The war is over! And Downton’s returning to as it was before the war. Let’s start with what’s going on downstairs. Thomas sees the end of the war as a possible way to cash in. Bates is dealing with the upside of his wife’s suicide(?), him and Anna are free from her evil clutches. Ethel has the chance to introduce her son to his grandparents when they make a visit to Downton Abbey.
Evil Sir Richard tries to draft Anna into the spy business by asking her to spy on Lady Mary for him. And Sybil’s trying to find some meaning in her life now that the war is over. Branson seems to think he can provide that kind of life for her. She’s fed up with her posh life in Downton. She’s ready to see the world, or at least Ireland.
After finding out that Sir Richard tried to bribe Anna, Carson tells Mary he can’t go to Haxby to work for her. Mary returns to her bitchy, Season 1 ways for almost the rest of the hour. While Lord Grantham has a few moments of weakness with the new maid. My disappointment couldn’t get any worse. Least favorite plotline ever. Meanwhile, Matthew’s condition improves…dramatically. He can walk! And have kids! And…still marry Lavinia. Since Dr. Clarkson is apparently semi-incompetent, Matthew isn’t in fact paralyzed permanently.
Matthew and Lavinia shock everyone by calling the wedding back on and asking to hold the occasion at Downton Abbey. And since Lady Mary’s succeeding less and less at hiding her feelings, it’s pretty blatant to…everyone but Matthew, that she’s upset by it. It’s a little “Battle of the Sexes” when Cora and Robert are divided by their want of both Mary and Matthew’s happiness.
Ethel’s plan doesn’t go well when she tries to confront the grandparents of her son. A little ‘Baby Mama Drama’ at the Abbey. Meanwhile, Mary’s bitterness is at the same time hilarious and heartbreaking. Thomas’ plans to profit from lack of supplies seems to be working when he sells the cooking supplies at Downton. Cousin Violet confronts Matthew by telling him that Mary’s still in love with him and he should “throw over” Lavinia after she’s taken care of him. The last advice she gives Matthew is that “marriage is a long business.” Whoa! But my favorite quote of the night comes from Lady Mary. Sir Richard asks if she’s in love with Matthew. Her reply, “Would I ever admit to loving a man who preferred someone else over me?” Is that a denial or is she in denial?
Sybil and Branson decide to elope but Mary, Edith and Anna are hot on their trail. Despite her broken heart, Mary manages to convince Sybil to come back to Downton. Edith does nothing to help, as per usual. Robert’s still all emo about not being able to go to war. So his little fling with the maid is somehow justified later on?!? She offers to leave but he’s being a “gentleman” and refuses. Likes to keep her around I guess. Feel a tiny bit sad for Thomas when he realizes his supplies are “whack” and impossible to sell. He’s out of money and resources. Oh, crap.
This is the end of PART ONE (episode 7 of the original UK series)