Ugh, SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED THIS EPISODE! I barely want to talk about any of the other stuff that happened because I only want to talk about the THINGS, but whatever, let’s do it. It’s 1919 now, if that means anything to anyone, all of the injured soldiers are out of Downton, and Cora is being the worst, as usual. She asks the Lord if maybe they should fire Bates now that his wife has committed suicide, which, you know, duh, can’t believe they haven’t fired him YET, and then she suggests that they kick Matthew out — the only injured soldier they are still taking care of — because she wants Mary to get over him. My goodness. What a nightmare! Don’t you know that Matthew is Lord Grantham’s ONLY SON, CORA? The Lord shuts her down on each topic and asks if there’s any other reason why she wants Matthew and Mary to stay away from each other, and she lies and said there is not. There is, though! The thing with evil Richard! YOU MONSTER WOMAN!
Later, the new maid drops some apples outside and Lord Grantham helps her pick them up and then he asks her if she ever wonders what the war was all for and at that moment you know they’re going to get together but you’re thinking, “What? No way. NO WAY.” But, spoiler alert, YES WAY.
Now that the war is over, Thomas is still hanging around Downton because he’s That Guy and everyone’s asking him what he’ll do next. “You just going to hang around here and scheme about bullshit forever, Thomas?” “Or maybe are you maybe going to leave here eventually since there is no logical reason for you to be here at all other than to make us all upset?” No. He tells O’Brien that he’s bought a bunch of goods left over from the war from some random guy and he’s going to sell them at a higher price on the black market until he has enough money to go into a non-black market business. Cool. Very cool idea, Thomas.
Upstairs, Bates is dressing the Lord and the Lord is asking him about his wife’s suicide. He brings up how it’s odd that there was no note and it is exciting because I had just listened to a This American Life episode where they talked to a crime scene investigator who mentioned that no suicide note often means that it was actually a murder, and then Bates says that maybe it was just a last minute decision, and then the LORD says, then why did she already have the poison? GOTCHA, BATES! YOU MURDERER!
Later, Anna is walking down the hall, pleasant as a peach, until Richard calls her into his room. He tells her that he wants to be able to make Lady Mary happy, but in order to do so he has to know more about her than he does. Soooooooooo. Maybe you can spy on her for him, Anna? He says he’ll pay her extra to do so, but she refuses because Sir Richard is awful and Anna is wonderful. He asks her not to mention it to Lady Mary, but then she goes downstairs and promptly lets Carson and Ms. Hughes know about it. Richard, man. What a jerk. After Anna leaves, Carson and Hughes talk about how Carson feels, leaving Downton to work at Mary’s new place. Carson says he’s going to regret it every minute of every day, which seems A BIT dramatic, and then says that he always assumed he’d die at Downton. My goodness. These people sure do love Downton! Hughes says she doesn’t know why he’s leaving, because she thinks Mary is an uppity minx, but then Carson tells a sappy story about how one time Lady Mary did something cute when he was a baby and then gave him a kiss, and then Hughes is like, “I get it.”
(Later Carson lets Mary know that because of this Sir Richard thing, he’s not going to be able to work for them anymore and will be staying at Downton, because he can’t work for a man he doesn’t trust. It seems odd to me because the whole reason he was going there in the first place was to protect Mary, kind of. And it’s clear now that she needs him more than ever! So. Like. I get why he doesn’t want to work for Sir Richard, but also I DON’T get why he’s backing out on vulnerable Lady Mary. But. Whatever. Downton Abbey!)
Outside, Sybil talks to Branson about how she envies him for being able to work, because she hasn’t been able to work since the war ended. He responds, “Does this mean you’ve made up your mind,” which is very, very funny. “Branson, can you drive me into town?” “Does this mean you’ve made up your mind?” “Branson, how are you doing today?” “Does this mean you’ve made up your mind?” “Branson, your hair looks very nice.” “DOES THIS MEAN YOU’VE MADE UP YOUR MIND?” (She has not made up her mind.)
While Bates puts Matthew to sleep, aww, Matthew tells him about the tingling he’s been feeling in his legs. His doctor tells him that he’s imagining it and when he asks Bates’s opinion about it, Bates tells him “who knows,” pretty much. “I don’t know, dude. They’re your legs and I’m not a doctor.” Matthew thanks him and then asks him not to say anything to anyone else because he doesn’t want to ruin the suurrrpriiiiiiiisssssssssseeeeeeee!
While everything else is going on, Hughes leaves to tell Ethel — the old red hair maid — that the Bryants — the parents of the man who impregnated her — are going to be coming to Downton for lunch. They think that maybe they can talk to them about how they have a grandkid, and maybe if they know they’ll help Ethel! That’s FOR SURE not going to work, “Hey here is a kid it’s yours I have no proof please make the check out to Ethel The Red Hair Maid,” but whatever. Worth a shot! They agree that it is worth a shot. Also: The baby is so cute.
And, finally, we’ve gotten to one of THE THINGS! The Lord passes by the new maid, whose name I should definitely know, and asks her about the wine — totally just wanting to talk to her, definitely not caring AT ALL about the wine. Then when he’s about to leave she stops him and tells him that she’s been feeling sad since he said that thing about how the war wasn’t worth anything. Then he says, “Oh don’t listen to me. I’m a foolish man who’s lost his way and I don’t know how to find it again.” And then they look like they’re going to kiss. And then you’re thinking, “This is weird, because they’re definitely not going to kiss.” And then THEY DO KISS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! Ahhhhhh! Lord, you should divorce Cora and marry that maid! She seems a lot nicer than Cora! Cora is awful! MARRY THE MAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then, like, right after that big thing happened, THE NEXT BIG THING HAPPENED! Matthew and his fiance are in one of the rooms, whatever, and his fiance tries to move a dish or something and almost falls into the fire, don’t worry about it, and as she almost falls into the fire, MATTHEW STANDS UP TO SAVE HER!!!!!!
