I, too, think this series is spiraling downward into more or less a soap opera atmosphere and has lost a lot of the subtle writing that made it so very interesting last year. That said, I still love it!!!!!! Yes, Sir Robert better keep his eyes off that new maid (!) sadly I do think something will "develop" there. Mary and Matthew are boring together. Each of them needs somebody with fire in their personality to allow their own, reserved (and in Mary's case, spoiled) personalities to become more interesting. The issue of how Patrick knew Gordon is very unclear - I was thinking that they met during the war.....something about Princess Patricia's brigade????? What was it? Can't remember now. I don't think we've seen the last of this character. Hey, don't count Edith out yet in the romance department - I think she'll end up with the happiest match of all the girls. The actress who played Vera Bates is in the Titanic special coming up this Spring. Since I completely hated the Cameron "Titanic" movie, I'm hoping for something better with this effort. DA is going to take the characters through WW2 and then end so there is plenty of time left for answers to our current questions and for more questions to arise.