Previously on Downton Abbey: Mary decided Gil wasn’t for her after all, Violet reconnected with an old flame, Sarah kept insulting everyone, Daisy took lessons, Patmore’s nephew is being excluded from war memorials, and Edith’s behavior just got a little too intrusive and creepy for Mrs Drewe.
Thomas returns home and is fairly warmly welcomed with inquiries about his father’s health from Baxter. He lies that his dad is much better.
Upstairs, the family’s at lunch. We learn that Robert, Mary, and Tom are going to be meeting with the guy from Leeds who wants to develop Pip’s Corner, and that Shrimpy’s coming back to England for a bit, sans harridan wife. He’s invited to stay at Downton. Robert wonders where Shrimpy will be sent next and gets a ‘cease and desist NOW!’ look from Mary. Rose chats about how sad her Russians are, remembering the good old days while they now live in poverty.
Robert: This is the part where I put nasty words right in Tom’s mouth, even though he’s done nothing but sit there and eat his lunch calmly, like an adult.
Tom: As I’ve said before, I have great sympathy for people banished from the country of their birth.
Mary: How about you lay off? Tom said nothing. You’re really just making yourself look bad.
Robert: Hey, mum, how about we talk about your old boyfriend?
Violet: He was no such thing, stop sullying the memory of your father.
Edith: Well, I hope you see the guy again anyway
Violet: Even though what you just said was fairly nice and offhand, I’m going to freezingly make you uncomfortable now, because you’re the family’s designated whipping child.
Mary, Robert, and Tom look over the plans for the proposed Pip’s Corner houses at the actual site.
Robert: Why are they all separated, instead of being jammed together like all the other houses on the estate?
Tom: People prefer detached these days. They covet that sweet, sweet sideyard and not having to share a wall with neighbours whose kid has just decided to take up the tuba.
Robert: My mind was already made up before we got here, and unsurprisingly, it hasn’t been changed by the fact that this is slightly unfamiliar to me. I hate change! This isn’t going to happen!
Violet and Isobel, meanwhile, go to visit the Russians, who apparently spend their day hanging around in the crypt of a church. Because when your whole life is depressing, why not spend your days in the most depressing spot you can find? They run into Rose, who’s delighted and surprised to see them, and finally find Prince Kuragin and sit down for a chat. Kuragin says Violet hasn’t changed since the days she was the beautiful young Countess of Grantham, though she’s now become a great, imperious lady. But he’s quite different from the powerful, wealthy man she once knew.
Just as Edith’s the whipping child upstairs, Molesley fills the role downstairs. Carson finds him and says that, as he’s the first footman, he can take on all the silver polishing. Molesley sees all of it and seems disheartened.
Back with the refugees, Violet says she’s been thinking about something Kuragin said back at Downton. She asked him how his wife, the princess, was and he replied that he had no idea. I’m glad someone else was dwelling on that, because I found that rather disturbing, considering the fate of many Russian aristocrats during the Revolution. And yet, at the time, everyone kind of bizarrely smiled and overlooked that. Creepy, people! Kuragin says that they were both thrown in prison, but she was released earlier than he was and exiled. Isobel thinks they should make inquiries but Kuragin points out that there’s nobody to really ask since, you know, the Soviet government isn’t going to care where the hell she is.
Walking back through the village, Robert asks Mary what the funny look was at lunch and she says she’s pretty sure Shrimpy’s coming to tell Rose that he and his wife are splitting up. Apparently he’s been hinting at it in letters. Letters to whom? Rose? Mary herself? If Rose has already been prepped, then why the warning to Robert not to say anything? Anyway, it’s not surprising that decamping to India didn’t magically cure the ailments of that particularly bad marriage. Robert thinks this’ll sink Shrimpy’s career, but he’s going to refuse to take sides here himself, which is nice (Shrimpy’s wife is Robert’s cousin, not Shrimpy himself).
