Downton Abbey
Episode Two

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B- | 3 USERS: B
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Never A Bride

In the morning, Anna enters to find Edith still in bed and she asks what Edith would like her to bring. Edith: "A different life." Girl, Italy. I'm telling you. Anna wants to bring up some breakfast, but Edith tells her she's a useful spinster, good at helping out. "That is my role. And spinsters get up for breakfast." See, against all that Sir Anthony-nursing, she could have had a lifetime of breakfast in bed! Lord Grantham, you really are cruel.

Mrs. Hughes is just getting ready to go to the doctor when Carson comes in to see her; they do a bit more of their verbal dance before Mrs. Patmore comes to collect her. Carson watches them go with stirring and real concern on his face...

...and then we're in the village, with Mrs. Hughes lingering outside the hospital before she gathers her courage, saying out loud that she won't be cured by standing there. They head in.

Carson looks at his watch nervously...

...a nurse shows Mrs. Hughes into Dr. Clarkson's office...

...and then, below stairs, O'Brien is down the hall when Thomas loudly calls and asks if everything's all right. She steps forward and says that, oh yes, everything's all right with her. "But it'll be all wrong with you before too long, mark my words." If those words don't send a shiver down your spine, you might want to go in for a complete physical. Thomas asks exactly how it's going to be all wrong with him and O'Brien admits that she doesn't know... not yet. But, with an evangelical smile that's even scarier than anything I've seen from her before, she promises him that it's going to happen and when she's gone, some cracks appear in Thomas' smug fa├žade, which might mean he's only 90% sociopath.

Mrs. Patmore has returned and Carson comes rushing up to her for the news, which is that the lump is benign. He looks out of his mind with joy for a second, but recovers to instruct Mrs. Patmore not to say anything to Mrs. Hughes, as "she doesn't know I know." Sounds like Carson's audition for Friends. Mrs. Patmore assures him she won't say a word, but as soon as he's gone, Mrs. Hughes sneaks in and asks if she told him. Mrs. Patmore: "I would prefer to say I put him out of his misery." Aww. The women smile and part ways, but soon Mrs. Hughes is shocked to hear a most unfamiliar sound -- Carson is singing as he polishes a silver tray. Mrs. Hughes laughs joyfully, both at the spectacle and what it represents and with her being touched at the kindness people have shown her at Downton once more, we go to credits. This ep was a letdown in some ways, particularly the Edith stuff, but this Mrs. Hughes mini-storyline has been both stirring and satisfying, so I'm not surprised they closed this episode with it again. See you next week!

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Downton Abbey

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