Downton Abbey
Episode Seven

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

At Crawley House, Isobel -- who I'm not sure has hired anyone to replace Ethel -- is entertaining Dr. Clarkson, who apparently we can add to the list of people worried about Mary traveling in her condition. Isobel points out that there are hospitals in Inverness, but she does concede that it's hard to blame anyone for concern after what happened with Sybil. After a moment of silence for her, Dr. Clarkson smiles that it'll be very quiet for Isobel with everyone away and she agrees before inviting him to supper the next night. After the usual disclaimers about not wanting to be a burden, Dr. Clarkson says he'd be delighted...

...while back at the big house, Branson sits alone at the head of the table and I'm sorry, but just picturing this sad tableau I can't believe Cora and Mary wouldn't have told propriety to screw itself and packed Branson up in a suitcase if it came to that. Edna enters with a tray and immediately apologizes, saying Carson sent her in to clear, thinking he'd already be gone. Branson ruefully smiles that he should be and when Edna offers that it seems sad for him to be left on his own, he tells her he's used to it, prompting her to apologize for the perceived faux pas. Of course, he's not offended, but when she guesses his situation must be very hard, he tells her not to worry and learns her name before leaving the room, whereupon she happily gets to the task at hand.

Our people are pulling up to Duneagle, which is stunning. (The location used was actually Inveraray Castle, which you can see here.) The presumed Lord and Lady Flintshire -- the former sporting a kilt -- are waiting outside for them when Rose comes rushing out with an endearing wave. Greetings are exchanged, with Rose taking pains to introduce Matthew to her father and when she happily uses a callback in referring to him as a "defender of the downtrodden," it makes me wonder if perhaps she had some influence in making sure Matthew got an invitation. Shrimpie recalls that they met at Matthew and Mary's wedding, while Lady Flintshire happily thanks the Dowager Countess for making such a long trip and the Dowager Countess replies that she flatters her, "which is just as it should be!" Heh. Rose takes Mary and Edith by the hand and happily mentions the upcoming Gillies' Ball, "which Mary's always the star of." On first viewing, I wondered if, given how she left them last time, her enthusiasm was calculated, but her mother's sharp warning to her not to wear their guests out hints at the reason why her fervor for company is absolutely genuine. And speaking of previewing tensions, Lady Flintshire tells Cora about a plan they have for an outdoor lunch at their mountain loch she knows Cora likes, whereupon Shrimpie pipes up that it was his idea and the ensuing silence is rather chillier than the local air at night. Everyone heads off to get settled in...

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Downton Abbey

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