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Downton Abbey Review: Series Six, Episode Four

(Episode 6.04)

TV Reviews Downton Abbey
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<i>Downton Abbey</i> Review: Series Six, Episode Four

I feel, as they say in therapy, that I need to unpack my feelings about Edith.

Two weeks ago, I’m ranting about how I’m on #TeamMrsDrewe and then last week I’m rooting for Edith to find true love (with someone who isn’t married, dead or super old).

Why is it that I root for Edith, the perennial sad sack? I realized it comes down to the fact that I’m more anti-Mary than I am pro-Edith. Exchanges like this one help explain why: After Mary tells Edith she thinks it’s a good idea that Edith is hiring a woman editor for her magazine, Aunt Rosamund compliments Mary on being nice to Edith. And what does Mary say? “A monkey will type out the bible if you leave it long enough.” Mary can just be so downright nasty. So, no matter what awful things Edith does, I still root for her to succeed over Mary.

That being said, Mary was in fine form during this episode, rushing Anna to her doctor and saving her pregnancy. Mr. Bates finally knows the truth—that Anna is pregnant and the pair, who are usually so steeped in their own misery, actually seemed genuinely happy. Will the show let that last? I certainly think they’ve been put through enough at this point.

Matthew Goode finally showed up to romance Mary (It’s about time. The only reason I tolerated him not being on The Good Wife is because I knew he would show up here.) Henry Talbot and Mary exchange witty and flirty repartee.

The show does seem to be going through a checklist of things to wrap up before it signs off. Gwen Dawson, the maid Sybil helped get a secretary job way back in season one, returns. She’s now married to a man whose treasurer of a charitable organization. She’s moved up in the world and none of the Crawleys recognize her. But Thomas outs Gwen and gets admonished by Robert. Gwen recalls how much Sybil helped her, telling the Crawleys, “Her kindness changed my life.” It was a lovely moment and a nice way for the show to remember the still-missed character.

The drama also returned to the whole business of Baxter’s previous bad relationship which landed her in jail. It seems that the louse who conned Baxter is conning other women and ruining them. Sergeant Willis (who definitely gets around) asks Baxter to testify against him. She’s reluctant, but Mr. Mosely is insistent that she should do this and Baxter eventually comes around.

Daisy, as hot-headed as ever, gets her wish and Mr. Mason gets the Drewe farm. It’s against Mary’s wishes, but the whole family votes on it while Mary is away helping Anna. I’m really curious to see where the show leaves Daisy. She certainly hasn’t matured that much during her time at Downton.

Elsewhere, Robert is still having his indigestion issues so I’m officially worried (seriously it seems like the most obvious foreshadowing ever). Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes return from their honeymoon and, to everyone’s great relief, say they would prefer to go on being called Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes at work. Meanwhile, the fight over the hospital continues—and frankly it’s beyond repetitive. But it is giving Violet some wonderful lines. When Violet’s friend wonders how she can present herself as an expert when she doesn’t know all the facts, Violet responds, “That never stopped me.”

Other thoughts on “Season Six, Episode Four”:

I think I’m going to miss Violet and Isobel most of all. When the entire family descends to the servant’s quarters to celebrate the return of Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, Violet says, “I haven’t been into the kitchen for at least 20 years.” “Do you have your passport?” Isobel responds.

Now that Tom’s back, I wonder if the show is going to give him a story line, or if he’s just going to smile and talk about how happy he is to be home for the remaining episodes.

What other storylines do you want wrapped up before the end? What else has the show left lingering? I still would like more closure on Mr. Gregson (beginning to accept the fact that he’s probably not secretly still alive).



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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