Downton Abbey Recap: The Runaways

Downton Abbey 506

Just when you thought Edith Crawley’s luck couldn’t get any worse… enter the Nazis.

Downton Abbey‘s very own Meg Griffin on Sunday learned that, as previously suspected, Michael Gregson had been killed by members of Hitler’s growing regime, leaving poor little Marigold fatherless after all. So she did what any woman who just inherited a publishing company from her deceased baby daddy would do: She hauled ass to the nearby farm, revealed to the kindly woman that the child she’d been caring for is actually hers, then snatched the little bugger from her arms and disappeared without a trace. Frankly, I’ve never found this show more relatable.

“I can’t stay, Tom,” she told her brother-in-law. “Not if I’m ever going to be happy at all.”

Then again, can you really blame Edith for leaving Downton, especially after that unfortunate — albeit super hilarious — exchange with Mary earlier in the hour? In case you need a refresher, here’s a play-by-play of the snark-fest, immediately following the reveal of Mary’s new haircut:

Mary: I suppose you disapprove?
Edith: Not especially. I’m just amazed that even you would choose the day after I learn the man I love is dead to try out a new fashion.
Cora: I don’t believe that’s quite fair.
Edith: And if that weren’t enough, you’ve planned a jolly picnic for Saturday. Am I really expected to join in?
Mary: Hopefully not, as you usually spoil everything.

I do believe Mary wins this round, as always.

Downton Abbey 506A CUT ABOVE | Of course, Mary’s new ‘do — which makes her look like “a man,” according to Downton’s own Anna Wintour, the Dowager Countess — was far from the only gasp-worthy development in her life this week. She also participated in a horse race alongside (so to speak) Charles Blake, Tony Gillingham and Maybe-She’s-Born-With-It-Maybe-It’s Mabel Lane Fox. For reasons I have yet to decipher, Charles continued his efforts to reunite Tony with his ex, which appear to be working. (Seriously, is he hoping to snag Mary for himself by pairing Tony with Mabel? Because the impending arrival of The Good Wife‘s Matthew Goode seems to suggest that plan won’t work.) Either way, both of Mary’s former suitors have agreed to stay at Downton for the night, which means at least one of them will be dead by morning; call it the Pamuk factor.

AN ‘INNOCENT’ MAN | Here in the United States, we have an “innocent until proven guilty” policy, but that doesn’t always apply at Downton — especially when it comes to John “Couldn’t Look Like More of a Serial Killer” Bates. So imagine my unwavering disbelief surprise when Bates revealed that, despite wanting to kill Mr. Green, he couldn’t bring himself to follow through with the plan. As he explained to Anna, he never got on the train, which means the unripped ticket in his jacket pocket would prove his innocence. Unfortunately, Mrs. Hughes — who’s now sitting pretty atop Bates’ to-kill list — threw out the ticket, forcing him to find another way to exonerate himself.

Downton Abbey 506PROPERTY VIRGINS | Speaking of Mrs. Hughes, the One True Queen of Downton received quite a proposition from the oh-so-suave Mr. Carson this week: He wants to invest in property with her! He claimed it would merely be a “business venture,” but Mrs. Hughes — along with all of us dedicated #Hughson ‘shippers — saw right through his charade. And judging by her flustered response, I’d say she didn’t mind one bit. “Go ahead and ring that gong,” indeed! Ow-ow!

‘REALITY’ CHECK | Meanwhile, Thomas’ troubling tale took a somewhat hopeful turn this week, as Baxter accompanied him to an appointment with Dr. Clarkson. After admitting, as we suspected, that he had been receiving electroshock therapy in the hopes of becoming “more like other people,” Thomas was told that his so-called “condition” is unchangeable. “Harsh reality is always better than false hope,” said the good doctor, who — unless I totally misread his intentions — was far more open and considerate than, say, Carson. Poor Thomas; someone send that guy a time machine already!

Odds and Ends:

* Cora finally convinced Robert to stop being a pouty jerk by telling him that, if he never once gave a woman the wrong impression, he could continue sleeping in his dressing room. (And we all know he did.)

* It looks like Isobel has decided to accept Lord Merton’s proposal, telling the D.C. she sees marriage as a “last chance for a new adventure before I’m done.” (Most. Depressing. Wedding. Vow. Ever.)

* The D.C.’s old flame Prince Kuragin told her he still loves her, and that he wants to run away with her. I don’t expect him to stick around much longer, but I’d like at least one good sex scene before he departs. Too much to ask?

