Downton Abbey Anna Pregnant

Downton Abbey Recap: London Calling

Remember when Anna decided not to tell Bates about her pregnancy until she knew she was out of the woods? Well, there was a slight change of plans on Sunday’s Downton Abbey.

Because Bates is a far craftier man than Anna realized — she’s clearly forgotten about the time he spent in prison — he quickly sniffed out the bun in her oven, prompting a spillage of beans. Well, some of the beans. I’m not a pregnancy expert, but I know a thing or two about sharing information, and saying “You’re not wrong in all of it” is not the same as saying “I thought I was having a miscarriage, so I went to London for a terrifying medical procedure, and now I’m 85 percent sure I’m in the clear.” But hey, who has time for the truth?

Of course, Anna’s hush-hush trip to London wasn’t all bad; Mary used her time in the city to “grab lunch or a drink or… something” with Henry Talbot, currently on loan from Alicia Florrick. I’m not rooting for these two quite as hard as I was last season, so I loved this wicked little exchange towards the end of their “date”:

Mary: I hope this means you’re boiling up to make a pass before we’re done.
Henry: Probably. But will you accept?
Mary: No, but I shall enjoy the process enormously.


Downton Abbey Mary HenryI don’t feel that Henry challenges Mary in the same way Matthew and Tony did, but he has the rest of the season to prove me — and more importantly Mary — wrong. Then again, I wonder if she’ll even be able to handle his obsession with driving at life-threatening speeds. Love interests dying in car accidents is a been-there-done-that territory I doubt Mary cares to revisit.

And while I’m talking about Mary, I have to salute what may have been her finest mean-girl moment to date: After applauding Edith’s progress at the magazine, Mary waited for her sister to exit the conversation before adding, “A monkey will type out the Bible if you leave it long enough.” She is the Dowager Countess’ granddaughter, no doubt about it.

Elsewhere this week…

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT ROBERT | Downton‘s been scattering little bread crumbs about a potential health issue for Robert all season, and this week, it dropped the whole damn loaf. Between his “I can’t drink port anymore” revelation to his near spill on the stairs with Cora, it’s become irrefutably clear that all is not well with Mr. Crawley. I’m not surprised the show is putting Robert in mortal danger for some last-minute drama, but I would be surprised if he’s reunited with Isis before the series is over. (His dead dog Isis, not the terrorist group — though both would be pretty surprising.)

Downton Abbey Thomas BaxterSUICIDE WATCH | Should we be worried about Thomas? First he said he “never felt more of a lack of reason” in his life, then busted out the ‘Why doesn’t anyone like me?’ routine, all the while staring towards a hopeless post-Downton future. I get why no one likes him — exposing Gwen to the Crawleys was an example of classic Thomas douchebaggery — but I never thought their words bothered him. That is, until he straight-up told Baxter, “I mind what people say.”

LAW & BORE-DER | Because someone at Downton must be in legal trouble at all times — see exhibits A(nna), B(ates) and C(rawleys) — Ms. Baxter learned this week that she’s being called to testify against Peter Coyle, the man who used her, and many other women like her, to carry out his thieving misdeeds. This seems like a hefty story to be put on Baxter and Molesley’s shoulders in the final season, but maybe it’ll become… something.

Odds and Ends:

* The Crawleys decided to give Mr. Mason that farm, so hopefully we’re done hearing the words “farm,” “Mason” and — God willing — “Daisy” for the remainder of the series.

* You know what, let’s add “hospital” to the list of words I never want to hear again. While I’ve enjoyed seeing the Dowager Countess hurling insults left and right — Maggie Smith has been in rare form this season — I’ve never cared about a storyline less than I do this hospital nonsense. I hate to see the show’s final season being muddled down with such filler.

* Am I the only person who feels robbed that we weren’t shown any footage from Carson and Mrs. Hughes’ honeymoon? I didn’t need them to install a camera in their bathroom, but a little hand-holding montage would have been nice.

* Tom thinks he might also get involved with race cars. (In other news, I would absolutely watch a Downton Abbey spinoff about Tom racing cars.)

* Speaking of Tom, I’m glad to know he feels badly about stealing Mrs. Hughes and Carson’s thunder by overshadowing their homecoming with his own. And I wasn’t the the least bit surprised that Robert assured him, “You didn’t.” (That man can’t read a room to save his life.)

Downton Nation, do you see good things in Anna’s uterus’ future? Is Henry enough man for Mary? And is Robert not long for this world? Drop a comment with your take on all of this week’s developments 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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25 Comments
  1. S. says:

    The way Tony challenged her? He didn’t challenge her, Blake did. Her rise to taking charge as agent was in part to Charles’ challenging any sense of entitlement to coast along. She realized they couldn’t or they’d end up losing the estate. Tony figured if he could get her to sleep with him, she’d marry him. He wasn’t doing it for her sake or leading some sexual revolution for British women. It was self-interest and stalkery tendencies. He was a lord without an anchoring estate to live on, Mary was a step up from Mabel. Tony was the rebound and Mary learned things about herself, but he was hardly her challenger.

