1. "Well, it’s in the open. No more secrets."
After a grueling couple of episodes in which Anna avoids Bates at all costs, Bates bullies Mrs. Hughes into telling him the truth, and, just like that, the secret is finally out in the open. While Anna and Mrs. Hughes conspire to throw Bates off the scent by insisting that Lord Gillingham’s valet, Green, wasn’t the attacker, Bates does not buy it. While he and Anna work on their relationship – and Anna moves back into the house – at the end of the episode, Bates ominously growls, Nothing’s over and done with.
2. "Mrs. Patmore, is there any aspect of modern life you like?"
As Thomas Barrow says, “Mrs. Patmore is not what you’d call a futurist,” so in this week’s installment of “Mrs. Patmore vs. Technology,” Mrs. Patmore fights against the encroachment of the modern age on not one, but two fronts. Not only did Baxter, Cora’s new lady’s maid, bring a sewing machine into the house, but Lady Grantham herself came downstairs to insist on upgrading the kitchen from an icebox to a refrigerator. Horrified when Cora inquires if there’s any technological advancement Mrs. Patmore would approve of, the cook responds with all sincerity, “I would like to get rid of my corset!”
3. "It’s lovely to see you looking so lovely."
Lady Mary may have a new suitor in the form of Evelyn Napier, who attempted to woo Mary way back in Season 1, before she chose to spend an ill-fated evening with Kemal Pamuk (the Turkish man who eventually died in her bed). Napier is now working for the government, doing a survey near Downton of how the landed estates of Yorkshire are faring post-war. Mary – still reeling from the news that Lord Gillingham became engaged to Mabel Lane Fox – welcomes Napier (and his boss) to stay at Downton while they’re working in the area.
4. "Are the savories ready to go up?"
Carson calls out to the kitchen staff, and they are, but they were cooked up by none other than Alfred. The footman is competing in Top Chef: ’20s Edition, and Daisy, Ivy and Mrs. Patmore have been helping him prepare. Sadly, Alfred doesn’t get the chance to train at the Ritz Hotel under the great Escoffier, but Daisy gets to keep her eye on her disinterested crush.
5. "Wouldn’t it be easier for [Sybie] to begin with a clean slate rather than being the daughter of an uppity chauffeur?"
After his drunken encounter with the conniving maid and its aftermath, Tom Branson is feeling unsure of himself and his position in the family and/or world. To improve his lot, he is considering moving to America, a potential shift that is wholly understood by the American-born Lady Grantham.
6. "I wonder your halo doesn’t grow heavy. It must be like wearing a tiara round the clock."
In this week’s installment of Isobel Crawley annoying the Dowager Countess, Isobel and her usual abettor, Dr. Clarkson, want Violet to hire a young village boy, John Pegg, as an under gardener. In the face of Isobel’s campaign (“Wars have been waged with less fervor!”), she agrees to bring him on staff. However, when a paper knife presented to the late Lord Grantham by the King of Sweden goes missing, Pegg is the chief suspect and Isobel and Violet face off. Again.
7. "If we don’t respect the past, we’ll find it harder to build a future."
So says Lord Grantham after a tenant farmer named Drewe dies and, because he was behind on the rent, Tom and Mary want to foreclose on his farm. However, his son, also named Mr. Drewe, convinces Robert that the tenant-lord partnership they’ve had at Downton for generations is worth preserving. Robert secretly loans Drewe 50 pounds to catch him up on the rent, and when Tom and Mary find out, rather than being upset, they’re convinced that Robert really does care about his tenants and is, in his daughter’s words, “an honorable man.” However, the musings of Lord Grantham inspire his mother to point out that the only peer poet she knows was Lord Byron, and “we all know how that turned out.”
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