Obsessed With PBS: Downton Abbey, S6, Part Eight

Let us have Lady Mary take us through this week’s episode:
“Not everyone would accept Edith’s past.”
This would be Mary telling the new Marquis of Hexham, Bertie Pelham, of his fiancé’s secret. “Marigold is my daughter,” Edith has to admit. This causes Bertie to break up with Edith because he cannot trust her because she didn’t trust him with the news about Marigold. Mary, of course, feigns innocence that how could she know that her sister didn’t tell Bertie that her ward was more than that. Two counterpoints to this argument: “How many lives are you going to wreck just to smother your own misery” (Branson telling Mary that “like all bullies, you’re a coward”) and “You’re a bitch!” (Edith after an equally nice “Just shut up” when Mary weakly tries to make amends.) Why did Mary tell Bertie and ruin Edith’s chance at happiness? Is it because her sister would become a Marquess and do better than she? Nope. Besides the bully, coward, bitch thing, Mary is unhappy because everyone is pushing Henry Talbot on her and she insists that they aren’t right for one another…
“Nobody can believe that I know my own mind.”
Of course they can’t believe it, Mary. All this “being outranked by your own stepson” stuff to Talbot isn’t flying with him or anyone else. Counterpoint to her argument: “He’s not an orangutan.” (Branson, secretly telling himself that he would still want to be Henry’s friend even if he was.) The Real Counterpoint…
“I can’t be a Crash Widow again!”
Mary breaks down and tells the truth to her granny, the Dowager Countess (cuz she gets the truth out, y’all). As everyone has been telling Mary, DC also says that Henry suits her. But what about his position, prospects, blah, blah, blah? Yeah but above all, says DC, “I believe in love.” Counterpoint to end all counterpoints, folks.
“So ever much I love him. I will always love you.”
Mary visits Matthew’s grave to tell him that she is getting married. “I so want to hear that you would be happy for me.” No counterpoint argument from Matthew or Isobel who happens to be visiting, too. Isobel blesses the union. (The only counterpoint is the tissue to my tears at this scene.)
“I believe I met my match.”
Mary finally tells Henry that she does love him and will marry him. But first they talk in depth about his love of cars and how that affects Mary and they come to a mutual decision about it. Wait, no. That didn’t happen even though that was Mary’s whole thing about being with him. OK. I’ll go with it. Because: wedding! Everyone is there. Branson fulfilled his dream and is Henry’s Best Man. (Has anyone investigated Charlie’s crash closely? Oh wait, turns out Branson is always Best Man at a Mary Wedding.) Even a last minute guest arrives…
“You know I am sorry.”
Mary to her sister. Edith rightly calls her out and says something like, “because you’re happy, now you’re sorry”. Then why did Edith come back? “One day only we will remember Sybil…” [tears welling up] “Our shared memories will mean more than our mutual dislike.” [yelling “hug!” to the screen] Alas, no hug.
And now things that have nothing to do with Mary:
Barrow slit his writs! Baxter’s spidey sense helps her catch him in time to save him! Lord Grantham and Carson feel guilty about possibly firing him so they don’t! Mary brings George to cheer up a recovering Barrow! (Wow, Mary’s actually everywhere this episode.) Barrow tells her that he has done and said destructive things. And Mary’s like, “Word.”
What else did I learn from this Episode that really and truly had nothing to do with Mary? Sgt. Willis arrives for his one scene to tell Mrs. Patmore that her first guests at her B&B were adulterers and now the rumor mill is saying that the B&B is a “house of ill repute”. Anna and Mary had a great laugh over this! (Oh, so Mary was a tangentially involved.) Mrs. Patmore is distraught because all her bookings are cancelling. So Donk, Cora and Rosamund make a show of having tea at the B&B as support. Later Sgt. Willis and the Schoolmaster Dawes have an offscreen tagging in/tagging out ritual and Dawes arrives to tell Daisy that she passed all of her exams. Moseley starts as a part time teacher. The first day he gets no respect from his student although one of them did quite a good caricature of him. Baxter tells Moseley to tell the kids about his side gig as a footman. Second day goes much better as he tells them about being in service and that maybe his teaching can “give you the shortcut I never had”. Yay, Super Smart Moseley! Isobel tells Miss Cruikshanks that she will consider Lord Merton again if his son invites her to their wedding himself. Your move, Cruikshanks. Edith goes back to work after her Bertie Break up to meet with the advice columnist, Cassandra Jones. Her editor tells Edith that they should have a code word (“Bananas”) if they think “Cassandra Jones” is who they say they are. Edith walks into the office to see Spratt! “Bananas” Edith and Editor say in unison.
As the not-Mary, Lord Grantham says, “Golly Gum Drops, what a turn up!”