Downton Abbey: Under Pressure

Downton Abbey-Courtesy Tom and LorenzoBefore we get started, I think you should know that, as I write this, I’m huddled up on my sofa, clutching a hot water bottle in one hand and tea with the other, nursing a cold I may or may not have caught from the dog. So if I seem a bit snippier or more out of it than usual during this recap, that’s probably why.

Previously on Downton Abbey: Branson showed up to act like a total stereotype of the worst sort of Irish radical. Robert lost all the family’s money through sheer idiocy; Cora’s brash, outspoken (read: American) mother showed up; and Mary and Matthew finally got married.

Mary and Matthew return from their honeymoon in a very natty little sportscar. Did he decide to keep Swire’s money after all? Or do lawyers in Ripon just get paid really well? Everyone welcomes them home and ushers them inside.

Belowstairs, Thomas notices Alfred doing something with Matthew’s evening shirt and asks what he’s up to. He’s putting studs in, because he’s going to be valeting a bit for Matthew now, despite Thomas’s refusal to help out there. Thomas, as you can imagine, is not happy. Thomas sharply tells Albert not to take a shirt out in a room where it can get marks on it. He tells him to put studs in a dinner shirt in a dressing room and nowhere else. Albert thanks him for the tip and so does O’Brien, though a bit sharply.

Over upstairs dinner, Martha asks Mary how she enjoyed the south of France (quite a bit). Violet snarks (of course) and quietly asks Robert how long Martha’s going to be sticking around. He doesn’t know, but it sounds like he’s about ready to be shot of her. Well, Robert, now you know what life’s been like for your wife, always having your disapproving and rather annoying mother-in-law around. Isobel announces she’s found something new to do, but Violet doesn’t approve of it. Martha presses for more details, but everyone clams up, which amuses her, because this is 1920, for heaven’s sake, and there shouldn’t be any forbidden subjects in such a modern era! It’s more that nobody wants to talk about it in front of the servants, and because she’s American, she still sees nothing wrong with it, even though Carson’s looking rather uncomfortable by this point. Cora gathers the ladies to go through, and Mary takes the opportunity to ask Edith how “poor old Strallen’s doing.” Well, I see marriage hasn’t cured her of being an insufferable, condescending bitch, has it? Edith tells her Strallen’s neither poor, nor old, and Mary makes a “whatever” face. Nice pull here, Matthew. She’s such a prize.

On the subject of Strallen, Violet tells Robert he’d better have a word with the man and tell him to make a move or break this off. Why does she always need to meddle in other people’s relationships?

Belowstairs, Patmore notes that Martha cleaned her plate and Alfred says she’s got quite a mouth on her, that one. He turns and notices her maid standing behind him, and she blithely says Martha knows they make fun of her, and she makes fun of them. “Then we’re all square, aren’t we?” says Patmore merrily. Hee! Hughes comes in and asks to borrow her for a moment.

Upstairs, Robert and Matthew bond over cigars and port. Matthew tells Robert he knows about the money troubles. He also brings up the money Lavinia’s father left him.

In the drawing room, Mary and Violet are whispering about the family’s impending ruination. Violet can’t imagine why so much money was put into one company. It’s because Robert’s an idiot, Violet. Violet wonders if there’s some untapped source of revenue they can look into. Mary hints they might want to look to Martha for a cash injection.

Martha, Cora, and Isobel are discussing Isobel’s latest project: helping prostitutes. Martha figures they’re looking for a contribution but Cora says that’s not always the case with rich Americans.

Back in the dining room, Matthew’s trying to explain to Robert why he can’t keep the money, and it honestly still sounds stupid and annoying. Just let it go, Matthew. Robert says that, if that’s how Matthew feels, there’s no point talking about it any more. Yes, please, let’s let this subject drop.

Belowstairs, Hughes and Patmore are having some girl talk. Seems Hughes has a lump on her breast. Oh, dear, don’t take away one of my favourite characters, show! Hughes is understandably scared but Patmore tells her she has to go see the doctor, and she’ll go along with her if she wants her to.

The next morning, Anna brings the tea tray to Mary and Matthew’s room. Mary hears she’s going to see Bates that day and tells her to give Bates their best wishes. Anna makes herself scarce and Mary and Matthew snuggle. And then Matthew ruins the mood by telling her he’s going to see the lawyer to turn down Swire’s cash. She wishes he didn’t have to go, but it seems she’s made her peace with his decision.

