Downstairs, Carson catches Mrs. Hughes staring contemplatively and asks if everything's all right, and when she tells him yes, he compliments her on the kitchen handling the difficult circumstances well, adding that Lord Grantham sends his thanks. Mrs. Hughes asks if the evening was a success and Carson admits that it probably was, although everyone eating on the floor "like beaters at a break in the shooting" isn't exactly his idea of a party. "Where's the style, Mrs. Hughes? Where's the show?" Mrs. Hughes sighs that maybe people are tired of all that, but Carson won't hear of it: "To misquote Dr. Johnson, if you're tired of style, you are tired of life." (Replace "style" with "London" and you've got the real quote.) Mrs. Hughes chuckles and bids him good night, but he turns back to be sure that if there were something wrong, she'd tell him, adding that he's on her side. Maybe he's cast a more logical eye over her recent apparent flightiness, but even with the invitation, she's not ready to come clean, although she does thank him for the sentiment. After he's gone, she slowly heads out into the hallway, where she finds Mrs. Patmore. Mrs. Hughes relays the compliments on the kitchen's performance, but Mrs. Patmore is more interested in whether she told Carson and the answer, of course, is no. They walk down the hall from us as Mrs. Hughes philosophically says that one day, she'll die and so will everyone at Downton. "You must put these things in proportion, Mrs. Patmore, and I think I can do that now." Mrs. Patmore... well, pats her on the arm before disappearing and after Mrs. Hughes turns out the downstairs lights, we're out. Mrs. Hughes' new attitude toward death could be applied to Downton itself and it's a strong start to the season, full of promise of interesting thematic exploration, but my fingers are certainly hoping there are a few more things to gloss over in the weeks to come. They'll survive, though. See you next week!
John Ramos is a writer and film producer living in Los Angeles. His new film, a documentary on online privacy and the sale of personal data called Terms And Conditions May Apply, will premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival in January. You can get news on it from the film's Twitter account. Also, you can email John at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/couchbaron, or check out his blog, "Pull Up A Chair," which he'd just love for you to stop by.