Going To The Registry Office (But Not The Synagogue) And We're Going To Get Married
Or are we? An eleventh-hour scandal threatens the engagement...and who's behind it?!
Get The Look: 1920s Interfaith Bride
Two months have passed since the last episode -- plenty of time to throw a whole toff wedding together with haste enough to make one wonder if there's a shotgun lurking just offscreen. And Rose has gathered all her female relatives -- minus her rotten bitch of a mother, who's barely going to make it back from India in time for the actual wedding -- to model her trousseau and have some
White Day Dress: Just the thing to acknowledge the occasion while also not making it seem like you don't know you're doing it in a registry office because no house of worship will solemnize the union of a Christian and a Jew. (Rose also comments that she'd like to get a blessing in a synagogue, but Lord Sinderby will later inform her that she's SOL -- rudely, natch: "Well, you don't understand our customs -- but then again, why should you.")
Silk Jacket: Not sure you're asking the right room full of matrons whether your look is too "mumsy," although at least Mary is also present to confirm that it's "very chic."
The Hat: "Are we to pretend [the Shrimpys] are a happy couple?" asks Mary. "Yes, we jolly well are," says Rose immediately, noting that she doesn't need to give Lord Sinderby any MORE reasons to oppose the match beyond the clash of faiths. That lovely wide brim will be just the thing to hide behind when Shrimpy and Mrs. Shrimpy inevitably fail in their attempt to keep up appearances!
This Plotline Truly Is EverGreen
Alert Type: Endless Murder Investigation Alert.
Issue: For completely fucking unknown reasons, the cops are still investigating Green's murder.
Complicating Factors: Because several women have come forward to report, belatedly, that Green "attacked" them, Vyner's come to Downton to try to get Anna to admit, at long last, that she is also a survivor of his sexual assaults, which she doesn't. But that doesn't seem to deter him from thinking she might have had a motive to murder him -- plus they also now know that Green's murderer was much shorter than Green was, so even though that means it wasn't Bates, it doesn't rule out...others. Who are short.
Resolution: Since Anna and Bates are going to be in London anyway for Rose's wedding, Vyner says that they should just pop in to Scotland Yard for a visit, totally no big deal...except when she does, it's to be IN A LINEUP. And in the days before two-way mirrors, witnesses apparently got right up in your face!
Spoiler: Anna might not need to worry that much about planning for her retirement after all.
No Stone Un-unveiled
Situation: It's just about time for the war memorial to be unveiled and dedicated, and Lord G wants everyone from the house to attend the ceremony.
What makes it awkward? Mrs. Patmore doesn't want to go, and when Lord G makes a point of saying he wants a place of honour for Mr. Mason (given the loss of his son), Daisy also feels weird about attending, for fear of seeming disloyal to Mrs. Patmore.
How is order restored? Lord G makes a rare (unprecedented?) trip to the kitchen to ask Mrs. Patmore personally to attend, which she finally agrees to do since he made a federal case about it. (He turns out to have a good reason, but until we find that out, this does seem kind of pushy, under the circumstances.)
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Making Wrinkled Love
OMG you guys, Prince Kuragin has come by The Dowager C's for a visit and he is all done fucking around! The Dowager C is shocked, reminding him that his wife is (in all likelihood) still alive, and is he talking about getting a divorce? Prince Kuragin: "Why -- do you want more children?" Oooooooh, he sassy! But he's not done: "I wish to spend my final years with you -- as a friend, as a lover. I don't see a scandal. Only love. The last years have been ugly. I don't want what remains to be ugly." You know The Dowager C closed up shop underpants-wise like sixty years ago...but she doesn't actually say no! It must go a long way with her that this bro doesn't have any shitty kids to ruin their good time, unlike certain other smooth-talking senior gigolos in the county we could mention, LORD MERTON.)
