Downton Abbey
Episode Seven

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

Someone who is not feeling very diplomatic at the moment is Carson, who barks, "He's what?" Mrs. Hughes assures him Branson's presence is only meant to be friendly (does Carson think this is some kind of inspection?) and then, with Branson's appearance, we learn that Mrs. Hughes obviously oh-by-the-wayed this at like 7:59, which is hilarious. Branson greets Carson and immediately guesses that he doesn't approve and Carson can't really say anything without agreeing with that assessment, so he opts for some silent fuming. Branson then heads out, but Mrs. Hughes lingers to admonish Carson not to show an example of rudeness to the younger staff and I'll admit it's mostly of his own making, but this isn't turning out to the greatest vacation for Carson, is it?

Dr. Clarkson has stopped by Crawley House once again and he tells Isobel he won't stay, but thanks to Mrs. Hughes -- into whom he ran that afternoon -- he's had an idea: would she like to go with him to the fair the next day? Isobel takes a moment and she could be thinking about anything here, but accepts with a smile, so he tells her he'll come for her at five. Too bad British propriety precludes anyone from ascertaining whether this is actually a date.

Downstairs, in regards to the fair, Branson says he'll keep an eye on the place, prompting Edna to blurt out that she hoped he'd come. Thomas gives her the most deliciously speculative look at that and Edna only digs herself deeper by saying she thought he could drive them. Mrs. Hughes chastises her for her "impertinence," but Branson thinks that's a capital idea, leaving only the issue of who will stay to mind the house. Carson, without looking up, intones that he will and when Alfred asks if he doesn't want to come to the fair, Carson replies, "I would sooner chew broken glass." Everyone chuckles at that, but Carson looks up to give Mrs. Hughes a conspiratorial eyebrow-raise. Aw.

Anna is telling Mary she and Bates had a lovely picnic and then Mary confesses she was stupid to go to the luncheon. "We were shaken about in that trap like dice in a cup." Anna cautions her to take it easy, especially at the ball, and when Mary asks if she's looking forward to it, Anna says she is -- and she's been working on a surprise for Bates that she thinks Mary will enjoy as well. Mary looks intrigued at what the hell that might be, but just then Matthew enters so Anna takes her leave after cautioning Mary to remember what she said. Matthew asks what that was about, so Mary confesses that she promised to rest the next day, "which is annoying, because I'd rather come out with you and interrogate Mr. Gregson." Heh. Mary asks if he's going to propose and Matthew supposes so, but does note that Gregson is "quite opaque" about the whole business. Mary proclaims him a man of mystery and adds that Edith could use some of that, and when Matthew notes that she can be horrid when she wants to be, she replies, "I know." Hee. She asks if he loves her despite that and he smiles that he does, "madly." I know what I said before, but you can't begrudge me sighing again, can you?

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Downton Abbey




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