Back at the Abbey, Edith (a.k.a. Jan Brady) tells the family about her new boo, George Glass. Mary (a.k.a. Marcia Brady) challenges her because the Aw-my-sister-had-to-give-birth-in-secret-to-a-dead-man's-baby empathy from last episode has worn off.
Mary: Is he worth it?
Edith: As opposed to your car mechanic?
Edith finally landed a comeback! A well-earned hair flip is in order.
Over at Daisy's father-in-law's place (a.k.a. Chez Marigold's Kidnapper), Daisy puts up a portrait of her husband-for-four-seconds and pretends she didn't treat him like dirt when he was alive. Her father-in-law gives her a letter to give to Mrs. Patmore and Daisy irrationally fills with jealous rage.
Back at Downton, Carson peer pressures Robert to drink wine out of a flask. The absurdity of that sentence proves that Downton should have probably ended a year or two ago. Carson and Robert talk about how much they hate Thomas and wish he would die or get another job or something. Then they take turns complaining about the open house. Every scene with these two is like a prequel to Grumpy Old Men or an unfunny Statler and Waldorf bit.
In the kitchen, Mrs. Patmore finds her letter from Daisy's father-in-law in the trash. Daisy is totally going to flunk her exam, if this bit of sabotage is any indication of her intelligence.
Upstairs, Baxter tells Cora that the man she was supposed to testify against got 10 years in prison. Cora is like Cool, now I can go back to not caring about your personal life.
The next morning, Carson and Mrs. Hughes are on a miserable walk. On top of ridiculing her cooking last week, Carson now also has a problem with how Mrs. Hughes makes coffee, polishes the silver and makes the bed. Puke blood in his face, Mrs. Hughes!
In Mary's bedroom, Anna tells Mary she needs to see a doctor again. Mary is like Yay, I get to party with a hot boy in London! Uh, I mean, sorry about your problematic pregnancy. I hope you're okay.
Across town, there's more news on the boring hospital merger front. York will take over the hospital and they're pushing the Dowager out and replacing her with Cora. I think I speak for all of us when I say:
Back at the Abbey, Mary tells Branson about her plans to hang out at a spot called the Criterion with Evelyn Napier (the guy she friend-zoned / best friend of the dead Turk). Edith swoops in with a Debbie Downer remembrance of her dead boyfriend:
Edith: I used to go to the Criterion with Michael.
Mary: Do you have to put a damper on every restaurant in the capital?
Point for Mary, which ties the score (remember the car mechanic dig from earlier?). But wait, there's more!
Mary: Edith, you can manage for a day without us, can't you?
Edith: I can manage without you for as long as you want.
Edith is getting the hang of this! 2-1.
Branson: Why don't you come with us?
Edith: And watch Mary flirt with her oily driver? No thank you.
Gross classism aside, Edith is killing it. She's finally had it.
Upstairs, Thomas is giving George another random piggy back ride. When Mary shows up, George explains that he was cheering Thomas up.
Mary: Do you need cheering up, Barrow?
Thomas: We all need it sometimes, m'lady.
Robert is bored out of his mind in bed, wishing the same thing Cora and I do: that he was dead. Mary stops by to ask if he knows why Thomas is sad. Robert is like Carson and I hate gays and want him to leave. Mary is like Oh, okay. Glad she got that cleared up.
Outside, Bates makes a huge deal about Anna going away for the evening. Even when he says sweet things, they come across as scary and controlling: "I miss you when you're out of sight."
Downstairs, Carson gleefully tells Thomas how useless he is and basically fires him. He stops short of clapping while shouting Yipee! I advise Thomas to do the same thing I advised Mrs. Hughes to do earlier: Puke blood in his face!!!
Mrs. Hughes comes by and Carson reminds her again that she sucks at everything and could really use some training in cooking from Mrs. Patmore. Ughhh! I hope Carson nods off after drinking his flask wine and a boa constrictor slithers into his room and devours him super slowly.
At the schoolhouse, a teacher gives Molesley props for caring about Daisy's education and wonders if he might want to work at the school in some capacity. Molesley reacts like Piglet:
Back at the house, Carson continues being the worst:
Carson [to Mrs. Hughes]: "I'm expecting a delicious dinner prepared by the fair hands of my beautiful wife."
Seriously, Mrs. Hughes, annulment, look it up in one of Daisy's books.
In the hallway, Thomas and Andy try to decide whose room they'll meet up in later. Unfortunately, they're not talking about hooking up. It's just to teach dyslexic Andy how to read books about pigs. Sigh. Mrs. Patmore overhears and assumes they're going to make sweet love to each other. In an alternate universe where the Downton writers know what they're doing, that is what's really going on.
In London, Mary gives Anna a hard time for being late to dress her. Anna explains that she had to take a freakin' bus and also had to, you know, figure out if her baby is going to live or not (thanks for asking, Mary!).
Back at the Abbey, Cora is all excited about her new position at the hospital. Robert condescendingly explains that she shouldn't worry her little head with work and should just stay home and serve no purpose like him. When the boa finishes with Carson, he should slither upstairs and take care of Robert too.
In London, Mary meets up with a bunch of her boo's friends. She doesn't exactly make the best first impression. "A table of singletons at our age, well done." One of the girls at the table explains that they're war widows. Mary is like I'm not. My husband just sucked at driving.