Isobel’s going about her work in a rough end of wherever—Ripon? Actually, I think she mentioned York earlier. She sees a couple of ladies of the night lurking on the streets.

Edith, meanwhile, is at Strallen’s perfect little dollshouse of a mansion, inviting him over for dinner, I suppose. He argues that it’s not seemly when Mary’s only just returned from her honeymoon, because after all, he’s not actually family, even though that’s clearly what Edith wants. He says he’ll go to the big dinner the following week. He notices she’s a bit upset and she asks him why he keeps shoving her away. He returns to the old argument that he’s too old for her but she puts her foot down and tells him he’s not going to push her away and he’s coming to dinner that night, and that’s all there is to it. He smiles, rather proudly. I think he likes this assertive Edith. I know I do. And damn, I’d fight for the chance to live in that gorgeous place too.

Anna goes to visit Bates and tells him she’s had a couple of replies from people they found in Vera’s book, and two people can’t be found. Anna promises to keep looking. He asks her to tell him how France was. She tells him she bought a garter. Saucy minx!

Hughes and Patmore are seeing Clarkson. Oh, Jesus, he’s probably going to tell her she only has a week to live or something. After the Matthew fiasco I’m surprised anyone trusts what he has to say anymore. He asks if she has any other symptoms and she says she doesn’t. He tells her he’s going to start an exam.

Belowstairs, Alfred’s got one of Matthew’s jackets, which has something on it. Thomas offers to help him get the stain out. This is not going to go well, is it?

Upstairs, Violet finds Mary relaxing in the sitting room and gets right down to business: was Mary serious about asking Martha for funds? Mary doesn’t see why they shouldn’t, because Martha’s got plenty of money and only two kids to hand it down to. Of course, Martha doesn’t seem all that excited by the first packet of cash being handed over to this family, so I don’t think she’ll look any more kindly on being hit up again. Violet says they need to get started on making Martha feel it’s her duty to save Downton. They need to show her how important Downton is in the neighbourhood. Mary offers to bring Martha to Violet’s for tea that afternoon so they can get started.

Clarkson’s finished his exam and tells Hughes he’ll have to remove some fluid from the cyst so it can be analysed. He doubts she has cancer, which heartens Patmore.

Martha’s maid comes down to the kitchen to tell them Martha’s going to the dower house for tea. Alfred smiles a little at her as he walks by and she remarks to Daisy that she thinks he likes her (the maid, not Daisy). Daisy dismissively tells her he’s just being friendly.

Mary finds Matthew at work in the library. He’s going through all the mail and hands her a letter from Swire’s lawyer that confirms him as the heir. She hopes he’ll still change his mind before seeing the lawyer, so I guess she hasn’t made her peace with it after all. Matthew snatches the letter back and tells her that, if he took the money, it would be under false pretenses, because Swire thought Matthew was the love of Lavinia’s life but Matthew was really destined for Mary. But here’s the thing: Maybe Matthew was the love of Lavinia’s life, she just wasn’t the love of his. Have you considered that, Matthew? And it’s not like he didn’t care for Lavinia at all, I think he actually did love her. Why he feels anything for Mary continues to be a mystery to me, but I felt like he genuinely and deeply cared for Lavinia. He was definitely pretty wrecked when she died. Yeah, he did a stupid thing and kissed Mary the night Lavinia got sick, but dumb things happen, especially with exes with unresolved issues. He’s just making such a stupid, tiresome, big deal out of this, not that that’s unusual for this show. Just shut up about it already, Matthew, and let the money do a bit of good! It’s probably what Lavinia would have wanted anyway!

Mary tells him she’s off to Violet’s for tea. He tells her he loves her and she says she knows before departing.

All the ladies (Cora included) are at Violet’s for tea and talking about Cora’s brother, who’s currently into yachts. Violet asks why he never comes to England and Martha says he hates to leave America. Violet laughs that she’d hate to go there. Mary steers her back on course by saying she can’t mean that, because they love America, right? Oh, yes, Violet says, especially now the bond between the Crawleys and the Levinsons is so strong. If Martha’s not on her guard by now, she really, really should be, because this is so flagrantly obvious it’s actually embarrassing to watch. Violet goes on to say it’s marvelous how the two families have supported each other, and Martha points out that it was actually the Levinsons who supported the Crawleys, not really the other way around. Mary jumps in and says she’s sure Martha would agree that their mother’s money had been well spent shoring up an ancient family (and failing to shore up a failing railway). Martha grins and says you have to spend your money on something.

