Home Television Downton Abbey Returns: Isis Escapes Peril (This Time), Violet Admits to Reading...

The return of “Downton Abbey” to American television is a wondrous thing. I won’t give too much away because it hasn’t aired all over the country, and it may take a few days for everyone to catch up.

Suffice to say that Isis the dog escapes peril, at least for now, after rumors of his end have been all over the internet. The golden lab is safe with Lord Grantham. The biggest non spoiler revelation is that Violet, the Dowager Countess, is a fan of “Pride and Prejudice.” She makes reference to “Mrs. Bennett” at one one point in this season premiere. Mary also makes reference to Lady Cunard, who was just as she describes her– American and too modern.

There are a couple of guest stars in this episode: The great Harriet Walter returns as Lady Shackleton. And Anna Chancellor appears as frisky Lady Anstruther, who may imperil Jimmy’s job as footman.

“Downton Abbey” is the best written television show, without a doubt. I do hope Julian Fellowes wins a Golden Globe next week. It’s not just that Daisy refers to herself as  having a head “full of kippers.” It’s also that that the story fits together in all its little pieces like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. Without giving anything away, follow Edith’s entire story through the episode, from something she’s told at the start to the way the whole thing ends. Fellowes is on fire.

By the way, Maggie Smith fires off many bon mots tonight, but it’s Carson who has the most important line: “Not everyone needs to know everything,” he tells Mrs. Hughes.

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