Okay, it took me a week to get to this episode, which isn't so bad since the third episode airs tonight *smiley face*. So I'll just give it a quick recap.
This episode is less than an hour, but it manages to have enough material to make it feel longer. There's hope for Anna and Bates after all, Branson has a devious plan up his sleeve that paints him as less likable than he was before, and everyone butts heads when it comes to running the medical center at the house, which is to be run by Thomas. This wasn't as dramatic as I expected. In the preview, they implied that Thomas is running the whole thing and that he's going to be a major pain, but there weren't any issues that I could detect. He wasn't being an a-hole, or at least not in a big way. I assume this will come later.
William is about to go off to war, and he has lovey-dovey hopes for Daisy, who is being pressured by the cook to accept him if he proposes. And speaking of "love", we discover Lavinia's secret (assuming she's telling the truth), which Matthew is unaware of. I have to say that Mary is proving to be a real Lady in this respect. She's nice to Lavinia even though that little ho is marrying the man she loves, and she defends her, not to mention refuses to tell Matthew of her "scandal", which I personally don't think is that bad. You know she loves Matthew, but she doesn't want to ruin his happiness, so she's keeping it mostly to herself (her awesome grandma and aunt know...and probably everyone else), rather than giving something else to deal with.
And now I can finally say that Cora annoys the hell out of me! She is such an annoying, easily manipulated woman who really isn't intelligent. After all these years she still hasn't gotten O'Brien's or Thomas' numbers down. You'd think she'd at least suspect her maid of being an evil biatch from hell. Okay, so now O'Brien actually does have Cora's interests at heart (I suppose that happened after she accidentally on purpose killed her unborn child), but she's still a conniving, ill-intentioned woman. I have a feeling I'll continue harping on Cora as the series goes on. Grrr!
Lang is also a bothersome character, suffering from an emotionally crippling PTSD. Now it doesn't bother me that he has it, because that's a big part of war and thousands of soldiers have/had it, and that should be told, but the way they keep zeroing in on him when he has attacks (and that's basically the only time they do give him attention), doesn't gel with me. It doesn't seem to have a true value to the story, it's just meant to be a dramatic few minutes, but the only effect it had on me was...annoyance. I wish they'd handled that storyline in a more interesting, deeper manner, and perhaps had a different character suffer from it. But hey, maybe it does serve a purpose later on.
Episode grade: B+