Bates and Anna talk about an upcoming trip to London Mary’s taking to see a fashion show. Anna says she hopes the sergeant’s visit didn’t upset him and he says it didn’t.
Back at the Dower House, Isobel asks Violet why she wanted her to come along to visit Kuragin. Violet says she basically wanted a buffer, so things didn’t get too romantic or weird. Isobel gently probes into Violet’s past with Kuragin and Violet confesses that he asked her to run away with him. But then her husband gave her a Faberge frame with pictures of their kids in it and the combination of guilt and shiny things was too much for her, so Violet duly stayed.
Patmore tracks down Daisy and yells at her for having her head in books instead of doing the job for which she is actually paid. I’m all for Daisy getting an education, but it does suck that she’s slacking off. Daisy starts babbling about the Glorious Revolution as she hustles off to make some pastry cases.
Merton arrives at Isobel’s, after some hesitation so he can work up some courage, and is pleasantly invited inside. They sit down in the drawing room and he proposes to her. She’s ready to refuse him right away, but he reassures her that he’s not looking for someone just to keep him company or comfortable in his advancing age, he is genuinely in love with her and wants to spend the remainder of his life with her. This is adorable. Really, perhaps one of the sweetest proposals or love declarations in this show’s history. He asks her to think on it for a few days. She says she’s not sure it’ll change her answer, but she agrees. Do it, Isobel! He’s sweet, thoughtful, interested in what you have to say, and a silver fox. With an estate with beautiful gardens! Whole package!
Cora announces that Bricker is coming back to Downton, which does not please Robert in the least because Shrimpy’s coming and man, they’ll be so cramped, won’t they?
Cora: We’ll squeeze in. Hey, Edith, how’s that kid you’re trying to take over?
Edith: I’ve been banned, actually.
Robert: I knew that would happen. You’re SO annoying, who wouldn’t want to get rid of you? I know I want to. Just leave them alone for a few months or something.
Mary: Any more thoughts on Pip’s Corner?
Cora: Yes, I’d like to understand this matter a bit more
Robert (ignoring his wife completely, of course): You two want us to start busting up the estate, don’t you? I don’t like it!
Mary: Remember how you wanted to sell giant chunks of the estate after Matthew died?
Robert: That’s in the past, Mary, I live in the now. On this matter, anyway. I don’t like the idea of chiselling bits off the estate, but let’s talk about it tomorrow.
Mary: Tomorrow’s bad for me. Off to London. Aunt Rosamond’s taking me to a fashion show. Sucks to be you, Edith.
Robert: Your priorities suck.
Belowstairs, Baxter hears someone groaning in pain in a bathroom and knocks, asking if they need help. Thomas gasps for her to go away and she offers to get someone to help him. He finally opens the door, looking a mess, crying (I believe) and says there’s not a man in the house who can help him. She desperately asks him what’s wrong and spies a syringe and some vials on a counter before he bundles her out. Jesus, what the hell kind of seminar did he go to anyway?
Mary’s getting ready for bed while Anna packs for London. They talk about Mary’s plan to dump Gil, which she’s dreading, but at least she’s having the grace to do it face-to-face.
The next morning, Tom and Robert say hi to the kids as they pass (Sybbie still calls Robert ‘Donc’ which is cute as hell). Robert asks Carson what the deal is with Patmore and Carson admits she’s been upset recently. Robert asks for the details.
Isobel goes to Violet’s and tells her about Merton’s proposal, though why she’s looking for advice from the person who worked rather hard to break them up is beyond me. I guess Isobel doesn’t really have any other friends in the area, which is a little bit sad. Violet, of course, tells her to dump the poor man already. Isobel admits she’s tempted to give the proposal careful consideration.
