Mary, who looks about five minutes away from death, (yes she is THAT pale) wonders if the children have a “good childhood” and Lord Grantham has too much time on his hands and is super careless with his money. So…what’s new?
The latest development in the settlement of the property is about Mr. Drew, a farmer and side character with a disturbingly cool raspy voice. Mary deserves a medal for going up against her father about financial issues and that’s pretty much all of the excitement I got out of that subplot.
Onto the next one: Branson apparently wants to slum it in America for a while, which makes me really depressed because we cannot afford to lose another handsome face to those classless Americans. What?
Mary smiled with an intensity I haven’t seen all season when Evelyn Napier came to call (OK, am I the only one that’s been calling him “Ethan” for the past three seasons?) Let’s not forget he sort of knows about Kemal Pamuk – the handsome Turkish diplomat that ended up dead in Mary’s bed in season one. How salacious.
Wait a minute, Edith went to London and visited a doctor – this could mean so many things that possibly have to do with her sex life and the fact that she has turned into the most progressive character on the show. Meanwhile Rose had like, two lines the entire episode.
Continuing on with the theme of creativity being a shameful embarrassment, Violet scolds Robert after he expressed himself by saying, “The one thing we don’t want is a poet in the family.”
Elderly British women are kind of like elderly American women but way better and frightfully grand; Their wit is always on point and they have no filter. They walk through the regal gardens with their canes and a persistent banter that never seems to stop. This week, Violet got annoyed with Mrs. Crawley and called her out for being too nice: “I wonder your halo doesn’t grow heavy. It must be like wearing a tiara ‘round the clock.” (That would be a burn, but Isobel seriously doesn’t care).
Downstairs, there seems to be an exceeding amount of decorative deer antlers on the walls. Carson’s eyebrows are actual caterpillars and Mrs. Patmore refuses any technological advances like refrigerators and sewing machines.
Nothing is more representative of the upper class system faltering then the Grantham’s staff constantly moving on to bigger and better things. Alfred, the tall, orange and handsome footman is “inciting a revolution” and defying gender roles by following his passion and learning how to cook from a pointy-eared Frenchman. His cooking class is like a 20th century Top Chef except at the Ritz and slightly more terrifying. Good on ya, Alfred.
Meanwhile, Thomas is conniving with the new lady’s maid. Mrs. Baxter seems truly likeable until she turns into a devious conspirator with a futuristic sewing machine. Thomas, in his usual form, seems to be blackmailing her in exchange for information from upstairs.
Molesley is a hot mess, as usual. He reluctantly accepts a job before Carson can tell him that he hasn’t gotten it in the most sarcastic butler-voice possible while breathing through his nose. Carson provides so much needed comic relief.
Mr. Bates is persistent in his efforts to persuade Anna into telling him what’s wrong while ominous piano music plays in the background. So he finds out what happened – via Mrs. Hughes – and his reaction is heartbreaking. After he confronts Anna, her lip quivers so violently I may or may not have started sobbing while eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. She vehemently defends her rapist so she can save her husband from killing him and going to jail. If that’s not true love I don’t know what is. And Mr. Bates consoles her by telling her, “There is no shame in this” and grabs her face while saying things like, “You are not spoiled. You are made higher to me and holier because of the suffering you have been put through. You are my wife, and I have never been prouder, nor loved you more than at this moment." OMG, swoon. This is why we love Anna and Bates so dearly. But this content feeling never stays long in Downton, and is ruined in the last minute of the episode when Bates reveals he’s out for blood. Cue the ominous piano music.
“The world moves on and we must move with it” – Lady Mary