We start out this week with Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes discussing the upcoming wedding. Mrs. Patmore is appalled to find that Mrs. Hughes plans on marrying Carson in her brown day dress, and suggests that maybe she order a dress out of her new catalog. Mrs. Hughes unsurprisingly resists.
Violet has come to see Robert to try and sway him to her side on the hospital matter, but Robert isn't so sure that Cora is wrong. Edith and Mary come through, then Violet uses her cane as a sword and rushes out in a flurry of skirts.
Cora is discussing the week's menus with Mrs. Patmore, and Mrs. Patmore lets it slip that Mrs. Hughes isn't completely on board with the idea of a grand wedding in the great hall of Downton. Cora will set this to rights straight away.
Spratt and Denker are having a delicious little bickering match in the kitchen when the doorbell rings. Spratt goes to answer and quickly shuts the door in the visitor's face before Denker can see who it is, her curiosity noticeably piqued.
Mary is reading a letter that she received from Tom in America to Anna. It's sad and he misses them. And by God we miss him. Mary asks if Anna has thought about their appointment with the doctor, and Anna says, yes, in fact she has. Mary asks if she's pregnant and Anna rather plays it off, saying it's too soon to tell. But she has a smile on her face that only that of a woman who thinks she may be pregnant has. She knows, whether she really knows or not.
Cora has invited Isobel to dinner without Violet, and she wonders if Violet knows she's there without her. Cora tells her there is nothing nefarious going on, and asks Carson to bring Mrs. Hughes to the drawing room. She has a question to ask her and she wants Lady Mary to hear it.
Cora asks if it's true that Mrs. Hughes doesn't want to be married in Downton. Carson is aghast, but Cora insists that she hear it from Mrs. Hughes' mouth. Mrs. Hughes tells her that she would very much like to have her own reception in her own way. Mary is taken aback and wonders why anyone would not want to be married in Downton.
Mary tells Cora she's a snob and doesn't want the matter of a servant's wedding in the hall, and Cora is amused but offended. Rightfully so.
I do like Mary. Really, I do. But sometimes she is the absolute worst.
Denker is starting up trouble about Spratt over his secret visitor. She can't help herself and tattles on him to Violet. Lady Grantham is the OG, though, and won't be so easily duped into Denker's games.
Robert is clearly in some physical distress, but shakes it off and keeps moving.
Barrow interviews at a great house, the legacy of a great family. He's greeted by a wrinkly, dried up butler.
Edith is sidetracked on a London street by a man named Bertie. They met at Rose's something or other. He asks her if she'd like to have a drink with him later. She accepts and has a bit of a bounce in her step. I NEED Edith to get a happy ending. Of all the things in this series, that is what I need the most.
Barrow is being toured through the ruin of this great house. It is empty and that wrinkly old butler I spoke of earlier is actually the owner. He lives alone and his family is all dead. It's really rather sad. He gets lost in memory and Barrow's feelings are starting to show through once again. Bates already warned him about that...
The rooms are that are inhabited are an absolute wreck. Barrow finds that this old man really only has two, part-time servants that work for him. Barrow asks about that advertisement that touted the need for a trusted man in a prominent household... not a man for a ruin and one reminiscent old man. The old man wonders if Barrow is a republican, and tells him he can't risk a republican in his home. Barrow tells him that he's probably not up for it, anyway. Dodged a bullet there, brother.
Edith FINALLY womans up and fires her douchebag editor. It was so, so long overdue, but now she's got to compile this entire magazine by herself. She is more than up for the challenge. She runs to meet Bertie and tell him in person that she can't have that drink with him after all.
She goes to leave, and he insists on coming with her. He's going to help, whether it be by bringing sandwiches or fetching coffee. Whatever she needs. I like them together already.
Mosley discloses to Daisy that he heard the family talking about how the Drewes were leaving their farm, and Daisy immediately assumes that Cora decided Mr. Mason will be going there. Mosley tries to tell her that nothing is definite yet, but her hope cannot be deflated.