Edith finds her father in the library and tells him she just got a telephone call from Michael’s office—there’s been a development! Ohh, goody! Is this plot actually going to move forward? Actually, no. All we learn is what we already knew: he got attacked by some brownshirts. And then he disappeared. Robert takes her hands and gently says it’ll be hard, but it’s best to know the truth. Barely holding it together, she says that, as long as she didn’t know for sure, she could believe he was alive. Edith asks him to keep this between them until they know for sure what happened, because she can’t ‘put up with Mary’s pity’ any longer than she has to. Mary’s ‘pity’? Man, Edith’s generous to her sister. Robert’s actually rather sweet with her.
Mary, meanwhile, is getting ready to go to her dress show. On her way out the door, she hands Anna a letter to post to Gil, asking him to meet her in Kensington Gardens the next day at midday, which she thinks is appropriate. High noon? Yes, you’re right Mary. It is appropriate.
Dress show! Let’s take a moment to bathe in gorgeous period dress. Rosamond asks after Edith and Mary says she’s a bit gloomy these days because she’s been banned from seeing the child of one of their tenants. Rosamond presses for more details, but Mary doesn’t really care and has few details to share, because she’s too busy shopping right now. And noticing Blake, who’s sitting just across the runway.
And, in sadsack news, Edith has taken the creepiness up a notch and started actually stalking the Drewes. She hovers just out of sight of the school so she can watch Mrs Drewe pick up the kids, with Marigold in her arms, of course.
Anna takes Mary’s letter to Gil’s by hand, as a man across the street watches.
The last dress in the show is, of course, a wedding gown, and Blake gives Mary an ‘I know what I’d like to take off of you. With my teeth’ look. After the show, she goes over to see him and is introduced to his companion, Mabel Lane Fox, the young lady Gil ditched so he could pursue Mary. Awkward. Mabel, as it turns out, is kind of great and totally cool with having lost Gil to Mary because whatever, she’s young and rich and pretty and off to meet up with some other guy anyway. Plus, apparently sex with Gil is terrible, so she’s well out of it. Off she goes and Mary expresses some disappointment that Mabel’s not like…well, Lavinia, essentially. I guess Mary didn’t expect Gil to dump someone much like her to be with…her. Blake asks her out to dinner that night and Mary accepts.
Anna mopes through Piccadilly, followed by the guy who was outside Gil’s house.
And Edith follows Mrs Drewe right home and keeps staring at her and her family from afar. Jesus, Edith. Either you need to come clean with Mrs Drewe or you really need to stay the hell away, because this is really getting creepy now. Look, I have a great deal of sympathy for her. I’m a parent myself, and I know just how crazy strong that love is and I’d find it torturous if I couldn’t be with my son, but she has to take a moment to step back and consider how this looks to Mrs Drewe. Some sad, lonely rich woman is stalking her family and obsessing over one of her children. And since she’s the daughter of the landlord, it’s not like there is much Mrs Drewe can do about it. Who’s she going to complain to? How could she not fear some sort of reprisal? This is really awful. If I were Mrs Drewe, I’d be kind of terrified.
Carson goes down to the kitchen and tells Patmore Robert wants to see her. She panics a little bit. Since he’s there, Carson catches Molesley and tortures him a little more, telling him to go measure the place settings in the dining room, which he gets to do because he’s the first footman. And then Hughes piles on and tells him to check the bedrooms for Bricker and Shrimpy. Look, I’m not saying that these are not the duties that would normally befall a first footman, but it’s so clear that Carson, at least, is turning this into some sort of punishment to put Molesley in his place for even daring to ask if he can move up a teensy bit that it’s actually appalling to see. As if this character hasn’t been humbled and humiliated enough by life and by Carson. Also, while these are the duties of a first footman, he’d be able to handle them because he wouldn’t also be handling the duties of second, third, fourth etc. footman, which Molesley is. Why does Carson enjoy torturing this man so much? What has Molesley ever done to him? This seems so pathetically petty.
Edith finally screws up the courage to knock on the Drewes’ door, only to be firmly told by Mrs Drewe that Marigold is not available right now. The woman basically slams the door in Edith’s face. She slowly walks away and Drewe comes out and tells her that his wife feels Edith is unsettling Marigold. Edith tearfully runs home.