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Love, Hate & Everything In Between
We will, before the episode is out, learn that Spratt's instincts on Denker are pretty solid. But at this stage -- when he's still hanging around after having fake-threatened to quit, and the worst he can think to do to sabotage her is kick one suitcase under the bed that was probably only full of hankies anyway AND HIS GAMBIT IS DISCOVERED AND REMEDIED TWO SCENES LATER, it really seems like this is the 1920s servant version of sticking Denker's braid in his inkwell.
Andy Goin'...Back To Downton?
Name: Andy. Age: Early 20s. Occupation: Temp footman. Goal: To find a better professional situation than his old job as a hall boy, apparently the lowest-ranked servant in a household (so low, in fact, that if Downton has any, we've never met them). Sample Dialogue: At Denker's leading question as to whether he likes "a bit of fun": "I suppose so -- as much as the next man!"
You Can't Say "Flintshire" Without "Flinch"
Situation: Everyone's packing into Downton House, where space is limited, for Rose's wedding.
What makes it awkward? Because space is limited and everyone got the email blast about faking it like the Shrimpys are doing great marriage-wise, Cora's got them sharing a room...until Mrs. Shrimpy is like, "I'm not sharing a room. I'll go to an hotel." Bitch, I thought you were broke!
How is order restored? Cora quickly suggests that Edith and Rose can bunk up together. How very convenient for THE BRIDE on her wedding week! Fucking Susan.
Trust And Tricks
Alert Type: Chump Alert.
Issue: Denker's happy to be back in London to revisit all her old haunts, and to be friendly, she's bringing Andy along to join her.
Complicating Factors: She brings him to a gambling den, where he promptly loses all his savings.
Resolution: The new Nice Thomas figures out the scam: Denker's worked out a deal where she brings marks in, and in exchange gets to drink for free. So he insists on coming with them their last night in town, whereupon he wins back Andy's savings and gets Denker in trouble with the pit boss (or whatever), requiring her to pay for her several nights' worth of drinks.
Spoiler: Denker doesn't get her comeuppance yet -- even though she comes home after Carson's curfew super-wasted, everyone else covers for her -- but one senses that it won't take long and that Spratt will be extremely gratified by it.
Stag & Bone
What's the occasion? Atticus is enjoying the latest thing for his father to disapprove of: his stag party!
What are the refreshments? So so so much booze.
Whose embarrassing public scene will everyone be talking about tomorrow? If anyone saw, it would probably be this.
So it's a good thing no one did, RIGHT?!
Dear Lady Rose MacClare,
Much as it pains me to bring this matter to your attention on the eve of your wedding and at risk of your calling it off, please find enclosed several photos of your fiancé apparently bidding adieu to a floozy at the end of his stag party. I assume that you will draw your own conclusions, as I did, and proceed accordingly.
A Concerned Citizen You Definitely Don't Know Personally
Flowers For Dais-ernon
Alert Type: Allegory Of The Cave Alert.
Issue: Daisy's trip to an art gallery with Molesley and Baxter is the latest event to cause her to realize what a limited life she's lived to this point, and she's resolved: she's going to quit her job and move to London to continue her education!
Complicating Factors: Though Mrs. Patmore doesn't want to hold her back, she's also very sad at the thought of losing Daisy.
Resolution: With no build-up or explanation, Daisy just straight changes her mind and decides to stay at Downton after all.
Spoiler: The number of viewers who care about this plotline is 0.
Mary Gonna Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate
If Mary's ever, in her life, let pass an opportunity to shit on Edith, I'm pretty sure we haven't seen it. Here, she works a slam into a conversation that's nominally about dealing with the scandalous photos. And I love it.We'd better act fast, before it all hits the rocks.Everything seems to be hitting the rocks at the moment.That's a bit sad.I mean it! Sybil was my ally, and she's gone; now Rose. And you're about to leave and take Sybbie with you -- it's too much to bear!Mary. I must live my life.What, and leave me alone with Edith? When you read in the paper I'm on trial for murder, it'll be your fault.