Spratt and Denker get a visit from the local sergeant asking about Spratt's nephew... who I imagine is his late-night visitor. He's spent some time in jail and has recently escaped. Denker tells the sergeant that she has no idea what he's talking about, and clearly intends to use it against Spratt at some point.
Edith and Bertie make quite a team laying out the copy and the magazine. I'm calling it now. She ends up with this dude.
Also, can I reiterate how Edith is one of my very favorite characters? She gets so overshadowed by Mary, but she's a goddamn captain of industry in early 1900s London! Honestly, it's a revolutionary sentiment. Then when you consider Mary being the agent of the estate, and Cora heading up the hospital board and the initiative; AND Sybil's earlier rebellion and independence... the feminist undertones of this show are really quite exquisite and understated.
Mrs. Patmore has gone behind Mrs. Hughes' back and ordered her a new dress. It's not at all what it looked like in the pictures, though, and her disappointment is obvious.
Daisy has to do the fires and she finds herself in Cora's presence. Daisy thanks her for getting Mr. Mason into the farm and Cora tries to get across that nothing is set, but Daisy will hear none of it.
Carson and Mrs. Hughes are having an adorable little exchange on the night before their wedding. They are like a couple of kids in love and it is seriously the sweetest thing I have ever seen.
Cora is meeting with Violet, Dr. Clarkson, Dickie Merton and Isobel are meeting about the hospital. The lines are drawn, but Violet and Dr. Clarkson are outnumbered by Dickie, Isobel and Cora. Isobel tells Dr. Clarkson that she thinks he's only against it because he'll lose power. Then Violet asks if Isobel drank at lunch. Honestly, no one delivers a line like Maggie Smith does. No one.
Anna comes to ask Mrs. Hughes to go to Cora's room. Lady Mary has suggested that they borrow an embroidered evening coat from Cora. They know she's out for the day, but Mary says she won't mind and will be pleased to help.
Cora pops in to say she's home and Mary fails to mention that Anna, Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes are rifling through her closets. Cora is incredibly upset to see it and yells at all three of them, suggesting they may be stealing. Anna tells Mary and Mary runs into Cora's bedroom to see what happened. Mary cannot believe Cora would accuse Mrs. Hughes of such a thing and shames Cora for her terrible behavior.
Mrs. Hughes is having tea with Mrs. Patmore, and I feel so very badly for her. It's definitely put a shadow over her happy day. Just as she's getting ready to go to bed, Cora knocks on her door with the coat over her arm. She gives a very sincere apology and begs for her forgiveness. She also offers the coat to her, and insists she take it to keep and that Baxter will tailor it for her.
Okay, so Cora is also one of my favorites. And Mrs. Hughes. And Mrs. Patmore. Okay so basically all of them.
It's wedding day!
The estate is bustling with activity, Mrs. Patmore, Anna and Baxter rouse Mrs. Hughes with a cup of tea and her coat. They've "come to dress the bride!" I already have tears in my eyes. Such a sad sack, am I.
Honestly, how cute are Carson and Mrs. Hughes up there saying their vows!? And I'm not talking old people, "they're so sweet and crotchety," cute. I mean, look at these two people madly in love with one another, beginning the next chapter of their lives arm-in-arm. See? Told ya. Sad sack.
Isobel apologizes to Dr. Clarkson for how she snapped at him, and we find that he's waffling on his decision. Violet, of course, hears this and goes on the attack.
The schoolhouse looks beautiful and so perfectly a reflection of who the newlyweds are that it warms my icy heart. Bates and Anna are also relationship goals. Seriously, this show just gets so many things so right.
Carson continues to make us swoon with a beautifully lovely speech in which he fawns over Mrs. Hughes and then TOM BRANSON AND SYBBIE WALK INTO THE SCHOOLHOUSE. TOM IS BACK! OH MY GOD. AND HE'S BACK FOR GOOD.
Jesus Mary and Joseph. Kleenex should have partnered up with ITV and Fellowes from the start.
And just like that, there are only five episodes left in Downton Abbey's final season. How will I survive it?
Until next week!