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Dishing on Downton: Stolen Kisses by the Meat Locker, Jail Visits, Missing Money. (Oh, and a wedding!)

Thinking about Downton Abbey, episodes one and two.

We've seen the start of Series (or Season) 3 of Downton Abbey and 1920 began with a bang -- and a crash.

What PBS showed on Sunday night was two episodes together, with the briefest of pauses between them. Episode 1, as originally aired, ended at the wedding. Episode 2 begins with Mary and Matthew returning from the honeymoon.

Downton Abbey could go on the block, due to a poor financial choice made by Mary's father. When the lawyer explains that nobody suggested that a Canadian railway company would boom during the war, I tend to agree. I am curious about "Papa's" thinking, though, wondering if he imagined supplies or people needed for the war effort would lead to a boom in Canadian train travel.

Matthew has the inherited means to shore up Downton, due to an inheritance from his late fiancee's late father. Will he or won't he help is a question for next week.

Downstairs, we're seeing bursts of modern independence from a couple of the maids. It's 1920, says a visiting American maid, why not live a little? She does so by flirting with Alfred and kissing him out near the meat locker.

Daisy is shocked, dismayed...and then a little intrigued by such behavior. The Victorians and their weighty influence aren't so far removed, after all.  I suspect we'll see Daisy break out a bit this season.

Edith is doing the same, putting heart on her sleeve for Antony Strallen, a neighbor and an eligible widower. Her parents think he's too old and infirm; Edith pointed out in Sunday's episode that most of the young men she knew as a child died in the war.  Edith and Antony decided to be married in a month, which is where the next episode will pick up on Sunday.

Thanks to a wonderful book given by a friend, I have learned that before WWI, 1.4 million people were employed as domestic servants in England. The war changed this slightly, but the big unheaval is the 1920s. Financial upheaval and social unrest are all ahead of us, next week on Downton Abbey.

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