So, shall we lay out the facts to determine who is the chiefest of the Downton villains?
A typical day in the life of O'Brien might include sabotaging other household staff members, empty flattery, and/or chain smoking.
O'Brien's most heinous offense was leaving a slippery bar of soap outside the tub for pregnant Lady Grantham to trip on. This led to the tragic miscarriage of the unborn Grantham son who would have solved Downton's pesky heir problems.
Her redeeming qualities include an ability to think on her feet, fierce loyalty to those she cares about, and her ability to keep Thomas at bay.
"Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife, hide yo' husband!" Or maybe just that last one. On a typical day, you may observe Thomas making unwelcome advances toward house guests, staff etc. Since he is forever an unrequited lover, a failure at black market entrepreneurship, a petty-thief, a coward on the battlefield and a dog-napper, we may be able to overlook his tobacco addiction. Taking these into consideration, I can't even begin to narrow it down to a most heinous offense. He's sneaky and manipulative. I mean, just look at that face.
A redeeming moment happened, in my opinion, when he wept over Sybil's death. Perhaps he has a soul after all. Perhaps.
A typical day in the life of this former chauffer would undoubtedly include heated political debates, "marrying up", attending nationalist rallies, and occasionally burning down the homes of wealthy noblemen.
Branson's most heinous offense was leaving pregnant Sybil to fend for herself and sneak her way back to Downton while he ran from the law.
Seasons two and three show few redeeming qualities for whiney Tom, but your heart goes out to him when his sweet wife dies after childbirth. We all really liked season one Branson, too, so that has to count for something.
A typical day in Vera Bates' life would show that she is a vengeful wife, a thief, a blackmailer, and a murderer of true love. In a word - she's SCARY.
Her most heinous offense is allegedly suicide with the intent of framing her husband, John Bates, for her murder. The jury is still out on that one.
Pun intended. :)
I can't tell you if she has any redeeming qualities, but she certainly can't get any worse from here on out!
A typical day in the life of these guys would involve a collaboration for running drugs in prison. I think. I'm super confused about them, actually, but they seem menacing. FREE BATES! (Sorry, had to say it.)
Most heinous offense - stashing drugs in Bate's bed to frame him.
Their inadvertent redeeming quality is that Bates is totally manning up under the pressure they're putting on him!
A typical day in Molesley's life would probably render you comatose. Just the name "Molesley" conjures feelings of "bleh". He's so blasted boring and occasionally sniveling. I feel for Molesley what Michael Scott feels for Toby Flenderson. This probably means I'm a closet bully or something, but he needs to be stuffed in a gym locker for the rest of the season.
I honestly think I'll have to wait until the end of the season to truly know. Will Thomas and O'Brien get on the patch and change their ways? Will Branson mellow now that he's a father? Will Molesley detect dangerous levels of radon at Downton and save them all? Is it next Sunday yet so I can see what happens next?!