  2. GG says:

    I think that remark of Mary’s was meant to be cutting towards herself. Her aunt complimented her for saying something nice to Edith, and that’s when she said the bit about a monkey typing a Bible if you give it long enough. Like, “Yes, I said something nice, but don’t think it’s a habit.” I loved how Henry had to remind her that she had a son, though. Golden.

    • Isobel says:

      yeah Mary is totally the Dowager’s granddaughter, right down to raising children, Tom and Edith are much more involved parents

  3. S says:

    I much preferred Charles Blake to Tony the past 2 seasons. That being said, I’m pretty sure you don’t bring Matthew Goode on your show to stand ther and look pretty ( though I’m not opposed). I’m getting nervous about how everyone’s stories are going to resolve – time is running out!

  4. Beth says:

    The minute Robert had his first bout of “indigestion” last week I saw the writing on the wall. He has something serious, perhaps on the verge of life threatening, something that the local Downton hospital won’t be able to treat. It’s obviously a plot device for the Dowager to eat a little crow, and finally admit that a modern hospital, with sophisticated diagnostic equipment, is actually needed. If Robert’s ankles start to swell, call Dr. Clarkson immediately!

    • KeithH says:

      Remember last season’s ulcer diagnosis for his Lordship…

    • Elissa says:

      What I found foreshadowing was, I can’t remember who said it to Robert, but they were talking about her funeral and someone said to Robert, “Who says she won’t be at your funeral?”

    • LBP says:

      Excellent point about Robert needing more up-to-date treatments offered by a larger/more well-equipped hospital!

      I’ve enjoyed the Dowager’s quips about the hospital and especially due to the current situation – in 2016 – w/healthcare issues & government – both in the UK and in the US.

    • Kristy says:

      It’s all that rich food. I think he is gonna have a heart attack or he has stomach cancer or something.

  5. jenni lennox says:

    I wonder why Carson removed his name plate from the door of his old room? Is he going to retire as butler? Are they going to ask Thomas if he’d like the position? I found this the most intriguing thing that happened in last night’s episode. I’m with Baxter – I feel sorry for Thomas Barrow – don’t exactly know why but there it is.

    • herman1959 says:

      He’s moving to a cottage on the estate grounds with his new wife, but they are both keeping their same jobs (and names). I hate that they are not calling her Mrs Carson.

    • Sissy says:

      He will continue to be the Butler; he has no intention of letting Barrow take that job from him. His is the highest position in the household. The room had been his bedroom for all the years he spent at Downton. I think it was to symbolize his new life as a married man, not a single man in service to the Crawleys.

    • Mike says:

      carson lives in a cottage now with mrs. carson and no longer lives in the house

    • mary ellen says:

      I think something is going to happen to Carson – death or becoming so ill that he’ll have to step down from Head Butler and Thomas will take the job and find purpose in his life (before the season ends). After all, Carson’s purpose has been crystal clear, and he now has a successful personal life with Mrs. Hughes. Thomas observed Carson’s mood and can tell the tide is turning. And he admitted he learned something from filling in – I think the Thomas bashing is coming to the end!

      • Rise says:

        There has been a lot of talk about Edith moving to London. Obviously, she will need a butler and I wouldn’t be surprised if she asked Thomas. After all, he did save her life.

  6. Emily says:

    I loved when Gwen told everyone that Sybil was the reason she left Downton. They were all stunned but not really surprised, because… well, it was Sybil. That storyline of Sybil helping Gwen get the secretary job was one of my favorites from Season 1.

  7. Audrey says:

    Wasn’t Robert diagnosed with an Ulcer at the end of last season?

  8. RZ says:

    Of Mary’s recent suitors, I liked Charles Blake the most. He put up the biggest challenge to her ideas and morals, and despite them butting heads on ideas he still appreciated her intelligence.

    I find the notion that Mary would be interested in someone who is a car enthusiast to be ridiculous considering a car accident is how Matthew died.

    • RZ says:

      Also, considering Henry’s relationship to Lady Shackleton, I can’t believe that the Crawleys wouldn’t have met him before the party at the Sinderby’s.

  9. smartysenior says:

    Tom doesn’t have any money and racing expensive cars is a rich man’s pastime. He needs to get to work making a living because just being supported by the family would be a complete reversal of a once proud man. Of course Mary will fall for Goode, why else bring on the best and sexiest actor on TV. As far as Thomas wanting people to like him that ship sailed a long time ago. He has beautifully been the one we love to hate, his supercilious personality is one of the best acting jobs I’ve seen. I hope they don’t redeem him. Dad’s going to have a health crisis and need modern treatment which will convince everyone to modernize the hospital. This has been a cute attempt at the whole “get with the times” theme we’ve always had on this show and I’ve loved it. Watching the ladies go at it is priceless.