking of people that I love, these two are the best and I treasure them:

They (a) look fabulous in their coats and hats and (b) are hilarious. I know Maggie Smith is an international treasure but Penelope Wilton is so, so so good in this part — she has made the sanctimonious meddling pain-in-the-ass Isobel Crawley so funny and loveable and her timing is impeccable — and together they are, like gum, perfection. I also love that a great deal of this week’s episode turns on the romantic foibles of menopausal women, and that is not sarcasm. I am pleased to know I’ll have plenty to gossip about when I’m 70. In short: Isobel is in a love triangle with Lord Merton (posh, very fancy house and gardens, terrible children) and Dr Clarkson (very nice, quite useful, seems to love Isobel, handsome). She claims she’s not interested in either of them, but Violet makes a bunch of hilarious tutting noises about this and is TOTALLY playing matchmaker because, as we discussed last season, Downton Abbey is all about the benefits of meddling in the lives of others.  “He wants something from me that I cannot give,” Isobel says of Lord Merton, and the DC is like, “he wants what all men want,” and Isobel says, “DON’T BE RIDICULOUS,” but she makes this very subtly DELIGHTED expression at the thought that someone might want to rustle through her underthings,  and then Violet is like, “I was referring to COMPANIONSHIP, as I hope you were. YOU SLATTERN,” (the latter bit is implied) and Penelope Wilton makes the most amusing, amazing face that basically says, “no, I think I was right the first time.” It was great. Every scene with these two is a sincere delight and I would happily watch the Dowager Countess and Isobel Crawley Murder Mysteries once DA has run its course.

Speaking of murder, I can’t believe no has killed this one yet:

Shall we review what EvilButler.com has gotten up to this week? NO GOOD. Well, other than saving Edith and the house and everyone and everything from a fiery destruction. That was good on you, Thomas. But other than that, he’s blackmailing Baxter STILL and giving Bates the dirty eyeball STILL, like, DUDE. Why are you STILL mad at Mr Bates? The man has GONE TO PRISON, and also probably shoved a rapist under a lorry. HE HAS SUFFERED ENOUGH. That said, I love it when they give Thomas things to do, and the combo of Thomas and Jimmy is entertaining, although Jimmy gets fired at the end of the hour. No, he doesn’t try to fingerbang another housemaid on the front lawn the way he did last season. This time, Lord G rumbles Jimmy in bed with his former employer/lover, Lady Ansthruther, who basically connived a way to get a saucy overnight at Downton after Jimmy rashly sent her a Valentine. (As is often the case with this show, the Ansthruthers are a real family, although usually there are more barrels attached to the name; Cressida Bonas’s mother’s second husband [follow that?] was John Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe.) OH JIMMY. Fare thee well. You’re very handsome and you’ve served your purpose, namely to give Carson a reason to intone the words, “YOUR SMUTTY DELIBERATIONS.” (Carson does not approve of all the time Thomas and Jimmy spend standing around talking about how highly sexed they are. I, on the other hand, would also watch a show called Thomas and Jimmy Stand Around And Talk About How Highly Sexed They Are, if only for the moment where Jimmy notes that everyone has to settle down sometimes and Thomas is all, “THAT’S NOT AN OPTION FOR ALL OF US,” and sweeps dramatically out of the room. To which I say: OH PLEASE EVILBUTLER.COM. If gay marriage were an option in 1924, you would be doing all you could to NOT get married and you know it, you deliciously untrustworthy scamp.)

While we’re on the topic of attractive things, all the girls look lovely, although Edith is obviously MISERABLE and is spending all her time at the Pig Farmer’s and no one cares or notices:

The whole point of this scene, other than outfits, is to remind us that Lord G really, really wants to get Mary married off, to the point where he’s delighted to have Lord Gillingham pop in on his anniversary. But the point is mostly outfits.

Additionally, don’t worry: The show is still devoted to bringing us all the Greatest Hits of British Dressing Gowns of the Early 20th Century:

And in case you were wondering what the Dowager Countess’s face looks like when she realizes that, if her match-making pays off and Lord Merton makes Isobel into Lady Merton, Isobel will outrank her, it’s like this:

And thus, Violet decides she best find another woman to tickle Lord Merton’s fancy, and also decides she better go back to getting Isobel and Dr. Clarkson together, even if her manservant Spratt hates him. (Spratt’s loathing of Dr. Clarkson — refusing to serve him cake, for example, as there can be no worse snub — is hilarious to me.) I cannot believe you didn’t figure this out earlier, Violet! YOU ARE SLIPPING.

