New Show Recap: Downton Abbey, Episode 5×08

Guess what? We’re on episode seven of Downton Abbey, which means we’re in the home stretch! And we have all of the staples of a primetime soap opera in this episode: a wedding that may or may not occur, opposition to a marriage, an announcement from a killjoy, a mother bitchier than Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, a realization of a child’s parentage based on its looks, a family member leaving, and Anna starring in Bates Part Deux: The Homicidal Housewife.

Marigold is doing splendidly in her new home with her mother and her cousins. Edith is devoted to little Marigold and loves to spend as much time as she can with her, which causes Mary to wonder what her issue is. She actually wants to spend time with her kid? Oh, but you know how Edith is…

Fast forward to two months later. Everyone is all in a tizzy about Rose’s wedding, especially Rose herself. She’s getting married in London, and the family is staying in Grantham House, which doesn’t seem to have its own housekeeper anymore, but enough of that. Rose is having a registry wedding and won’t be married with a veil because she isn’t getting married in a church. Rose seems okay with it, and Isobel remarks, “You just seem to be taking it all in stride.” I honestly don’t think Isobel was trying to be snarky, even though her life pretty much sucks right now, what with her engagement pretty much done because her prospective stepsons were assholes. The courtship was hasty, the proposal was hasty, and so is the wedding ceremony, but Rose seems to be excited and thrilled. Hey, she’s marrying the guy she wants to marry!

Shrimpie and Aunt Susan, who shall now be called Mummy Dearest, arrive at Grantham House, and we see what a shrew Mummy Dearest is. The two have just arrived from Southampton after wrapping up things with Shrimpie’s post in India. The two are pretending that everything is still okay between the two of them for Rose’s sake, but Mummy Dearest is taking every opportunity she can to be mean to her husband. When they arrive at Grantham House, she insists on having her own room, even though all of the rooms are taken. Mrs. Hughes suggests to Cora that Edith and Rose share a bedroom, all to keep Mummy Dearest happy.

Prince Kuragin comes to see Granny at the Dower House before she leaves for London. They have a deep conversation, and he tells her that he still loves her and wants to spend his remaining days with her as companions and lovers. The last few years have been ugly, and he only wants to be happy. Never mind what may have happened to his wife, which doesn’t sit well with Violet, and she sends him on his merry way.

Sergeant Willis shows up again to question Anna, and while in London, she ends up going down to the station to stand in a lineup. It turns out Mr. Green was a serial rapist, and that blonde, slight women who didn’t like him, as Anna didn’t, were his type. A witness has reported seeing a petite blonde woman standing close to Mr. Green before he was struck down by the car. At least Bates can be exonerated now, since he’s not blonde, petite, or a woman. Anna is free to go after she stands up in the lineup, but this doesn’t seem to be a good sign for her. So begins Bates, Part Deux: The Homicidal Housewife.

Denker is showing that she’s even more evil than Thomas. As she and Spratt help to carry Violet’s things out to the car, she remarks to Violet that one of the suitcases is missing — even though she hid it. Denker tries to make Spratt look incompetent, but Violet is on to her game. They find the missing suitcase and head for the train station.

Daisy is bummed because she feels that she has been denied opportunities in her life until now. Before, she had felt that if she has been meant to appreciate books and art, she would have been one of the Crawleys. Now, the world has been opened up to her, and she intends on following through with her studies. She contemplates leaving the Crawleys and getting a job in London to do so, and a trip to the museum with Moseley and Baxter only makes her more determined to do so. When she finds Mrs. Patmore in tears over the whole thing, she assures Mrs. Patmore that she doesn’t intend to leave for another month or two. Mrs. Patmore is glad for Daisy, but she still would miss her.

Rose tells her father that Lord Sinderby doesn’t approve of the marriage, so they need to not give him any ammunition that would cause him to try and persuade Atticus to call off the wedding… including mentioning the impending divorce. That means that Shrimpie and Mummy Dearest will need to pretend that everything is hunky-dory for a few more days and not mention D-I-V-O-R-C-E. The MacClairs and the Sinderbys attend dinner at Grantham House, and Mummy does what she can to be a total passive-aggressive bitch. She asks the Sinderbys if they have any English blood, to which Lord Sinderby replies that Lady Sinderby’s family has been in England since the reign of Richard III. “Funny,” drawls Mummy, “I always pictured you as a nomadic sort of people.” Shut up, Mummy! The conversation turns to what offends Lord Sinderby, and aside from divorce, he sure doesn’t like stag parties, one of which Atticus is attending that evening. That gets the wheels turning in someone’s head!

Rose, Tom, Mary, and Edith gather in the parlor after dinner, and Tom reminds them — again — that he is leaving for America. Mary, who is upset that the family seems to be breaking up, suggests that they all go to lunch together the next day. Mary is kind enough to even include Edith, who seems to miss Marigold oh, so much. Tom mentions that he heard from his cousin in Boston, who sells cars, and his cousin wants to break into selling farm equipment, with Tom is familiar with, so he’ll be set for a job. As they’re about ready to go to bed, Mary confides to Tom that she’ll miss him when he leaves. She and Sybil were very close and she feels like she has grown close to him because of it, but Tom assures her that he has to move on with his life.

