Obsessed With PBS: Downton Abbey, S6, Part Seven

New puppy! New puppy! New puppy!

The big event in my eyes was the new dog, Tiaa, which the Dowager Countess gives to her son, Lord Grantham. Tiaa is named after the wife of Amenhotep IV so Donk is keeping with the Ancient Egyptian dog names. Also, Donk is named after a donkey, coined by Sybbie. Just as a reminder.

Why did the Dowager Countess give the Crawleys a new pup? As a parting gift as she heads to the French Riviera. (This is where I get a little shaky and think, “Surely, they are going to skip over some time and next episode, she’ll be back, right? RIGHT?!” I need my Maggie Smith.) DC is still a little sore over being ousted as the head of the hospital. She is going away until she misses home and believes “a month among the French should manage it.” Or as she says, “Until nostalgia has smothered my fury.” But before she leaves, she visits, Lord Merton’s soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Miss Cruikshanks, to find out her deal and her way-too-nice attitude towards Isobel (“Nobody is always friendly”). DC figures out that Cruikshanks wants Isobel to take Lord Merton so she doesn’t have him in the house: “…a free nurse to take a tiresome old man off your hands,” says DC. She adds this stinger: “A cool little miss, aren’t you? I’d feel sorry for Larry if I didn’t dislike him so much.” Meow. (That’s why you can’t stay away for long, Maggie!)

In other moments that should now be called Before Tiaa, Henry Talbot invites the whole Crawley family to the Brooklands Race. Mary is still hesitant but attends anyway. Which means what? Yes! There will indeed be a car crash at this event. Screech! Bang! Smoke! People running! Fire! Mary freaking out! Mary relieved when it is not Henry but his best buddy, Charlie Rogers. Charlie dies in a car fire and Talbot is distraught. Later Henry calls Mary because his friend’s death taught him not to waste a minute. He wants to be with her. Unfortunately, Mary breaks it off. “We’re not meant to be together, Henry. We’re not right.” Ouch. Henry, I hear the French Riviera is a good spot to get away.

Then there’s the scene where Branson is journaling about how there’s a spot open for Henry’s best friend but stupid Mary is ruining it all by breaking off the relationship.

This didn’t happen.

What did happen is that Bertie tells Edith he wants to marry her. “Would you let me bring Marigold with me?” she asks. Yeah, sure, says Bertie. Edith: I’m thrilled! And I need to think about it.

In Downstairs Before Tiaa news, Barrow is still being crapped on. Carson has another version of his “can’t wait until you find another job” line. Andy finally reveals that he can’t read and that Barrow has been helping him. This is good for Barrow, right? Nope. Mr. Dawes, the schoolmaster, says to him don’t help Andy anymore, you might confuse him from my real school teaching. Mrs. Hughes tries to tell Barrow that maybe the next place he works at will be the right one. He says, Downton “is the first place I’ve found where I’ve laid down some roots.” (Side note: it will be weird to see old episodes of DA when Barrow was conniving, evil Thomas now that I feel bad for him.)

What else did I learn from Episode Seven? Mr. Dawes is trying to one up Sgt. Willis in appearances by tertiary characters. He administers Daisy’s and Moseley’s exams. He also offers a teaching position to Moseley after seeing the exam results. “There are Oxford and Cambridge graduates who know far less than you.” Yay! Sad Sack Moseley is now Super Smart Moseley. He is going to accept the position. But the question remains: will Baxter and Moseley get together? Will Baxter get closure by seeing that Coyle dude in prison? Will it happen off screen?! On screen, Mrs. Patmore opens her Bed & Breakfast. Outside the B&B, is Mysterious Writing Guy With a Camera. If MWGWaC happens to be a critic and Mrs. P gets 5 stars, will she leave Downton (and marry Mr. Mason)? If Daisy gets good marks on her exam, will she leave Downton (and stop being a baby about Mr. Mason)? Who will cook for The Crawleys? Certainly not Carson. Mrs. Hughes “sprains her wrist” and can’t make dinner. So she instructs Carson who is so overwhelmed and exhausted by it, he falls asleep at dinner. Good. Now no more of that “Where’s the lemon?” crap.