As usual, these recaps contain spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the episode.
- Downton Abbey is open for business (for only one day). To raise funds for the hospital, the Crawleys open their home to visitors. Is anyone truly surprised that Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Edith (Laura Carmichael) are terrible tour guides? Of course it was Bertie Pelham (Harry Haddon-Patton) that helped to plan the open house. Yup, this one’s a keeper (to be discussed below).
- While his wife and daughters play tour guide, Robert (Hugh Bonneville) is in bed, recovering from his surgery. But that does not mean that his life is drama free. First a young visitor finds his way to what should be the off-limits to visitors master suite and asks Robert, simply and directly as many a young child does, why doesn’t he live more simply like the rest of the world? If that is not enough, the hospital has been officially taken over by the county and Violet’s (Dame Maggie Smith) position has been given to Cora. As Violet always does, she is not shy about sharing her opinions, especially when she deems herself right.
- Mary is beginning to suspect the truth about Marigold, despite Tom’s (Allen Leech) professing that he knows nothing of the youngest Crawley grandchild’s origins.
- Speak of Mary and Edith, Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) and Bertie Pelham better put on a ring on it by the end of the series. The first kiss between Mary and Henry concluded with Henry stating the following: “You’re the boss.” Edith brings Bertie home as her semi official boyfriend and introduces him to sleeping daughter. In meeting the sleeping child that I hope will become his stepdaughter, Bertie says “G-d bless you, Marigold.” It seems that both surviving Crawley daughters will have some semblance of marital happiness in the near future.
- Isobel (Penelope Wilton) is introduced to the fiance of Larry Grey (Charlie Anson). Whatever charm Miss Cruikshank (Phoebe Sparrow), sees in her fiance is beyond me, but her future father in law, Lord Merton (Douglas Reith) is intent on introducing his soon to be daughter in law to upstairs residents of Downton Abbey.
- Last, but not least, poor Evelyn Napier (Brendan Patricks). Mary has kept Evelyn stuck in the friend zone for years, but Evelyn still pines for her. Give it up dude, it will never happen.
- Carson (Jim Carter) continues to insult Mrs. Hughes’s (Phyllis Logan) home making abilities. Wise he maybe in many things, but Carson needs to learn a few things about being married.
- Thomas (Rob James-Collier) has agreed to help Andy (Michael Fox) learn to read. But Carson suspects that Thomas has other motives. The show ends with Thomas weeping in the darkened servants hall. At this point, I don’t know if I want to hug him or smack him.
- Daisy (Sophie McShera) is preparing for her exams with the help of Molesley (Kevin Doyle). If anyone can do it, Daisy can.
- Julian Fellows cannot leave Anna (Joanne Frogatt) and Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) alone. Even her pregnancy is not going smoothly. Not that the first trimester is easy by any stretch of the imagination, but they deserve a break.
- Would it be fair to say that except for the usual great one liners and doing her job, Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) didn’t have much to this episode.
We are half way through the season and the drama is getting up there. Between Mary and Edith’s new men, their careers, Robert’s health scare, Anna’s pregnancy and the Carson’s marriage, I think we are being prepared for an unforgettable finale.
Dowager Quote Of The Week
“Roll up, roll up, visit an actual dining room! Complete with a real life table and chairs.”