This coat and hat combo on Edith are AMAZINGLY FABULOUS:

But of course it’s not like Mrs. Hughes is handing her a book called How to Find Your Lover Who Knocked You Up and Then Disappeared in Germany For Fun and Profit. It’s instead the stupid book that stupid Michael Gregson was using to learn stupid German before he moved to stupid Germany and disappeared and Edith’s whole face basically crumbles when she sees it. POOR STUPID EDITH.

ADDITIONALLY and in a matter of GRAVE IMPORTANCE: We never learn one way or the other if Mrs Hughes and Carson are getting it on, or what. Last we saw, she was more or less throwing herself at him at the sea shore (AKA, taking his hand and basically saying, “well, whatever, we’re both here, right?”) but WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? I spent the entire episode hoping for a brief moment after the dinner service where Carson would trundle her off into the silver pantry for a quick make-out sesh and never got it. I DEMAND SATISFACTION ON THIS POINT SOON.

Equally unsatisfying:

The continued existence of Sarah Bunting: Irritating Teacher And Terrible Dinner Guest. (Rose invites Sarah to the party Lord and Lady G are having for their anniversary and she’s entirely annoying and rude and I still don’t know if we’re supposed to find her Socialist Moxie charming or think she’s kind of a shitty party-goer, but the problem is that this actress comes across a bit smug and self-satisfied and we are all already trained to be on Team Grantham, even if we might technically actually politically agree with Sarah Bunting. So it’s an uphill battle, but she’s also very unlikeable and while I don’t necessarily want to throw her down the Downton well, if she were to accidentally fall in, we could leave her there for a while. I don’t think she’d be so difficult to embrace if she didn’t spend her time insulting everyone; she is rude when Rose makes a self-deprecating remark about how it’s not difficult to hand out prizes at the local school, for example, for basically no reason other than because she has a chip on her shoulder.)

You should also know that Edith and the Pig Farmer have a ton of SUSPICIOUS SEEMING conversations that are all, “WE NEED TO TALK.” “BUT NOT HERE” in totally plain view of literally every human in Downton, as they did here, at the school awards event. YOU GUYS. At least learn to meet behind an abandoned pig shed or something.

I am going to take this gloriously framed shot of this beautiful room and Mary’s beautiful gown to note that this episode was beautifully shot, once again:

This is, of course, another conversation about how Lord G feels obsolete, but Mary loves him and also she has to talk to him about crop rotation. While they’re talking about grain sales, Thomas is naturally menacing poor Baxter in all kinds of dark and shady hallways. It’s about ten scenes that are exactly the same (although they’re all well-acted), so let’s cut to the chase:

Thomas thinks Baxter knows something about Bates and Anna, and he’s pretty sure it has to do with MURDERED VALET. He’s going to tell Cora all about Baxter’s Secret Secret unless Baxter spills. (I actually think that when Thomas finds out that Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Mr Valet raped Anna, he’ll be fine to let this crime go and be sort of sad he didn’t commit it the aforementioned murder himself. UNLESS THIS IS ALL HIM SETTING UP AN ALIBI FOR HIM HAVING COMMITTED IT HIMSELF. I just thought of that. NO SPOILERS) Baxter won’t dish to Thomas, and after a variety of conversations with Molesley, who is experimenting with his look, like so…

…she  just goes and tells Cora herself. Here’s the scoop (and Baxter was friends with Thomas’s sister, so that is how he knows everything):

She is a jewel thief, and she went to prison for three years for it. Not like a cat-burgling kind, the kind that steals from her mistress and then mysteriously gets rid of the jewels so that she couldn’t give them back when her perfidy was discovered. Cora is obviously not delighted by this, but she’s actually  pretty nice about it, and the whole thing stretches out between two scenes, I suspect so that we could eyeball this new dressing gown:

There are still a lot of questions that Cora (and the audience) have about the details: like, what happened to the jewels (I assumed Baxter sold them) and why did she steal from her boss, whom she claims was always kind and just to her? (I assume this storyline will unfurl at a glacial pace but end in Baxter being a sort of Jean Valjean of ladies’ maids.) Regardless, Cora decides to keep Baxter on while she ponders the conundrum that is My Otherwise Fabulous Ladies’ Maid Is a Jewel Thief — Baxter is hugely relieved — and then when Baxter refuses to give Thomas any scoop, and he goes to tell Cora the truth, Cora totally LAYS INTO HIM (in a Cora-ish way, so sort of tight-lipped and stern; she doesn’t throw a vase at his head or anything) and basically tells him that HE is the one who recommended a THIEF to come into their house and he’s ONLY TELLING HER NOW and she’s NOT BEST PLEASED WITH HIM and maybe HE shall be the one who is SACKED!