J. Walter Weatherman Lesson
Ready For Those Flashing Lights
Growing up with servants waiting on your every whim has a lot of pluses. One minus is that if you tell a roomful of people you need a servant to mail a cheque for you, people are going to take note of it, especially if they know you're broke now, SUSAN. Here's a thought: don't draw attention to your evil schemes, and just mail it yourself? This is how Shrimpy totally figures out that Susan -- not Lord Sinderby, as was Atticus's first thought -- was behind the incriminating photos of Atticus, in her underhanded attempt to get Rose to call off the wedding while faking like she was fine with it. Although, if I'm being honest, she didn't do a GREAT job of faking it, what with, for example, asking Lady Sinderby if she has a hard time finding staff. (Lady S: "Not very -- but then we're Jewish, so we pay well." Boom!)
Anyway, by the time Shrimpy confronts Susan about it -- when he's sure Rose has accepted the truth, which is that Atticus was set up, perhaps as a prank by his buddies -- he's got a pretty iron-clad case (because he CHECKED THE CHEQUE STUBS this master criminal left behind as evidence, which he never would have done if not for all that cheque talk in the foyer the other day), and Susan doesn't deny it long before changing tack.
Shrimpy says that he won't dime her out to Rose unless something happens to stop the wedding from proceeding, in which case Susan is fucked.
Let's Get Real (Estate) About Our Priorities
Time to check in on the finances of the estate for ten seconds! Lord G's figured out how he's going to pay for the nice cottages they want to put up: he's going to sell the Della Francesca. No one but Cora knows the painting's notorious recent history, and she sadly asks whether Lord G's getting rid of it because she spoiled it for him with her entanglement with Simon Bricker. Lord G's like, yes and no: "Every time I look at [the painting], I'm reminded that I didn't trust you, and I feel so angry with myself, I want to be rid of it." Well, it took long enough, but: good. I guess having your dog die realigns your conception of what's important in your life, and I say "I guess" because I intend never to find out. My dog is immortal.
One Small Della Francesca = A Shitload Of Cottages
We Can't Miss You If You Don't Leave
I'm kidding: I like Tom and I don't really want him to move to Boston, when the cottages are finished/after Christmas, to work in his cousin's construction equipment company or whatever. What I do want is for him either to do it, or stop talking about it. Homo sapiens could have migrated into central Europe five times in the time it's taken Tom to pull the trigger on this shit.
Making Your Wed
What's the occasion? It's Atticus and Rose's wedding, the event we've been waiting one whole episode to see.
What are the refreshments? There's no snacks at the registry office, but in the afternoon they will repair to a reception where Rose can wear a more traditional gown, and everyone can drink champagne and try to avoid accidentally saying anything anti-Semitic.
Whose embarrassing public scene will everyone be talking about tomorrow? Fucking Susan's, of course! When Rose is elsewhere preparing for Shrimpy to walk her down the aisle, Susan seizes the moment everyone else is milling around to announce to the room that she and Shrimpy are getting divorced, and if the disgrace is too much for the Sinderbys to take, then she feels bad about that, but YOU KNOW, she's GOT TO BE HONEST! Unfortunately for Susan, her bombshell backfires on her: Lady Sinderby immediately steps forward to say it's cool: "We are forewarned, and so now we will be forearmed!" Susan's like, WELL, I'M OUT OF IDEAS AS WELL AS MONEY. When Lord Sinderby mutters something suggesting that he intends to countermand her acceptance, Lady Sinderby isn't having even a little of it: "If you do anything to stop this marriage -- anything at all -- I will leave you. And then you will have a scandal worthy of the name." Thank you, Lady Sinderby, for being a one-woman repudiation of corny mother-in-law jokes.
This Milk Is Sour. Maybe Tomorrow It'll Be Good Again!