Atticus goes to the stag party at the hotel, but while he’s getting ready to go to bed, a young tart sneaks into his room. He tries to shoo her out, but she pulls the shoulders of her dress down while he hurriedly wraps a robe around himself. She then hurries out the door, pulling up the shoulders of her dress as though she hurriedly put it on, leaving a puzzled Atticus standing in the doorway when surprise — he’s on candid camera! The photographer runs away.

Tom and Edith arrive at the designated lunch spot, and Edith has a sad moment because this was where she and Michael had her first date. Tom assures Edith that one day, she will be able to go to the places she and Michael had gone and they will evoke happy memories. Edith tells Tom she will miss him, too, since he has been kind to her about the whole Michael situation. Mary and Rose arrive, and Rose is beside herself because someone has handed her a photo of the tart leaving Atticus’s room the night before. Tom tells her that she needs to call Atticus now so they can figure out what happened, and Mary escorts Rose to the phone booth. Tom suspects that Lord Sinderby may have set up the plot to make Rose call the marriage off.

Atticus confronts his father about the photo, and Lord Sinderby insists that, as much as he disapproves of Atticus marrying the shiksa and not raising their kids in the Jewish faith, he would never stoop so low. Rose and Atticus decide to go through with the wedding, despite the drama. So who has done this? When Rose tells her father about what happened, he seems to have an idea, but he doesn’t tell her. Instead, he confronts Mummy Dearest and tells her to cut the crap, and that she ought to thank goodness that Rose was way too smart to be taken in by the shenanigans.

Dunker has been getting the hired footman, Andy, to take her out the last few nights. When they don’t return after curfew and she comes home drunk, Thomas begins to suspect that something is up. He asks Andy what’s going on, and Andy replies that Dunker is insisting that they go to a gambling joint where she drinks all she can for free and Andy gambles and loses money. Thomas asks to go with them the next night, and once there, they get Andy’s money back. Dunker owes the publican for all of the alcohol she drank the previous nights. Turning a new leaf, Thomas?

Anna is arrested for murder, since the eyewitness identified her in the lineup. Mary and Bates try to keep the police from taking Anna away, and Mary tries to pull rank with the inspector. “Ma’am, I don’t care if you’re Queen of the Upper Nile,” he tells her as he takes Anna away. Just hire Poirot to solve this with his little gray cells already — he lived in London at the time! A guest spot with David Suchet playing Poirot for the very last time would make this a good season!

The next day, at the registry, as Rose gets ready for the wedding, Violet and Isobel are talking among themselves, and Violet tells Isobel about how she attended an earl’s registry wedding to a Rothschild heiress, so Rose’s choice of wedding isn’t all that bad. Isobel tells Granny that her engagement to Dickie is pretty much over, since his sons were such shits to her. Violet tells Isobel that Dickie is not only a catch, but he loves Isobel, and that Isobel ought to go after him. Granny is nicer than we think!

While the guests are waiting for Rose, Mummy Dearest makes a last-ditch attempt at trying to prevent the marriage from happening. She tells everyone, loud and clear, about the divorce. Lord Sinderby stutters over this, but Lady Sinderby gives him an ultimatum that either he allows the wedding to take place or she’ll leave him. Since someone who’s offended by divorce would look like a fool if he gets divorced, he backs down. As Shrimpie marches Rose down the aisle, he tells Rose he knows what happened and that Atticus was set up, and he knows who did it. Rose just wants to be happy and tells her father she doesn’t want to know who set her up. But I’m sure she knows who did.

Tony and Mabel show up at the reception and tell Mary they’re engaged. Mary and Tony speak for a moment and she tells him thanks for being there for her when she needed it. He was “it” when she needed “it.” What — someone to fawn over her? Luckily, Carson is pleased they broke up; Lady Mary was too good for Tony. One of Robert and Cora’s friends remarks on the wedding ceremony being lovely, even if Rose if marrying someone who is Jewish. Cora reminds her that her father was Jewish, and the friend stutters a bit, mortified by what she just said, and goes on to talk to someone else. Rose confronts her mother and lets fly she knows about everything, and she tells Mummy that if she loves her, she will respect her choices and quit being such a bitch. Go, Rose!

Days later, at the dedication ceremony, for the monument for the soldiers who died, Robert informs the public in his speech that there is a plaque for Mrs. Patmore’s nephew, even though he wasn’t a local lad, who gave his life for his country. Thanks, Robert! Daisy is there with Mr. Mason so they can pay tribute to William, and Daisy tells Mrs. Patmore that she intends to staying at Downton Abbey for now. On the way back, Robert sees Marigold with Edith and confides to Cora that the child reminds him of Michael. Cora tells him it’s true, but that he has to keep the secret because Edith isn’t ready for Mary to know yet. Robert says he’ll do that, and that he could love the little girl as his grandchild, too.

So that’s it for this week, folks! Next week is the finale! Christmas in February — huzzah!

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