What you need to know before the 'Downton Abbey' season 2 premiere

Whether you missed the first season and want to start watching now or just need a refresher, here's what happened at Downton Abbey last season.

6. The rivalries

Courtesy of Masterpiece Theater/PBS

Thomas, the footman, continues to work with Cora's maid O'Brien to try to undermine the valet Bates, first attempting to frame him for stealing a snuffbox, and later for stealing a wine bottle. Bates is cleared of those crimes, but Anna, the head housemaid who is in love with him, discovers that he was arrested for stealing in the past. It turns out, however, that Bates' wife had actually committed the crime, and he took the blame for it. Bates seems to return Anna's affection, but the two have yet to act on it. Thomas attempts to steal the butler Carson's wallet, and Carson finds out. Rather than being fired, Thomas joins the Army Medical Corps, anticipating that World War I will soon begin.

6 of 7

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.