On the topic of Servants of Questionable Use, did I forget Daisy? She’s realized she’s never going to be able to run Mr Whatshisnut’s Farm eventually because she is terrible at math, and has decided to do a math correspondence course:

This is actually sort of funny, but mostly because of the variety of ways Daisy insults herself (“I was rubbish at numbers at school. I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. I’M A PIG-IGNORANT IDIOT WITH THE BRAIN OF A KIPPER GOODNIGHT”) and it’s admirable that she wants to improve herself. That said, if we’re heading into a long plot about Daisy’s Secretly Undiagnosed Dyslexia or something, I will ZzzzzzzZZZZZ all over this estate. (Unless, of course, she ends up somehow engaging a dreamy tutor who also teaches her about LOVE, but I fear her tutor will be Sarah Bunting: Annoying Rabblerouser.) Both Carson and Mrs Patmore think it’s a bad idea for a kitchen maid to get too much book learning, but Mrs Hughes (of course) is supportive. I suspect Mrs Hughes would like it if she knew there was someone else at the house who could do some of her paperwork and thus leave her free for her weekly Counseling Session With the Staff’s Psychosexual Disaster of the Week.

While we’re on the subject of meddling in people’s private lives, I want to make it clear that I wholly reject Rose’s meddling in Tom’s affairs, given that said meddling involves inviting the aforementioned Sarah Bunting to the house with the aforementioned disastrous results (it also doesn’t help Sarah’s cause that Lord G thinks she’s a common village trollop whom Tom took for a roll in their high class hay, nor that Lord G for some reason refuses to tell Cora this [gentlemanly reasons, to be sure, but come on]), but I wholly EMBRACE this coat and hat and scarf and just this whole look:

I also enjoy Edith’s plaid cape, worn for the purposes of more secretive, passionate whispers with the Pig Farmer in the barn about what they’re going to do about Marigold and the fact that Edith is obviously obsessed with her and is going to totally blow her own stupid cover at any moment and also that Mrs Pig Farmer thinks Edith is in love with the Pig Farmer.

We also herein learn that the Pig Farmer is well aware that Edith is Marigold’s mother, which I swear I thought he knew from the get-go, but maybe I just assumed he’d figured it out because Edith might as well be wearing a tee shirt that reads, “ASK ME ABOUT MY ILLEGITIMATE DAUGHTER I LITERALLY FARMED OUT TO THE DUDE WHO RAISES OUR PIGS.”  Poor Edith.

She should really call in the Dowager Countess — who will be INCENSED that Edith has done something so stupid, but will ultimately help her out, I suspect. The DC has plenty of time to help finagle this Baby/Pig Farmer scenario, as at the moment she is merely attempting to unmatch-make one match and remake another, with the help of one Lady Shackleton:

Lady S is a rich widow and Violet has decided to try to set HER up with Lord Merton in order to shove Isobel and Dr Clarkson back into each other’s helpful arms. You may of course recognize this actress, Harriet Walter, from basically everything that involves snooty mean British ladies being mean and snooty, but probably mostly from her role as Fanny Dashwood in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility, in which she is EVIL and also hilarious.

And because this show is all about who is going to marry whom and why (one of my favorite topics, to be honest), over at the house, after dinner, Anna undresses Mary (I hate this beige thing on her) as Mary waxes poetic about how crazy it is that people are expected to get married before they even bang:

Anna is kind of like, “I AM CLUTCHING YOUR PEARLS, MARY, YOU ARE TOO MODERN FOR ME” — in her gentle and non-judgmental way — as Mary monologues that she doesn’t want to decide to “tie [herself] to someone forever” before she even knows if he’s any good in the sack. “Don’t tell Bates,” is her capper, and I agree that Bates doesn’t need to know that Mary is in the opening scenes of her own sexual revolution.  You have to agree that, all else being equal, Relative Bangability is useful information to have, if you find yourself trying to choose between two suitors.

