Downton Abbey
Episode Seven

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B | 14 USERS: B
YOU GRADE IT
Oy, Again With The Birth and the Death?

Branson tentatively appears in the doorway downstairs and everyone's working so hard they don't notice him at first, but Mrs. Hughes eventually sees him and asks what she can do for him. Everyone stands, except Edna, and you can be sure that isn't lost on Mrs. Hughes. Branson haltingly tells her he'd like to join them for dinner that night and Mrs. Hughes tells him he'd of course be welcome, adding that they don't eat late when the family's away, so he can come down at eight. Branson smiles and makes his way off, whereupon Mrs. Hughes gives Edna another suspicious side-eye, Thomas sucks his cheeks in as far as I've ever seen them go and Edna looks pleased with herself. Lady, if I cared about you, I'd offer up cautionary tales named "Ethel" and "Jane."

After an absolutely gorgeous shot of clouds moving over the Highlands, we see Lord Grantham and Shrimpie approaching a tent by the loch in which the women are having their luncheon and chatting a bit about nature. Susan seems in a better mood as she smiles that they weren't expecting male company, but as often happens in poisoned relationships, when one party's nastiness recedes the other picks up the slack, so Shrimpie snits that he's sorry to disappoint her. Susan sends the ill humor Rose's way and Rose, with no one lower on the food chain to take it out on, stares back at her mother like "What a bitter cup of tea you are."

Elsewhere, in the other party, there are no deer on the horses and Matthew uncharacteristically grouses about the ten hours they've spend in vain, prompting Gregson to say their errand is a lot like trench warfare -- "hours of inching through mud; no discernible purpose." Perhaps turned on by shared experience, Matthew invites Gregson to come fly-fishing with him the next day, adding that he could bring his evening clothes with him and change at Duneagle. Gregson wonders if that isn't too much of an imposition, but Matthew thinks Gregson came to get to know the family, so why not? "Besides, you didn't bring your tails all the way to Scotland to dine in a country pub." Perhaps not, but I wouldn't mind seeing it.

Upstairs, O'Brien walks out onto the balcony and runs into Wilkins, who asks if she has a moment for Susan. Wilkins seems reluctant about the whole thing to start and when O'Brien asks what Susan wants with her, Wilkins contemptuously replies, "Well, what do you think? She wants to make a fuss like she always does." Well, if that's how she feels, her reticence to travel with Susan is a lot more understandable.

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Downton Abbey

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