Over at the Carson cottage, it's dinner time a.k.a. let-me-ridicule-my-new-wife-incessantly-until-she-stabs-me-dead o'clock. Carson wishes Mrs. Hughes hadn't forgotten the lemon for his salmon. He also wishes she would've whipped up some horseradish, thinned with a little sour cream. And the skin on the duck better be crispy! Oh, and Mrs. Hughes isn't allowed to drink anymore out of respect for Robert's combustible ulcer. Yikes. If I were Hughes, I would knock the dinner onto the floor, call up alcoholic Denker and spend all night doing this:
Back in London, Mary goes on a walk with her new man and they go from 0 to make out in the rain and say I love you for the first time. They even negotiate how often Mary will visit the racetrack to watch him drive around when they're married. I get that we're in the final few episodes and need to move things along, but come on now, these two have hung out like four times in their lives. I have a more robust relationship with the guy who owns the corner store near my house.
When Mary gets home, she drinks whiskey (my kind of girl!) and kicks it with Branson who never seems to do much of anything these days. From revolutionary chauffeur to neutered layabout. Sybil's death really messed everything up. Anyway, Mary slings some mud in Edith's direction, who's not even around, by calling her new boyfriend "boring to an Olympic degree," because she's drunk and crapping all over Edith is fun.
In a distant part of Yorkshire, Olympic bore himself walks along the road with a bunch of luggage because Edith sucks at life and couldn't get her car to start. They both seem like bad kissers.
At Isobel's place, Lord Merton shows up with his nasty son's new fiance. She's explains that she's an Isobel groupie and apologizes for being engaged to a monster. Operation Win Her Back Before the Christmas Special is in full effect.
In the Downton kitchen, the servants talk about Daisy's imminent test. Daisy is excited in a cute baby Gizmo type of way.
But then Mrs. Patmore mentions Daisy's father-in-law and Daisy transforms into a crazy jealous Gremlin freak.
Mrs. Patmore vows to contact him anyway because she doesn't want to be a virgin on her death bed.
Upstairs, Edith decides a third date is as good a time as any to introduce her new boyfriend to her sleeping super secret daughter.
Downstairs, Daisy's father-in-law shows up to give Mrs. Patmore some I-secretly-love-you vegetables. Daisy is not pleased:
Upstairs, Olympic bore coaches the family on how to host a proper open house. Damn, Mary was right; I am bored.
Downstairs, Mr. Carson similarly bores everyone with open house talk. He also manages to insult Daisy's appearance by reminding her to "look presentable." Ugh, where is that boa?!
Back upstairs, Mary tells Branson she's going to get over the fact that her husband died in a car crash and start liking cars again so that her new boo will keep liking her. Good for her, I guess?
Elsewhere, Robert tells Cora that Edith's new dude doesn't have any prospects. Cora replies, "What are Edith's prospects?" Ouch, mama! But I guess she's right; beggars who are willing to date their burn victim cousin can't be choosers.
In a hallway downstairs, Carson catches Andy coming out of Thomas' bedroom. The music turns sinister and gay panic ensues, just in case you forgot that, on top of all his other awful qualities, Carson is also relentlessly homophobic.
The next day, the riff raff arrive to gawk at the Abbey. They have a lot of questions about architects and painters and Cora, Edith and Mary don't know anything about anything. The poor people are like Ew, read a book.
The Dowager swoops in and has the best crowd control skills: making a disgusted face until people move out of the way. She finds Cora and makes a scene over being pushed out of the hospital. She doesn't want to see Cora's face again until she becomes "used to having a traitor in the family." Despite this storyline being so very tired, this freakout works because of Maggie Smith. She is really too good for this show.
A random village boy shows up in Robert's room and they have a conversation about how annoying moms can be and why people live in big houses. The boy seems smarter than Robert, which isn't that hard of a feat actually.
Downstairs, Mrs. Patmore takes Carson aside to air out her concerns that Andy is being converted into a gay by Thomas. I'm running out of people I can stand.
Outside, Lord Merton is still trotting out his future daughter-in-law in a bid to make everyone forget that his sons wanted Isobel dead. It will probably work.
Downstairs, Carson corners Thomas and tries to get him to confess to seducing Andy. Thomas denies it and asks if, after all these years, his word is still not good enough. Carson says nope. And then Denker and Mrs. Hughes, drunk out of their gourds, jump out of nowhere and set Carson on fire. What? A boy can dream.
Upstairs, the rich folk talk about how their way of life has become like "a fat lady in the circus." Mary vows to stay in the house forever and ever. Yeah, good luck with that, poor oily driver lover.
In the dark, all alone, Thomas sits in a rocking chair and weeps.
After every episode, it's only right to reward characters who've impressed and diss the ones that haven't, so here goes:
PIECE OF COAL: Carson: I hope one of his organs blows up.
HONORABLE MENTION: Edith: She landed some good punches, got to kiss a boy, and no one kidnapped her baby. A good week, all in all!
BRONZE: Mrs. Hughes: The fact that she hasn't poisoned Carson yet is truly astounding.
SILVER: Mary: She drank some whiskey, made out in the rain and wore a cool headband. Is there more to life than that?
GOLD: Thomas: Someday, someone will give him a piggy back ride. Actually, probably not. 🙁
Until next week!
Previous Season 6 recaps:
'Downton Abbey' Season 6 Episode 5 Recap: Sunday Bloody Sunday
'Downton Abbey' Season 6 Episode 4 Recap: I Will Remember You
‘Downton Abbey’ Season 6 Episode 3 Recap: Chapel of Love
'Downton Abbey' Season 6 Episode 2: All That She Wants Is Another Baby