Downton Abbey Recap: Scenes From a Marriage

downtonThis week on Downton Abbey, the shoulder that Cora gives Robert is so cold, he runs the risk of getting frostbite. Luckily, the Dowager Countess has a plan to make things right.

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THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’ | His wife’s upset notwithstanding, Robert still has a bloody awful week. Besides burying Sybil, he’s faced with the “ghoulish” prospect of Tom naming their newborn after the deceased and, worse, having her baptized as a Catholic! On top of that, Matthew attempts to hang an “Under New Management” sign on Downton Abbey and set in motion his vision for the future of the estate — one that involves more than Earl Grey and idle gossip! And that’s only the beginning…

FOOD FOR THOUGHT | When Isobel decides to throw a ladies-only luncheon to cheer up Cora, Ethel enlists Mrs. Padmore’s help with the cooking so as not to accidentally kill any more Crawleys. When Carson catches wind of this — and then Robert — their knickers become so knotted, it’s a wonder that they don’t trip. But that’s not the half of it: When Robert storms in and orders the womenfolk to leave, lest they be seen eating salmon mousse prepared by a former hooker, not a one of them budges. Ouch.

GOOD GRIEF | Eager to mend the rift between her son and Cora, Violet asks Dr. Clarkson to tell her daughter-in-law that, even if he’d performed a C-section, Sybil would’ve died, anyway. “I won’t lie!” he says (pretty much). “Lie is so unmusical a word,” she replies (literally). And, after he relents and tells Cora a decidedly bent version of the truth, she finally allows Robert to comfort her. Marriage saved! Well done, Dowager Countess!

WHAT’S COOKIN’ | Daisy’s fondness for Alfred, his for Ivy and hers for James become so palpable that Mrs. Patmore is moved to exclaim, “You’re all in love with the wrong people!” (Not that they pay her any mind, of course!). But it’s the situation between James and Thomas — and puppetmaster Mrs. O’Brien! — that’s really about to come to a head: Thomas is sure that James reciprocates his feelings when, in fact, the newbie is one awkward fondle away from complaining to Carson!

COMINGS AND GOINGS | From behind bars, Bates finds a way to threaten the truth out of Mrs. Bartlett, thus obtaining the testimony he needs to get sprung and (not now but soon) return to Downton Abbey. Tom reveals his plan to (not now but soon) move back to Liverpool with Sybil 2.0. Daisy’s father-in-law, Mr. Mason, invites her to come live on his farm so that he can teach her how to run it before he (not now but someday) leaves it to her. And Matthew promises Mary that he’ll love her “till the last breath leaves my body” (not now but… well… not yet, anyway).

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you glad that Robert and Cora have kissed and made up? Do you think Mrs. O’Brien will be successful in getting rid of Thomas? Are you happy that Bates will be coming home? Sound off below!