Shocking, but true: Lady Mary got down and dirty on the Feb. 9 episode of Downton Abbey , but it was Rose and Edith who had far darker secrets to conceal.
Here are seven of Sunday’s more memorable quotes, as the passive-aggressive Downton drama unfolded:
1. While Mary and Mr. Blake revealed an instant, though superficially courteous, dislike for each other, things quickly heated up as Blake soon realized that Mary isn’t just another aloof aristocrat. When the two went to inspect the estate’s newly arrived pigs, he realizes the poor animals are dehydrated and on the verge of dying. When he suggests Mary leave so he can save the pigs, she balks, “I’m not going, they’re my pigs!” Working side by side, the two – dressed in their dinner-at-Downton best – spend hours carting buckets of water through the mud to save the pigs, finally lightening the tension (on every level) by breaking into a mud fight. Returning to the house, Mary cooks up some scrambled eggs – further impressing Blake – and thanks him: And thus is a new flame ignited.
2. adding “I can’t leave Anna, not now.” Mrs. Hughes agrees that Lord Grantham should take Thomas as his valet when he goes to help Cora’s brother Harold out of some political jam, but the head housekeeper first needs to conscript Lady Mary to their cause. When Hughes tells Mary the reason for the switch-up, Mary is more than happy to help convince her father to leave Bates to tend to Anna. While Thomas is happy to take the trip, his curiosity is piqued and he put his reluctant spy, Baxter, on the case.
3. at cousin Rose after she once again misses dinner and sneaks back home after hours. Rose had accompanied Edith to Aunt Rosamund’s in London, only to run off for a clandestine rendezvous with Jack Ross, the handsome band leader. When pragmatic Jack asks what she expects to come of their interracial courtship, and expresses some doubts about a future together, Rose laughs and kisses him, telling him to just live in the moment.
4. The (possibly former) Socialist laughs and replies, “They vanished along with a chauffeur chap called Branson.” While Tom may no longer feel a political firestorm burning inside, Isobel does manage to convince him to go see a liberal MP’s speech. While he’s there, he meets an interesting woman, who, from all appearances, will likely play a larger role in the show – and in Tom’s life.
5. , who is driving the dowager crazy, “This one talks too much, like a drunken vicar.” However, Clarkson sets Violet straight, pointing out that while she was delirious with bronchitis (that threatened to develop into pneumonia), it was Isobel who stepped up as her indefatigable nurse, remaining by her bedside and wiping her brow. Once she realizes Isobel’s kindness, Violet agrees to let her stay. Notes the doctor: “You’ll be rewarded in heaven.” “The sooner the better,” Violet snarks.
6. to Edith, concerning her decision to have an abortion. While the procedure is both illegal and dangerous, Edith has made up her mind – “I am killing the wanted child of a man I’m in love with, and you ask me if I’ve thought about it!” – and Rosamund agrees to accompany her to the doctor. However, when they arrive at the secret location, Edith changes her mind, returning to Downton, not knowing how to deal with her secret that she won’t be able to conceal much longer.
7. , Lord Gillingham’s valet (and the beast who assaulted Anna). When Gillingham returns to Downton for the evening, Green is once again on the premises. Mrs. Hughes confronts the venomous Green in the boot room and tells him she knows what he did and he better watch himself if he values his life. Callous as ever, Green counters by accusing Anna of being drunk that night, but Mrs. Hughes isn t having it. Later, in front of the entire staff, Green arrogantly (and stupidly) tells them that he hated Dame Melba’s singing so much that he went downstairs during the performance – which is exactly when Anna was attacked. When the camera cuts to Bates he is staring at Green, putting the pieces together, and it’s clear that Bates now knows what happened.
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