Speaking of suitors:

This is everyone’s face when Carson announces that Lord Gillingham is coming to stay, sans valet because, you know, OF HOW HE GOT MURDERED. It’s kind of great. (Oh, also, this might be important later: Bates is making noises about having a family and Anna is making noises that are kind of like, “eh, maybe let’s not due to your murder-y ways.” I’m sure this will be revisited later in the season.) Molesley is like, “I CAN VALET HIM I CAN ME LOOK AT MY NEW HAIRDO,” and Carson goes, “not you, Molesley,” and then wonders what the hell is happening on his head via a series of grumbly Carson-like sounds. The entire throughline of Molesley dying his hair — and then being forced to UNdye it, because it’s too distracting to everyone  — is really a funny little D plot in this episode. POOR MOLESLEY. He is, as ever, the Lady Edith of Downstairs.

And I laughed out loud at Violet’s Match-Making and Unmaking Luncheon, where Isobel is wearing an amazing hat, and notes, when Lady Shackleton sweeps in and starts flirting with Lord Merton, “you’ve gone to a lot of trouble,” and Violet smirks and says, “I like to help when I can,” and Isobel makes a face that’s basically, “I WILL HELP YOU TO AN EARLY GRAVE:”

I cannot help it. I just love that Isobel is in a love triangle.

And on the topic of lovers, as we always are, Tony Gillingham is still in love with Mary and she still hasn’t chosen whom she shall wed — we don’t even SEE Blake this week — and she gets to wear a GLORIOUS glen plaid coat while they go shooting.

Sorry for using a screengrab where your eyes are closed, Mary. No shade. Anyway, she and Tony Gillingham have a conversation wherein she announces, “Tony, I do love you, you know. In my cold and unfeeling way,” and she then catches us all up on How Much Has Mary Recovered From Matthew’s Death by noting that she’d LIKE to get married again, but she wants to be as happy in her second marriage as she was in her first. Gillingham is kind of like, “WELL EVERYTHING’S A RISK LET’S JUST DO IT MAYBE IT’LL BE A DISASTER BUT WHATEVER.”

While they’re off shooting rabbits and he’s pitching sort of unconvincing woo, please to behold Lady Ansthruther, whose hat is fabulous and whose taste in footman apparently runs to the handsome and dissolute. She’s played by Anna Chancellor, whom you probably remember from being evil in the Amanda Bynes opus What a Girl Wants, or from being Miss Bingley in the (also Colin Firth-related) 1995 Pride and Prejudice, or from The Hour, or from any number of things, but what I just learned from looking at her IMDb is that (a) someone made a miniseries called The Cazalets, which is based on one of my FAVORITE BOOKS SERIES ABOUT PEOPLE HAVING ROMANTICAL PROBLEMS DURING WAR TIMES!!! and also that (b) they’re making a new Mapp and Lucia, which is another wonderful series although the problems are all frivolous and it’s really not very war-y.

She is TROUBLE. Jimmy tells Thomas that he just can’t resist “it” when it’s just offered to him on a platter like that, and Thomas is all, “TELL ME ABOUT IT,” and then they more or less chest-bump. And that was amusing.

I also think we all enjoyed the conversation where Bates asks Gillingham all kinds of questions about HIS TERRIBLE EVIL VALET and Tony Gillingham is basically like, “eh, whatever, he’s no great loss,” and I can’t wait until it turns out that GILLINGHAM pushed him under a lorry rather than go to the trouble of firing him NO SPOILERS:

But it’s basically amazing that no one has noticed how many I WANT TO AND MAY HAVE MURDERED faces Bates has made in just the last fifteen minutes.

Doesn’t everyone look lovely at Lord and Lady G’s Anniversary Party From Hell, where Sarah Bunting: Rabblerousing Schoolteacher snidely tells Rose’s friend Kitty that it’s fine that she’s terrible at math because she can just marry someone rich to take care of her, like that’s an appropriate thing to say at any party? Kitty  — who was really being very friendly — is then LITERALLY like, “I’m going to go talk to someone else now.”