Alfred’s helping Matthew get ready for dinner and Matthew notices that there’s a burn hole in his jacket where that mark was. Yeah, I saw that coming a mile off. Matthew hands the jacket back and tells him to send it off to his tailor to be mended. Poor Alfred looks like he’s going to cry, even though Matthew, of course, is really nice about it.

Carson finds Hughes downstairs and scolds her for not laying out glasses for the pudding wine. He doesn’t notice at all that she’s clearly upset and distracted, which seems a tad out of character for him, but then, he’s rather distracted himself, trying to get by with fewer staff than the pre-war days.

At family dinner, Violet pokes fun at Matthew for coming to dinner in a dinner jacket instead of the usual tails. Matthew mentions the burn hole incident, which upsets Carson. Strallen, as per usual, jumps in to defend Matthew’s sartorial choice. Mary brings up the fact that some traditions should be held on to, and houses like Downton should protect those traditions. Violet catches the snap and asks Martha if she agrees that house like Downton should be preserved. Mary pushes a little too hard by saying that the big dinner the following week will allow them to show her the real point of Downton. Martha has a look on her face like she either knows something’s up or thinks her granddaughter’s going a little crazy.

Belowstairs, Carson calls Alfred to the carpet in front of everyone, which seems unnecessary and unprofessional. O’Brien tries to play down the incident, assisted by Anna, but Alfred’s no pushover and wastes no time blaming Thomas. Thomas claims he just gave Alfred some soda crystals, and if he used them wrong, that’s not Thomas’s fault.

Upstairs, Robert’s having an uncomfortable conversation with Strallen. Apparently, Robert’s told him to back off, which seems so, so awful. Does this family just not want Edith to be happy? What’s the problem here? She’s obviously crazy about this man! Why ruin it? And why the change of heart? Robert was fine with Strallen marrying one of his daughters before the war, and it’s not like Strallen’s injury is that extreme. It doesn’t seem like he won’t be able to have kids or anything like that. So what’s the deal here? Aside from manufactured drama that fails to remember events earlier in the series, that is?

Strallen says he understands if Robert wants his daughter to stay away from a cripple who’s too old for her, but the trouble is, she comes over to his house rather a lot and he can’t quite slam the door in her face. He offers to duck out of the big dinner the following week and Robert agrees that would be best. What a complete dick he’s turned out to be. Why hasn’t anyone even bothered to find out from Edith how she feels about all this? Why were they previously encouraging a relationship between these two, only to tell Strallen to get lost? Seriously, do they all hate Edith?

Alfred shows O’Brien the bottle Thomas pointed him to, which apparently isn’t soda crystals. No surprise there.

Thomas is gossiping with Robert and telling him that Alfred isn’t ready to be a full-time valet. Robert thinks Matthew would prefer to manage on his own. Thomas suggests they bring Molesley over instead. Since when was he on Molesley’s side?

Mary and Matthew discuss Alfred too, and Matthew’s a little harsher about him now than he was earlier. Mary tells him to get the jacket fixed quickly, because this has to be a really grand dinner. Matthew accuses her of trying to fleece her grandmother and she points out that, since he won’t help them, they have to do something here. Seriously, Matthew, how about instead of being insulting you come up with some alternatives, Mr. High and Mighty?

Hughes and Patmore are having a little powwow when in comes Carson to yell at Hughes because one of the maids broke a serving platter. Hughes snaps that they can’t run the household as it used to be until either Robert hires more help or Carson accepts reality and amends his expectations accordingly. He sniffs that she must be overtired and bids her goodnight. Patmore starts to explain, but Hughes cuts her off and Carson leaves.

In the hallway, Carson finds Alfred and tells him Molesley will be taking care of Matthew from now on. He does at least have the heart to tell Alfred this isn’t all his fault; they expected too much from him too quickly. O’Brien overhears, and once Carson’s gone, she tells Alfred this is Thomas’s doing, and they’ll make him sorry. Oh, my eyes gleam in expectation! Or maybe that’s the nighttime fever setting in. Hard to tell at this point.

Alfred slumps in the hallway, disappointed, and is soon found by Martha’s maid, who tells him she’s on his side before kissing him and wandering off. Daisy sees all this and does not seem pleased. Hmmm.

