I do think it's a bit silly to have Bates suddenly become a master forger and pickpocket in regards to retrieving the incriminating letter about the prince. I found it outlandish. Then again, this really is a soap opera, dressed up in beautiful costumes during a fascinating time period in England. I remember the actor who played Mathew laughing about his `miraculous recovery' from paralysis. The way he suddenly leapt out of his wheelchair when Lavinia tripped while carrying a tea tray. He had a good laugh about that scene.