It was hard for me to put all my focus on Downton when I was still reeling over the same night’s The Walking Dead episode. I’ll try to shift gears and get myself into the mindset of tea, biscuits and intrigue. 😉
As usual – SPOILER ALERT!
All photos courtesy of PBS Masterpiece.
The pain of Violet’s defeat still hurt and she decided that she was going to take a trip to Paris. Isobel wondered how she would do surrounded by foreigners. Violet explained, “My reason for traveling is the make myself eager to come home. A month among the French should manage it. She made plans to leave and not tell the family until she was gone. However, before she left she wanted to take care of another matter.
Miss Cruikshank sent Isobel an invitation to her and Larry’s wedding. When Isobel showed it to Violet and she was definitely suspicious. Violet decided to pay her a visit and winkle out the truth. The conversation (or confrontation) between Violet and Miss C was too good for paraphrasing.
Violet: “Mrs. Crawley tells me that you paid her a visit when you first came. That you were amazingly friendly.”
Miss C: “Well, I hope I ‘m always friendly.”
Violet: “Nobody’s always friendly. And now you have invited her to your wedding which has taken her by surprise.”
Miss C: “You mean Larry and Mrs. Crawley have not seen eye to eye in the past.”
Violet: “Larry Grey has spoke to Mrs. Crawley in a manner that, in any other century, would have resulted in him being called out and shot.
Miss C: “I can’t believe it was as bad as that.”
Violet: “Then you are misinformed.”
(She went on to winkle the information out of her.)
Violet: “And what of this house? Will you surrender it to be free of him.”
Miss C: “She won’t want to live at Cavenham after Lord Merton’s death. It would be lonely for a woman like her.”
Violet: “But by heaven, I bet it won’t be too lonely for a woman like you. I expect they’ll have to drag you out as you break your fingernails, catching at the door case! So there we have it. You want a free nurse to take a tiresome old man off your hands. (Pause. Miss C looks at her with guilty defiance.) You’re a cool little miss, aren’t you. I’d feel sorry for Larry if I didn’t like him so much.”
Miss C: “I shall forget you said that. But you should go now. Much more and we may feel awkward when we meet, which we are bound to do.”
Violet: “I think not, Miss Cruikshank. Not if I see you first.”
I always in awe at the civility in these arguments. Violet hits her opponent right between the eyes without breaking a sweat.
Later Violet talked to Isobel about the situation. She let her know what leaving Lord Merton would basically be abandoning him to his greedy and selfish children. Isobel understood but she still wanted no part of being in the family tug-a-war. Violet assures her saying, “My guess is when you take delivery from Miss Amelia, you’ll be lucky if you see a Christmas card.”
Lady Mary and her family were invited to watch Henry race his car at Brooklands. Robert was determined to go despite his convalescing. However, he and Cora were unsure about the relationship between Henry and Mary. Cora said she could understand if it was Sybil but Mary didn’t seem to have anything in common with him. Robert asked, “What’s he got that fascinates Mary when poor old Tony’s rolling acres and glistening coronet didn’t? You’ll say sex appeal but isn’t Mary too sensible?” Cora replied, “We have a very contrary daughter.” Later, even Anna, in a conversation with Mary, cautiously wondered aloud if Henry and Mary’s lives fit together. She tried to smooth the negativity by saying, “They do say that opposites attract” to which Mary responded, “Yes, they attract but do they live happily ever after?”
At the race, Mary and Henry shared knowing glances, squeezed hands, raised eyebrows and lingering kisses. It was clear that she was quite taken by Henry despite her misgivings. The race was off with plenty of excitement (I loved the way the racers had to run to their cars at the flag rather than already being in their cars.) There were grand views and heart pumping action but Mary found it all dangerously pointless.
During the last bed before the grandstand Charlie and Henry were neck and neck. After they passed the grandstand and were out of sight there was a terrific crash. They all run towards the crash to see who was hurt. Henry was one of the first and he saw Charlie’s car upside down and on fire. He tried to pull him out but it was no use. He was killed in the crash. Henry stumbled away towards the trees and Mary and her family arrived on the scene. They were shocked to see the car and frantic to know who crashed. The sight of Henry was a bittersweet moment to know that he was okay but that Charlie Rogers had died.
Later that night everyone was having dinner at Rosamond’s but they were all subdued and on edge. They called it a night just before Henry telephoned Mary. She didn’t want to speak to him but Tom encouraged her to. Henry told Mary that Charlie’s death made him realize that he must seize the day. Mary, with pain in her voice, explained to Henry that the day had made her realize something too – that they were not meant to be together. She knew he would say that he’d give up racing but she didn’t want him to give up anything except her. Tearfully Henry told her, “I cant give you up.” She remained unchanged and said she wished nothing but good for him and that she wanted him to have a long and happy life just not with her.