All right, fellow Downton fans, it’s time to weigh in: Do you blame Edith for flying the coop? Which of Mary’s former suitors are you rooting for? And, seriously, when are Carson and Mrs. Hughes going to make it happen?! Drop a comment with your thoughts and theories below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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53 Comments
  1. Gail says:

    I believe it was Lady Mary who burned the train ticket. She got the ticket from Mrs. Hughes. Mrs. Hughes left it up to Lady Mary about whether to turn the ticket over to the police, which they thought at the time would be proof that Mr. Bates was in London. After Mr. Bates helped with saving the Prince of Wales from embarrassment, Lady Mary decided to help Bates by throwing the ticket into the fireplace.

  2. RedReddington says:

    I think the ship name for Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes is #Chelsie..at least it is on tumblr. ;)
    I felt so bad for Mrs. Drewe..what a horrible thing to have happen. I understand where Edith is coming from, but she’s broken two different women’s hearts. Ugh.
    I’m also convinced Cora knew about the maid..good on her for calling Robert out on it.

    • maggie says:

      Charlie and Elsie = Chelsie. I like that. :)

      Edith’s problem was originally letting her Aunt and Grandmother make decisions for her. Then she let Mr. Drewe decide to keep a secret from his wife. I think that if Edith actually had a mother she could confide in, she could have made a better decision from the start. Cora could have sent her to America, and she could have returned a “widow” with a baby. Cora’s family is more progressive, and wouldn’t have been so desperate for Edith to give away the baby.

    • Debbie says:

      It’s not like the Drewes don’t have any of their own children and deliberately sought out one to adopt. Marigold was literally dropped into their laps unasked for. I would have felt some sympathy for Mrs. Drewe is she hadn’t been painted as a dim-witted harpy the entire season. Poor Mr. Drewe spent the better part of every episode seemingly frustrated by the fact that his wife hadn’t latched on to the very obvious fact that Marigold was Edith’s, forcing him him to wrestle with his vow to keep silent on the subject. Even the episode as shown in the States didn’t show either Edith OR Mr. Drewe explaining that Marigold’s father, and Edith’s for-all-intents-and-purposes fiance, was dead and Marigold was all Edith had left of him in the world.

  3. Soozn says:

    WTH?? The little girl Edith snatched is not the one who has been Marigold all along. The other one was bigger and had straight hair. Neither one is very communicative anyhow, “But Lady Edith, I’m not Marigold, I’m their kid” said no one.

  4. herman1959 says:

    Finally, Edith has a backbone; now, let’s hope she doesn’t mess things up AGAIN. The best thing, though was Mr. Carson – usually so predictable -coming out of nowhere with his “business proposition”…hmmm. As for Mary, I’m not sure what Charles is up to, but it has been very entertaining. This was one of the better episodes this season.

  5. Pat says:

    Is i t possible that Gregson is alive? Edith
    Will take over his businessand be fabulously successful as a single Mom. Hope Marigold perks up. Enter Gregson.

    Mary hasn’t met her mate. Think Anna will be blamed for Green’s death.

  6. sue toepel says:

    What was that man doing popping up from a hole in the middle of the point to point race course?

  7. Just the person who wrote this recap even watch the show? Mrs. Hughes gave Mary the ticket and Mary burned it. It wasn’t like Mrs. Hughes could possibly forget–she had multiple exchanges with Mary about the ticket. Furthermore, of course Charles Blake is trying to shove Mabel Lane Fox back at Tony. He’s been doing it for three episodes already.

  8. Mary says:

    If Lady Mary and Mrs. Hughes just tell the police they threw away the “whole” ticket everything will be fin for Bathes. Or how about the fact that he had raped Bates wife, (justifiable homicide). insofar as Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson, I think it is time for a “jolly ole romp” for the two of them. As they say “all work and no play…har har

  9. Alichat says:

    “Downton Abbey‘s very own Meg Griffin….” you’re welcome. I have a hard time reconciling Mary’s cold, selfish, and crappy behavior with all these suitors fawning all over her. If we’d not had Miss Bunting, I’d say Mary was my least favorite character.

    • maggie says:

      Mary is a selfish beyotch. She changed a bit when Matthew was around. It was a combination of her wanting to be a better person for Matthew, and him calling her out when she was being awful. With Matthew gone, Mary has reverted to the spoiled brat she used to be. Now that she owns part of Downton, Mary may be even worse than she was before. Making Anna buy contraception for her, and then making Anna hide it in Anna’s home, was really selfish. Does Mary even spend much time with her own child? I would love to see someone that Mary is interesting in fall for Edith instead. Edith has had such bad luck in her life, it would be interesting if she and Mary switched places, happiness-wise.

