Mary's new boyfriend has invited her and the family to Brooklyns to see him race. They've decided they'll attend, but Mary is still not sure about this aspect of Henry's life.
Lady Violet and Isabel are discussing why Isabel has received an invitation to Larry Grey's wedding. Violet is certain that it's due to Larry's fiance. Violet has decided that she's going to go on a trip to vent her frustrations over the hospital business, but that she'll talk to Miss Crookshank (the fiance) before she goes.
Robert is persuading Cora into getting on board with the idea of going to the race. She tells him it's not her decision, so of course they're going. Mary and Edith continue to be hateful to each other, and it's one of my greatest desires that they end this series with them on good terms.
Barrow is still trying to look for work, and Mr. Carson makes it clear that he wishes the process would move along a little more quickly. Barrow goes out to grab a smoke and work on his feelings, when Mrs. Hughes attempts to offer comfort. She tells him that Mr. Carson doesn't mean to be unkind, he just doesn't cope well when things don't go according to his plan. Then she tells him that, maybe, a new house will offer him some happiness and the promise of true friends. He tells her that Downton IS that house for him, the first place that he's ever really felt like he had a family, and I find myself thawing to him more with each passing moment.
Violet has arrived at Larry Grey's house to speak with his awful fiance, Miss Crookshank. Violet discovers that the scheming woman wants to pawn Lord Merton off on Isabel so that she isn't saddled with an old, lonely man. She's orchestrating the entire reunion.
Mrs. Patmore has sent out the first advertisement for her freshly remodeled bed and breakfast. I have a good feeling about Mrs. Patmore's prospects for a happy ending.
Cora and Robert are discussing their trip and continue to be befuddled by Mary's interest in Tolbert. Anna offers similar sentiments to Mary, and I think everyone needs to just back off and give the girl a moment. She has to make this choice on her own.
Andy hasn't told Mr. Mason that he's illiterate, but he gets all squirrely when Mr. Mason asks him to help with the books, so it's pretty evident something is going on.
Violet and Isabel are having one of their scenes, which are always the best in the show. Violet tells her about her visit with Miss Crookshank and how she's got a lot to think about now. When Violet turned down Dickie the first time, it was because she didn't want to get in the middle of the mess with him and his sons. But now, Violet points out, it's a matter of whether or not it's cruel to abandon him to his awful children and soon to be daughter-in-law.
Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes go to check out the B&B and we find out that Mrs. Patmore has a plan for the problems Mrs. Hughes is having with Mr. Carson.
The family are dining in London when Mr. Tolbert crashes. He makes it quite plain that he intends to enmesh himself within this family so it feels seamless when he actually becomes a part of it.
Tom and Edith's female editor seem to be hitting it off, and she seems like just the kind of girl that would be perfectly suited for Tom, and visa versa.
Mary gives Henry a good luck kiss to send him off to the race, but it's very clear that she would rather be doing anything else than watching another man she loves (because she totally loves him) get behind the wheel of a car again.
Mrs. Hughes talks Mr. Carson into taking a seat on one of the couches in the drawing room. They have a cute little exchange and then Mr. Barrow finds them, mortifying Mr. Carson. We get a mention of the plan Mrs. Patmore has for dinner that night and I cannot wait to see what they've cooked up. (See what I did there?)
We're back on the race course and Tolbert and his friend Charlie are neck-and-neck. We flash back to the crowd and hear a crash. Tom, Bertie, Edith, Mary and Anna rush to the scene to find that Charlie has crashed into a tree and his car on fire. Mary can't hide her relief that Henry is unharmed.
He pulls away from Mary, and is definitely suffering from some survivor's guilt.
We find out that Mr. Mosley passes his exams with flying colors. The teacher was incredibly impressed with him. This could definitely be the end of service for him, as he considers moving into the education trade instead.
There they go giving everyone happy endings again...
Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson are home, and we find that Mrs. Hughes has "hurt her hand," and cannot possibly cook. She's going to talk Mr. Carson through it, though, and it's very straight forward, don't worry! Oh this is brilliant.
Henry calls Mary at dinner and she wants to throw him off, but Tom tells her that she really should talk to him. Henry tells her that he couldn't sleep without hearing her voice and knowing where they stand. She tells him that they're not meant to be together. She doesn't want him to give up anything, except for her. Tom overhears and tell her that he knows better, and that she's only turning her back on Henry because she's scared of getting hurt again. Newsflash, he says, we WILL be hurt again. It's the facts of life.
Mr. Carson is getting a dose of his own medicine in the kitchen. He's clearly frazzled and, though I do so love him, I love Mrs. Hughes just a bit more, and don't like her feeling down on herself.
Bertie and Edith are cuddling on the couch and they're the cutest, really. Bertie surprises them both when he tells Edith that he wants to marry her. She tells him she would need to bring Marigold with her. He tells her that, if she's means that much to her, of course she may bring her, but that he hopes they'll have children of their own.
She tells him she'll think about it, but I have a feeling a "yes" is in our future.
When the family returns home to Downton, Isabel is waiting for them in the drawing room with news of Violet's departure. Carson then tells Robert that Spratt is waiting in the servant's hall with a gift to deliver. The whole family heads downstairs to see what awaits and find a precious golden lab puppy awaiting them, a present to her son and, perhaps, a peace offering with everyone else.
Next week's episode looks like it's going to be a real doozy. With only two installments left in the final season of Downton Abbey, I think it's safe to assume that we should prepare ourselves for a flood of tears and a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Until next week!