Downton Abbey Recap: Open House

Downton Abbey Recap

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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