Downton Abbey: Season 6 Episode 8
November 9, 2015 8:05 AM - Season 6, Episode 8 - Subscribe

A change of circumstance puts Bertie Pelham in the limelight, and Edith must decide whether to conceal her past at all costs or confront the truth and risk losing everything. As both sisters seek their perfect match, hostilities escalate and it is up to Mary to decide if she can ever make peace with Edith – or herself? Spratt proves to be a man of hidden talents and Mr Molesley embarks on a career in teaching, though his first lesson does not quite go to plan. Mrs Patmore's bed and breakfast garners unwanted attention – will the Crawleys come to her aid?

Best reveal: Spratt

The return of the Dowager, thank God, not sure why she had to go away. The series ends on a feel good note. Does anyone doubt that the Christmas Special will feature Edith's marriage to the contrite newly marquessed Bertie Pelham?
posted by TWinbrook8 (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Poor Thomas.

I'm of two minds about the Edith thing - Mary's crocodile sociopath tears about "Edith never getting to lead a fulfilling life" suggests they'll have Bertie make some grand change of heart in the Christmas special, but Edith has a fulfilling life in her magazine, and I wonder if they'll go with the changing times motif to have her become a Modern Woman living in London.

What will happen to Denker? Who knows.

I'm looking forward to seeing how they wrap all of this up in the Christmas special and possible movie that's been rumored - although Maggie Smith says she won't do any more.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 9:02 AM on November 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've been so afraid Thomas would commit suicide, or try to, all season. He was being thrown out on his ass after so many years of serving the Crawleys, couldn't find a job, and everyone he'd worked with for so many years treated him with such contempt. He'd gotten to the point of being so bitter and alienated that he'd react to even genuine kindness with hostility.

I love Mosley's success story. How wonderful to see a genuinely good man who has often been undeservedly humiliated and underrated come into his own. Now I want to see him and the equally kind and gentle Baxter get married and be happy together.

Mrs. Hughes stifling a laugh over Mrs. Patmore's B&B scandal was hilarious, as was all the other household giggling over it.

I wish Edith had gotten the happy ending and it was Mary who had been left chewing sour grapes. Selfish cow, she just couldn't stand it that Edith was getting such a catch, and her attempts to fix things were all about getting Henry back, not about making things better for Edith. She could at least have gone to Bertie and told him that she knew Edith would have overcome her fear and told him about Marigold before their engagement was made official if she hadn't been such a bitch as to deliberately spill the beans. I suppose Bertie will come around in time. He seems like too good a man not to. Edith isn't blameless, though. She should have told him, and she should not have provoked Mary at the breakfast table. She had to know she was poking the bear. If she'd told him and then Mary tried to poison the well, Edith could have been all, "Too late, bitch," and Bernie could have been all, "Well I picked the right sister," and Tom could have been all, "No, chum, I did."

Mary's only good moment was visiting Thomas with little George -- a very nice gesture given that Thomas clearly loves children. She even had to be a jerk to her father by blaming him for Thomas's attempted suicide, which was especially shitty given that he recently stood by her when that hotel maid tried to blackmail her. I love that her family was unanimously on Edith's side and made it very clear that they thought Mary was being a total asshole.

Spratt as the Miss Lonelyheart was pretty funny. I figured it'd be someone we knew, but I would never have guessed it was him.

Isabel seems to be inching closer to marriage. It will be nice to see that come together for her, though I still wish she'd taken Dr. Clarkson, as he's a good man and doesn't have any horrible sons for her to contend with.

The Bateses and the Carsons seem very happy together, which was nice to see. The wrap up of the series is all about marrying everyone off will nilly, it seems, which is terribly cheesy, but at least most of the couples make sense. Mosely and Baxter? Yay! Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason? Sure! Edith and Bernie? Let's hope. Daisy and Andy? That one needs a little more development. I don't think Mary and Henry made much sense. They've barely spent any time together. How could they possibly feel ready to get married? And I want poor Thomas to meet someone, or at least find a position in London where he can have a secretly fabulous gay lifestyle.
posted by orange swan at 12:06 PM on November 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


I figure for the nod to Modern Womanhood, Edith and Bertie will get married and be Marquess/Marchioness, but be all like "but yeah we don't really actually want that" and spend a lot of time living in London with Edith still running her magazine. Recognizing that they have a responsibility to their tenants, but also that that entire system is on the way out and they can't just host fancy dinners anymore. I've never been much of a fan of Edith until this last season, so I hope she gets this.

