|11th October 2015|
May, 1925: Tom and Sybbie return to Downton, but the peace is disrupted by an unexpected visit from an old and dear friend. Baxter is faced with a dilemma after an encounter with Sergeant Willis, while Thomas struggles to fill Carson's shoes as butler. The newlyweds Mr and Mrs Carson return from their Scarborough honeymoon. Anna goes to London with Mary to deal with a crisis regarding her recent pregnancy, while her secrets seem likely to be exposed to Mr Bates. Daisy is not happy with Cora's attempts to help her father-in-law, and Mary has an admirer.
Sgt. Willis is coming to see Mrs. Baxter. She asks for Mr. Molesley to sit in with her. Peter Cole is on bail for theft and is pleading innocent. Sgt. Willis wants her to testify against him. Mr. Molesley wants her to do it, but Mrs. Baxter is upset and doesn’t want to. Molesley tells Lady Grantham what has happened. Thomas is having an existential crisis and confides in Mrs. Baxter. Sgt. Willis returns and tries to guilt her into testifying by telling her about what has happened to the other girls Peter Cole has ruined.
Mr. and Mrs. Carson are on their honeymoon. Lord Grantham has a cottage prepared for their return. Robert tells Thomas that he hopes Thomas has learned something about being butler and why people are loyal to Carson. The servants prepare for a party for the Carsons. The family joins the servants and Edith announces her plan to announce a woman editor. Violet is shocked to be downstairs for the first time in twenty years. Robert is thrilled to hear that the Carsons still want to be called Carson and Mrs. Hughes. Mr. Carson goes to his room upstairs to say goodbye to it.
Lady Shackleton comes to visit Violet, to help her in the Hospital War. She brings her nephew, Henry Talbot. Mary is surprised to see him. Tom and Henry bond over cars. Henry makes a living in cars. Henry gives Mary his card and asks to see her if she’s in London. While in London, she meets Henry and they have dinner. Mary tells him about her work with the estate and she explains that she wants to make the estate modern for George.
Lady Rosamund is coming to Downton. She has become a trustee of a women’s college and she is going to suggest Edith as a trustee too. Isobel and Cora are pleased to hear about how women are going to be able to better their lives. Anna is surprised to see Gwen, the former maid at Downton, is Mrs. Harding. Tom recognizes her as well and Mary overhears. Thomas embarrasses Gwen during luncheon by informing the family that she was a housemaid, because he resents her luck. The family seems delighted to hear her story, especially Isobel. They are touched to hear that Lady Sybil helped her to get her job. After luncheon, Gwen comes down to meet with the staff. Robert corners Thomas and tells him he doesn’t appreciate him embarrassing Gwen.
Mary knows that Anna is pregnant and refuses to let her do any heaving lifting. Mary confides in her that she doesn’t feel like she’s done anything with her life when Anna has a sharp pain. She and Anna tell everyone that it’s Mary, but Tom knows the truth and drives Mary and Anna to York to catch the late train. The whole house speculates about what is wrong with Mary, but Edith thinks it’s just Mary being dramatic. They arrive to London in time and Anna has the surgery. The Doctor is cautiously optimistic that the pregnancy will be fine. Mr. Bates is overjoyed to hear Anna’s news when they return.
Over dinner, Isobel, Violet, Cora, Edith and Lady Shackleton all fight over dinner about the hospital. After dinner, Robert experiences stomach pain.
Daisy is very angry about Yew Tree Farm and plans to confront Cora. However, Cora is taking advantage of Mary’s absence to propose to Robert about giving the farm to Mr. Mason, but they worry about the money and Mr. Mason’s age. Downstairs, the staff begs Daisy not to go upstairs. Mrs. Baxter decides she will go with Daisy. Tom returns and Tom sides with Cora. Cora retires and is confronted by Daisy. They are joined by Robert who tells Daisy that Mr. Mason has the farm. Robert is in pain again. Daisy feels bad hating Cora. Mr. Mason is overjoyed to have the farm.
Violet makes some strong points against the hospital system. She says that it’s the family’s responsibility to protect the people’s rights, since a big hospital system won’t care for the people of the village like the family being in charge of it will.
- Molesley says to Baxter, All that is needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing, paraphrasing a quote generally attributed to Edmund Burke, All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, although he may never have said it so succinctly. Similar statements have been attributed to John Stuart Mill, Leo Tolstoy, Plato and Albert Einstein
- Hillcroft College, mentioned by Rosamund to Edith, is a real London college originally called The National Residential College for Women, the college was established in 1920, and has always been a residential college solely for the education of adult women.