Once we got reoriented we found that the second season was not as enjoyable as the first. It felt more like a soap opera and the story was disjointed in some ways.
Thomas stole from the house and was fired because of it. Then he is let back in the house for visits and to be a military liaison. You can't have a thief roaming the house unattended.
Then he is allowed to go around working in the house for free for a time. Again, why would a thief be allowed to do this?
Even after he has contributed good work, how could Carson bring him back knowing he is a thief?
Additionally with regard to Thomas, They know him to be dishonest and yet they purchase food from him. This part makes a lot more sense that letting him in the house, since the kitchen staff is in a pinch, but a wealthy house has no other resource than the black market to get supplies they have run short of?
I really like the character Bates, but the story with the wife didn't make a lot of sense and was just jarring every time it came back into the story line.
Mr. Bates's girlfriend story line was just ok, but was weakened by the fact that everyone in the servant staff seemed to be having some sort of complicated romance with the other staff or their employers. I think bates would've been a stronger character had he been left to integrate into the staff as a single man for a bit longer or made him a married man providing for a family that was outside the house.
The enjoyable part of season one was seeing the workings of a functional house. The dysfunction of season 2 was not enjoyable. The dysfunction that the war brought was enjoyable, but the dysfunction of the characters was not.
Mary being engaged to Richard at the end of season 2 and walking away with him and then at the beginning of season 3 she is getting married to Matthew with no explanation of how she got out of her arrangement with Richard was poorly done. Richard had held over her that he would release her embarrassing story if she left him or was uncooperative with him in any way.
The story of Patrick surviving the Titanic and coming back had potential, but just went flat and then was let drop.