Obsessed With PBS: Downton Abbey, S6, Part Five


What else did I learn from this episode? First off, don’t break up an argument about hospital matters in front of future Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, or you’ll SPIT UP BLOOD AT DINNER. Downton Abbey has been leading up to some health problems for Lord Grantham for a few weeks now. So when he stood up at the dinner table, I thought, “Here we go. Donk will collapse and take the table cloth with him.” I was not prepared for Lord Grantham to spray BLOOD AT DINNER. It’s as if Julian Fellowes recently saw Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and thought, “I think I could use some of this.” Exhibit A:


After the shock of having been sprayed by her husband’s BLOOD AT DINNER, Cora rushes to his side. Donk bloodily gurgles some very touching “I love yous” before being taken away by an ambulance. Later we find out that Donk’s ulcer burst and he had an emergency gastrectomy. On the way out of the door after the ambulance, Mary overhears the Dowager Countess and Cora talk about Marigold which makes Mary suspicious.  Branson stays behind to have an odd conversation with Neville Chamberlain about how the Dowager Countess got him to attend dinner. It’s like one of those scenes from a Tarantino mov—wait. Are we sure it wasn’t Tarantino who wrote this episode? No .Because if he did, Bates would be played by Samuel L. Jackson.

In other news, Branson has a man-crush on Henry Talbot. He accompanies Mary to watch Talbot race cars. Then Branson says to him, “Let’s go to the pub! You want to go to the pub? We should totally go and talk about cars!” (paraphrase.)  At the pub is where Branson calls out Talbot and Mary on their transparent ways of spending time together, “Just date already!” (paraphrase.) He totes wants Henry to be his brother-in-law.

Edith hires a female editor, kisses Bertie and is now a member of the Bright Young Things club, according to Branson. He and Mary are also members. He wants Talbot to be a member, too.

Mr. Mason moves into Yew Tree Farm. Daisy, Andy and Mrs. Patmore help him and bring a picnic. Daisy sees Mrs. Patmore being so nice to Mr. Mason so she immediately thinks, “Dang! She’s muscling in on my family.” (paraphrase.) Later Branson and Mary stop by (they are everywhere this episode) to grill Mr. Mason on his ability to pick up piglets. Andy steps in to say he’ll be helping with the piglets. Mr. Mason gives Andy some piglet books. Later Barrow sees Andy throwing the piglet books because, as Barrow guesses, he can’t read. Barrow offers to teach Andy to read and write. Andy apologizes for being homophobic and dissing Barrow so much.

Even Carson notices how much Sgt. Willis is there. This time, he’s picking up Baxter to testify in the trial against the man who made her steal. This is going to be emotional and juicy. There will be accusations! There will be tears! There will be—

Baxter telling Moseley that the guy changed his plea when he saw that she was testifying. Yes, it all happened off screen. Maybe the spent their trial extras budget on the BLOOD AT DINNER.

Denker confronts Dr. Clarkson on the street about his waffling on the hospital issue. Doc is offended at being called a traitor and sends a letter to the Dowager Countess who promptly fires Denker for her impropriety. Denker begs Spratt to put in a word for her to DC. When he refuses, Denker says, “Did they catch your nephew?” Blackmail! And it works. Spratt convinced DC to keep Denker so no more talk of the nephew, right? Not unless Denker needs it again. She’s a piece of work.

Anna doesn’t want Bates to be overly happy about the Batesby just yet. “Bad harvest. Bad harvest.” she says. “Bad harvest” is the Edwardian version of “Break a leg.”

George has a line! He says, “Nanny said she was on the war path.” Even the toddlers are now involved in the Hospital drama. George was referring to the Dowager Countess, of course. The warpath, in this case, involves semi-blackmailing Neville Chamberlain to come to dinner and have blood spit on him and defend her side of the argument. “I was trained in a hard school and I fight accordingly,” she says. Indeed. There will be bloodshed. GET IT?!

Finally, a far less red dinner happened at the Carson’s. Mrs. Hughes served bubble and squeak with lamb! Horrors! Carson looked like he almost spit up blood. But not quite. Instead, he openly dissed his new wife by asking Mrs. Patmore to teach her how to cook.

Then the Carsons go rob a diner and steal the wallet of Samuel L.—no, I think I’m getting mixed up.