Robert tells Patmore he’s really sorry about this war memorial business, but there are laws to be followed in situations like this. She believes that he’s sorry, but doesn’t think Carson is, presumably because she’s seen him in action and knows he’s kind of an asshole. Carson will only say he’s sorry Patmore’s upset. She catches that bullshit right away and tearfully says her nephew volunteered rather than waiting to be forced to go to the Front like many others, and that what he received was essentially a wound to his brain that rendered him unable to know quite what he was doing when he, quite reasonably decided that preserving his life was far preferable to becoming machine gun fodder like so many of his fellows. She argues that he was a casualty of war just like any of the others. Robert says that he agrees with her, but his hands are tied. She appreciates just hearing that, and knowing that ‘decent folk’ (read: someone rich and powerful) know that Archie was a victim, even if Carson doesn’t. She leaves, followed by Carson, just as Cora comes in. Since he’s used up his reserves of decency for the day, Robert greets her with: ‘When does Shrimpy get here? And your ghastly art dealer?’ Cora rolls her eyes and tells him that Bricker is an art historian, not a dealer. That might sound a bit like splitting hairs to us, but there’s a class distinction there. An art dealer is someone who has to work for a living. He has to schmooze. He’s beneath Robert. Art historian is something a gentleman would do. Cora manages to remain calm and patient with her asshole toddler husband even as he again casts doubt on the notion that Bricker could possibly be interested in a single word she has to say. Because, you know, Robert isn’t, and Robert rules the world.
Carson catches Molesley belowstairs and asks him to valet Bricker and Shrimpy when they arrive. Oh, for heaven’s sake. Molesley reminds Carson that he’s got a shit-ton of work already on his plate and Carson meanly reminds him that he’s the first footman after all. God.
Mary and Blake have dinner together, during which Mary tells him she’s dumping Gil. Oh, Mary, that’s not cool. You don’t tell the romantic rival that you’re dumping your boyfriend before you talk to the boyfriend. Blake comments that he wishes he could work Mary out and she admits she wishes the same. He asks when the guillotine comes down and she tells him she’s meeting Gil at noon under the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens. Blake hilariously rolls his eyes and points out that it’s kind of cruel to meet a guy at a statue that’s devoted to a literary character literally powered by good wishes just so you can stomp his heart into little pieces but Mary shrugs and is like, ‘eh, it was the easiest landmark I could think of.’ I’m amazed she didn’t choose the Eros statue or something. Blake tells her she has a way to soften the blow, if she wants to. She’s confused, and so am I. Is he suggesting she sleep with Gil one more time or something? I doubt that, so…weird.
At Downton, Violet notes that Edith seems a little down.
Edith: Amazing, isn’t it? Why would that be?
Violet gently suggests that she learn to leave things behind. Edith isn’t ready for that. Shrimpy comes over and he and Violet start talking about finding Kuragin’s wife, which is going to be difficult. Shrimpy says that a lot of the Russians who fled scattered. She asks him to do what he can. He screws up his courage and hints that he’s getting a divorce, which doesn’t really concern her. She, like Robert, will not be taking sides because she knows that nobody aside from the husband and wife is in possession of all the facts of what happens in a marriage.
Bricker half-apologetically asks Cora if he can stay an extra night. Just as Robert comes steaming up to ask him how soon he’ll be out the door. Classy, Robert. Cora tells her husband he’s staying on and Robert sneers that he hopes they’ll be able to find something to amuse him. Oh, don’t worry, you will.
Isobel, meanwhile, suggests to Tom he invite Sarah to dinner at Downton the following night. Excuse me, Isobel, but who are you to suggest invitees to someone else’s home? That’s just rude. Cora joins them in time to hear the suggestion and seconds it, which I’m pretty sure she’s just doing to piss Robert off.
Robert and Shirmpy repair to the library for a heart to heart. Robert suggests Shrimpy and his wife just live apart instead of sinking his career with a divorce, but Shrimpy’s too miserable for that.
