“Downton Abbey” Season/Series 6, Episode 8 brings us a wedding for episode 8. Rose and Atticus will make a lovely couple, but their trip to the registry office is not without obstacles and the episode which airs tonight on PBS at 9/8C (check local listings) is all about trust. Who can one trust?
The episode begins with the least trustworthy person, Thomas. Thomas is checking things and tells one of the unnamed servants “Take them straight to the wagonette.” Then he gives the inventory list to Mr. Carson and then to Mrs. Hughes.
Mrs. Hughes looks in on Miss Patmore and Daisy as they are making roses for a wedding cake. Daisy wonders, “How can we get it up to London.”
“Don’t worry. We’ll have plenty of time to make repairs.”
“I must say,” Mrs. Hughes “You’re a real artist.”
“Well,” Miss Patmore comments, “It’s as much Daisy’s work as mine.”
“Now, how much should we take and what can we buy when we get there?” Miss Patmore worries.
“”I’m happy to tell you that most things you can buy in Ripon are also available in London,” Mrs. Hughes says.
“But you don’t trust them quite the same,” Miss Patmore comments.
“Well, you don’t,” Mrs. Hughes says.
Any good cook or baker knows that flours and eggs, butters and milk can make a difference.
Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes have other concerns. Mrs. Hughes is going to London because the Crawleys won’t be replacing Mrs. Bute. “There will be no permanent housekeeper at Grantham House in the future. Another clang in the march of time,” Miss Patmore says.
Upstairs Rose is showing off her dress to Mary, Anna, Isobel and Violet. “You don’t think it’s a bit mumsy?” Rose asks. Mumsy is a cute word for mummy–meaning the kind that you remember on Mother’s Day and not the kind that comes walking and unraveling in a horror flick.
Rose’s parents haven’t been back yet because “the government changed the date of the handover.”
Mary declares that something like that wouldn’t have stopped her. “I’d have come back it it were my daughter’s wedding.”
Violet replies, “I do not suggest a career in the Diplomatic.”
This, of course, sets up a confrontation between Rose’s parents, Shrimpie and Susan, and Atticuss’ parents, Daniel and Rachel. It also means we skip over all the planning and that Rose didn’t have to contend with her mother.
The wedding will be in London because it makes for sense for Susan and Shrimpie and Rose adds, “And I want a blessing in a synagogue. Would you find a synagogue in Ripon?” The London marriage and the synagogue will make it easier for Lord Sinderby.
Isobel says, “I’m not sure Lord Sinderby deserved your concern.”
“Atticus loves him and I love Atticus,” Rose explains.
“Love may not conquer all, but it can conquer quite a lot,” Violet adds.
Downstairs, we learn that “the traitor” Miss O’Brien, who used to be the scheming cohort of Thomas, has left Susan’s employ and gotten herself work under the new governor’s wife.
Mr. Carson says, “I’ve been told they’ve neither maid nor valet. which seems odd for a Marquess and Marchioness.”
Mrs. Hughes replies, “To be honest, I don’t think they have two pennies to rub together. It’s all gone.” They worry about Lady Flintshire because she is “not the most liberal being on the planet” and wont’ want her daughter marrying a Jewish lad and that Lord Sinderby isn’t too keen on his son marrying a non-Jew. “Hurrah for intolerance on both sides.”
There are, of course, more practical worries. Carson says, “I’m worried about running it with only messrs. Barrow and Moselely.”
“You think we’ll look a bit dingy?” Mrs. Hughes asks. “Could we borrow a spare footman.”
“Borrowing footmen sounds like something out of the last century,” Mr. Carson says, “Even to me.”
So its decided that a lad will be hired for a week. With some regret Carson sums it up. “That’s to be it for the Big Parade?”
“The Big Parade’s passed by, Mr. Carson,” Mrs. Hughes says. “We’re just trying to keep up as best we can.”
There’s more news. An inspector is coming to see Mr. and Mrs. Bates. Just when you thought the shadow of the ever-so hissable Mr. Alex Green had cleared away, it returns.
Besides the wedding, the Crawleys are concerned with a letter that Tom has received from his cousin in America. Tom plans to go to America and join him in a business venture. Robert and Carson are finishing up last minute preparations for the memorial to the dead soldiers of World War II which will be unveiled on the 25th–after the wedding. Then there’s the matter of making a stone for Isis.
Robert wants Carson to make sure that William Mason’s father has a good place and representatives from the regiments involved will attend. Carson has already notified the staff and only Miss Patmore will attend.
If you recall, in the last episode while Violet told Prince Kuragin that his wife had been found, Kuragin wants to live the rest of his life with Violet. He arrives at Violet’s home. Denker announces his arrival.
Violet says “I don’t think I’ll wear what I chose last night.”
“I suspected that might be the case so I put out the lavender day dress,” Denker replies. “Goes well with your ladyship’s coloring.”
“The prince is an old friend, Denker, nothing more.”
“Oh, I’m sure, m’lady, but it never hurts to look your best, does it?” Denker asks.
The prince want to spend his final years with Violet, as a friend as a lover. “I don’t seek scandal, only love.” But he doesn’t seem to be proposing divorce.
The police visit the Bates. They’ve “formed a picture of his behavior.” He’s carried out a series of attacks on women, who were too nervous to come forward before. “His victims were generally small, slight women, who’d given little or no encouragement.” Anna still denies anything happened. The police want Anna to come to London and that will coincide with the wedding. What a coincidence and Anna and John Bates had been looking forward to checking out their house and see what condition the tenant had left it in.
