‘Downton Abbey’ s6e5 – Lord Grantham can’t stop erupting at the dinner table

7 Feb

“You’ll find there’s never a dull moment in this house.”

Poor Lord Grantham. The ambulance has returned to Downton Abbey following a whopper of a dinner party. Will Cora ever get the blood out of her clothes? I’m glad she had time to change her gloves and that Lord Grantham got his gastrectomy (though Carson assures us that’s none of our business), but to tell the truth, I was far more worried about Granny at the end of this episode than her son. Her palor by the end of the episode was downright scary.

Granny’s worked herself up into a fever pitch about losing control over the village hospital, and this episode she adds firing Denker, blackmailing the Minister of Health, watching her own son’s guts nearly explode and spilling the beans about Marigold to her mounting blood pressure. With only a few short episodes to go, I don’t expect Granny to make it through this season. Her days are numbered.

“So long live our own Queen Mary.” ~ Tom Branson

Glass of water for Lady Mary, please. Last episode she looked in the Sybil Mirror. This episode Tom schools her on what love is, watches her father’s guts nearly explode and discovers her sister’s secret. It’s possible she could be enrolled in that hard school Granny was talking about. But these glorious character moments are the jewels I live for…precious gems that can only be crafted by time and pressure. I ADORE the look she and Edith share over their father’s body on the dining room floor. In the end, no matter what these two women have in store romantically, family-wise they only have each other (and Rose in a faraway former colony). WILL MARY FIND A WAY TO CO-EXIST ON THE PLANET WITH EDITH??? I can’t even bear to hope. But someone should.

Edith also had a smashing episode of her own this week…interviewing FEMALE caretakers, I mean, editors for the magazine, entertaining men in her very unmarried apartment, watching her father’s guts nearly explode and having her secret revealed to her last and greatest enemy. Her moment of revelation about Mary is also tremendously insightful: well before Daddy’s scene of demise she tells Bertie for all intents and purposes the estate — her childhood home — is now firmly within the control of sister Mary and she has no place to go but somewhere else.

Oddly enough, Branson is probably better between the two sisters than Sybil was. And he would never have been between them if Sybil hadn’t died. Interesting.

“…it’s important to be balananced, that one should not be far stronger than the other. I just don’t think it has much to do with money or position.” ~ Tom Branson

Henry Talbot’s car racing scene (in horrible pre-Bond style) has us Matthew Crawley fans holding our breath. Of course, Henry’s an expert where Matthew was just an idiot amateur trying to get off the show. (I’m not bitter anymore.) Tom’s not especially sensitive to how Mary feels every time she sees a car about to crash, but he does have a good point:

“There’s no such thing as slow motor racing…And there’s no such thing as safe love. Real love is giving someone the power to hurt you.” ~ Tom Branson

Just one more coat of lipstick, and I’m sure Mary will get right over that.

Bertie’s got designs on Edith. Best of luck to him. Does he inherit cousin Hexenby’s estate if there’s no heir? Crawley inheritance + Michael inheritance + Hexenby inheritance could = one serious fortune. Mary should probably get things worked out with Edith, for practicality sake.

Carson humiliates Hughes in front of Patmore and Daisy. Mrs. Hughes maintains her cool but that is one groom that is going to pay dearly for bringing his standards home. Does that cottage have a doghouse?

Mrs. Patmore IS jealous of Mrs. Hughes! Ok, kids — here’s our assignment — we need to find a love interest for Mrs. Patmore. Her house (aka retirement plan) is nearly ready, so she’s practically a sugar mama. At this moment my money’s on Mr. Mason — who’s “tops on pigs” — but I’ll settle for Sgt. Willis. Mrs. Patmore has clearly not figured out how to use her culinary skills to her advantage. That woman’s too humble.

And I have one more assignment for us Downtonians — name Baby Bates! Will it be a boy or girl? Will they name it after her parents or his? Let’s get ahead of this curve before Baby Bates arrives…bad harvest bad harvest.

A downstairs servant has actually been spared a public trial. Can you believe it? Baxter’s court appearance gets called off at the last minute, but she’s ready to face the firing squad now. I knew the truth would set her free…how will her story end?

Remember when Daisy did not want to marry William but got shoved into it? Well, we’re back there all over again. She’s forgotten everything she loved about Mason — or did she learn to love him because he was so far away? Anyway, mostly we’re just right back in the middle of no one downstairs having a flaming clue about her no meaning no. Not even Mrs. Hughes is seeing Daisy’s lack of appreciation for the love and family she’s been blessed with. The tribe has spoken — I want Daisy off the island asap. Someone please send her a ticket to America with Bunting, and Mr. Mason can have Andy move in.

Andy and Thomas kiss and make up. Clever Thomas uncovers Andy’s secret illiteracy and offers to help…again. There’s no way I’ll ever believe Thomas will change his spots, but do we dare believe he will take Lord Grantham’s advice and learn how to lead by being kind?

And will we see O’Brien before the end?

Now that Dr. Clarkson has returned from the dark side, will he throw his hat back into the ring for Isobel? I believe his siding with Granny had everything to do with his true feelings about Isobel’s romance with Dickie, and I’m wondering if it’s possible that his change of mind has brought him into a “put up or shut up” frame of mind. He’s clearly forgiven her for being stupid last episode. Would Dickie be able to do the same?

I love all the walking shots with Branson and Mary this episode. So lovely to see the countryside…and the heiress on foot like a human. One thing is still bothering me, though. If it’s time for her to essentially become her dad, shouldn’t she ask Branson to return to the agent position? We don’t need her erupting at the dinner table like Papa did in a few years. Edith can’t have all the caretakers.

(I never put everything on paper, you know…there’s always more Downton fun going on over on my Twitter page when I live-tweet the episodes as they happen. Don’t forget to join me there on Sunday nights!)


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