Downton Abbey S6 Episode 2

A relatively uneventful episode after the convivial Season opening.

But the few storylines are so apt in exposing the characters we thought we’ve known. First off, Mary is a math whiz, her own sister comments that:

“As usual, you add two and two and make fifty-three.”

No need to decode, just Mary in her most inquisitive and intuitive state. Rose may well be pregnant. The more the merrier.

This episode seems to belong to Mary, for she’s everywhere and uh… yes, Agent of all things great and small, from pigs to pregnancy.

And Lord Grantham, heed your mother’s chiding, “if you can’t say anything helpful Robert, please be silent.”

Why, decorate the Servants’ Hall for Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes’ wedding reception? I was shocked to hear him say that, same as his daughters. And I thought Robert has turned egalitarian, at least a little bit, as modernity creeps into Downton.

But a butler’s a butler, loyal, honourable, and ever respectful, so Mr. Carson is all gung ho to take up the offer of Downton’s Great Hall. And with Mary’s stepping in to make sure their wedding reception a Downton event, I jump on Mrs. Hughes’s side with no hesitation. A wedding belongs to the bride, no matter how old she is; it’s her day and she ought to be able to choose her own place and plan it in her own way:

“I just don’t want to be a servant on my wedding day.” Of course not.

After all, Mrs. Hughes continues, “we’ll be doing it your way for the next 30 years,” to which Mr. Carson gives no words in reply. What would be the outcome? I wonder. But I can wait, no spoilers please.

Edith’s role as a woman boss isn’t an easy job to tackle, and dealing with an editor like Mr. Skinner sounds like a nightmare. A hint for you, Edith, just imagine: What would Mary do?

So, Mary would enter the Downton pigs in the Fat Stock Show, and will drop by the Drewes’ farm to see the fat piggies. Little George’s first lines “Can we come?” seal the fate of the Drewe family.

Here lies the best storyline of the episode. Mary brings George and Marigold to the Drewes farm to see the pigs while Edith goes to London, and of course, who will be there but Mrs. Drewes? The dramatic effect is much needed for too placid an episode.

And on the day of the Fat Stock Show, Mrs. Drewes’ impulsive act of child snatching is understandable. The only, and too short, tense moment of the hour is finished in five minutes. Too swift a resolution in vacating a family who had farmed there since before Waterloo. An easy case that the wise King Solomon would envy; his was a much harder case of baby sharing.

Talking about the wisdom of King Solomon, his opinion just might be helpful for the prospect of the village hospital and in resolving the family feud. Maybe Violet would listen to his counsel?


Thomas Barrow (1)

All those country fairs are best to discover new talents and skills. If job hunting plans don’t pan out for Mr. Barrow, he could alway open up a bowling alley. He could well be an adroit operator.

But why did I think of a Magritte painting when I looked at Thomas Barrow in that scene? Hopefully something realistic and not too absurd will cross his path.

As for the Bates, we don’t want to see any more miscarriages, either in the legal or biological realm. And here we have Mary to thank for being so helpful. Bringing Anna to see Dr. Ryder in London’s Harley Street may well be the most effective act of kindness she can offer her maid, more a friend by now.

And what do you know, one year later in 1926 a Lionel Logue opened his speech therapy practice there on that same Harley Street and proved to be a fateful move for the future King of the Empire. (My extra note, not in the Episode)

Of course, Anna glows after the doctor’s appointment. Don’t we all wish Mr. and Mrs. Bates can live happily hereafter?


CLICK on the links to read my other Downton Posts for Season 6:

Downton Abbey rings in the New Year one last time

Type in the Search words to read my other Downton Posts


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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

9 thoughts on “Downton Abbey S6 Episode 2”

  1. I’m getting pretty sick of Anna and Bates having issues and her weepy all the time. Get her pregnant, keep her happy and don’t lose the baby, Julian. Enough is enough!

    What do you think the odds are that Daisy’s father-in-law is going to take over the tenancy of the Drewe farm? I’d bet high on them right now.

    I’m also putting my money on Mrs. H. — she’s tough! And Edith, fire him. You are the boss. (But that orange dress was smashing!)


    1. That sounds like a good idea, and very convenient too. And since Daisy is so enthusiastic, she just might help Mr. Mason with the transition and maybe help him out there as well. But then again, Molesley is so eager to get her into matriculation, so who knows, she might end up going to university. Just a wild guess. As for Edith, she really needs to learn some Machiavellian management skills from Mary. As for Mary, I can’t wait to see Matthew Goode come into the picture. Hopefully soon. He’s a great choice for a guest actor and a beau for Mary and I sure hope our Mastermind JF would allow him to spend more time with us in this last Season. Six more days to go…


  2. Just like Jeanie said above, of Marmelade Gypsy, I am getting tired of Anna constantly crying. I also thought right away that getting the Drewe away from their farm was a solution for Daisy’s father in law.
    But after hearing of David Bowie passing, I just can’t think about Downton Abbey anymore. I remember dancing in the 70s to David’s tune “fame” – I have the 33 LP, and watching him on TV on Soul Train, the African-American music and dance show. He was such an innovator and so talented – it hurts to watch artists from my generation pass away.


    1. VB,

      Totally understandable about your feelings, not a day to think about DA or even the Golden Globes results from last night. You just wish that all these talents, musicians, artists, actors… could have stayed with us bit longer, isn’t it? You may want to do a tribute post on them. How you’ve described about dancing to DB’s songs, listening to the 33 LP… all the memories could be rich materials for a wonderful post, not only to DB, but to all those who have passed and left us with irreplaceable contributions to the music world.

      Now this brings me back to DA, remember Mary and Matthew dancing to the music from the gramophone? One day, all the six Seasons of DA would be missed and treasured too as we say goodbye to all of them in just a few more episodes.


  3. Even though I chose to see the first episode of this season (no, I wasn’t forced!) I chose not see this one. But I’m tickled by your Magritte reference. That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the photo. It’s the hat that does it!


    1. The best place to start, if ever (wait for some day when you’ve lots of spare time) I recommend that you go back to DA S1 E1 and start there. Not forced, of course. 🙂


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