Downton Abbey
Episode Six

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 8 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
Branson The Bridge-Builder

...but there's no rest for the weary or, at least, for my fingers. We reopen with Molesley and his father (you remember, the gardener whom the Dowager Countess allowed to win the rose competition back in Season 1) inspecting a cricket field, because as we'll learn the yearly match between the house and the village is imminent. Molesley the Elder informs his son that the village is taking the match very seriously or, at least, I think that's what he said, because the mere mention of cricket caused my eyelids to droop involuntarily. I may have to put on some tight shoes to get through this section. Molesley informs his father that no one takes the more seriously than Lord Grantham, whatever he may pretend...

...while back at the house, Carson tells Thomas that Bates is ready to get back to work and it's time to deal with their little matter so they can all move on. Thomas takes that to mean he's getting chucked out the window, but Carson tells him that although he finds his situation "revolting," he's not entirely unsympathetic -- "you have been twisted by nature into something foul and even I can see that you did not ask for it." Um... thanks? Again, though, given the time and place, it's probably more than Thomas should have expected. Carson goes on that Bates' return gives them the perfect excuse for Thomas to resign and coupled with the solid reference he'll be given, there will be nothing Thomas can't explain to a future employer. Thomas hangs his head and then asks about that night and Carson says that since it's almost the dinner hour, Thomas can dress Lord Grantham one last time before Bates takes over the next day. Thomas starts to go, but turns back to deliver this: "I'm not foul, Mr. Carson. I'm not the same as you, but I'm not foul." Thomas, I wouldn't completely agree, but I'll back that play in the context in which you mean it. Carson's like, yes, how very nice for you; now let us never speak of it again. He heads out to ring the gong, only to find O'Brien in the hall. As he passes, he mildly tells her eavesdropping time is over and she starts to protest, but he hilariously doesn't break stride. And that's a pretty reliable way to ensure that you get the last word.

Upstairs, Cora asks about the cricket match and Thomas is apparently their best player from the way Lord Grantham thanks the Lord that they still have them. Edith asks if he won't be leaving -- word travels fast -- but Lord Grantham is like, not until we kick the village's collective ass. Edith baits her father by saying she hears the village team is in terrific shape and Lord Grantham bemoans the fact that the members of the outside staff are on the other team, especially since -- as we'll learn -- the village almost always wins. Lord Grantham then asks Mary what she was up to in London, as she looks worn out and Mary evades the first part of the question by answering the second, saying she'll try to rest the next day. She then gives her mother an anxious look, which is met by a reassuring one and the exchange unsurprisingly makes a lot more sense if you've seen the episode through already.

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Downton Abbey

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