      • Isobel says:

        That would be a great idea, and Edith is the daughter of an earl as well, I don’t get why they keep pairing her up with much older men who aren’t her social equal

      • Jake says:

        Meh – I like Mary’s character, she is nice to most people other than Edith. There’s no real difference between them (both actresses are attractive women) with the big exception of their attitude/personality and the way they present themselves. Mary is upbeat, outgoing, and dresses well, Edith is a frump and a sad sack. I don’t really dislike either character, it’s just that Edith seems to bring on a lot of her own problems and likes to feel sorry for herself.

        • Lois says:

          Mary isn’t upbeat and outgoing. Mary is cold and selfish. Why so many men pursue her is hard to fathom. Edith dresses well, and is a sad sack only when bad things happen to her. She was hardly a sad sack when working with the recovering soldiers during the war. Her kindness and positive attitude were appreciated by the soldiers, and she was singled out for praise at a dinner. Her positive attitude helped Anthony recover, and get back into life, after the war. Edith inspired Michael to finally divorce his wife, after years of being stuck in a marriage in name only. Every time Edith seems to be truly happy, something happens to pull that happiness out from under her.

        • Lisa B says:

          “Mary is upbeat” and “outgoing”? You obviously haven’t been watching the same show as have! LOL

      • Gail says:

        Don’t forget that Edith is the one that had written a letter to the Turkish Embassy in London informing them about the exact nature of Mr. Pamuk death in Mary’s bed. and Mary knows this. Though this happened more than 10 years ago in the story, it is not as though Mary would forgive Edith for that.

        • Lois says:

          Don’t forget that everyone was gossiping about Mary and Pamuk before Edith wrote the letter. Edith’s letter only confirmed the gossip. BTW, Mary was the one who brought scandal to the family for sleeping with Pamuk. Edith was wrong to write the letter, but at least she was telling the truth. Mary has no problem lying to ruin Edith’s life.

        • Debbie says:

          Let’s not forget that Edith’s character was supposed to be a seventeen-year-old at the time. That, combined with the fact that she’s Downton’s Jan Brady was bound to bring out the worst in her.

    • Ben says:

      Mary really does come across as cold even to her suitors, so I’m not sure why they would bother. Perhaps she needs one she is genuinely interested in to just not be interested. It would be an interesting twist.

      Also, Edith seems so kind and sweet when she isn’t feeling completely alone and hard done by. If she had a bloke who genuinely cared for her and was able to be happy, I think we’d see a very different side of her.

  10. I love all the Mary hate. Has she ever done anything as upper class privileged as Edith did this week? “Thank you poor people but, now that you have fallen in love with a child, the daughter you clearly can’t have for unstated reasons,, and I have destroyed your marriage, I’ve changed my flighty little mind. Tata good luck. Now I’m off to London to run a publishing business and no one will ever find me!”

    • Rhea says:

      Edith is far from being perfect or someone who didn’t make mistake. But her character has shown tremendous amount of growth over the years and she is to a certain and a very small extent even likable. Now coming to Mary, I don’t hate her being sassy or selfish, I liked her most back in season one for that. It came across as being immature and lacking exposure to the world. But her character has survived a war, seen her sister die in front of her eyes and lost a husband; for someone who has seen and lived through that much where is her growth as a character?? What I hate most this season is that her character growth that we saw during the time she spent with Mathew is practically gone and she has regressed to being even colder than ever. Let us forget Edith for a while, except for Thomas and Anna, she is basically not nice to anyone at this point. And I get it, she was never going to be an overly affectionate mother but the lack of interaction that she has with her own little son isn’t helping me warm up to her either.

      • !: Welcome to upper class 1924 child rearing. Tom isn’t any different with his kid…
        2: Mary, unlike Edith Knows herself. She had the line last season?, early this year?
        that “Matthew made me better than I am (very much a paraphrase). She has said the same to Tom and both suitors. Edith can’t find herself with both hands.
        3: When it hits the fan Mary steps up. See Prince of Wales, Anna and Bates etc. Edith rips families apart see her nuclear family, The Drewes and indeed Gregson and his missing wife.
        4: Yes all their characters has survived a war, seen her sister/daughter die in front of her eyes and lost a husband/heir or been left at the alter…you can mope or you can say life is too damn short I’m all in and the hell with you.

