Downton Abbey Robert Ulcer

Downton Abbey Recap: Bloody Hell

The Crawleys’ civil war over the local hospital finally became interesting on Sunday’s Downton Abbey. Too bad it had to happen at Robert’s expense.

During a particularly tense — even for Downton — dinner debate about town vs. government control of the facility, Robert lost control of his own facilities, spewing blood all over Cora’s face. (The table, too, but Cora’s blood-spattered mug is definitely the image that’ll haunt my nightmares tonight.)

After alluding to a health crisis for Robert in previous episodes, the head of the Crawley family suffered a burst ulcer and was immediately rushed (somewhat ironically) to the hospital, where he survived an emergency surgery.

MATCHMAKER, MATCHMAKER | Is there anything Tom Branson can’t do? He drives cars, he crushes single fatherhood and he can get away with saying anything to Mary’s face without consequence. A highlight of the episode for me was when he called her and Henry out for not owning up to their feelings for each other. (“Why can’t you just say, ‘I’d love to spend more time with you. When can we do it?'”) To be honest, I’m surprised he’s still single.

‘DOGS OF WAR’ | Unprovoked outbursts of loyalty might get you far at Downton — see Exhibit D(aisy) — but there’s apparently no place for such nonsense at Chez Violet. After Denker called Dr. Clarkson a “traitor” for siding against the Dowager Countess in the never-ending hospital war, she was immediately fired. But if her not-so-veiled threat against Spratt is any indication (“If I am sacked, I’m taking you with me”), she won’t be going quietly.

BOOK CLUB | Thomas’ thirst for Andy remains immeasurable, but even he knew to give the aspiring pig farmer some space after receiving an awkward “thanks, but no thanks” response to his invitation for a trip into the village. A follow-up conversation with Anna and Bates revealed that Andy is fully aware of what Thomas is after; he just doesn’t want to “give any wrong ideas.” (Jimmy? Is that you?) Things were looking up by the end of the episode, though, as Thomas is now Andy’s secret reading tutor. [Insert clever joke about how Andy can earn some extra credit here.]

Odds and Ends:

* Did Mary’s episode-ending inquisition (“Is there any talk in the servants’ hall about Miss Marigold?”) take anyone else by surprise? I kind of forgot that her genealogy isn’t public knowledge.

* I know it’s a common occurrence for new couples, but did anyone else’s heart break for Mrs. Hughes when Carson passive-aggressively dumped all over her cooking? (“This plate’s cold, which is a pity” and “This knife could do with sharpening.”) Why do you have to be like that, Carson? Unlike the plate, I was finally warming up to you!

* After working up the nerve to face Peter Coyle in court, Baxter was told that he re-entered a guilty plea and that she no longer needs to testify. Yay?

* And I don’t have too much to say about Edith and her new man, except that I love them together. Between her relationship and her female-led magazine, Edith is really owning this season.

Your thoughts on this week’s messy DowntonDrop ’em in a comment 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. Jimmy says:

    I agree about Edith. I just wish she would bitch slap Lady Mary at least once.

  2. canadian ninja says:

    Mary haters I see.

    Edith is really coming into her own, but she still cowers around Mary,

    • newsdee says:

      But why? I have only watched the last 3 seasons.

    • A fan of TV says:

      Mary is the oldest, favoured, more beautiful, controlling, and my her graces and manners Edith is not supposed to be bitchy like Mary. Edith cowers because its a chore with no payoff to stand up to her, coupled with Ediths own low self-esteem from the above and from being unlucky in love, the family redhead, etc.

    • A fan of TV says:

      In the ep last Sunday, Cora tells Robert that Edith still hasn’t told Mary the truth about Marigold because she’s afraid Mary will use it as a weapon, and Cora says, “I fear she could be right,” because even Cora knows her eldest daughter is an awful cow. That said, how can you (as a viewer) not like Mary, even just a little bit?

  3. newsdee says:

    That bloody scene at the dinner table shocked me out of my chair. Why is Mary so evil towards Edith?

    • KeithH says:

      Nature of the beast…

    • dlraetz says:

      It’s inferred that Edith and Mary never got along. In Season 1 Mary tried to spike Edith’s blossoming romance. In return Edith wrote the ambassador from Turkey that Mr. Pamuk died in Lady Mary’s bed-essentially destroying Mary’s chances on the Marriage Mart. There’s never been a true cease fire ever since

      I frequently think that I’m the only person who still dislikes Lady Edith. I thought her treatment of the Drewe family was so much worse than anything Mary has ever done that I honestly think I’d be okay with her dying in a fatal car accident or getting hit by a car

      • Chloe says:

        You’re not alone! I have never liked Edith. I’d be happy to drive the car if you could arrange for her to be standing in the road! LOL

  4. schu says:

    Never in a million years would have guessed Downton Abbey would have had such a harrowing scene. Honestly, even compared to Sybil’s and Matthew’s separate deaths, this was unbelievable in my opinion, not that Robert died (I hope he lives to see the final episode!) but really, so bloody shocking! (And this isn’t an insult or mark of disgust toward it, I really was just in such shock from it.

