Downton Abbey: Shocking Scenes And Witty One-Liners As A Future Prime Minister Comes To Dinner

Credit: ITV
Credit: ITV

Well. When we settled down to Downton last night; PJ’s on, tea in hand, we were warned that shocking scenes lay ahead. We thought there might be a bit of a scuffle between Thomas and Andy, maybe, and at one point we thought Mrs Hughes might take a frying pan to Carson’s head, but we had no idea just what lay in store. As it turned out “shocking scenes” was not warning enough. Here’s what went down…

Married Bliss?: The Bates’ are still ecstatic over Anna’s pregnancy, and finally, finally, they are able to enjoy life together. Meanwhile, Carson and Mrs Hughes are just settling down. Having lived in for so long, Mrs Hughes’ cooking skills seem to have deserted her, and though Mrs Patmore tries to help, Carson is not best-pleased with his new wife’s efforts. “It’s been too long since she played with her patty pans,” he booms at Mrs Patmore, while all of Great Britain prepares to wring his neck.

Will Daisy Ever Stop Moaning?: The answer is surely, no. She never stops! Mr Mason moves into the Drewe’s cottage, and she moans because Mrs Patmore and Andy go down with her to help him settle in. She then moans because Mr Mason wants her to go and live with him instead of up at the house. Andy, bless his little heart, expresses a desire to learn how to be a farmer, and tells Mary he’ll step in and help with the more physical side of the pig rearing. Mr Mason gives him some books to read about it all, but he’s never learned. Thomas (someone love that boy, PLEASE!) steps in and offers to help him. Just wait. Daisy will moan about that, too.

Is Edith’s Luck Changing?: She hops back to London to appoint a new female editor (go Edith!) and meets with Bertie Pellham again. The two share a kiss and agree to see how things go. All of Great Britain becomes hopeful that she might finally find happiness in this man’s arms.

Mary Doesn’t Enjoy Racing Cars: Well, it’s hardly a surprise, is it, given poor old Matthew’s demise? Anyhow, her and Tom go to watch Henry Talbot race again, and they go to a pub after. Mary has never really been in a public house. She’s too posh. Tom tells her and Henry to stop beating about the bush and just admit they like each other, but Mary just smiles coyly. We like Henry, but we like Tom better, and we’re pretty sure Mary is destined to be with him.

Will Someone Please Get Rid Of Denker: When Dr Clarkson decides to side with Isobel over the hospital (yawn), Denker takes it upon herself to confront him in the street and call him a traitor. The Dowager Countess sees red and dismisses her forthwith but Denker blackmails Spratt into sticking up for her, basically saying that if he doesn’t, she’ll let slip about his nephew staying in the shed when he was on the run. That woman really needs to get what’s coming to her.

A Rather Dramatic End To The Hospital Saga At Last?: It’s been rumbling on for weeks, and becoming ever more tiresome. It now seems as though everyone is all for the hospital merger except Lady Violet, and so she pulls out all the stops in a last ditch attempt to get her own way. She invites the health minister, Neville Chamberlain to dinner. We like the chap. We think he might do quite well in his career. Anyway, as soon as dinner has started, the row erupts over the hospital once more, and Mr Chamberlain is less than impressed. Robert appeals for calm. Robert is grey. Robert is getting up to leave the table because he doesn’t feel well and suddenly, Robert is projectile vomiting blood all over the crisp white table linens and Cora.

Doctor Clarkson is luckily on hand and knows that his stomach ulcer is burst and an ambulance is called. There follows a bizarre exchange between Cora and Violet, which Mary overhears, with Cora saying the hospital plans are going ahead, and she’s fed up of secrets. Violet asks if she’s referring to Marigold and points out that she’s apologised for that. Mary puts two and two together, but doesn’t say anything yet.

There follows an anxious wait for news of Robert’s condition. All of Great Britain is now weeping and in total shock, and there is most likely a power surge as everyone puts the kettle on for more tea. Mercifully, he survives the operation, and we’ve seen him in the preview for next week’s episode already. Even so, we still have a bad feeling about Robert’s future at Downton Abbey.

The Dowager Countess killed it with the one-liners this week, and Mary also played a blinder. Here are our favourites:

Violet to Denker: “It’s not your place to have opinions on my acquaintances, let alone express them!”

Violet to Denker again: “You’ve read too many novels; seen too many moving pictures!”

Violet to Denker and Isobel: “If I withdrew my friendship from everyone who spoke ill of me, my address book would be empty.”

And Lady Mary tells it like it is: “I don’t mean to sound snobbish, but I won’t marry down.”