Downstairs, Thomas runs into Baxter, who guesses that Thomas went away because he was ill and is now trying to carry on the treatment himself. Thomas tells her to let it go.
Shrimpy now tells Rose that he and mummy are breaking up. She begs to live with him and he suggests she stay at Downton for the time being, until things die down. She tells him she won’t be bullied into a marriage she doesn’t want and asks him to support her completely in that, when the time comes. He’s a little wary of promising to back her no matter whom she chooses, but he agrees.
The next day, Cora shows Bricker a letter from the mother of the earl who acquired the painting, detailing how he could get the piece home through war-torn France. It was at this point, as they’re talking about the Reign of Terror, that I suddenly recalled that Elizabeth McGovern and Richard E Grant played Percy and Lady Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel some years back. No wonder their chemistry’s so great here. He marvels at the collection the earl brought back and, with some feeling, says he thinks everything about Downton is beautiful. Especially her. She tries to laugh that off, but he responds with this clunker: ‘I have to [say it] or I’ll burst!’ Ugh, not even REG can sell that bad of a line. Of course, Robert comes in just then and asks what he’s talking about and he quickly lies that he’s talking about the awesomeness of the painting.
At the Peter Pan statue, Mary has delivered the verdict, and Gil is NOT happy. At all. He tells her flat-out that he’s not accepting this. They’re not breaking up, they’re just going to have to get through this. Woah, man. Creepy! What are you going to do, drag her bound and gagged to the church? Mary suddenly realizes what a terrible position she’s in—after all, if he wanted to, Gil could spitefully tell all of London Society that Mary slept with him, and while that would make him look bad, it’d make her look worse, especially taken together with her less-than-pure past. Ideas about sex were loosening up in the 20’s, but for a lady to truly still be considered a lady, she had to at least keep up the appearance of sexual propriety.
Molesley goes to Carson and tells him he’s not sure he should be called first footman after all, since he’s doing the job of eight footman. Now he’s been suitably re-humbled, Carson is satisfied and even smiles after he leaves. What an asshole.
And Sarah’s accepted the invitation to dinner, because this chick will never turn down an opportunity to be as offensive as possible. Before they go in, Tom reminds her that, even though he may agree with some of her beliefs, could she please remember that these people are his family and he loves them? She claims not to want to make him hate them, she just wants him to realize he’s more than a retainer. And how, exactly, does you acting like a jerk every time you’re in their home accomplish that, Sarah? I fail to see how your plan works, so can you explain it to me? Also, it’s pretty offensive that you’re assuming that Tom doesn’t know that already. He’s aware that he’s not their serf, he’s just not showing it by pissing them off all the time, like you are. He’s doing this thing adults do, which is called ‘working together’. As a schoolteacher, I’d hope you’d be familiar with that concept, but maybe Downton has a really shitty school.
Hughes finds a magazine that belongs to Thomas in the passageway and gives it to Baxter to return to him. Baxter opens it and sees the ad for the self-help whatever it was. Thomas catches her and accuses her of snooping in his room and gets angry with her for opening the magazine. She says she’s sorry for what he’s put himself through and he angrily tells her not to pity him.
Cora’s sitting next to Bricker at dinner, of course. See, she’s totally trying to piss off Robert. And he kind of deserves it. Robert whines to his mother how Bricker’s flattering Cora and asking her opinion on everything.
Violet: Don’t you ever do that?
Robert: Of course! She gets to approve the dinner menus and everything!
Shrimpy asks Mary how she enjoyed London and she lies that she had a lot of fun, even though she set herself a difficult task. Isobel asks Sarah how the lessons are going belowstairs and Edith explains to the company at large that Sarah’s been giving lessons to the under-cook.
Robert: Yes, I heard about that.
Sarah: An opening! You sound as if you don’t approve!
Robert: Excuse me? How did you extrapolate that from my completely innocuous comment? I approve just fine, just as long as it’s not making things harder for Patmore.
