Downton Abbey Recap

Downton Abbey Recap: Open House

The Crawleys followed up last week’s unexpected bloodbath by inviting a bunch of peasants into their home on Sunday’s Downton Abbey. (Spoiler alert: Things did not go smoothly.)

The experience might not have been a total disaster if (1) any of the Crawley women were even remotely educated about the house’s history, and (2) if the Dowager Countess didn’t throw down her gauntlet with Cora in front of a bunch of poor people.

The D.C. was none too pleased that the hospital folk ousted her as president, only to replace her with Cora. (Why Cora thought nothing of discussing the top-secret matter in front of Baxter, I’ll never know. The woman is a literal thief.) Her scorching of the earth ended with this message for Robert: “Tell Cora I do not wish to see her face until I’m used to having a traitor in the family.”

Elsewhere at Downton this week…

DRIVE ME CRAZY | Mary kinda-sorta used another one of Anna’s check-ups in London as an excuse to see Henry, this time bringing Tom along for the ride. Edith almost joined them, but I’m really glad she didn’t, as it afforded us this glorious exchange between the sisters:

Mary: Edith, you can manage for a day without us, can’t you?

Edith: I can manage without you for as long as you want.

Point: Edith! … Anyway, the London trip couldn’t have gone more perfectly if Mary had planned it herself; a sudden downpour stranded her under a bridge with Henry, where they proceeded to do kissy stuff. (For those of you keeping score at home, handsome British guy + big romantic speech + well-timed rain = jackpot, every single time.) I also appreciated Mary finally addressing the four-wheeled elephant in the room: that she’s uneasy about cars after Matthew’s death.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS | Just when things were starting to look up for Thomas, a series of miscommunications led Carson to believe that he and Andy were doing… well, exactly what Thomas wishes they were doing. He gave his word there was no “private understanding” between them, but Carson informed him that his word was about as useful as Mrs. Hughes in the kitchen — more on that later — leaving Thomas to sob all alone in the servants’ hall. (And with that, I’m officially putting him back on suicide watch.)

KITCHEN NIGHTMARES | It’s funny… I’ve been a die-hard Carson/Mrs. Hughes supporter for years, yet we’re only a few episodes into their marriage, and I suddenly find myself shifting to their No. 1 divorce advocate. Every time he told his wife how she should be cooking, or suggested informed her that she was to ask Mrs. Patmore for advice, the hair on my neck stood on end. The fact that he wouldn’t let her drink — as a sign of solidarity to Robert for some ungodly reason — was the straw that signed the camel’s divorce papers as far as I’m concerned. This is not the fairy tale we were promised. (But then, what marriage is?)

Odds and Ends:

* The way Bertie said “God bless you, Marigold!” to Edith’s sleeping daughter was super creepy, no?

* Do Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason have a “private understanding”? (Thank you, Carson, for my new favorite euphemism for “boning.”)

* On one hand, I want Mary to solve the Marigold mystery and move on. But on the other hand, I love that her investigation is causing outbursts like: “She’s so stupid to have saddled herself with a child.” Oh, Mary.

Your thoughts on this week’s DowntonDrop ’em in a comment below.


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  1. Jay says:

    I forgot this is only airing in America, I had the biggest Time Warp for a min there

  2. Alichat says:

    I have never understood why people love Lady Mary. I’ve disliked her through most of this series. I didn’t find Bertie’s blessing Marigold in the nursery a creepy moment. I thought it was an odd attempt at trying to pull at Edith’s heart strings….so more odd than creepy. And I don’t believe Baxter said anything about the hospital incident. I imagine someone overheard Isobel or the Doctor talking about it and word got back to the Dowager.

    • RZ says:

      Exactly. I’ve never understood the Mary worship. She’s a horribly self-centered person.

    • Emily says:

      My take on Mary is that she actually does have a heart and, in fact, feels things so deeply that she uses snark to protect herself. Her helping Anna with the baby shows how she can care about another person, even if she sometimes acts like a jealous suitor while doing it. (Basically telling Bates “I’ll take care of her AND the bill” had me LOLing.)

      • Alichat says:

        Interesting. I see that moment of her telling Bates she will cover everything as a sign of her selfishness. Tom had to point out to her that it’s not about her wants, it’s about Bates’ pride. If she really wanted to be selfless about it, she could have asked the doctor to give Bates a bill that’s actually half of the charges, and she secretly pays the other half. Then no one is the wiser. Or hey….let’s just be original and let Bates pay the bill since that’s what he wants. I would have liked to see Tom call Mary out for her cattiness to Edith. He didn’t seem to have a problem chiding Edith for his assumption that she wasn’t happy for Mary. If the situation were reversed and Edith had insulted Mary for bringing up a happy memory about Matthew, everyone would be upset and disappointed with Edith. The Mary love makes no sense to me.

      • RZ says:

        Mary is very good to Anna and also to Tom. She’s either indifferent, cruel, or haughty to everyone else.

  3. Jenks says:

    Yet again, it appears that Andy watches some other show than the one I’m watching. And yet again, this recap is snarky, crude, completely misinterprets characters’ actions, and generally lacks any insights.

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  5. juliebestry says:

    Not creepy at all. We’re being set up to believe that he’ll love Edith even if she’s had a past, and not be shaken by the idea that Marigold was the result of that past.