Breakfast. Robert notes that Mary’s missing and Matthew explains that, as she’s a married woman now, she wants her breakfast in bed. She would. Robert tells him they’re bringing Molesley up to take care of him, and it’s all decided, Matthew gets no say. Edith, meanwhile, is engrossed in a letter. Robert asks her what’s up and she asks: “Papa, how could you?” before running out of the room, weeping. Matthew, sounding rather unconcerned, asks Robert what that was about.

Mary has apparently decided to bring Cora in on Operation Squeeze Grandma, but Cora thinks enough of her family’s money has already been poured into Downton. She doesn’t see why her brother and mother should pay for Robert’s folly. And anyway, if they have to sell, it’s not like the ladies would have to get jobs or anything, they’d just have to move to a slightly smaller estate. Naturally, that doesn’t sit well with Princess Mary, who condescendingly tells her mother she doesn’t understand. Mary will be Countess of Grantham someday, and the Countess of Grantham lives at Downton Abbey. Not if you can’t afford it, Mary!

Isobel’s at work at her halfway house for prostitutes when in comes…oh, God, it’s Ethel. I was actually kind of wondering what happened to her, since she hasn’t been mentioned since the end of last season. Isobel doesn’t recognize her for a while, but then remembers her as the maid who brought her baby into the dining room at Downton that one time. Ethel freaks and says she’s not ready for this before bolting.

Hughes and Patmore are back at Clarkson’s. Of course, he tells her the test was inconclusive, so the fluid from the cyst needs to be sent for analysis, which can take up to two months. He advises her to take it easy until then and offers to speak to Cora on her behalf. She tells him that won’t be necessary.

Edith’s out in the park, weeping on Martha’s shoulder. Robert finds her and boredly asks her what’s up. Jesus, Robert, how stupid and insensitive are you? Martha snaps that he knows very well what this is. Robert tells Edith that he only wants what’s best for her. Does he really think a life of loneliness and perpetual spinsterhood is best for her? In a house with Mary living in it and looking down on her all the time? What a douche. Edith reminds him that he let Sybil marry a chauffeur and then welcomed him into the house (well, not exactly…) but when Edith falls in love with a gentleman, he tells the man he’s not good enough. Girl has a point. Martha tells him Strallen has a house, money, and a title—pretty much everything Robert cares about. “You make me sound rather shallow,” says Robert. Don’t kid yourself Robert—you are shallow. And childish. And unfeeling. You’re destroying your daughter’s happiness for no other reason than the man’s age, which is pretty damn shallow, if you ask me. Edith tells Robert she’ll just go to Strallen’s house if he’s not allowed at Downton, even if he refuses to see her. She asks Robert if he wants her to be alone (I think he does, actually. Or he’s just not thinking about you or your best interests at all, which is more likely.) and reminds him that practically every young man she knows is dead, so the pickings amongst the young and uninjured are fairly slim. So maybe he should just let her be happy already! God, this poor young woman! She begs her father to ask him to the big dinner and Robert finally capitulates.

Anna happily reports to Bates that she found one of Vera’s friends. Bates doubts that the woman, Mrs. Bartlett, will see Anna. He’s totally pessimistic about everything, which must be tiresome for her. I know it is for me. Anna doesn’t care and says she’s still going to try and see this woman. Apparently, this is the woman Vera wrote the letter to, saying she was afraid of Bates, even though Mrs. B lived right around the corner. Anna finds it odd that Vera should have written instead of just expressing these fears face-to-face. Bates asks for the news from home and Anna tells him about the financial problems. Bates is saddened by the thought of the Crawleys having to sell Downton.

Molesley huffs and puffs as he jogs up to Downton. Apparently, he’s just been to the station to fetch the jacket, but it hasn’t come. Matthew says he’ll just have to wear the dinner jacket again, even though Molesley thinks Mary will have a problem with that. Matthew says things aren’t as formal as they were and Mary knows that as well as anyone. Oh, Matthew. I seriously beg to differ on that. Have  you not been listening to her while she goes on about tradition and saving Downton?

Martha’s maid comes around a corner and sees O’Brien coming out of someone’s room with a bunch of linens under her arm.

Violet arrives for the big dinner and is immediately dragged away by Mary so she can see how beautifully the dining room’s been decorated and laid out. Mary’s sure Martha won’t allow all this to go, not now that she knows it’s for her granddaughter. Oh, Mary. It’s always about you, isn’t it? It’s not that you give a crap about all the employees on the estate who would be out of work or the rest of your family and how they feel about the place, it’s really that you want to live in a big fancy house with big fancy dinners and your fancy title. You never change, do you? Still a child with your toys.