She tearfully hung up the phone and Tom walked into the room, having heard the end of the conversation. He told Mary that he wished she would not do this. She cried and ashamedly admitted to Tom that when she heard it was Charlie that had died and not Henry she was glad and she could not do this anymore. Tom tried to console her and told her it was understandable that she was upset because it brought up Matthew’s death all over again. He said, “You are frightened of being hurt again. But let me tell you this. You will be hurt again and so will I because being hurt is part of being alive. But that is no reason to give up on the man who’s right for you.” Mary, hardly able to stand straight, walked away and went upstairs.
While the family was off at the races, Daisy and Mr. Molesley took their tests. During the lunch break they had a picnic and Andy asked Daisy how the test was going. She handed him her paper and asked him to see for himself by reading one of the questions aloud. He tried but was unable to and admitted to them that he could not read. He felt ashamed and stupid but Mr. Dawes assured him that he would be able to teach him to read. He was eager and happy to take his offer. Thomas offered to continue to work with him but Mr. Dawes told him it would be best if he left it to him. So Thomas agreed even though it meant giving up his last means of feeling useful and needed.
Later Mr. Dawes arrives at Downton to give Mr. Molesley the results of his test. He announed to him, “I’d be very glad if you would join the teaching staff at the village school.” Molesley was speechless. He continued saying, “I’m impressed, Mr. Molesley. There are Oxford and Cambridge graduates who know far less than you do. You should be proud.” I was so pleased for Mr. Molesley that I shed a few tears. 🙂
After Mr. Dawes left and everyone went to celebrate, Daisy told Molesley, “Well, I’m glad. You deserve it.” Molesley laughed and said, “I never think I deserve anything. Perhaps I’ve been wrong all along.” Meanwhile Thomas sits alone at the kitchen table watching them with tears in his eyes.
Last week I feared that Thomas may be getting so low that he might attempt suicide. Thomas is still around but you can see that he is finding it harder and harder to cope with the fact that everyone seems to be in a hurry to get him out of the house. Mrs. Hughes spent a few quiet moments with him and tried to give him some encouragement that a new situation would give him the opportunity to make new friends. With tears in his eyes he told her that the only problem was that Downton was the first place he felt like he laid down roots. You could see that it was more that leaving an employer to him, it would be like leaving his family. I still feel like the more we are shown Thomas vulnerability and pain, the more tragedy (or near tragedy) is coming around the corner.
Mrs. Carson and best bud Mrs. Patmore decide to teach Mr. Carson a lesson for the way he has been treating Mrs. Hughes. She pretended that she hurt her arm would be unable to do any of the cooking or housework. Mr. Carson nearly fainted at the idea that he would have to make the meal for them that evening. It was amusing to watch him fumble and get flustered around the kitchen. Mrs. Hughes gave orders and secretly delighted in seeing him realize just how difficult running a household can be. Later when questioned by Mrs. Patmore about how it went she said, “He has discovered a new respect for the role of cook and bottle washer.” We’ll see how well that lesson sticks!
Edith and Bertie shared a quiet moment after everyone else went to bed. She was shocked but happily surprised that Bertie proposed to her. I thought perhaps she would tell him the truth about Marigold but instead she asked if she could bring her with her. Bertie responded, “The family’s ward?” She could have enlightened him but she didn’t. He did agree but you know this secret cannot be kept for much longer. She must tell him or something far worse will bring out the truth.
- Edith’s new editor Miss Edmunds was invited to the race. She seemed like an industrious and pleasant girl. Perhaps a love interest for Tom?
- I have thought, like the others, that Henry didn’t seem to match Mary but Tom has seen many sides of Mary and knows her well. The fact that he is so adamant about Mary not giving up Henry makes me pause and wonder if perhaps they would do well together. What do you think?
- This was the first episode all season when I actually wanted to hug Daisy rather than smack her. The scene between her and Mrs. Patmore was very sweet and tender when Mrs. P assured her that love was not finite and that no matter what the future held she could always count on her and Mr. Mason. 🙂
- Mrs. Patmore opened up her new bed and breakfast (with an inside privy!) and all seems to be going well except that there is a man hiding behind bushes taking notes (and wearing a camera?) Is he investigating Mrs. Patmore? A guest? Thoughts?
- There is a new pup in the house courtesy of Granny. It was funny to see so much happy emotion from Robert.
Other Favorite Quotes
- Violet: “I’ll call on Miss Cruikshank before I leave.”
- Isobel: “I suspect she is quite a tough nut.”
- Violet: “And I’m quite a tough nutcracker.”
- Rosamond: “Is it hard to be a woman editor? Fleet Street sounds so very tough.”
- Miss Edmunds: “It”s hard to be a woman anything if it isn’t domestic but I do my best.”
What did you think?? Share your thoughts here or on Facebook. 🙂
Only two episodes left! Episode 8 will be 90 minutes long and the final episode 9 will be two hours. See you next week! 🙂
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