Robert asks Carson about his wedding a.k.a. the day he and Mrs. Hughes start having all the sex. Carson shares that they've set a date, but are still looking for a place to hold the reception. Mary says, Here, duh! Robert comes in for the assist and...fails miserably, as he almost always does. "We can decorate the servants hall and make it look really special." This statement is the sequel to "Let them eat cake." Off with his super rich, blinded-by-a-lifetime-of-privilege head!
Mary gets this and reprimands her embarrassing dad: "I don't want to discuss it now in a rush. We'll have a proper conversation later." *cue a chorus of middle schoolers saying oooooo after a classmate is called to the principal's office*
Did you notice that everyone completely ignored Edith's existence and the two things she said in this scene? You probably ignored her too! No wonder Cora didn't even bother showing up to this lame breakfast. These people don't appreciate a fine woman when she's sipping tea right in front of them.
Downstairs, Molesley brings up that time Daisy lost her sh*t on her father-in-law's new landlord and ensured his eviction. Daisy self-flogs.
The Agent-seeker meets with Mary. She breaks her new role to him and he tries not to burn everything to the ground. They talk about pigs a lot.
On a walk outside, Mrs. Hughes incredulously repeats Robert's version of "Let them eat cake" to Carson. Have her reception in the servants hall? As if! She doesn't want to be a servant on her wedding day. Carson counters: But we'll still invite these rich people who don't actually value me at all, but whom I live to serve, right??? Mrs. Hughes gives him a side-eye and then this exchange takes place:
Mrs. Hughes: "Why? Did you think you would have to get married without Lady Mary to witness it?"
Carson: "She's an important figure in my life, Mrs. Hughes. I won't apologize."
No one said marriage was easy, y'all!
Over at the Dowager's mansion, cousin Isobel, Robert, the doctor whose name I never remember, and the Countess sit around and argue some more about this hospital take-over. Robert says something glib about wanting to save lives. His mother hits back: "If you can't say anything helpful, Robert, please be silent." Although a bit long, this should have been the title of the show.
Cousin Isobel wants to get Cora involved because she knows Cora agrees with her side of things. I don't 100% understand what all this fuss is about and why it deserves a multi-episode arc, but I always side with the Dowager. Dear cousin Isobel, know your place. You just got here.
Back at Downton, the newbie footman Andy talks about how he likes it there and wants to walk and explore more. Thomas offers to join because Andy is cute and Thomas hasn't gotten some in a while. Andy says something to the effect of no homo. Mrs. Hughes agrees. Why is she so invested in keeping Thomas celibate? Just 'cause you have issues with your body and sex doesn't mean others can't get some. Let Thomas live!
Moments later, Carson makes fun of the fact that Thomas might be laid off soon. I hope you're not a fan of Mrs. Hughes and Carson 'cause their wedding is shaping up to be a reprise of the wedding in Kill Bill. 13-year-old spoiler: It's bloody.
Somewhere in town, Molesley follows a bunch of kids and asks to talk to their teacher. He could definitely use more schooling. Let's hope that's what this is about.
Back at Downton, some sexist is yelling at Edith on the phone again. She tells him to calm down. By now, we people of the future know this only makes matters worse, but it's 1925 and Edith doesn't know anything about conflict resolution.
Edith goes to complain to her family about how hated she is. Mary rolls her eyes. Like I said last week, these two need to just duel it out already.
More talk about the boring hospital thing, which is thankfully interrupted by the children. Mary wants to take the kids on a field trip to see pigs at a local farm, which conveniently is the very farm where Edith kept Marigold hidden while she was pretending not to be post-partum depressed last year. Edith gets super anxious. Mary calls her a ninny. Same ol', same ol'.
Downstairs, Molesley finds Daisy and tells her about his visit with the town schoolmaster. He gives her old exams from previous years so she can be prepared to take one of her own. Daisy is like This is nice and all, but I'm pretty busy planning to meddle some more in my father-in-law's affairs. K thanks bye!
Upstairs in Mary's bedroom, Mary asks Anna why she's still a British lady reincarnation of Eeyore, despite her and her husband being acquitted. Anna brings up the time she had to go buy Mary a diaphragm (good times!) and then confides about her miscarriages. Mary feels bad and probably thinks something along the lines of: My maid has more problems than a math book.
In town, Isobel runs into her ex. He talks about how the locals need better health care and the hospital take-over will make things better. Like last week, he mentions how glad he is that they are allies on this issue. And, again, Isobel sings Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together." She then gets excited about battling the Dowager and predicts there will be "wigs on the green." 2016 translation: wigs are about to be snatched!
In the servants' quarters, Thomas offers to help cute newbie Andy wind the clocks and is spurned for the 908th time. It's really too bad He's Just Not That Into You wasn't out back in 1925. Thomas could really use it right about now.
At the village farm, Mary is busy talking about pigs, while Mr. Drew and Cora are trying to speed things along before his crazy jealous wife a.k.a. Marigold's fake mom comes back.
Too late! His wife gets all mama bear with Marigold and Mr. Drew implores "Let her go, Margie." She begrudgingly does and Cora gets Marigold the hell out of there. This goes down in history as the shortest and most polite hostage crisis.
Back at Downton, Thomas plans to go on a job interview nearby. He hopes there are cute boys there who will let him wind their clocks, if you know what I mean.
Upstairs, Mary tells Carson that, despite what her father stupidly said about making up the servants' hall for his wedding reception, it can be held in any of the upstairs rooms. Robert is sour about her fixing his faux pas and still has no clue why what he said was demeaning and offensive. Some things never change!
