8.3

Downton Abbey Review: Series Six, Episode Three

(Episode 6.03)

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<i>Downton Abbey</i> Review: Series Six, Episode Three

Can I confess something to you?

I would be so totally happy if, at the end of Downton Abbey, it was Edith who had found true love and Mary who was alone. It’s high time Mary got her comeuppance, don’t you think?

Bertie Pelham, who we met at the end of last season, seems like just the man for Edith. He doesn’t get upset when she can’t keep their date because she (finally!) fired her editor. Bertie rolls up his sleeves and immediately helps her get her magazine out. He’s an all-around nice guy, which our Edith absolutely deserves.

But, of course, Edith finding love wasn’t the big news of the episode. The big news is that Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson are married! In true Downton Abbey fashion there is high drama involving the dress Mrs. Hughes will wear. She wants to wear one of her old dresses that would definitely land her on the pages of “What Not to Wear.” Mrs. Patmore secretly orders a new dress for Mrs. Hughes, but when it arrives it’s not much better than the one Mrs. Hughes already owns. (Be it in a catalog or online, it’s hard to buy clothes when you can’t see and touch them).

Mary hatches a plan where Mrs. Hughes can borrow one of Cora’s luxurious coats, but neglects to tell her mother this. Cora walks in on Mrs. Patmore, Anna and Mrs. Hughes trying on coats from her closet and is not pleased. This might be the most angry we’ve ever seen Cora. Except she’s not really angry at Mrs. Hughes. She’s still reeling from a fight she had with Violet over what will happen with the hospital.

In the end, Cora apologizes and even gives Mrs. Hughes her coat. And thanks to Cora, the wedding reception is at the school house not at Downton. It’s a lovely affair that made me happy just watching it. And it’s the kind of plot point, Downton Abbey excels at – two beloved characters have found true love. Now I just have to get used to calling Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Carson.

As for the fight about the hospital, Robert is still trying to stay out of it and Violet advises him to simply not talk to Cora. In one of her especially delightful bon mots, Violet tells her son, “I know several couples who are perfectly happy. Haven’t spoken in years.”

There’s some nonsense going on between Spratt and Miss Danker. Spratt has a nephew who has escaped from prison and Danker knows Spratt has been talking to someone and acting funny. The whole storyline seems repetitive, and—nothing against Spratt and Danker—but I really don’t want to spend the final episodes of Downton on them.

Daisy is certain that Cora is going to give her father-in-law the Drewe’s farm and even tells him this. The only problem, of course, is that the matter isn’t settled and Daisy has once again stuck her foot in her mouth.

Meanwhile, Anna thinks she is pregnant, but won’t tell Mr. Bates. (These two could write a book about what not to do in a relationship.) Thomas just wants to be friends with Andy, but no one believes him. Thomas also goes on another job interview—this time to an estate that is falling apart and a caretaker, Sir Michael, who is in denial about the state of things. “We can’t let them down, you see. When the good times return and they all come back, we must be ready. Can’t let our standards slip,” he tells Thomas as they stand in an estate covered with dust and cluttered with debris. It was definitely one of the more melodramatic and depressing scenes the show has ever had.

At the end of the hour, Tom returns with Sybbie. He’s back to stay. “I had to go all the way to Boston to figure something out. Downton is my home and you are my family.” Also, he probably realized he had it pretty good in Downton. Maybe Allen Leech decided to come back because he would only have to commit to a handful of episodes, but who cares? It’s great to have him back.

Stray Observations:

“Mr. Carson would forgive you if you attacked him with a brick.” That’s the truth.

“I know he has a great many relations who seem to get married and buried with numbing regularity usually on very inconvenient days.” My second favorite Violetism this episode.

Robert was having indigestion, which in real life wouldn’t mean anything, but in the TV world could mean he’s very ill. Anyone else worried?



Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.

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