In the kitchens, Daisy’s struggling with the stove, which has been giving her trouble all episode. Thomas comes running in, demanding to know where Robert’s evening shirts have all disappeared to. Ahh, I guess that’s what O’Brien was toting. He accuses Alfred of stealing them, but Alfred doesn’t know anything. O’Brien tells him to go about his work and Thomas, defeated, heads back upstairs.

Robert is not at all pleased to hear that all of his evening shirts have disappeared. Thomas tells him that someone’s stolen them, to get to Thomas. “Thomas, are you unpopular downstairs?” Robert asks him, incredulously.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I’m sorry, that was supposed to be funny, right? Or are these all supposed to be clues that Robert’s going insane? The bad investment, the inexplicable scuttling of Edith’s romance, and now this? Robert, I know you don’t use your brain very often, but crank it up for just a second and pull up some memories. Remember how, just a few years back, Thomas was actively trying to sabotage your valet and get him fired? For no reason at all? Remember when he was stealing from you and other servants? Remember when he was acting like an arrogant dick when he was running the hospital? Remember when he STOLE YOUR DOG? Yes, he’s unpopular downstairs! He’s always been unpopular downstairs! You knew that. Everyone knew that! Why is this surprising to you, you clueless, useless lump? You deserve to lose Downton, you clearly can’t run it, because you don’t have the faintest idea what’s going on! Is there any point to this character anymore? God. DAMMIT!

Ok, I’ve taken my NightNurse and calmed down a bit. Robert tells Thomas this is unacceptable, and if he finds the culprit, he’s to send them along to Robert. Like Robert will be able to effectively deal with them.

In the kitchens, the oven’s been declared dead. Wow, art imitates life, in my house. We’ve been four days without an oven while my bread dough slowly takes over the interior of my fridge. Daisy and Patmore wonder what they’re going to do, because half the dinner’s still not cooked. In comes Hughes to ask what’s going on and Patmore says they have 20 guests upstairs and no dinner to give them. No shirts! No dinner! Drama!

Matthew arrives in the drawing room and Mary blanches at the sight of him in a dinner jacket (see, Matthew?). He apologizes and explains the tails never came back. See, Matthew, this is why you should keep a “Downton wardrobe,” like Mary suggested last week. And then Robert comes in similarly attired and Violet almost pops a button at the sight of him. She’s also displeased to see Strallen there, because Robert was supposed to have sent him packing. Why doesn’t Violet want them together either? She was, after all, the one who invited them both to tea last season to give them time to visit. Granted, she apparently regretted that once she saw Strallen was injured, but still, why meddle in Edith’s affair? These people seriously need hobbies. Robert dumps it all on Martha, like a coward, and then the lady herself comes in and tells Robert and Matthew they’re dressed for a barbeque. Wow, what kind of dressy barbecues does she go to?

Cora rushes over to tell them about the oven breaking down and the subsequent lack of food for their dinner party. The family go out into the hall, where Hughes tells them nothing’s been cooked, and nothing will be. Do they really only have one oven in this giant house? How’d they get all that food done for the wedding? Do they not have any kind of range top where they can cook things? An old roasting spit they could crank up? Cora thinks they should send everyone home, but Martha’s made of sterner stuff and tells Carson to bring up bread, fruit, cheese, whatever they can find that’s edible, and they’ll have an indoor picnic. Carson can’t wrap his head around that, and Robert stuffily says that’s not how they do it. Well, Robert, it’s either that or everyone goes home hungry, ok? Which would you rather? Isobel and Cora back Martha and say this could be fun. Martha sweeps out to start up the entertainment and Mary whines that this is not how she wanted the evening to go. Well, Mary, the whole point was to make Martha happy, right? She’s happy as a clam right now. Cora snaps that, if this torpedoes Mary’s and Violet’s undignified campaign to pump her mom for money, she won’t be sorry. I like Cora so much these days. Robert doesn’t deserve her. Violet breathes that she might need a drink, and then realizes she’s been talking to Robert. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I thought you were a waiter,” she says. Ok, that was pretty funny.

Downstairs, meats and breads are sliced up by everyone with a spare pair of hands. Hughes takes a moment to catch her breath and Carson tells her to get a move on. Patmore once again tries to speak up and Hughes, again, cuts her off.