As Violet gets ready to head on to London, Spratt attempts to play a mean joke on Denker but that backfires when Violet realizes one of her cases is missing. But in London, Denker plays a trick on the new footman, Andy.
At Grantham House in London, the staff gets settled.
Andy was a hall boy, but he tells the staff, “Mr. Carson rang my old butler…I don’t want to go back as a hall boy. I want to be a footman now and this is the first step.”
Miss Baxter tells him, “I think that’s brave.”
Denker asks, “Do you know London well?”
“Not here, ” Andy admits. “I grew up in the East End. I’ve only ever worked in Bayswater.”
Denker tells Andy, “I’ve come home. I spent many a year in St. James’s Square.”
Upstairs, Susan and Shrimpie have arrived. Susan lodges her first complaint, “The train from Southampton was almost as bad as the voyage from Bombay.”
Then before heading up to the room to freshen up, she asks, “We’re not in one room? Together? I’m not sharing a room. I’ll go to a hotel.”
Mrs. Hughes assures her that something will be done and it’s decided that Lady Edith and Rose will share a room. First crisis averted.
Robert tells Cora, “I knew she’d be trouble.” Yet none of them could have guessed just how much.
At dinner, Susan is little better. “Do you have any English blood,” she asks the Sinderbys.
“We only date from the 1850s, but Lady Sinderby’s family arrived in the reign of King Richard III,” Daniel informs Susan.
“Really, I think of you as nomads, drifting around the world,” Susan replies before Violet re-directs the conversation to Rose and Atticus’ honeymoon.
Their relatives have them “crammed to the gunwales” and Atticus is at the Halnaby Hotel. That is where the stag party will be.
Lord Sinderby won’t be attending the stag party. “Stag parties are night on father’s disapproved list.”
That list includes card sharps, undercooked fish and divorce. So sashimi and sushi are out.
For Daniel Sinderby, divorce “signifies weakness” and “degradation, scandal and failure.”
As you can imagine, the Crawleys are sending looks around the table. If you listen, you’ll hear Susan plotting her next move.
Downstairs, there’s another scheming woman. Denker offers to take Andy on a walk and show him the sights. Miss Patmore is sure she has “a plan to her own advantage.”
Something happens at the stag party. Compromising photos are taken of Atticus, leaving Rose in despair. Yet once Rose realizes that Atticus is innocent, then who set him up?
Daisy has joined Molesley and Miss Baxter at the Wallace Collection to view the art, but Daisy isn’t happy. “I feel as if I’ve been down a coal hole and someone’s opened the lid and brought me into the sunlight…I feel so resentful, so discontented. It’s as if my old life were a prison and I have to go back to.” Daisy decides to hand in her notice.
One wishes that Denker would hand in her notice. She arrives back very drunk. Carson saves her job by telling Violet that Denker is ill instead of drunk. Andy also returns. Mr. Carson says, “We thought you’d run away to sea.”
“I’m very sorry, Mr. Carson, but Miss Denker was taken ill,” he says, but Carson replies, “Never mind ‘taken ill,’ I wish she’d been taken away by the men in white coats.”
Thomas asks Andy what happened. Andy tells him, “She took em to this horrible club somewhere off Shaftesbury Avenue.”
“And I supposed you gambled,” Thomas replies.
“I lost the lot,” Andy admits. “I paid for it on the note, but it’ll take all my savings.” Now Denker didn’t gamble at all. “She just sat and rank. They gave her whatever she wanted.”
“Next time, I’m coming with you,” Thomas says.
“Does there have to be a next time?” Andy asks.
“Just one more,” Thomas says, adding, “I’m fairly sure you’re going to enjoy it.”
At the wedding, there is more drama, provided by Susan, but Lady Flintshire saves the day, putting both her husband and Susan in their place.
At the reception, Mary and Tom see Tony Foyle and Mabel Lane Fox–they’ve set a date. December for a London wedding because “country weddings in the winter can be such muddy affairs.”
Mary confides in Carson that she’s happy for Tony and Mabel. “He wasn’t good enough for you, m’lady, not by half,” Carson says. “I watched you realize it as time went on.”
To wrap things up Thomas proves that someone can trust him, at least for now, that is Andy. Because of an issue of trust, Robert will be selling the painting that Mr. Bricker so admired when he wasn’t admiring Cora. Robert also shows a sensitive solution to a problem downstairs, proving Miss Bunting very wrong. Miss Patmore is reduced to tears. Rose and Atticus aren’t sure who played the awful trick on them, but Rose is already a bit alienated from her mother Susan.
The war memorial ceremony goes well with Carson intoning: “They fell with their faces to the fold. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.”
Robert has paid for a special memorial, saying, “He wasn’t local to Downton and so his name does not appear on the memorial, but his memory is cherished by some here, and so it seems right to us to mark his passing.”
On the way back to Downton Abbey, thoughts wander. Mrs. Bates has been arrested and Mr. Bates was eliminated as a suspect. We wonder what will happen when Tom leaves. And Robert realizes a secret, musing, “I must admit it’s an unusual sensation to learn there’s a secret in this house I’m actually privy to.”
We can trust Robert, but are we right to trust the British legal system? Can we trust the culprit behind Atticus’ photos to be good or will there be poisonous acts? What about Larry and Tim Grey?
“Downton Abbey” Season/Series 5, airs Sunday, 22 February 2015 at 9/8C. After the initial airing, check for this episode VoD on the PBS website.