Sarah: I must find a way to turn this into an argument! You don’t even know this girl’s name, do you?
Tom: Shut up. Please.
Mary: of course he knows Daisy’s name.
Sarah: Ahh, you only knew it because she told you. Caught you! Caught you!
Robert: I totally knew her name. And from what I hear, your lessons with her are really disruptive.
Violet: Maybe we should drop this before it gets out of hand, which it inevitably will.
Sarah: I will do no such thing. Why don’t you send for her and ask her yourself? Bring Patmore up here too, because we all know that’s mortifying for her and there’s no better time to address whether or not I’m being disruptive to the kitchen staff than in the middle of dinner.
Mary’s Face: Jesus, the nerve on this obnoxious little bitch!
Carson: This is kind of the busiest time of Patmore’s and Daisy’s days, you know
Robert: Whatever. Bring them up anyway.
Bates finds Anna in Mary’s room and welcomes her back. She mentions that she delivered a letter to Gil and then walked through Piccadilly. Bates calmly says that Gil’s lucky to live there. Anna reminds him that Jimmy commented that Greene was lucky to live there as well and Bates says he wasn’t all that lucky in the end.
Patmore and Daisy are ushered into the dining room, where they practically faint and ask if there’s anything wrong with dinner. Cora reassures them there isn’t and Violet apologises for interrupting their work in this ‘strange and inconsiderate way.’
Sarah’s Face: Thanks for the jab there, grandma.
Robert asks if Daisy’s lessons have disturbed the kitchen. Daisy apologises for making trouble and Patmore reassures her she hasn’t, that Patmore was just upset about the war memorial situation. Daisy goes on to say that her lessons have opened her eyes to a whole world that she didn’t know existed, because LEARNING IS AWESOME! Now Daisy has choices in life and interests (can the uneducated not have interests? I had no idea) and none of that would have been possible without Sarah. It’s great that Sarah’s helping Daisy further her education, but let’s not fall all over ourselves here, Daisy, she’s not doing it out of the goodness of her heart. She’s doing it because Patmore’s paying her. Patmore begs to be allowed to return to work and they are released.
Robert: The lessons sound like they’re going well. I’m glad.
Sarah: You totally are not! Because you’re a rich man, I’m assuming you must want your underlings to remain ignorant forevermore! Even though you’ve just stated the exact opposite, arranged for at least one poor tenant’s kid to go to a nice school, and, if you really wanted to stop these lessons, you could do so in an instant.
Mary: For the love of GOD would you just let it go? What’s your problem, anyway? You’ve proven your point.
Sarah (this is honestly what she says): Have I? All I’ve proved is that Lord Grantham would like us serfs to stay in our place from cradle to grave.
What. The. HELL? She’s just hearing what she wants, right? How has anything Robert has said this entire meal led to that conclusion? What she just said actually makes no sense whatsoever. She’s proven nothing of the kind. All she’s proven is that she’s crazy and has some vendetta against the wealthy that, bizarrely, does not preclude her from partaking of their hospitality. Someone rather charitably suggested she’s just a bit of a word vomiter, but that’s clearly not the case. She’s a shit stirrer, and she’ll do whatever she can to get people mad. Actually, she’s just a really poorly drawn character, because any actual person who exhibited such unbelievably poor social skills would probably rate somewhere on the spectrum. This is some Asperger’s level cluelessness here.
But it gets the result she wants.
Robert: You know what? I’ve now had you as a guest in my home three times, and each and every time you’ve responded by being provocative, rude, and flat-out insulting to me personally and to my guests. You went out of your way to upset grieving refugees, for God’s sake! And people who died in war! And each time, I’ve managed to keep my temper in check and refrain from actually spearing you right in the eye with my oyster fork, because although I am kind of a douchebag to my wife, I’m also a gentleman and I generally know how to behave in front of others. But enough is enough, so now I’m telling you that all I really want is for you to get the fuck out of my house and never darken my doors again.