  5. Between everybody finally getting to see the “awful” episode of downton season 6 and that Mercy Street amputation it was definitely a Bloody Sunday on PBS.

  6. BookGirl says:

    So, we have a group of friends that have gathered together since season 2 to marathon the season in December (when 1 friend who has a universal DVD player gets the season from England). We drink every time someone says Mr. Bates, we eat cucumber sandwiches and break for Tea around episode 5, we watch all episodes (except the Christmas one, that we watch in January) in one glorious afternoon. We have a rule that no one speak, and if you have a question or a comment you raise your hand and we pause the show to address it (we’re nuts I know). When the blood vomit scene happened?? Complete pandemonium, accompanied by shrieks of laughter (because most of us are twisted), and much rewinding and rewatching–sometimes in slo-mo, others in real time, while we reenacted it. Almost all of us screengrabbed that picture of the Dowager in horror and tormented our friends on every social media platform possible w/o giving it away–so I’m relieved it’s finally aired and we can all revel in the horror of the blood vomit!

  7. Sylvia says:

    Agree with every word. My husband and I thought Robert was going to have a heart attack and then he spews blood all over the pristine table and the guests! Bahaha! What a great shocker. I bet they had a ball with that scene.

    It looks like Mary may finally be seeing how her behavior is affecting others? She was downright nice to Edith in that last scene and I’m thinking that she might actually be seeing things more clearly now that her father has had a health scare.

    Carson was being an ass and I hope poor Mrs. Hughes puts him in his place. And I used to like Daisy, but she is just annoying now. Her self righteous attitude toward just about everyone is seriously unappealing. And if I was Spratt, I’d bury Denka’s body where no one could find it. What a tool. Great episode, though.

  8. Elissa says:

    The fact that you were surprised that Mary didn’t know about Marigold’s genealogy just proves the point that I think the writers were trying to make. Everyone knows that Marigold is Edith’s b/c they aren’t self-absorbed. Mary is and only thinks about things that are important to her. The fact that she never realized Marigold was Edith’s just proves that Edith nor Marigold, is important to Mary. The fact that she seems angry about it now is worrisome. She has made so many mistakes in her life that pale in comparison to what Edith has done. It will be interesting to see the pot calling the kettle black here.

    • A fan of TV says:

      Also, there’s the fact in the script that Cora tells Robert (last week’s ep) that Edith won’t tell Mary because she’s afraid Mary would use the knowledge as a weapon against her, so Edith is also very purposefully trying to keep Mary in the dark, though it’s absolutely true that Mary is self-absorbed. I thought for sure though that Mary would have had a lightbulb switch on when the tenant farmer called her auntie, and Sybie wasn’t there, just George and Marigold.

    • Morisot says:

      I don’t think Mary is angry about it. I think she is stunned and is working out the whole thing. Yes, Mary has been rude and brusque but Edith has been plenty passive-aggressive. They have both grown up! I think they are both “coming into their own”. I like how they BOTH have evolved. Do any of you have siblings? Don’t most siblings have to work through sibling rivalry! Most sisters and brothers I know love each other and really want the best for each other (well, I want to be a LITTLE happier, prettier, and richer, after all, I AM the eldest!)

  9. KT5 says:

    Did anyone think there could possibly be a Mr. Mason, Mrs. Padmore ‘thing’ in the making?

  10. Aelin says:

    I don’t think Thomas is lusting for Andy – at least not anymore. I think he just wants a friend, because everyone except Baxter is no longer hiding their (deserved) dislike of him. How did this season make me feel sorry for him?

    • dlraetz says:

      The writing. Thomas has gone from a mustache twirling villain to a a symbol of a very modern problem–a person in a job that slowly is ceasing to exist due to modernization or outsourcing

      • Aelin says:

        They’re also historically correct in showing how his homosexuality has made him an outcast. Although maybe the other characters would have pretended not to know about it if he hadn’t done all those awful things over the years. One the one hand it annoys me that the writing has changed so much “Look – now you can like Thomas!”. But I suppose the writers might say they’re trying to show that the way society treated gay men made him such a bitter, jealous person, but that at heart he isn’t all bad and would like to fit in.