"Your husband's a brooder, and brooders brood." Thus did 'Downton Abbey's Mr Bates attempt to assuage poor Anna's tears about their fractured vase of a marriage, even as they decided to have just one evening out where they didn't think about it, ie sat down to dinner in a posh joint, and spent the whole time talking about nothing else.
A romance-restoring dinner out for Anna and Mr Bates
Never mind that, though, because upstairs it was time for another script development, I mean birthday party, for some reason organised by young flighty cousin Rose, which meant - get the smelling salts - a band in the house, led by a man far happier with his status than boring Branson, I'm sad to say. STILL going on about not fitting in at Downton, even though he spends his time lying in the nursery, playing with his bub, dining or wandering around the estate. Not a bad life, all told. Can he ship out or shut up already?
Bandleader Jack Ross (Gary Carr)'s arrival at Downton caused the fur to fly upstairs and downstairs
Sadness in one corner of the room, though, as Edith continued to ponder the whereabouts of the absent Michael - surely not another jilting? Not when her stakes just got dramatically higher, in a deft touch by Julian Fellowes - so far, Edith winning the war of the sisters, with Mary stuck between pillar and post of possible suitors/tax inspectors. Something tells me the one disapproving of her may yet be the one to win fair hand. Mr Darcy/Elizabeth, anyone?
Lady Edith has a lot on her mind... and a dramatic storyline brewing nicely
Despite all this, the only real adventure this week came in the attempts of Mrs Crawley and the Countess Dowager to out-do each other. Cue jaunty music. Perhaps it's time they had their own spin-off series, possibly with a detective element. You heard it here first.