And with that he throws his napkin down and stomps out. And as much as I roll my eyes at Robert, right now, I do this:
Because seriously, this little bitch needed to be put in her place.
Mary: Are you happy now, you obnoxious cow?
Violet: Hey, Edith, are you still writing that column most of us had forgotten about?
Good to know.
Belowstairs, everyone’s buzzing with news of the Great Dinner Bustup of 1924. Carson can’t believe it and is practically apoplectic with rage. He thinks Branson must have been horrified to have brought her there but Anna reminds him that Branson used to be quite the firebrand himself. Yeah, but he was never quite this bad.
Robert is still in a huge snit as he goes to bed and takes it out on Cora, accusing her of flirting with ‘that ghastly travelling salesman.’ Instead of inviting him to make use of that bed they keep made up in the dressing room indefinitely, she urges him to get up on the right side of the bed in the morning.
Mary, on her way to bed, runs into Tom and tells him to cheer up, because at the very least he gave Violet a lovely evening.
Patmore and Daisy talk about the to-do upstairs and Daisy claims that Sarah brought her to life. She also offers to help Patmore write a letter to the War Office, advocating on Archie’s behalf. Patmore says it won’t do any good, and anyway, she wouldn’t even know how to begin. Daisy says that if enough of them start kicking up a fuss, change will come, so Patmore agrees to do it the next day.
The constable’s back and tells Hughes and Carson that since this whole thing started a plainclothes policeman has been keeping watch on Gil’s place in London. WHAT? Why on earth would they do that? What did they think would happen? Bates would come strolling up, hands cuffed already, wearing a big ‘guilty’ sign? All this because someone came forward, months if not years after the fact, claiming to have maybe heard Greene talking to someone else in a crowd? That’s so unbelievably stupid, even for this show. Of course, now said plainclothes policeman of convenience says he saw Anna there. How he knew who Anna was is left a complete mystery. Hughes offers that Mary probably sent Gil a message via Anna, which is true. Constable asks if there’s any way Anna might have a grudge against Greene. Hughes and Carson say no. Why would anyone be asking these questions? Anna didn’t go to the house to see Greene, she went to deliver a message long after the man died. End of discussion. Why would they think there was any connection between her going to Gil’s on this visit and Greene’s death ages ago? Constable asks them to confirm that Anna was at Downton the day Greene died. They both hesitate before saying they’re pretty sure she was. Oh, wouldn’t it be an amazing twist if Anna actually killed Greene? I know it won’t happen, but how cool would that be?
Shrimpy reports to Violet and Isobel that Princess Kuragin is most likely in Hong Kong, where a lot of tsarist sympathisers ended up, only to find work as taxi drivers and servants and prostitutes. Violet suggests Princess K was kind of a slut, prompting Isobel to ask why she’s going to all this trouble to track down a woman she clearly dislikes. Violet says she owes it to her.
Shrimpy changes the subject to the matter of his marriage and tells them Susan’s really angry with them all for refusing to leave Shrimpy out in the cold. Violet rolls her eyes and says she’s been dealing with Susan’s tantrums since she was a kid and, frankly, life’s too short.
Robert, Mary, and Tom return to Pip’s Corner, Mary asking Robert if he’s apologized to Tom. For what, exactly? He didn’t yell at Tom. And yet, he apologises, so that’s nice of him, I suppose. Mary asks Tom why he spends time with this awful harpy and he explains that, since Sybil died, he misses spending time with someone who feels the way he does about things. I think even Sybil would draw the line at this woman. And frankly, Tom, you only ever seem uncomfortable around her, so surely you could find someone who shares your sympathies and acts like a thinking, feeling human being as well?
Robert shares his own vision for Pip’s Corner: They’re going to develop it themselves, in a style that’s in keeping with the village, so they can make money for the estate without ruining it. Fair enough, and it’s nice to see him coming up with ideas himself instead of just being stuffy and blocking everyone else’s in the name of history.