Downton Abbey Recap: Atonement

In the first, mind-bogglingly dense two-hour episode of Downton Abbey, the Granthams--and the servants who love them--did their best to keep on keeping on, in spite of the war raging just across the Channel. Carson, the Vaudeville star-turned-stuffy butler, spoke for most everyone in the house (Sibyl and William excepted) when he insisted that standards be kept high and maids kept out of the dining room. Love triangles were still everyone's primary concern. But World War I can’t be sidelined forever, and it is the major character in this second episode, as Downton Abbey is turned into a convalescent home for wounded officers. Invalids in uniform are moved into spare bedrooms, the library is turned into a rec room, and every member of the household, upstairs and downstairs, is forced to confront some consequence of the war. It doesn't make for the most romantic hour of television (almost zero Matthew and Mary alone time! Unacceptable), but then wartime requires sacrifices of us all. Read More...


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