Alfred’s going through the larder, trying to find more food to put out. Martha’s maid finds him there and tells him she knows where those missing shirts are and who took them. She won’t tell him who took them, but she’ll show him where they are. He asks why she’s being so nice to him and she says she likes him. “And you can say it, just like that?” he asks. Of course she can, because it’s 1920 and she’s an American! And we know that all Americans are super outspoken, inappropriate, filter-less, and don’t care about tradition! She invites him to kiss her again and he does, hard. Daisy sees, again, and seems upset. Again.

In the dining room, Martha’s explaining the new rules of dinner to the guests, most of whom are pearl clutching all over the place. Robert apologizes to one guest and she tells him she actually rather likes it, because it seems so modern and fun. Isobel tells Robert Martha won’t be there forever, and he darkly wonders how much damage she’ll do before she goes. Uh, none, Robert. Did you not just hear your very distinguished guest say how delighted she was? Is he going deaf as well as brainless?

Martha’s leading a singalong in the drawing room to Let me Call You Sweetheart. Violet’s apparently had a few tipples and has dropped off. She rouses, though, when Martha sits down next to her and sings directly to her, which is a bit awkward, honestly.

Downstairs, Patmore pulls Hughes aside and asks to says something to Carson. Hughes doesn’t want him thinking of her as a sick woman, or a dying one, if it comes to that. She breaks down and starts to cry and Patmore comforts her.

Upstairs, it seems that Strallen’s finally gotten his act together and is honestly discussing a future with Edith. He tells her she’s given him back his life, and she kisses him on the cheek. They are so cute together my evil little heart just melts at the sight of them. They set a date in a month, because this poor girl’s been waiting about six years for this, and you can’t blame her for wanting to move things along.

Downstairs, Daisy runs into Alfred and asks him why he likes Martha’s maid. He says she made him feel good about himself for the first time since he got there. Carson comes down and tells Alfred to take the port around. Alfred says he will, just as soon as he deposits Robert’s shirts.

In the drawing room, Martha promises to help out in any way she can. But not with money. Her husband tied it up, just like Robert’s father did, because he felt the Crawleys had had enough. But Martha’s happy to have the Crawleys come stay with her in New York and Newport. Oh, that’s a reality show waiting to happen, isn’t it? Violet in New York City?

Furthermore, Martha thinks it’s about time for such big houses to go. Does one really want the bother anymore? She turns to Violet and tells her that both their husbands tied the money up tight before they were taken. “Lord Grantham wasn’t taken,” Violet says rather tearfully. “He died.” Okaaaay. I think she’s just trying to make a distinction between how Americans put things and how the English do, but it almost seems like there was more to it than that.

Prison. Bates returns to his cell and notices his cellmate (I think) exchanging money with another prisoner.

At Downton, the servants settle down for dinner. In comes Thomas, to ask who put the shirts back. O’Brien suggests he just overlooked him the first time. He tries to threaten her, but this is O’Brien we’re talking about, and she won’t be cowed. She tells him to shut up and go lay out Robert’s PJs. Defeated, Thomas leaves. Alfred comes in and pretends to be surprised to hear the shirts are back.

At prison, cellmate returns to the cell and tells Bates to forget what he just saw, or there’ll be hell to pay. Bates quickly kicks the man’s ass and tells him not to threaten him. Wow, no bad for a man with a bum leg.

Post-party, Robert pours himself a drink in the library and is startled by Martha, who tells him she’s decided to go home. Suddenly feeling chummy, he offers her a whiskey, which she accepts. She apologizes for not being able to help him keep Downton. He seems a bit confused, so she tells him about Mary pressuring her. He admits he feels like a creature in the wild whose natural habitat’s being destroyed. She tells him that some animals adapt instead of going extinct, but he doesn’t seem to think he has it in him to do so. I don’t think he does either.

Carson tracks down Hughes and finally asks her if everything’s ok. She says it is and he reports that the evening went off as well as could be expected, though he thought there was no style to it at all. She tiredly suggests that people are tired of style and show. Before he goes, he apologizes (sort of) for being crabby and reassures her that he is on her side. She thanks him. In the corridor, she meets Patmore, who asks if Hughes told him what was going on. She says she didn’t, and anyway, it doesn’t matter, because someday, they’re all going to die. And on that light and happy note, the episode ends.

3 thoughts on “Downton Abbey: Under Pressure

  1. [“Just shut up about it already, Matthew, and let the money do a bit of good! It’s probably what Lavinia would have wanted anyway!”]

    Why? Robert will simply lose it before Matthew can become the new earl. And the idea of taking money from Lavinia’s father is too gruesome, considering what happened last season.

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