In the shoe-polish room, where everything always happens, Anna is in the dark crying again. Bates tries to comfort her with trite passages he read in a greeting card once. He asks if she would consider adoption. Anna says she would, but that Bates is "tribal" and wants his own child. He's doesn't deny this and then continues to be entirely unhelpful: "To me, we are one person. And that person can't have children." What poetry! I'm not sure who I'm more annoyed with: Bates or the writer who got paid to write that.
In London, the sexist phone caller is now yelling at Edith IRL. She fires him on the spot. No, actually she just takes it 'cause her superpower is soaking in all forms of criticism and ire like a sponge and then crying it all out at night and sometimes even almost burning down the house while she's at it.
Thomas shows up for his interview and any hopes for sexy clock-winding are quickly dashed because of an impressive gaydar. "You're a delicate looking fella, aren't you?" the homophobe interviewer asks, before bullying Thomas for not being married. Add this dude to the list of people Thomas will most likely murder soon.
Back at Downton, Mary tells Anna she wants to help her with this whole no babies thing. OMG, is she going to find her a surrogate and help her pretend she was pregnant all along, like Beyonce (allegedly) did with Blue Ivy? Oh, they're just going to visit a doctor to see what's up. That works too, I guess.
Anna keeps refusing help, but Mary points out all the times Anna has helped her in a time of need: hiding "that fearful Dutch thingamajig" (we all must call contraceptives this from now on) and carrying the Turk's dead body out of her room. They have a good, long laugh thinking about how Mary killed a man with her vagina.
It only takes 3.2 seconds for Anna to turn back into Eeyore. She mopes about how going to the doctor or even a potential operation probably won't work. The only way Mary avoids strangling her sadsack neck is to ask her if she'll tell Bates.
Anna says she won't. "He'd help too much." Translation: he would try killing someone again and this final season doesn't have enough running time to include a third instance of Bates maybe going to jail.
Have y'all ever noticed that Bates is basically Lennie from Of Mice and Men? Always meaning well, but accidentally hurting or killing things? That novel takes place in the 1930s, which could mean that this entire show is an origin story and Bates does something awful at Downton and must flee to California's Salinas Valley to assume a new identity. I wouldn't rule it out!
In their bedroom, Cora and Robert talk about how Mrs. Drew wants to "swallow [Marigold] whole." Cora asks about the possibility of making the Drews move 'cause she knows that, once Mrs. Drew finds a windowless white van, she'll be kidnapping Marigold tout de suite.
Downstairs, Baxter encourages Daisy not to be angry with Cora for not being able to help Daisy's father-in-law. Daisy's A+ response: "It's the system's fault! That's what makes me angry: the system! And she's part of it!" Out of the mouth of immortal, ageless, partially educated babes! Revolution is nigh! Tom Branson would be so proud.
In London, Edith and her aunt drink booze out of tiny glasses and talk about fine dining, shopping and the joys of living alone. On that last note, Rosamund correctly points out: "That's the danger of living alone. It can be very hard to give up." I'm so with her on this one. Nothing's better than coming home and doing whatever the hell you want without someone being there to judge you for eating raw cookie dough out of a bowl in your underwear while watching a marathon of The Great British Baking Show. Oh, you don't do that? Uh, yeah, me neither. Anywaaay, how is super chill Rosamund related to her loser brother Robert? It boggles the mind.
Downstairs at Downton, Mrs. Hughes tells Carson she doesn't want to get married at Downton because it's not who they are. Carson, who's convinced himself that he's a part of the Crawley family, despite the whole waiting on them hand and foot for a lifetime thing, doesn't agree, but plans to decline the offer because happy wife, happy life or whatever people say.
Outside, Bates and Anna talk about her trip to London. Anna alludes to her secret gyno appointment:
Bates: Well, try and put your feet up.
Anna: Yes, I will be putting my feet up.
This marks the first time a scene featuring these two has made me laugh. Well done, all.
In the dining room, Cora mentions that she's meeting with the Dowager, the village doctor and Isobel about hospital bizness. Then we get a peek into what a happy marriage looks like:
Robert: [referring to inviting Isobel] Is that wise?
Cora: At least she's an ally I can rely on, even if I can't rely on you.
Robert: I didn't tell you about the meeting bec...
Cora: [to Mary] "What time's your train?"
Brrr, it's gonna be cold in the marital bed tonight!
The family switches the topic over to Carson's wedding reception. Carson tries to get out of having it at Downton, but Lady Mary vows that the reception will be there if it's the last thing she does. Uh oh, Mrs. Hughes is going to be soooo pissed.
At the hospital, Cora admits she's on Team Give Up the Hospital. The Countess is desperate to change the tide with some manipulative psychology: "Are you saying Dr. Clarkson is a bad doctor?" Cora doesn't find this as amusing as I do and decides to leave. Isobel rubs salt in the wound on her way out: "I'll come with you. We must give them time to gnash their teeth alone."
At the future kidnapper's farm, Robert tries to convince Mr. Drew to move away before his wife does something dumb. It doesn't work.
In Carson's office, Mrs. Hughes blows up when Carson tells her Lady Mary insists they have their reception upstairs. "Heaven forfend we lowly folk should do anything to contradict the blessed Lady Mary!" Yeesh! This is getting ugly fast! Remember the forehead kisses, guys?
Apparently not because Mrs. Hughes is still at it: "We'll be doing it your way for the next 30 years, I know that well enough, but the wedding day is mine!" Good grief, Mrs. Hughes has become such a drama queen since she's gotten engaged. First the whole I never want to have sex or be naked ever again thing and now this? Also, it's super sad that she's resigned to doing everything Carson's way for the next 30 years. Although I guess a dark silver lining is that, let's be real, neither of them have another 30 years left. (Hey, don't get mad at me for speaking truth; people lived shorter lives back then!)
Upstairs, Baxter...you know what, I think you should just see it for yourself 'cause I'm too busy laughing: