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S06.E03: Season 6, Episode 3

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Awww Bertie is adorable! Edith deserves her happy ending, especially to such a nice guy, so I hope they end up together. Mary really is a bitch for not supporting Edith and her magazine. She does have some nice moments with Carson and Anna, but for the most part I can't stand her.

Daisy needs to stfu. Enough already.

Mosley and Baxter deserve their happy ending together. They are both so kind and selfless.!Why do I have a feeling they won't get it.

Great to have Tom back. I do miss Violet and Isobel's friendship- they are so mean to each other now.

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Denker and Spratt can exit stage right any time. The writers will never recapture the magic of Thomas and Mrs. O'Brien, so they need to stop trying.

 

I love Thomas, I can't help it. I do long for the return of self-centered, pro-active Thomas. I think the character's high point was the return from the War, and the scene where he destroyed the room full of fake black market goods told me more about the character than anything that's happened since.

 

In theory I'm happy to see Tom back, but considering that the plot line seems ready to pick up right where it left off with his not belonging (though he just decided he belonged?), the show clearly doesn't know what to do with him and I think leaving him in Boston, or hell London so he could be recurring, would have been best.

 

Oh Carson, Carson, Carson, the correct thing to say is that having your BRIDE at your wedding is all you need, not having the woman you work for in attendance. Please, no, stop.

I still just can't get on board with the Carson/Hughes thing (and I'm pretty sure every time it was mentioned, it was "Carson's wedding" - couldn't miss "Carson's wedding, etc.) I would have much preferred they remain friends; oh well.

 

I also agree that Thomas' job interview offered the best scenes of the episode. I say we just follow Thomas around as he interviews for jobs, thus giving us a nice insight into society and economy in 1925 England.

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One sour note for me is how Violet and Isobel's have been so nasty to each other this season.  I don't like the hospital plot and all.  Violet and Isobel do spar but with warmth and wit which is nowhere to be seen. I wonder if Fellows is mad at Maggie Smith for announcing that S6 was to be her last, and taking it out on her character. I believe Smith's announcement preceded the announcement that S6 would be the last season for the show.    

 

Good God, seriously? If anyone's earned a rest, it's Maggie Smith! I can't believe how much she works.

 

No best man? No maid of honor? Opportunity missed, uncle Julian.

That said, the edith gets jilted show had flower girls but no bridesmaids.

Which seems odd.

 

I believe English aristocrats typically use children for bridesmaids--you might have an adult MOH but the rest of the bridal party is all little girls. See: Diana's wedding (Lady Sarah Chatto was the token adult/child wrangler, the rest were all kids) and Kate's (her sister Pippa was the MOH, the rest were all girls with connections to William and Kate). So those "flower girls" were likely Edith's bridesmaids. Someone who knows more than me feel free to correct me.

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Can I say how much I miss Isis?

Aw, you get to see her butt in the opening credits every week.

 

I know sometimes the PBS airings get edited for time and I'm wondering if something like that went on here, because there were several scenes that didn't make a lot of sense to me. Two I recall are when we see Cora and Robert preparing to go down to dinner with Violet (including an epic glove snap by Cora as she prepares for battle) and then we never see the dinner. Then Cora rises early (the next day?) to go to visit the Yorkshire hospital and we never see the visit, just Cora at the board meeting telling the others about her visit. I think there were a couple of others, but these in particular had me going "Wait... what?"

 

In one of the many OOC things Cora did this episode I include her having Carson bring Mrs Hughes up to the drawing room for the wedding breakfast discussion. It really put Mrs Hughes on the spot in front of the whole family. Because I know I'd really like to have to defend my wedding preferences in front of the people that I work for. And thank goodness, Cora's coat added a little color and style because light brown doesn't scream "wedding dress" to me. It was closer to screaming "prison smock". Surely even Mrs Hughes would have had something dressier to get married in.

 

I assume that the last-minute pressure for Edith's magazine was due to her fight with her editor, but honestly, once I saw the proofs I thought "It's a ladies' magazine" - how much can you argue about which photos from someone's masquerade ball you're going to publish?  Also, if I had to work through the night I would have looked dead at 4am; Edith & Co looked exactly the same as they had the evening before.

 

I love Mary's continuing ennui. "Tom wrote me a very sad letter. I'll have to write him back - after the wedding." Because you have so much else to do.

 

Thank goodness for the return of chubby Tom and Sybbie.

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That episode was a mini "Marigold Hotel" reunion with Ronald Pickup (the old man interviewing Thomas) guesting. I felt sorry for the old man when he talked wistfully about the ladies going up the grand staircase to bed.

 

Violet the Dowager (Maggie Smith) and Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton) are alumna of the "Marigold Hotel," films too, and probably had something to do with Ronald Pickup getting the part. Maggie Smith likes to work a lot with Judi Dench (on "Marigold" and other films and projects), so I expect that actress to turn up at Downton any day now. Even Dev Patel could materialize as somebody's servant acquired in India! And I've wondered if Edith's illegitimate daughter's name "Marigold" was slyly suggested by someone who starred in the Marigold Hotel movies. (Maggie Smith and Julian Fellowes are old friends from his "Gosford Park" movie, so I can see Maggie suggesting the child's name "Marigold" to Julian.)

 

When I saw Ronald Pickup, I knew we could string all the "marigold" evidence together as some kind of cast and writers in-joke on Downton Abbey.

 

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Aw, you get to see her butt in the opening credits every week.

The butt in the opening credits isn't Isis. That's Pharaoh, who was Robert's dog buddy in season one, later replaced by Isis.

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I liked Edith this week, and one of my roommates said she has the best wardrobe this season. I also got teary eyed at the Carson/Hughes Wedding.

Cora snapping was out of character for her to be sure. My roommate also felt that way.

Mary looks really happy to see Tom!

Daisy is getting on my nerves.

My roommate is worried about things go wrong, but I think everyone seems to be happy.

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 I figured Thomas would serve as Reresby's butler, footman, and chauffeur, since there was no one else in the manor to care for.  And one of his duties might be cleaning, because that place was a mess.  Just disposing of all those newspapers would take days.

I watch those hoarding shows, and when I saw the piles of newspapers, that's exactly where my mind went. The hoarding neurosis always seems to be triggered either by a specific trauma, like fire or a death in the family, or it goes along with, and contributes to, a slow decline. Newspapers, books and magazines are a common fixation: the hoarder is going to read them "someday" and won't tolerate even one item leaving the house because they're all crucial parts of a grand plan. Ties in perfectly with the homeowner insisting that the good times and happy people will, will! come back. While he's drying his laundry on the firescreen.

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How long was Tom gone for?  Travelling back and forth across the Atlantic wasn't that easy back then.  You can't just pick up and go (okay, you can't do that NOW unless you want to pay a gazillion dollars for a crappy seat). 

 

It wasn't easy exactly, but by the time it is on the show, roughly the mid 1920s, transatlantic travel on ships was a thing (remember that competition for it and attacks on ships, the Lusitania being the one I know for sure, were contributing factors in influencing the direction of WWI). So, they had already perfected the time it took to make transatlantic trips by this time. It didn't take forever, several days at most and was did not cost a fortune. This was well past the time of the Titanic, much much more advanced. So, Tom (or Rose) can definitely just some back to Downton and not have it be ridiculous that they have done so.

 

I'm so, so tired of Daisy. I need her to shut up or go away. But as is, she's ruining the character I once liked or at least was entertained by.

 

Love that Mary is jealous of Edith's success with her magazine. Serves her right to be outshined and have to sit there and have Edith's accomplishments recognized, goodness knows Edith has had to do the same for Mary for insignificant things or things she's not nearly as responsible for. Really happy for Edith standing up for herself and her magazine and definitely hoping she's finally found a guy who is genuinely interested in her and excited to be with just her, not settling in any way.

 

Cora was very nasty. Wasn't expecting it. Her staff aren't known to rifle through her things, and it's not as if she was unaware of the wedding planning and the new change to make sure it's not merely "Carson's wedding" but both of theirs. She went out of her way to inquire and make sure Mrs. Hughes was getting the wedding she wanted. Even if they are her clothes, he blew that out of proportion and it really wasn't a good look on her.

 

I'm happy for Mrs. Hughes. Never been a fan of Carson, but I'm okay with their "romance" as many parts were cute and it's great that she'll get a fuller life that doesn't revolve around her job.But she deserves a real, legitimate apology from Mary, not that half-assed shit she got. All Mary did was say sorry to Carson, barely acknowledging Mrs. Hughes to make sure Carson still doted on her.

 

Someone please give Mr. Mosely a hug.

 

I'm thrilled Tom is back and worried at the same time. He has hands down brought the worst people ever into Downton for me. I need him to have better taste in women NOW if he's coming back. I don't truly believe they'll make a Tom/Mary storyline happen, so I'm not assuming that will be what his story will be this season.

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It wasn't easy exactly, but by the time it is on the show, roughly the mid 1920s, transatlantic travel on ships was a thing (remember that competition for it and attacks on ships, the Lusitania being the one I know for sure, were contributing factors in influencing the direction of WWI). So, they had already perfected the time it took to make transatlantic trips by this time. It didn't take forever, several days at most and was did not cost a fortune. This was well past the time of the Titanic, much much more advanced. So, Tom (or Rose) can definitely just some back to Downton and not have it be ridiculous that they have done so.

 

I find it odd that a man just comes back from America to the relatives of his late wife and only then asks if he can stay for ever in his father-in-law's house. Even if the Crawleys had assured him that Downton is his and Sybbie's home, any sensible and polite person would have at least sent a telegram and asked if he can come, even if it was only a visit.

 

Also, Mary now manages an estate, so Tom should have first asked  her if he can have his old job back or whether he can work under her (and in both cases what is the salary) or alternatively told he has other plans.

 

Finally, what are Tom's chances to meet eligible women and remarry if he stays in Downton?

 

But maybe we should only accept Tom's comeback was a surprise for the audience.

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I liked Cora a lot in this episode, the good and the bad. I liked that she listened to Mrs. Hughes about the kind of wedding she wanted and didn't think she was being a snob at all. As for her walking in on the ladies trying on her coats...shit, I get mad when one of my friends starts going through my clothes without asking me. These women are her employees and while Mary did give them permission, Cora was not informed. I don't think she really thought they were stealing, but given the class divide at the time, I can understand her being upset. Either way, she did apologize very nicely.

 

 

I think both scenes were also about Mary and her relationship with her mother. When Cora in the first scene shows that she understands the servants, or at least Mrs Hughes, better than Mary, Mary can't admit it but calls her mother a snob (which Mary is herself, not Cora) and in Carson's presence at that. And it was Carson who said to Mary that her mother didn't do it out of snobbishness and she only said "maybe not". 

 

In the second scene Mary has let Mrs Carson lend her mother's dress without asking her first. When Cora comes home and leaves the room before Mary has time to tell her, anybody but Mary would have run from the room and explained the matter to Cora before she enters her own bedroom. Afterwards, Mary gets high moral tone and lectures her mother as if she was her child or servant how badly she has behaved towards a faithful servant - never a word that the fault was also hers.

 

Cora made a mistake out of ignorance and like most us lost her nerves after a long and stressful day but she has never hurt anybody on purpose, unlike Mary.  When Cora in the earlier scene explained that she wanted to save Mrs Hughes's from Mary's bullying, she even then said it friendly. Mary should have taken a hint but of course she didn't.  

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Tom's return is the most ridiculous thing. Him leaving was already BS, but his return is even worse. He left in January 1925 and now he's back in April 1925? And Gareth Neame had the audacity to say about him leaving for America "it is important for Tom to find out who he really is". 

 

Yeah right. It was just yet another awful and completely idiotic storyline with no conclusion. "I realized you are my family." How pathetic! I'm so mad about the crap Julian Fellows writes for Tom. If he had to leave, couldn't he at least come back successful? So that he would feel on a more equal footing with the Crawleys? THEN he would have achieved something! But to come back just because they're his family and after barely 3 months. Pathetic!! 

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When they give RJC good material like that interview scene, I'm reminded what a great actor he is, and how much he's wasted on this show.

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Poor Mrs. Hughes. Getting the sit down dinner she wanted involved all sorts of uncomfortable words in front of the family and then the day before her wedding she's completely upset by nearly being called a thief by Lady Cora, the woman she's served with dignity and intelligence for years. In her place, I would have thoroughly hated that coat by the time it was given to me. I wanted Mrs. Patmore to give her that gray dress, apologizing for it's plainness, only to have an excited Mrs. Hughes or another servant, pull out a large, white lace shawl from her trunk. Something that would have been perfect over her hair and the dress. I thought the coat and hat business looked like she was getting ready to catch a train.

I'm always shocked when Mary snaps corrections at her parents. "I hope you weren't rude to her!" Then they respond like guilty children.

We finally got to see Marigold smile when little Sybbie hugged her. Two darling little actresses. So far, I think Marigold's "direction," has all been "hide your face in the lady's shoulder." For all the talk about her looking like Greyson or Edith, she has her Grandmother Cora's round forehead.

Edith is going to have a real career, a snazzy London flat, and a dashing young man! I'm so happy for her.

Edited by JudyObscure
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In answer to someone up thread, we did see Cora taking the tour. I remember the mention of the walls being just newly painted.

 

My, my. How times change. When Edith wrote her first magazine article that was published Robert all but forbade her to ever write another. It was as if she had shamed them all. Now he's actually looking at her work and praising it.

 

Cora's reaction to the servant's trying on her clothes was what I think would be typical even had she not had a bad day. She didn't know they had permission from Mary. For all she knew they took advantage of her being gone and were pilfering through her things. Servants were barely allowed upstairs, much less allowed to go through her things.

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I'm a journalist so I loved all the magazine things but two things:

1. She didn't edit the magazine. She paginator it and produced it. She did some copy editing. To our knowledge.

2. When the hell did she learn layout? Was she on yearbook staff or something? Seriously it's a skill and while the finished Pages looked nice it's a bit insulting to present it so casually like anyone with a sleeve to roll up could just do it, I'm perfectly willing to accept that it happened with gregson and we didn't see it, the way she also goes to the bathroom and brushes her teeth and we don't see it, but SOME HINTS OF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE.

When I became the editor of a section I had to take a drawing test and study. Just saying,

3. Nice as it was to see robert all happy for her, I was like the hell? Since when? How does he know?

Nevertheless... On the whole I liked it, and I did giggle at Pelham saying exactly what our staff photographer says all the time, choose the prettiest faces and nicest clothes (well, he says most visually interesting etc) when she was being what he'd call "literal" and trying to figure out the people's ranks.

 

 

Of course you are right irl. It made me laugh also.

 

However, in S3 we were told by Violet that Tom could be a capable agent of the big estate simply because his uncle had a farm and tended sheep.

 

In my home village a manor's owner got in the end of 19th century her granddaughter's future husband study in an agriculture institute for two years before donating the estate to the young couple (his late son had only one daughter and the estate wasn't entailed).

 

So maybe we must simply accept that DA is basically a fairy tale and believe that Edith could do the job - and at least we see her doing it instead of merely told.

 

Of course, as any individual staff members weren't introduced, save the editor''s secretary Audrey, the whole scene was basically a romantic setup and did the job quite nicely. When people doing something together, we can see their basic qualities better. Bertie was a shown a nice and helpful man, not at all a pitiable case as Atticus called him in CS.  

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I know sometimes the PBS airings get edited for time and I'm wondering if something like that went on here, because there were several scenes that didn't make a lot of sense to me. Two I recall are when we see Cora and Robert preparing to go down to dinner with Violet (including an epic glove snap by Cora as she prepares for battle) and then we never see the dinner. Then Cora rises early (the next day?) to go to visit the Yorkshire hospital and we never see the visit, just Cora at the board meeting telling the others about her visit. I think there were a couple of others, but these in particular had me going "Wait... what?"

 

It was quite natural to leave out Cora's visit in a new hospital. It simply costs too much and, most of all, it's only boring if nothing essential happens there. What was shown was quite enough to prove that she was dead tired. 

 

It's quite another thing to leave out the scenes where there is an important revelation and/or an emotional high. JF does it too often.

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Tom's return is the most ridiculous thing. Him leaving was already BS, but his return is even worse. He left in January 1925 and now he's back in April 1925? And Gareth Neame had the audacity to say about him leaving for America "it is important for Tom to find out who he really is". 

 

Yeah right. It was just yet another awful and completely idiotic storyline with no conclusion. "I realized you are my family." How pathetic! I'm so mad about the crap Julian Fellows writes for Tom. If he had to leave, couldn't he at least come back successful? So that he would feel on a more equal footing with the Crawleys? THEN he would have achieved something! But to come back just because they're his family and after barely 3 months. Pathetic!! 

 

I agree with you completely. For some reason Fellowes invented almost every character a storyline of their own, but not Tom. He had such a potential for many things (journalism, politics, business) but it was completely lost. If he only lived in the agent's cottage instead of Downton (although Sybbie could so far be in the nursery during the day), he could have a life of his own and meet women without Thomas telling Robert.  

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2. When the hell did she learn layout? Was she on yearbook staff or something?

 

Hee.  I love the idea of a Downton yearbook.  We all know it would be like 500 pages of Mary in various poses, with one shot of Edith waving in the background while Mary does something glamorous. 

 

Tom returning was kind of ridiculous.  Even though ocean travel was relatively quick in 1925, it still seems awful silly to make a big production of going to America, to return just a few months later. 

Edited by txhorns79
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I did love her apology- when she's wrong, she's humble about it and tries to make it right (e.g. going the extra step to not just give Mrs. Hughes the coat, but asking Baxter to fit it for her, so it would be perfect on her wedding day.)

I did notice that it was 10:00pm when she volunteered Baxter to alter the coat for Mrs. Hughes.  Baxter didn't get much sleep that night.

 

I don't agree with the complaint upthread that it was presumptuous of Tom to return and a just assume he could step back into his old role.  I feel certain he was told "you will always have a home here" and "we hope you come back" when he left.  Plus, he and Mary write to one another so he knows they didn't hire anyone to replace him.   The family's reaction when he walked in confirmed that for me -- they were simply overjoyed.  He is family.  Of course he has a place there.  It will be interesting however, when Mary has to surrender her new duties back to Tom.  I think she'll do it willingly but then be even more jealous of Edith.  Presumably that will be the catalyst for her doing . . . something . . . that throws her in the path of whoever is going to end up being her happy ending.  I want happy endings for everyone Damnit!

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Surely even Mrs Hughes would have had something dressier to get married in.

 

 

Of all of the staff - she is the only one that can have some variety in her wardrobe.  And she wore something earlier this season that was very nice.  I think it was a blue jacket.   Very lovely.  So I call BS

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What a lovely episode.  I was already weepy with the wedding, but when Tom shows up with Sibby?  Buckets.  (Yeah, Tom was bigger.  Have you had the food in Boston?  Yum.  Not to mention the midnight buffets on the cruise back to England.  Heh.)  I knew he'd be returning at some point, the actor more or less said so on the interview circuit, but it surprised me to see him this soon.  But with Mary taking over management of the estate, what will he do?

 

The child who plays Marigold is odd looking.  (I'm sorry to criticize a child, but yeesh.)

 

Loved, loved Edith's storyline.  Heck, I don't care if she marries what'shisname or not, I want her to be a roaring success in publishing the magazine, with her fabulous wardrobe and strange little child, and take London by storm.  And watch Mary pout.

 

Mrs Patmore is the best friend ever.  The scene where the ladies were caught in Cora's room was uncomfortable.  Stupid Mary, not getting off her butt to warn Cora that they were there.  I don't blame Cora for being shocked and annoyed, but good on her for making amends.  I hope it was Baxter's idea to do the sewing late at night.

 

Thomas's interview was also very uncomfortable.  What a sad old man with nothing but memories.  Other than Carson's hints why does Thomas think he'll be the one to go?  Carson isn't getting any younger and Thomas is the natural replacement for him.

 

Yeah, Chekhov's indigestion and the hospital kerfluffle.  Surely no coincidence. <snerk>

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Why the sudden interest in Spratt and Denker?  Who cares?  This is the last season so they just need to go away and leave more screen time for the rest.

 

Glad that Tom and Sybbie are back but it's too bad they showed up in time to overshadow the bride and groom.  The Carson's certainly have had a tough time making the wedding day a special one for them.

 

Bertie seems fine but what kind of farm manager or whatever the heck he is has the skill set to step in and help "save" the magazine at the last minute?  Since it appeared to be some sort of ladies magazine, would he have ever seen it much less ever read it?  And he was certainly quick with the advice on the layout

 

Cora has always been so passive so it was a surprise to see her pitch the fit about her clothes although I totally get why she did. Mary was too lazy to get up and follow her to tell her the servants were rifling through her closet?  She started to speak up and then just sat there and rolled her eyes.  Bitch.

 

I wish Daisy would shut up about Mr. Mason taking over that farm. You know that's not going to come to pass now since she's been blabbing about it.

 

I like Moseley so much - I wish he could be a teacher. It's nice that he's mentoring Daisy.

 

Not quite sure what the heck is going on with Thomas this season.  That old house where he had the interview was pitiful to see but geez, talk about beating us to death with the obvious!  The end of aristocracy is in sight. We get it.

 

I still don't care about the hospital drama but (again with raining down anvils) Robert's "twinge" will undoubtedly result in some sort of need for care that the can't get locally.  Then his mother will see the light or some such.

 

Tom has been eating well in Boston!  And won't Mary's knickers be in a knot if he wants to take over as the agent again now that he's back?  Or will that free her up to go husband hunting?

 

Poor Mrs. Patmore will be tossing the next Sears and Roebuck's catalog in the dustbin...

Edited by Kohola3
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Cora's reaction to the servant's trying on her clothes was what I think would be typical even had she not had a bad day. She didn't know they had permission from Mary. For all she knew they took advantage of her being gone and were pilfering through her things. Servants were barely allowed upstairs, much less allowed to go through her things.

 

Yes.  And it wasn't Mary's business to GIVE them permission.  Those aren't MARY's things, they're Cora's.  I mean, say, you have kids and a "regular" sitter.  Your spouse tells said sitter that it's fine for him/her to borrow your stuff without letting YOU know.  Wouldn't YOU be pi$$ed if you see said sitter rummaging after coming home from work?  Yep. 

ETA:  Catalog ordering - I guess it was just as bad then - LOL! 

Edited by PRgal
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I thought the scene with Thomas at the job interview was one of this show's best.  The acting was wonderful and I loved how it showed both in dialogue and visually how times had changed.

I loved all the drama over Mrs. Hughes' wedding dress.  Another way to highlight the differences in the classes.

Of the 3 children, Sybbie is the gem (of course I realize she is older).  I loved the expression on her face while Tom was holding her - it's like she had a secret that she wanted to spill - and the expression when Donk picked her up.

I don't get why JF had Tom go to Boston for such a short time - it would have been better if he had gone to back to Ireland and realized there were no jobs for him there.

Considering there are so many original characters and so much that could be done with them I will never understand why JF brings in new ones like Denker and wastes time on them.

Bertie is too good for Edith.

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Other than Carson's hints why does Thomas think he'll be the one to go?  Carson isn't getting any younger and Thomas is the natural replacement for him.

 

Carson may not retire for a number of years, and it sounds like Thomas' current position is redundant and too expensive for the family to justify keeping him on.  

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I agree with you completely. For some reason Fellowes invented almost every character a storyline of their own, but not Tom. He had such a potential for many things (journalism, politics, business) but it was completely lost. If he only lived in the agent's cottage instead of Downton (although Sybbie could so far be in the nursery during the day), he could have a life of his own and meet women without Thomas telling Robert.  

I always thought it was a shame Sarah Bunting was written as an antagonist rather than a serious love interest. There'd have been so many interesting threads to explore in Tom beginning to date again: his inner conflict over moving on from Sybil, the family's conflict over him moving on from Sybil, the social divide (a teacher would be an excellent match for a land agent, but would be way out of her depth with his titled in-laws), maybe marriage, moving out of the big house to the land agent's cottage - and related childcare arrangements, learning to live as a 'blended' family, etc. And he'd still be in all the scenes he needed to be in at the house due to being the agent and part of the family still. But it would have given him so much more to do - allowed him to move forward with his life instead of spinning his heels all these years.

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Since it appeared to be some sort of ladies magazine

------------------------------------

Maybe not, though. English publications generally have a "Court and Social" page. I am a journalist, too. I worked for a paper that covers Capitol Hill politics, policy making, and people. When an English editor-in-chief came on board he added a "Social Scene" page of photos and very brief text. (There had been a photo page, but it was not "social," just cherry blossoms or snow at the Capitol and the like.) Soft features are a thing across the board. ("Soft" is relative, of course.)

So I'd like to think, at least, that the magazine is something like Harper's or The Atlantic. (I'm not putting my former paper in that fine company! LOL!) Or Edith's could be more ephemeral, but not totally puff stuff. I thought it was literary, more The New Yorker.

(I cannot italicize, as a good writer should, on the iPad.)

Edited by jschoolgirl
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To have Mrs Hughes, Anna and Mrs Patmore in Cora's room trying on her clothes made no sense anyway. It only adds conflict and drah-ma!  What would have made much more sense would be to bring the problem to Baxter, who is, after all, in charge of Cora's clothes, and have her bring some potential choices down to the servant's hall.

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I was totally surprised when Tom and Sybbie showed up!  It does seem silly that he only "moved away" for a few months, but I'm happy they're back.  Let's please give Tom a story line that's free from scheming maids and rude, blowhard teachers.

 

Edith's story line was excellent, and I would be happy that she was finally finding her footing with the magazine and even had Bertie paying attention to her, but the whole disaster with the Drewes has left a bad taste in my mouth about Edith so I don't care about her happiness anymore.

Edited by izabella
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I did chuckle when the ladies went into Mrs. Hughes room and said we were "here to dress the bride" and she said something like "I thought I'd never hear that".  

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I thought the scene with Thomas at the job interview was one of this show's best. The acting was wonderful and I loved how it showed both in dialogue and visually how times had changed....

Completely agree. It was perfect. Both actors were amazing in such a quiet understated way and their lines were so good--I could see the ladies going up that wonderful floating staircase after parties at night long ago just as the manor owner described them, and we could see in Thomas's face that he was seeing them too. And I liked that Thomas's sexuality was not at all the theme of it (I am so tired of this defining the character--we are not reminded every episode about the sexuality of the other mostly celibate characters, so why is Thomas's need for a partner such a big part of this series). I thought for a minute there that Thomas would take the position and inherit (as there was nonfamily left, perhaps he would have ingratiated himself right into the old man's will)as a nice little slap to Carson who is over the top mean to him, but that wasn't really the point of the scene.

I would take a spinoff of Edith and Bertie and the evolution of magazines.

I laughed when the family kept grilling Tom on why he came back and how long he would stay--I so wanted him to admit that being part of an entitled wealthy family in England was a lot easier and a lot more fun than being a nobody Irishman in Boston, considering how looked-down-upon the Irish in America were at that time. And free babysitting for Sibbie too.

Edited by MakeMeLaugh
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Carson may not retire for a number of years, and it sounds like Thomas' current position is redundant and too expensive for the family to justify keeping him on.  

 

I think it's also possible Carson's retirement is more imminent.  Last season or maybe even the one before, he and Mrs. Hughes were already looking at bed and breakfast possibilities.

 

It would be interesting to me to see Thomas go completely outside of servitude--to London or elsewhere.  But since the anvils keep falling about him losing his position at Downton, wouldn't it be a nice switch to have Mrs. Hughes-Carson prevail on the old booby to stop the nasty attitude toward Thomas and recommend him for his replacement?  I'm reaching, I know, Thomas has a history of being untrustworthy and Carson's crap is deep-seated.  But it would be a nice redemption arc.

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I too was happy to see Tom yet a little cheesed that he stole the wedding couple's thunder. Like, maybe wait until the toast is over before announcing your return. I think he looks pretty much the same as he did last season, but after the episode, there was the "Cast Reflects on their Favorite Memories" extra and they showed Tom sitting at Sybil's bedside right after she'd died and he looks like a completely different person there.

 

The Andy and Barrow thing is being played pretty realistically. Barrow got all Andy's money back for him at the gambling club and helped to get him a job at Downton, but now Andy's being a jerk to him because he heard that Barrow is gay so obviously Barrow wants to sex him up. It makes me wish Barrow would say, "uh, I want to be friends, but physically I find you repulsive."

 

The saddest thing about the job interview estate was the discoloration on the walls where pictures used to hang. You can imagine them selling off all the furnishings and artwork bit by bit to keep the estate afloat.

 

Oh, Denker has learned that Spratt has a nephew escaped from prison who he's harboring in the potti ... ZZZZZZZZZZZ  Although the whole thing led to Violet's saying, "Why don't you ask him while you're making my chocolate," so at least there's that.

 

The hospital drama is a little boring, but not as bad as all things Spratt and Denker. It's really brought back Isobel's steamroller side, though, which was never my favorite thing about her. It reminds me of how obnoxious she was after the war when the Crawleys wanted the Abbey to stop housing soldiers and she acted like that was inconceivable.

 

I haven't forgiven Edith for last week, but Bertie Pelham is lovely. Does she deserve a sweet man like this? I'm trying to be generous.

 

Bertie is very nice and definitely too good for Edith, but he's also a little pathetic? When he offered to come back to the office, fetch coffee and sandwiches and be a general dogsbody all night for a person he'd met once, I can see why he was described as kind of sad in the Brancaster Castle episode.

 

 

For Christmas, my mom got me a DVD of the Paley Center panel with Matthew Weiner and the cast of Mad Men where they happened to talk a little bit about the style of men wearing wedding rings. I'm not sure if this was limited just to the US or if it extended to the entirety of the Western world, but Weiner said that men of Don Draper's age (he would have been born around the time this show is taking place now, 1925, I think, he turns 40 in 1965 if I'm remembering correctly) didn't wear wedding rings, while the generation before them had. I'm not sure if the style continued farther back to the era of people like Carson and Mrs. Hughes, but it seems like something that came and went with the fashions of the time. I realize this isn't a definitive answer but it suggests that it might have been in style.

 

My dad (and growing up, my friends' dads who were the same age) were of Don Draper's generation and none of them wore wedding rings, but I think that was the last generation who didn't, as a rule, wear them. I think that's interesting that the generation before did wear them though. Nowadays if I see a married man without a ring, I assume he's an adulterer.

Edited by fishcakes
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I'm growing weary of this no one can ever leave Downton. What is it, the Hotel California of England? I love Tom, he's always been one of my favorite characters, but I kind of eyerolled at his return. I was hoping he would make a life for himself in America, maybe remarry. (pleasepleaseplease don't pair him with Mary)
I don't know why Edith even has to think twice about moving to London. She has a nice flat, a job, she's not "Edith, Mary's sister" there. She should have opted to move last episode instead of forcing the Drewes off their farm. That was cruel.
Then, there's Barrow saying he wants to stay in Yorkshire. Why? Wouldn't he have so many more options in London or really, anywhere else? He could be as out as the times allowed. In real life, he would have been long gone.

And Mary looks like Johnny Depp's version of Willy Wonka every time she wears one of those hats.

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My dad (and growing up, my friends' dads who were the same age) were of Don Draper's generation and none of them wore wedding rings, but I think that was the last generation who didn't, as a rule, wear them. I think that's interesting that the generation before did wear them though. Nowadays if I see a married man without a ring, I assume he's an adulterer.

I think after WWII many men were laborers.  It was the greatest generation building America.  Going back to the factories, car makers, building homes, etc.  My grandfather came out of 4 years in the war and worked at General Motors for 30 years building cars.   He never wore his ring, but when he died he had one on in the casket.  I think it was a safety issue for men who worked with machinery. 

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Yeah, Marigold has a bit of an odd forehead, but she'll come around in a few years.

Can someone explain how those steps would be safe in that old grand house? Any architects here?

I'm an architect. I'd assume they were structurally sound. It's the stringer that supports stairs anyway, and it was most likely disguised. Plus, structure can be cantilevered. You'd have to see sections through the stairs to truly know how they were constructed. But,frankly, craftsmanship was better then than now.

The railings wouldn't be up to modern IBC code, however, but they would be grandfathered in.

I watched The Imitation Game this weekend (Downton's Branson was in the cast). And even during WWII Keira Knightly's parents considered it unseemly for her to take a job in another city and live unchaperoned. There's more than a bit of societal pressure against Edith striking out to live alone (except with her 'ward') in London, and that wouldn't change for quite some time.

Edited by shipperx
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I think after WWII many men were laborers.  It was the greatest generation building America.  Going back to the factories, car makers, building homes, etc.  My grandfather came out of 4 years in the war and worked at General Motors for 30 years building cars.   He never wore his ring, but when he died he had one on in the casket.  I think it was a safety issue for men who worked with machinery. 

Plus, if you go back a little further again to the Victorian era (and earlier), when Carson and Mrs Hughes were young, many of the labouring class would not have been able to afford a luxury like a ring.

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I don't agree with the complaint upthread that it was presumptuous of Tom to return and a just assume he could step back into his old role.  I feel certain he was told "you will always have a home here" and "we hope you come back" when he left.  Plus, he and Mary write to one another so he knows they didn't hire anyone to replace him.   The family's reaction when he walked in confirmed that for me -- they were simply overjoyed.  He is family.  Of course he has a place there.  

 

Yes, Tom is so used to aristocratic lifestyle that he can leave normal courtesy for sending a telegram for the Crawleys can always welcome him which is easy because they don't have to make a room ready nor make food for extra people. Servants do those jobs and who cares if they already have work enough.

 

I couldn't understand even it that Mary wanted to live in his father's house after she married, and that Matthew consented to it. Still less I understand that Tom wants to live in the house of his late wife's father where he can have no say in anything.

 

Although Tom is now regarded as family, we have seen that he isn't treated in the same way as Mary and even Edith. They can invite their own guests, Tom can't. And it's his love life that is treated most severely by Robert, although it's none of his business.

 

Lastly, so long Sybbie is small and needs a nanny, it's okay for her in live in Downton's nursery. But when she is a little older, she shouldn't get used to a life style which will be George's but not hers as they will be grown-up. 

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Loved: the touch of heather in the boutonnieres "to honor Mrs. Hughes;" the melancholy wander through that glorious, fading house; the bagpipers; and Moseley's regret over what might have been.

 

So, if Anna's pregnant, does she stop working when she begins showing? (In terms of grand house etiquette) And does she retire to raise the child? She and Bates would lose her income.

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I think it was a safety issue for men who worked with machinery.

---------

Yes, definitely. My younger brother works for a small manufacturer in our tiny home town (in 2016!), and he only would wear his ring if they went out or it was a special occasion. Carson's work, though, wouldn't really pose any potential for ring-related injuries (which can be really severe).

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How likely would a guy like Bertie even volunteer to help out like that?  It's 2016 and I don't know if anyone's boyfriend would consider playing "gofer" (though I did joke about Bertie the Barista on Twitter last night.  "Fetching coffee" in 2016 is probably not "There's a latte machine in the kitchenette.  All you need to do is press a few buttons to get a 'real; latte.  Can you please get me one?" but  "Bertie, here's $5.  Starbucks is downstairs.  Get me a Grande non-fat, half calf, half sweet Cinnamon Dolce Latte with NO WHIP.  Got that?  Good." 

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Loved the job interview scene, mostly for the reasons others have already noted.  It was just such an interesting take on that particular moment in history and was the sort of thing Downton Abbey used to do so well.  His dead sons, the ladies no longer using the stairs, the missing artwork . . . great stuff.  

 

The rest of the ep was utterly forgettable for me because it was mostly the sorts of things Downton Abbey now always does -- people making huge deals out of what are actually completely trivial and pointless squabbles.  I don't really care to watch people arguing over the Hughes/Carson reception or Danker/Spratt's stuff or whatever else somebody said to somebody that thanks to a raised eyebrow or slight inflection in speech pattern can be misinterpreted in some way.  

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Bertie is very nice and definitely too good for Edith, but he's also a little pathetic? When he offered to come back to the office, fetch coffee and sandwiches and be a general dogsbody all night for a person he'd met once, I can see why he was described as kind of sad in the Brancaster Castle episode.

 

I think Bertie showed courage and initiative. He had one chance and he took it. And by working together they certainly got to know each other better than having drinks and dinner. 

 

Of course the sentence "You inspire me" after Edith had told that she cant live without a purpose in life, shows that hasn't yet found his. But that was common among men in his social class.

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I might be the only one but I've been enjoying the hospital tit for tat. I look forward to every jab Violet and Isobel take at each other. After each of these little "spats" they make up until the next.

Much as I love Tom and Sybbie returning, Tom should have hung back his entrance at least til after the toast. It was like attending someone's engagement party and announcing someone else's engagement during the festivities. It was Mrs. Hughes' day.

In 1925 Ford was producing 10,000 cars every 24 hour. (I looked it up) Tom wasn't in the US long enough, but had they the time it would be great if Tom returned and announce he had met Henry Ford and had returned to look for a manufacturing location for Model Ts and Tom would run it. Far fetched but interesting...or something like that.

I even like the Sprat/Denker intrigue. You know Violet is going to do something about the situation eventually. That will be fun.

To me, they're just tying up loose ends...maybe some not so neatly.

Edited by Ina123
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Considering there are so many original characters and so much that could be done with them I will never understand why JF brings in new ones like Denker and wastes time on them.

I think it's more that actors don't want to return.  Dan Stevens quit because he didn't want to be typecast.  Ed Speleers supposedly quit because he thought he would get a lead role in Force Awakens.  Not sure why the actress who played O'Brien quit, perhaps because she was tired of being villainised.  I see in the previews that "Mr. and Mrs. Harding" arrive, this followed by a snippet of "I didn't even know he was friends with Gwen" and then a quick shot of a well-dressed woman who I think was Gwen Dawson, the maid from Season 1 who left to become a secretary (and a Wildling on "Game of Thrones").  So it seems that when actors want to come back, it could be possible.  I wonder if we could see Rose, Alfred, and Ivy, all of whom left on good terms.

 

 

I don't know why Edith even has to think twice about moving to London. She has a nice flat, a job, she's not "Edith, Mary's sister" there. She should have opted to move last episode instead of forcing the Drewes off their farm. That was cruel.

Isn't a lot of it because of Marigold?  I guess she could bring Marigold with her, but at Downton she has a nanny and plays with George.  Isn't the whole reason why she was allowed to have Marigold as her ward because of the opportunities and resources that would be available to Marigold at Downton?  Was it customary in those times to award guardianship to an unmarried and presumably unrelated woman?  I wonder if Edith would have been successful at her case if she had been on her own.

 

I found it interesting that when she was talking about Marigold and Bertie asked who is Marigold, Edith replied "she's my..... OUR... ward".  Who did she mean by "our"?  All of the Crawleys?  It's just Edith, right?

 

I agree with everyone that Bertie is too good for Edith.  Surely there are other available women where he is from.  

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Speaking of former Downtonites in/not in SW:TFA, I noticed that Thomas Brodie Sangster had a small part as a First Order officer. He was on DA at some point, no?

Just had a look at IMDb, and he doesn't appear to have been on DA. My mistake. He was in Wolf Hall, though - maybe I'm getting my period dramas confused :D

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