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? Afterwards the Lord calls everyone in to see him stand up. (Which he seems to be able to do with ease after this?) (I’m no doctor, but I’d think that even if you are able to stand up with some sort of hysterical strength, prompted by wanting to keep your fiance from falling into the fire, that proves you will be able to stand up in the future, it doesn’t really mean that you’ll be able to stand up just on your own for good now) (Doesn’t he need physical therapy?) (HELLO?) Everyone is very cute and excited when they see him. It’s a good moment. Hooray for all of us.
So anyway, what else. Bates tells Anna the thing the Lord says about how she must’ve bought the poison before hand, but he admits that HE is actually the one that bought the poison before hand. UH-OH, BATES! YOU MURDERER! (As a side note, when Bates begins talking about his deceased ex-wife, Anna gives a perfect look of, “Listen, I know your ex is, like, troubled, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear about her all the time,” and it’s perfect and I love it.) He says she asked for it because they had rats. Whatever. We get it. You murdered her.
At dinner, Matthew announces that — since he can walk again — he wants to marry Lavinia as soon as possible because she is wonderful and he wants to marry her at Downton. Everyone is pleased, kind of. Mary is not pleased. No duh. Cora is not pleased because she is awful and doesn’t want to be bothered with having a wedding at Downton. (“I have SO MUCH TO DO.”) (Later she begins telling the Lord that she doesn’t want to have the wedding there with, “Just because Matthew’s been lame…” and he explodes at her and calls her stupid. It’s great. She IS stupid.) Inspired by this moment of love or whatever, Sybil goes outside to tell Branson that she wants to run away with him now. (“SO YOU’VE MADE YOUR DECISION?”) She asks for matches to burn her bridges or whatever AND THEN THEY KISS FINALLY!!!!!!!
So many kisses today! Elsewhere, O’Brien and Thomas are trying to sell counterfeit groceries to Ms. Patmore. She eventually agrees, giving him a list of things she needs to make Matthew’s wedding cake, and tells him she’ll judge whether or not she’ll actually purchase them by how good those ingredients are. Daisy says she wants to make the wedding cake, which is cute, but anyway while they’re all talking the Bryants arrive and are too busy for Ms. Hughes to get them to see the baby and Ms. Hughes tells Ethel and then Ethel runs into the house and into the dining room and interrupts lunch and tells them that this baby is their grandson!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!
Everyone is shocked, no doy, but Mr. Bryant — who has been AWFUL so far — tells her that if it is their grandson she would have some proof. He says that his son would never father a child and then not care for it, which is bologna, AS WE KNOW, and that if it was really his she’d have some proof. She doesn’t, though! So even though Mrs. Bryant wants to see the baby, Mr. Bryant sends her away, and then they both leave. Sad faces all around. Later, when the upstairs gang is talking about what happened, Mary says, “The truth is Ethel’s made her choice and now she’s stuck with it.” Lavinia says that that’s way harsh, Thai, and then Mary says, “Is it? Aren’t all of us stuck with the choices we’ve made?” BOOM. Mary wants your man, Lavinia! Whatever Mary wants, Mary gets!
Speaking of whatever Mary wants Mary gets, that night OLG comes into Matthew’s room to talk to him about Mary getting what she wants. She tells him that Mary is still in love with him and that maybe he should marry her instead of Lavinia? He says Lavinia has cared for him this whole time and it would be super shitty to break up with her just because he can walk again now and doesn’t need her to be his nurse anymore. OLG says, “Marriage is a long business. There’s no getting out of it for our kind of people. You’ll be 40 or 50 years with one of these two women. Just make sure you’ve selected the right one.” Which is true! But also what Matthew said was true! So! Let’s all just go to sleep!
Later, Bates gets a letter from his lawyer explaining that right before his wife died she mailed a letter to a friend explaining that he was coming over that night and seemed angry and, “you know how he gets,” and that she feared for her life. OOPS! It’s 100% possible that she is just framing him with her death, which would be such a Georgina I MEAN BATES’ WIFE thing to do, but I’d rather believe for now that Bates murdered her. YOU MURDERER! BATES!
Sooooooooo, phew, my goodness, LATER Mary goes upstairs to say goodnight to Sybil and discovers that she isn’t there. But she does find a note explaining that she’s run off to get married to Branson. Oh, Sybil.
So then blah, blah, blah, Mary and Edith find them at a hotel along the road or whatever and Mary convinces Sybil to come back and introduce the idea of marrying Branson to her parents slowly. They’ll be mad, but at least they’ll still be in her life, she says. It’s very reasonable. Sybil agrees. Branson is mad. They kiss again. Sybil goes back home.
Elsewhere, Ms. Patmore and Daisy find out that the ingredients are no good. They tell Thomas and then Thomas goes crazy and destroys everything.
He tells O’Brien that he’s lost everything he has — and then some — on these bullshit goods. Also he bought them from some stranger in a bar? Good grief, Thomas. Maybe you can work at Mary’s house? She needs someone! Carson just quit!
And, finally, the maid the Lord kissed approaches him to submit her resignation. She says he shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable in his own house, but he won’t hear of it and tells her that she won’t lose her livelihood just because he wanted to make out real quick. “The fault was entirely mine. You will not pay the price.” It’s nice! And then we see that Carson probably heard the whole thing, right after he told the Lord that he was staying at Downton because he had so much respect for him and for Downton oh noooooooooooooooooooooo!
Also, Matthew’s mom found the toy Mary gave to him and he wouldn’t let her give it away.
Next week: Matthew gives the toy a voice and personality and refuses to go anywhere without it? WE’LL SEE!