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Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey, 6.8

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Hello my friends, and Happy Tuesday! Time for our second-to-last Downton recap!

I'm going to try a different format this time since I don't have a lot of time for condensing this morning, so here are my notes, as is, from last night's viewing - kind of a live tweeting thing, lol! I hope it makes a little BIT of sense, but I understand if it's not your cup of tea. :)


Boy, I'm going to miss these opening credits ... that soft music, the bell ringing, the dog's sweet behind. :)

Opening conversation between a strolling Cora and Edith. First thought - is this the two sisters together? But then - no way is this Mary and Edith walking together, they'd never do such a thing ... and isn't that kind of sad? I almost feel like the director started with this far away shot so we'd have this very thought. And then I paused the scene so I could stare at their parasols and dresses. (So pretty.) I can hardly believe Edith is grappling with this issue - how is there any question in her mind? Telling Bertie the truth about Marigold? There's no way she can allow such "a lie at the heart of her marriage."

Ok, here's the Sargent come to see Mrs. Patmore - and didn't I CALL IT? That was an adulterous couple staying at her inn! Oh the poor woman - her B&B labeled a house of "ill-repute" and it's been hardly open a month!

Wait a minute - who died of malaria now? Edith's beau Bertie Pelham is out of a job? Lord Hexham (the dead marquess) was his employer. Wait, he was his cousin ... ? WOW - so Bertie's the new Marquess! "Golly gumdrops, Edith would outrank us all!" crows Robert. And Mary is ... speechless. (Fuming, more like.)

Anna and Bates laughing at Mrs. P's situation (everyone's laughing) and Molesley needs time off for his classes.

Lord Merton comes to see Isobel to talk about the family issue - he thinks his daughter-in-law (to be) is a "kind and gentle soul?" Hahahaha ... he's not a very good judge of character is he? (Anyone else think of Hermione Grangier's cat when they say, "Cruikshanks?")

Anna and Mrs. Hughes still laughing over Mrs. P. ... and now Mary, too. Ok people, you've had your fun. Let's be a little sensitive to Mrs. Patmore's distress!

But Daisy got high marks! Good for her. I'm still sore over her recent poor treatment of, well, everyone, but this is a nice thing for her.

Carson was kind of ugly to Mr. Molesely abut his needing time off to teach. "What makes you think he would be good at it?" What an ass he can be! (Sorry.)

The sisters and their beaus ...  now it's going to be even harder for her (Mary) to accept marrying "down" when her younger sister will be marrying up ... way, way up.

I kind of feel like Edith should know her potential betrothed well enough to trust that he will be accepting of Marigold. How well do they know each other anyway? She doesn't know his family. She's so concerned that any outcome will be "regrettable" and I think we all can see the writing on the wall. Mary will confirm her suspicions of Marigold's parentage and use the "secret" to ruin her sister's chance at such happiness.

Best line of the night goes to Robert: "Poor old Edith who couldn't get her dolls to do as she wanted."

(OH, I laughed so hard over this!)

Mary and Tom out "agenting" and she seems distracted - is she mulling over Henry or Edith? Or both? In conversation with Tom, and ... ACK she finds out. Yep, now she's getting ugly. Turning on Tom. Come on now, Mary - your friendship with Tom is about all that's redeeming you these days!

(Robert and Rosamund again at each others throats. It's a sibling thing.)

We have "reason" coming back into it - Tom speaking with Mary and Rosamund speaking with Robert. But in each case "reasonable thinking" is pushed away for "the way things were done." Mary's clinging fast to the old ways.

Bertie shows up and wants Edith to accompany him to the funeral. I still don't see the rationale here ... will Edith then lie to Marigold her whole life? Allow her to think she's an orphan with no natural mother or blood relations? Won't this affect her ability to "marry well" someday? Worse than lying to Bertie is lying to Marigold, I think.

Thomas, the poor man - still no luck in his job search.  And Mr. Molesley having a harsh time of it at the school. To be fair, this is a tough age group.

Edith and Bertie are having a nice talk - she wants him to know she understands if he needs to look "higher" than her. His mother sounds like a tough biscuit. A cock-a-hoop? I think I'll refrain from googling that term.

(Note: Have the Downton grounds ever looked prettier? And again with the parasol! Must have been a mid-20s thing.)

Ooh and here comes Henry! Woo hoo! Go get her, Mr. Talbot!

Carson and Mrs. Hughes speaking with Mrs. P. - and oh come ON Carson. Making Mrs. Patmore feel worse and insinuating she wasn't being careful? He's so full of hot air - like he couldn't have made that mistake. He can be so awfully pompous. It's no wonder Mary's his favorite.

