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6 New Downton Couples That Require Our Judgment

In the spirit of the Dowager Countess, it is our responsibility to judge the potential series five couples.

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1. Branson and The Teacher

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Branson has been through a lot on this show, including losing his wife, Sybil, in one of the most depressing deaths in series three. In an act to keep its viewers from quitting the show, the writers have introduced a new lady for Branson in series four: teacher Sarah Bunting. They first meet at a political meeting, and he keeps running into her throughout the rest of the season. He even helps her with her car, and we haven't seen former chauffeur Branson under a car in a long time. So, you can tell that Sarah is a vehicle (pun intended) to remind Branson where he came from. There's definitely potential for romance there, but I'm not all that excited about her. It's like she's being forced upon us. There's even a scene where she basically forces Branson to give her a tour of the Crawley estate, and I kept yelling, "He's not ready!" But maybe I only have this reaction because I'm ready for Branson to be in a new relationship.

2. Mary and Lord Gillingham

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Former suitor Lord Gillingham is back on Lady Mary's radar after she recovers from the loss of her husband Matthew Crawley. Reasons to like him? If he's anything, the man is persistent. He has been turned down by Mary a number of times, and he keeps coming back for more well-articulated rejections. Reasons not to like him? His valet is responsible for the most shocking scene in series four: Anna's rape. Obviously, not directly Lord Gillingham's fault, but you'd think a lord would've hired better, non-rapey help. Reasons to like him? He offers to sack his valet just because Mary asks him to, without even knowing the reason why. He's also willing to leave his current fiance for Mary, which is both sweet and messed up. Actually, I think sweet and messed up are good words that would describe this pairing in general.

3. Daisy and Ethan Slade

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Daisy, after being in unrequited love with ginger giant Alfred, finally gets some male attention. Ethan Slade, Cora's brother Harold's valet, is just adorably American. He sounds like if Mickey Mouse became a real person. His Americaness gives us some comedic moments between him and Mr. Carson, who does not approve of his forwardness. And by forwardness, I mean things like suggesting food to dinner guests. Ethan likes Daisy so much that he suggests to Harold that she become their new cook in America. Daisy ultimately rejects the proposition, and him, but I think we haven't seen the last of this pairing. Harold was played by the popular Paul Giamatti, so there's no way we've seen the last of him and his valet. Though Ivy in the end took the position in the states, I have a feeling Ethan's feelings for Daisy will reemerge in series five.

4. Mary and Mr. Blake

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Mary and Mr. Blake didn't originally see eye to eye, but when the pigs of Downton needed aid, they both rose to the occasion. And we see that when Mary's with Mr. Blake, she's literally as happy as a pig in mud (provided the pig is hydrated, which was the problem they were trying to solve). We've never seen Mary look less than 95% put-together, even when she was in mourning, so seeing her getting down and dirty was refreshing. Mary even cooked Mr. Blake a late dinner, and we've never seen that lady anywhere near a stove, ever. I think these are indicators of a promising match. Reasons to like Mr. Blake? He's not afraid of disagreeing with her. And we find out the bloke is loaded. Reasons not to like Mr. Blake? He's still not Matthew Crawley.

5. Molesley and Baxter

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Molesley became one of my favorite recurring characters when he accidentally got drunk and became the dancing queen of the Gillie's Ball in series three. In series four, he's come down on some hard times because his master died, and therefore his services were no longer needed. He does some menial work before he finds his way back to Downton, though not at the same level he's used to. However, he does get to spend a lot of time with new lady's maid Baxter. We're not sure about Baxter's history and why Thomas has so much control over her, so she's kind of shady. But at this point Molesley deserves some happiness that's not alcohol-induced.

6. Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes

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If you've been watching Downton as long as I have, you've probably been shipping these two together for quite some time. Their work relationship is in essence an intimate relationship. We see that they trust and respect each other. Mr. Carson even confides in Mrs. Hughes. which is a big deal for both his gender and the time period. The last scene of series four was them holding hands and walking into the water together, and it was so adorable that I had to pause the show just to look at it for a while. In case you were wondering if there was anything cuter than these two holding hands, the answer is no. Corgis ain't got nothin' on Carson and Hughes.

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