Now that Mary's done tugging his strings, as Charles Blake put it last time, Tony's decided to quit being a jerk and marry Mabel Lane Fox, putting him exactly back where he was at this time last year. Well, that was a pointless cul-de-sac we spent the season in!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Rose vs. Susan
Even though Shrimpy's apparently stuck to his word about keeping the truth of the stag-party setup from Rose, news of Susan's divorce announcement at the registry office has gotten back to Rose, and Rose is PISSED. Knowing she really has no argument to make other than "I'm a bigot," Susan just weakly tells Rose that she did it out of love. Rose:
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Hitch Your Wagon To A Carson
Is it time already for the once-per-season reminder that Carson and Mary have a special surrogate father-daughter bond? It is! While Mary is happy for Tony IN THEORY that he's back on the track he was...on before he got reacquainted with Mary, she's also feeling sorry for herself because if she had any ideas of Charles being her backup, they're kind of gone now that he's being sent to Poland for a million months. Carson definitely doesn't think she needs to waste any tears on Tony: "He wasn't good enough for you, Milady. Not by half." Mary says she doesn't think anyone else would agree with him, and she's kind of right: we've just seen her actual dad watching her amiably chatting with Tony and sighing to Edith that it's a shame they won't actually make a happy couple. ("Give it up, Papa. It's a pipe dream." - Edith.) Carson doesn't care: "But the difference is that you would agree with me. I watched you realize it as time went on -- reluctantly, perhaps, but you came to see that he wasn't up to the mark." "I'm not sure if that's alarming or reassuring coming from someone who knows me so well," sighs Mary wistfully. "Reassuring, I hope," says Carson in his most avuncular tone, "for I am confident that you will triumph in the end." "Thank you, Carson," says Mary, returning to the party. "That means more to me than you know." Aw. If only it were socially acceptable for them to hug.
Wrap It Up
Vyner totally arrests Anna! Everyone is aghast! Mary announces that they're going to call their lawyer right now! Vyner: "Telephone all you like, Miss"! "I am not 'Miss,' I am Lady Mary Crawley!" "I don't care if you're the queen of the Upper Nile," he drawls in response! Can you believe the nerve of this guy?! (But seriously, we all think it was Baxter, right?)
Everyone recovers from Anna's arrest enough to attend the memorial as stipulated by their employer! When Carson's finished reading a reverent poem, Lord G calls everyone's attention to "one more gallant chap," whose name wasn't included on the memorial because he wasn't local, but Lord G still felt it right to mark his passing!
Lord G calls to Mrs. Patmore and leads her to a smaller plaque he's had made for Archie on the side of a wall, a respectful distance away from the official memorial! It's probably as good a compromise as anyone would expect, under the circumstances!
And then Lord G looks across to Edith making a gigantic fuss over Marigold -- as usual -- and suddenly figures something out!!!
And then it's time for a solemn march back to the house! Mary is sure Anna won't be convicted because the cops don't have anything on her! A stoic Bates says the cops don't have anything they're telling anyone at Downton about, adding, "But you're right, Milady: she will not be convicted!" So he's going to jump on the grenade for her? Cool decision!
The Dowager Countess encourages Isobel to fight for Lord Merton! Does that mean The Dowager C is likewise going to fight for Prince Kuragin? "You forget you hold the winning card: Lord Merton's wife is dead!" And from everything we've heard about that rotten bitch, Isobel's not the only one better off for it!
Tom and Edith talk about their respective fakey jobs and who cares!
Mrs. Hughes and Carson discuss the crazy statistical anomaly of another Bates getting arrested on false charges! It's weird, right?!
And finally, Lord G tells Cora he's finally hit upon what it is about Marigold that seems so familiar! "She reminds me of Michael Gregson." Cora:
Nice poker face! "Just tell me if I'm wrong," says Lord G! "You're not wrong," Cora quietly admits! But he shouldn't tell Edith that he cracked the case! Lord G says it's strange to be on the inside of a secret for a change, but he'll keep it if Cora wants him to! "And you'll love her? Your new granddaughter?" Cora asks him tentatively. "I rather think I will," Lord G replies. I'm not sure she's going to make that easy what with the way Edith spoils her, but good luck, Donk! SEE YOU ALL AT CHRISTMAS A.K.A. NEXT WEEK!!!