Puppet show for the children ... too funny. I'm going to sound rather Victorian and say how lovely it was that this simple kind of entertainment was all that was needed to keep children happy, once upon a time ... (And now I'm drawing up plans for a puppet theater in the library.)

Back to school now, and oh no, Mr. Molesley! He has lost complete control of the classroom! (Like we don't all see that coming.)

Oh my gosh, this is an awful scene with Mary and Tom and Henry. I don't know if he's doing the right thing with this sudden appearance or not. He's fighting for them, insisting on it ... and boy is she resisting. Ugh. I STILL like him for Mary because she needs someone like this in her life. She needs someone who doesn't give a FIG where they stand socially - he loves her, end of story. But she just hates being told what to do and feel ... and now I think she'll get nasty. Yup - the scene in her parent's dressing room? Nasty. I think we'll all hate her a bit before she redeems herself somehow ... Shame on you coming from Tom - yes! Oh boy, Tom is ticked! In the stairwell now with Henry ... oh he's being honest. "Aren't you better than that? Rather small not to marry a man for his lack of riches?" Ooh, he's hitting her where it counts - the truth! But Mary's still smarting from Tom's comments, feeling cornered ... and slash! Out come the claws!

Later, Anna nails it:

"She loves him but she can't control him. That's what frightens her. He's stronger than she is, really." 

And Bates in response:

"She's a bit of a bully, your Lady Mary."

(But there's another side to Mary and Henry sees that. That's what love does.)

Next couple. We have Edith and Bertie now, in the hallway. She: "My life is not that simple" which begs clarification, but still - the answer is yes. YES, she'll marry him ... but no mention of Marigold ...

Next morning Henry's gone. Good for him. Mary seems stunned. And now we have a very injured and downcast Mary, sensing the air of happiness about Bertie and Edith ... she's about to strike you can see it coming ...

And yes, it came ... ooh. She can be so awful. The proverbial cat's out of the bag.

Well done Mary. Now, who else can you make miserable?

Later now, and what a nice idea from Rosamunde and Cora. Great thinking, ladies! They'll do a family lunch at Mrs. Patmore's establishment thereby lending their good name and approval. Another example of how they all do truly care for each other. The upstairs and downstairs. Despite stations and class, they root for each other. (Except perhaps for the outcast, Thomas.) 

Edith and Bertie having the dreaded conversation before he gets on that train. Well we all knew what would bother him was that she wasn't honest with him - not their difference in station or her past. She didn't trust him as she should have done. And so it comes to this: he can't marry her because he can't trust her. Goodbye, we shan't meet again and Edith's off to London.

      (Please excuse the weird formatting here - I attempted to insert a vocabulary definition and the copy-paste went awry.)
      Ok, and here's Mary and now Tom is going to have it out with her. Go Tom!
      "Don't lie - not to me!" and then, "You just can't stop ruining thing for Edith and yourself!" but best of all, "You're a coward. Like all bullies you're a coward."
      (Yes - unfortunately, yes - to all this.)
      (Wait, what's going on with Thomas ... he doesn't look so well.)
      And here we have Mary and Edith's confrontation. Right! They have to have it out and BOY do they have at it! And there it is -  the B word! OH MY the b-word again! Go Edith! So much wisdom in her parting shot. Gah. That blow-up was a long time coming ...
      Mrs Patmore is summoned to the library. Whenever she or Daisy are called up in this way I'm always struck by the stark plainness of their uniforms (hair and makeup etc.) in contrast to the fancy decor and family dress.
      But I loved Cora calling out Carson ... and this, another "best line of the night" from Robert:

"Mrs. Patmore has been loyal to this house and now we must be loyal to her."

BRAVA, Robert! And God bless her, Mrs. P. is crying!

But here come more tears I fear (mine) as something bad is definitely happening with Thomas.

Baxter notices Mr. Barrow's in a funny mood. (Thank goodness someone worries for him.) Go Baxter! Get to him!

But, oh no ...

Oh my gosh, SAVE him please - Andy get help! Go get the doctor. Oh dear ... oh no. Thomas has slashed his wrists and is unconscious in the tub. I am sobbing. Thankfully it appears he will survive ... surely this will wake them all up to his despair?

Over to the school now - and Daisy is listening in to Mr. Molesley's teaching. Talking with the students - confessing his roots - clicking with them. Good stuff.  Loved Daisy's words to Mr. M. "You're a kind man Mr. Molesley. It's about time you were rewarded for you kindness."