  6. jenni lennox says:

    I think that the DC had finally received the letter from the hospital admin that she was being let go. Just because Baxter was coerced into stealing her mistress’s jewelry by that man Coyle does not make her a blabbermouth. In fact, did she not always resist Barrow’s attempts to have her tell him everything that she knew about everyone? And I love to see Edith get one up on Mary. I like where Edith’s story is going…except for impending disaster re: Marigold once Mary finds out the truth (that Anna almost let slip). Carson is a hideous anachronism. Mrs. Hughes should dump him. How could he be so stupid as to offer booze to a man who has just suffered a perforated ulcer? Someone should have grabbed that stick and hit him with it. Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason are my new favourite couple.

  7. Lyn says:

    No comment on the way Daisy is behaving like a jealous little brat because she doesn’t want Mrs. Patmore to be the object of Mr. Mason’s interest?

    • Chloe says:

      I’m so over Daisy. She’s become obnoxious this season, between her carrying on until Mr. Mason got the farm, her jealously of Mrs. Patmore & her crack in the episode about how anyone should be able to just trot in anyone’s house because she apparently doesn’t believe in “laws of property”.

  8. I’m really starting to worry about how they are going to end this season/series. 1) I would have hoped they would do something to solve the Edith/Mary headbutting. I’m ok with them not ending up as close as they were with Sybil, but I’d like them to at least not be so hateful now that they are adults with children of their own. 2) I really dislike the foreshadowing with Barrow. They’ve had any number of reasons to be rid of him over the years when he was deserving. They seem to take delight in being cruel to him now that he’s actually trying to be a member of the ‘family’. 3) Why are we making the beloved characters despicable here at the end? Carson, to a small degree, but mostly Daisy. I want to punch her. She’s insufferable. You’re supposed to grow out of bratty behavior as you grow older, not get worse.

  9. Morisot says:

    About the house visits/tours: This was a new “thing”. It seemed to come about rather quickly. They really didn’t know WHAT people would be interested in. (Didn’t one of the family think that they were going to be on exhibit like animals in the zoo?) I think it showed how comfortable and used to their “home” they are. (Do you know the “history” of your home and EVERY thing in it?And, bet you DON’T know what you DON’T know about your own community.) They seemed surprised AND willing to learn (and even realize that tours might be something worth pursuing in the future!)

  10. KT5 says:

    These recaps seem to be missing any meaningful insight. Daisy’s perhaps has never had anyone who has been entirely hers (Mr. Mason) and now she has to share. She needs to (and will I’m sure) come to realize that his love for her will not diminish by including someone else in his life. And what about Mr. Mosely’s storyline which is lovely and important. And if he leaves Downton, this will leave a vacancy in which case this could leave room for Thomas. And Mary realizing Marigold is Edith’s daughter could bring the two sisters closer together. I love Tom’s character, but he is so calm and level this season and I’m missing his passion for social change. He’s always been a reflection of and a voice for the changing social landscape in Britain.

    • KT5 says:

      Oh, and the Carsen/Hughes situation is a lovely set up for Mrs. Hughes to have a showdown with the ‘man who cannot be pleased’ and assert herself to equal standing in the relationship……..make your own GD dinner and you can make mine as well after you finish making the beds……..(I can hope that this is where this is headed.)

  11. Gail says:

    Nothing shows the changes in times like what has happen with Daisy. In the first season she was supposed to be invisible, the only time she was upstairs was to start the fires when the family was out of the rooms. She was not allowed to be present when all the other staff was assembled to greet important guests. Now she is about to take examines which presumably will allow her to leave service. Don’t know why thy have her acting like a spoiled daughter concerning Mr. Mason and Mrs. Patmore. Why wouldn’t she want her father and mother figures to be together? Does she think that they will no longer need her if they are together? Its not like a stranger is coming to upset her relationships. She knows them both and presumably loves them both.

  12. RZ says:

    I thought it was ironic when Mary said that Bertie Pelham is boring, considering that all Henry Talbot does is talk about cars.

    • Wooster182 says:

      Well, yes, but Bertie doesn’t look like Matthew Goode either. LOL. That being said, I don’t like them together. I love MG but I’m hoping Mary and Tom realize they are in love with each other. And I adore Bertie and Edith. Bout time she got a good man to love her and not die…

      • Znachki says:

        Pretty sure Mary and Tom is not going to happen. I thought this episode put that to rest. He kind of gave Mary and Henry his blessing.

      • Piers says:

        Mary & Tom should never happen. That really would put the entire family beyond the pale. Can you imagine George saying to Sybbie “Your daddy is sleeping with my mommy? That’s disgusting.

      • RZ says:

        Of Mary’s recent suitors, I’ve liked Charles Blake the most. He never swooned over her like the other gentlemen did, appreciated her intelligence, and challenged her. It’s disappointing to me it looks like they are having her end up with a pretty face but no personality, just so they can make the point that Mary is open to “marrying down” if she falls in love.

  13. Megan says:

    I didn’t think the bertie thing was creepy. The way she way sleeping on her stomach with her hair in her face was cute.

  14. Megan says:

    I don’t get why daisy is acting so dumb.It does not make any sense.