Everyone loves a rebel, and the mysterious Irish chauffeur, Tom Branson, is Downton Abbey's version of a rebel with a cause. Not only is he young and handsome, he's more daring than any of Downton's other employees, as evidenced by his willingness to answer the phone. And he's got Big Plans. "I won’t always be a chauffeur," he tells Lady Sybil, like three seconds after meeting her. Just so's you know!
Branson, like most rebels, is somewhat of a reverse snob and fed up with The Man. However, he does really like The Man's daughter and encourages her to break allll sorts of rules. Dontcha just love rule breakers? Women's suffrage, yay! Because of him, Sybil gets to do exciting things like go to radical political rallies, wear harem pants, and cook. Branson knows because he's watching... ALWAYS WATCHING.
Hey kid, don't you have work to do?
Of course, Branson isn't as bad-ass as he--or everyone else--thinks he is. Political ideologies aside, the guy's a total softie. He freaks out like a teenage girl when Sybil gets bonked on the head, nearly swoons when she holds his hand, has absolutely no interest in fighting in the war; and then there's the goodbye speech when Sybil goes off to nursing school (which was like, what, three miles away?). I think this calls for a rewatch (skip to 1 minute mark):
"I've told myself and told myself you're too far above me, but things are changing." And Branson's done a pretty good job of making sure Lady Sybil is changing with them, eh?
After Sybil rejects his simple yet eloquent profession of love, Branson's feelings are hurt. He spends the next five episodes acting out and being snappish with her, because he's a sensitive dude, mofus.
Okay, so maybe Branson's character isn't the most fleshed-out of the characters at Downton, but he has a romantic soul, acts like a rebel, is cute like a little puppy, and has a car (kind of). By all the rules of 1950s teenager movies, the guy's a dreamboat! And I will dump a tureen of poo soup on anyone who disagrees.
Downton Dragout--where we're advocating for our favorite Downton Abbey characters! Be sure to check out the other blogs participating:
Evangeline from Edwardian Promenade for Lord GranthamWho's your favorite Downton Abbey character?
Katiebabs from Babbling About Books and More for Bates
Pam from Bookalicio.us for Matthew