Now Carson informs the family of Thomas's predicament, and they are all suitably affected. How very sad. Mary WAKE UP ... but nope. She's still lashing out ... at her father. Throwing about guilt because she's needing to hurt others right now.

A bit later on Mary has a kind of breakdown with Anna as she readies for bed. She looks terrible and feels worse, clearly. I think she's realizing how awful she's been and how wrong she's been. She's miserable. But apologizes to Anna who clearly, means so much to her. 

Now we have Edith with her editor, and this "Cassandra Jones" is coming for tea. But who is this secret personality? Was anyone expecting Spratt?? Lol, what a surprise! I guess looking back now we can see he was always looking at the paper and definitely had a secret to hide. But what a laugh this was. Bananas, indeed!

Mary bringing little George to visit Thomas was very sweet. And how similar these two characters have been! Lonely, angry, sad. Isn't this often the root of outwardly ugly behavior? What he said should ring very true with Mary. (Master George is so adorable.)

Now this next scene with Carson (bemoaning the adulterous situation at the B&B) and Mrs. Hughes (pointing out there have been "adulterers" upstairs) was sweet. Because Carson's crusty behavior has been tiresome, but when he asks his wife if she's gone "off" him she responds with a kiss. Because he may be a curmudgeon, but he's "her curmudgeon." This was sweet and honest. Don't we all have moments like this with our loved one? They can drive us crazy sometimes but they're ours, and true love means loving through faults. :)

(This will be an important lesson later on I think. Hello Henry and Mary and Edith and Bertie!)

And hooray, the Dowager is home! And thank goodness Grandmama is here! The conversation with Mary was so necessary. Mary breaks down and we knew this was coming - all her fears and grief over Matthew. Their love (and his loss) was enormous and left its impact. I love the respect Mary has for her grandmother, and that she (Violet) helped her (Mary) figure out her truth. She knew it - she just needed to hear it from the right person. Another "best" line from Lady Violet:

"First make peace with your sister, and then make peace with yourself."

And yay, Mr Barrow can stay! I'm glad Carson and Robert acknowledged they'd been unfair. "I didn't credit him with any feelings." Well duh, Carson. He IS human. How often we don't look past someone's outward behavior to see what is lacking inside.

So Mary has sent for Henry ... but will he come? I'm half expecting him to refuse her at this point! Honestly I think she has a bit of a nerve sending for him - she should go to him!

But first, a visit to Matthew's grave ... what a sign this series is nearing its end. What a touching scene, as Mary talks with Matthew and then Isobel. Blessings are given and the path seems open now ... we just have to hope Henry has not gone off this whole thing!

Cute scene with the Granthams at Mrs. Patmore's establishment ... right down to the paparazzi outside!

Ok, and now here's Henry. Good man. Tom excuses himself, "I've been part of this courtship for long enough." But I fear this is too easy. Will this go as Mary is hoping? Ok maybe it will .... his heart is pounding! That's a good sign, right?

And they KISS!! Yes!! And woohoo they can get married - like, tomorrow! So oh MY GOSH there's going to be a wedding! But where they heck is Edith? Oh - here she comes!

And now the sisters have the moment we've been waiting for ... apologies and confessions, and this:

"Because in the end you're my sister. And one day only we will remember Sybill or Mama or Papa or any of the people of our youth. Our shared memories will mean more than our mutual dislike."


And that's being practical and honest. I think Edith made this easier on Mary than she could have ... but to forgive is divine and so the truce has been called and it's on with the wedding!

Pretty setting (must go aback and absorb details) and Mary looks lovely. Camera panning all the pews ... and all these dear faces .. how I'll miss them!

But now we must wait to see how Edith's story turns out ...

The previews gave away nothing but there are lots of smiles, so that seems hopeful. And I was thinking - if there is a marriage for her and Bertie it's kind of nice they left it till the end ... Mary had her big wedding with Matthew, now this will be Edith's turn in the spotlight ...

We must wait two weeks (sigh) till that two hour finale (sob), but in the meantime, the "manners" show look interesting next week! :)


Well my friends, I know this was awfully long and probably quite tedious to read. I apologize I was not able to summarize things better - but time is just not mine today! (Both younger boys were up earlier than usual and there was a bit of a peanut butter incident in the kitchen ... and the hall ... and the family room ... that commanded mama's energy first thing this morning.)

I would love to hear your thoughts if you have time ... and as always, I thank you for stopping by!

See you here again very soon ...