Downton Abbey: Always a bridesmaid
Drama ensues at Edith's wedding
In the season premiere, Mary and Matthew married after a marathon eight years of on and off courtship. In this episode – set in May 1920 – Edith was all set to marry Sir Anthony Strallan. Edith did get to walk down the aisle, but as soon as the wedding ceremony began Sir Anthony cut it off.
"I can't do it," he said, looking first to Edith and then addressing his next remark to her father. "You know it's wrong, you said so yourself on several occasions."
Love wasn't the problem, just British reserve and pride. Sir Anthony didn't want Edith to have to fetch and carry for an old man any more than her father wanted her to.
Poor Edith spent the rest of the episode crying in bed. When Anna came to see if she wanted anything, Edith reflected mournfully that she'd like a different life. Poor Edith. Perhaps her grandmother can find her a nice American boy.
Matthew received a letter Reggie Swire wrote before his death and left with his estate lawyer. He refused to read the letter, maintaining that he had no right Lavinia's father's money. Mary, undaunted, read it herself. It turns out that Reggie left his fortune to Matthew knowing full well that things had ended badly between him and Lavinia.
This of course prompted Matthew to accept the money so that he could save Downton. He tried to give it to Lord Grantham, but the earl refused to take the money outright. He and Matthew will now run Downton together and Mary will -- possibly -- get to be the Countess of Grantham who lives at Downton Abbey, as she always expected to be. We can also hope that Mary and Matthew will be able to live a bit more peacefully without the shadow of the money between them.
Belowstairs, Carson cottoned on to Mrs. Hughes' illness and worried the truth out of Mrs. Patmore. Just when the entire household was ready to move heaven and earth to make Mrs. Hughes comfortable, the good lady learned that she was in fine health after all. Carson was so cheered by the news that he broke into song while he polished the silver. There's hope yet for those two!
As far as the plot lines left hanging, Anna's investigation into Vera Bates' death has hit a snag. She paid a visit to a former neighbor of Vera's who told her that she had been expecting Bates for tea on the day of her death...and was terrified of him. Of course, any friend of Vera's is unlikely to be a friend of Bates'.
We also saw a bit more of Bates' life inside. It looks like his bad luck continues – his cellmate hid contraband in his bed.
The feud between Thomas and O'Brien reached a new low, though both parties should have been focused on the upcoming nuptials. Thomas managed to convince Mosley that O'Brien intended to leave Downton, and that he should speak to Lady Grantham about a position for his niece. Mosley spilled the beans to the countess, leaving Carson to sort the whole thing out to everyone's satisfaction. It will be interesting to see what O'Brien cooks up as revenge.
Esther went to see Mrs. Crawley at her makeshift women's shelter in the village, but ran away a second time without asking for any help. Mrs. Crawley tracked her down in the village, only to be turned away at the door.
Downton Abbey airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on local PBS affiliates.