And Tom is sort of like, “what are you…doing here?” to Sarah Bunting and then the whole thing just goes to complete and utter disaster. Sarah Bunting is bratty about the war memorial at dinner (she literally announces that she thinks they’re a bad idea after Isobel congratulates Carson for being named head of the War Memorial Committee, which means that Sarah Bunting: Protector of the Lower Classes is actually kind of shitting on something nice that’s happening to Carson) and it makes Lord G angry (he’s already worked up because he thinks she’s the village trull with whom Branson violated the sanctity of the Downton second floor, or something; AND the war memorial is already a sore subject) and then Branson leaps to her defense (and yelps about the Russian Revolution) and then Sarah Bunting is like, “TOO BAD THE COMMITTEE DIDN’T WANT YOU,” right to Lord G’s face which is, I am sorry, REALLY an impolite thing to throw at your host even if you do disagree with him politically, and then everyone sort of makes this face:

While Sarah Bunting makes this face:

And it’s essentially a terrible palaver. At least the argument distracted from the fact that Lady Ansthruther was, like, groping Jimmy at the table. Isobel (of course) announces that she likes it when young people stand up for their principles and Violet says, “principles are like prayers. Noble, of course, but awkward at a party,” because the writers CANNOT RESIST giving Maggie Smith the mic-drop line, and I can’t blame them.

So that went badly.

And it doesn’t get better after dinner, when Sarah Bunting insists on going downstairs to play Lady Bountiful to the servants (she comes across so patronizing to everyone even if ostensibly she is in the right) and Edith sulks in the corner. “Cheer up, you’re putting quite a damper on the party,” Mary tells Edith, and Edith is like LISTEN I HAVE MAJOR PROBLEMS THAT NONE OF YOU SEEM TO NOTICE. (Actually, she just calls Mary an imbecile. I know people hate Mary for being so mean to Edith all the time, but Edith is a brat to Mary on a constant basis as well.)

After everyone goes home or to bed, Tom basically has to tell Lord  G that he didn’t nail Sarah Bunting while everyone was in London, and also he’s sorry that dinner was such a mess:

And Lord G announces that just doesn’t want Tom to be “a hater,” and Branson is like, “I am quite clearly standing to your right and ergo no hater,” and Lord G is like, “super,” and everything is fine.

While they’re hashing out the question of whether Tom has room for any hateration in his dancery, Edith is upstairs crying over Gregson’s Learn German Just In Case You Accidentally Get Kidnapped in Germany When You’re There Innocently Trying to Get a Divorce From Your Crazy Wife, which she eventually throws into the fire in a fit, and it of course catches aflame and ROLLS OUT OF THE FIRE to set the room itself on fire and she doesn’t even notice POOR EDITH:

While the building is setting to burn down, Gillingham has snuck into Mary’s room to see her in her fabulous dressing gown and suggest they become SECRET LOVERS. He does this without kissing her or even touching her and as such, while it seems like a rather PRACTICAL suggestion — like a marriage test run — it’s not a very PASSIONATE ONE:

AND ERGO I AM OUT. You at least want your suitor to kiss you madly before noting that he cannot live without your touch and it will kill him to wait until you are wed. DEALBREAKER, MARY.

Speaking of the flames of passion:

POOR EDITH. Luckily, Thomas was helping Jimmy sneak into Lady Ansthruther’s room when the fire broke out and so he raised the alarm and carried out Edith’s poor smoke-inhalated form and basically saved everyone, as well as his job.

In fact, EvilButler.com’s face fairly lit up — no pun intended — when Cora tells him that she can’t fire him NOW, not when he’s nicely saved the entire estate and everyone’s lives.

“Don’t worry, it’s almost over,” Lady Mary tells a worried Bates and Anna as they come stumbling up from the village to check on the drama. “We’re fine. Lady Edith chose to set fire to her room, but we’re fine.” As Bates hurries off to help, Anna is like, “You should have seen him earlier. SO MURDERY. You know how he gets.” And indeed, he does look as if he WANTS TO MURDER here:

I do hope we’re kicking off a whole season of Mr Bates vaguely seeming like he might murder ANYONE at any moment. Rapists, arsonists, the postman if he’s late with the mail: HE WANTS TO MURDER THEM ALL.

Personally, I kind of want to murder Edith except I feel too sorry for her. See, Pig Farmer is also on the volunteer fire brigade, so he showed up to put out the blaze and she elbows him on the way out and starts talking about Marigold and what they’re going to do about her, as Mrs Hughes casts a very CURIOUS EYE UPON THEM. EDITH. EDITH!