I’m hosting Downton Abbey open threads over at GeekMom again this year.
Below stairs, tension is introduced in the form of one gangly Alfred, the nephew of O’Brien, whose work history causes Carson to grow extra grizzles in his eyebrows on the spot. O’Brien, undeterred, smoothly manipulates Lady Cora into convincing a distracted Lord Grantham to hire the lad. (Later, upon hearing a new footman has been installed, Lord Grantham will react with the same bewilderment I felt upon seeing Matthew and Mary at the altar.) Alfred, as is required of all new Downton Abbey employees, gets off to a dodgy start: “You’re too tall for a footman,” declares Carson, and you can almost hear the Downton mortar crumbling at the indignity of a former hotel waiter (gasp) serving the family at dinner. (Relax, beautiful house; we’re soon to learn that Alfred is the least of your worries.)