        • Amanda says:

          We understand what you are trying to say, but at the end of the day, 1924 or not….she is rude and selfish! It’s one thing to be rude and selfish with the help, it’s another with society, but your own sister? If there’s anyone who knows what she’s going through in life, it’ll be Edith and she doesn’t care! Even if she showed just a second of compasion or thought about anyone but herself, I may find empathy in her, but she doesn’t and that’s why she isn’t likeable. Edith may be naive and gullable, but those are forgiveable traits. Being plain rude isn’t…..and if we want to get truthful, the help would’ve leaked her business (birth control, sleeping with men, etc) to anyone who cared….

          • Actually the help has NO DESIRE to disgrace the house. Ruins their status as well. Mary clearly cares about Tom and cared deeply about Sybil. And she cares deeply about Anna and Bates by extension. These are just a few examples. Edith just destroyed a marriage and you call her naive? That is not naive it is upper class BS, the lower orders, ah well, they just have to put up with poor little abused me and my actions.

          • Also, who are ruder and nastier to each other than siblings (except perhaps married folk)

        • Debbie says:

          Gregson’s wife was never missing. She’s a lunatic, committed for life to an asylum but according to English law he wasn’t allowed to divorce her–did no one ever read “Jane Eyre”? That’s why he went to Germany to become a German citizen. As a German citizen he could then divorce his wife, who he said on at least one occasion was no longer able to even know who he was.

    • Debbie says:

      You did notice they already have three kids, including a girl, didn’t you?

  11. Holly Tooker says:

    Didn’t Mrs Hughes give the ticket to Lady Mary, neither recognizing an unused ticket and its potential value as an alibi? I recall that Mary burned it. And couldn’t a prosecutor undermine the unused ticket alibi by arguing Bates could have bought two tickets to London and used one to go push Green into traffic. And what was up with that? As if that were a sure fire murder method especially in broad daylight in a crowd. I predict it turns out one of Mr Green’s many enemies ran into him in Piccadilly and they pushed him under the bus. It can’t be Bates or Anna but it could be Lord Gillingham.

  12. Ally Oop says:

    I hope Lady Mary gets none of them. I do like her character but she needs to get taken down a peg every once in a while. I really liked Tom in this episode. He’s become my favourite character on the show. I liked how smart he was in his breakup from the school teacher. I hope he gets involved in politics as that void get interesting.

  13. Jenna says:

    Mary be contrary but she and Granny will always be my favorites. “Because the impending arrival of The Good Wife‘s Matthew Goode seems to suggest that plan won’t work”. Any news on this front? Will Mr. Goode be joining for season 6? Whether he’ll remain on The Good Wife and/or Downton Abbey is a much more of an intriguing mystery than what either of the two shows have going on story wise these days. Both please, as a fan of Finery.

  14. smartysenior says:

    If Mathew Goode is coming then of course Mary must fall heads over heels for him (as we all do) and let’s keep him around. What a great solution, I don’t like either of the two current guys for Mary very much at all. How about if she likes him but he doesn’t reciprocate, making her have to be humble and remember her better side when she was in love before. This is a plotline that could go on forever and keep Goode around. Anybody know what his schedule is?

    • Lois says:

      He’s in the last episode of this season. I haven’t heard anything about Goode being on next season, but it may be too early for any announcement. We’ll certainly know by the time they start filming this Spring.

    • Sue says:

      Downton has already started filming in UK. Good Wife on hiatus until March. Matthew Goode was not in last show that aired in January. He was recently interviewed by Matthew Rhys and as they were discussing a joint project for the summer, he said something to the effect that he hoped he would be able to get the time off from Downton. Could he do both? The plot thickens!

  15. Do not blame Edith one bit , just wish she could have kept the baby at Downtown. Mary should go with the new guy from the Good Wife — he is awesome. I think Tom should couple up with Edith — they both have a child and no one to love – they would make a good pair.

    • Debbie says:

      I think that’s a splendid idea–they can both go off to American and live with Shirley MacLaine while Edith launches the American office of Gregson’s publishing empire.

  16. Only on Downton Abbey ! … When we first heard about Michael Gregson he was still married to a woman who lived in an insane asylum, and he could not legally divorce her in England because of her mental state. This was the reason he went to Germany in the first place, … To establish residency there, then obtain the divorce he so wanted. Now we find that he has been killed in Germany by some thugs in brown shirts, and leaves his entire publishing company to Edith. What happened to the wife, or does all of her rights just go up in smoke.