Mary really is such a bitch. I was still on her side most of the early seasons but her increasingly superior attitude (despite marrying Matthew and despite wrestling muddy pigs) is just too hard to deal with.

lol, Spratt.
posted by olinerd at 2:58 PM on November 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ughhhhh Mary. Why does she get Henry? I'm not sure I'd want the death of Henry in a car crash, but at the very least, I hope the estate ends up not doing so well, so that she needs to borrow money from Edith because Edith's magazine is now super successful.

Also, I hope Daisy goes off to university and makes a lot more of herself. I kind of like the idea of her becoming one of the first British barristers.
posted by astapasta24 at 5:51 PM on November 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


One more comment... what was with all the parasols in this episode?

I forgot one other potential couple: Tom and the editor. That seems like a good match too, if they can manage to set up in their home in a location that will allow them both to do what they want to do job-wise.

Seen on Twitter: "Mary is going to kick the puppy by the end of this episode."
posted by orange swan at 5:53 PM on November 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


The only way to tell it's summer in England is when the parasols come out.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 6:45 PM on November 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


That's the thing with all these hookups: there was never a resolution about Henry's racing vs Mary's fear plus he's a city boy. Edith and Bertie, she has a magazine to run in London, he is tied to his new estate and he loves country things. New editor and Tom, same deal, sure modern girl can give up her job and move to the country but what out-of-character message does that send? Sure Tom can move but that would be inconsistent with his decision for Sibbie to grow up with her family. Not to mention he provides a very necessary counterpoint for all of them.

And of course, I think Edith is the coward for bridling, trying to have it both ways and not fessing up to Bertie. She might have been braver if he hadn't inherited so soon, but we'll never know. As I said last week, Mary faced up to Matthew about her scandal and took her lumps as their engagement was called off. Well, no matter, even JF who has written Edith so poorly all these years, won't deny her a big wedding scene.

Two scenes I liked: Tom dressing down Mary, it reminded me of Mr Knightley chastising Emma at the picnic, "Badly done, Emma. Badly done". And now I can't remember the other but it was *not* the portentous Dowager conversation with Mary about marrying for love. That was one anachronism too much for me.

As always, stunningly beautiful clothing.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:21 AM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I LOATHE MARY SO MUCH YOU GUYS.

My spouse called the Thomas attempted suicide several eps ago as well. I still hope he gets a (relative) happy ending, with a home that finally acknowledges he is one of theirs and should stick around.

Do we think the Dowager is going to die in the finale? A Dowager funeral or an Edith wedding to the Marquess seem like prime candidates for a Christmas special.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:22 AM on November 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Both I reckon, with a baby for Anna. I said maybe a baby for Mary after EP 7 but timeframe may not support that.
posted by biffa at 11:42 AM on November 10, 2015


If Molesley transitions to teaching full-time, perhaps there'll be room in the household budget to keep Thomas in the inconsistently-written, part-villian/part-Tragic Gay role to which he's become accustomed.

> Do we think the Dowager is going to die in the finale?

Maggie Smith's been itching to draw a line under Downton for a while—so I hope so, for her sake.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 12:05 PM on November 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


This whole wedding with Mary just seemed rushed. I'm glad she's finally married off so that she'll stop being so mean but talk about a relationship that seemed to have no love at all. Both of them just appeared to be cold and nothing there but at least it's over.

I really grew to like Edith. She rose as Mary fell in my eyes.

Poor Thomas. I imagine he'll get Mosley's job after they've realised what they drove him too.

And at least we got to the end without yet another tragedy befalling the Bates family.
posted by kanata at 8:31 PM on November 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is anyone else watching this on the ITV player? I for one will be glad to see no more of the creepy bearded bloke on the amazon prime advert.
posted by biffa at 9:18 AM on November 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


But Moseley's job is a step down for Thomas after being butler or valet or whatever he was temporarily several seasons ago. It was a step down for Moseley as well, but he sucked it up because he needed a job. Post-suicide-attempt Thomas might be more inclined but JF could also wrap everything up with a bow at Christmas and have Thomas join Edith and Bertie's household. But now that I think of it... the death duties for Bertie's inheritance are going to put him in a spot, his cousin dying young after probably inherited fairly recently himself.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:06 PM on November 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think Barrow would have to take Molesley's job to stay. They seem to be after trimming head count more than anything else.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:17 AM on November 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I got the impression that Edith's beau's cousin was gay (forget his name) with lots of references to his being frivolous and fun and not liked by other family members. Maybe they are leading to Thomas going with them since he loved his cousin and was comfortable with it?
posted by kanata at 9:37 AM on November 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was partially wondering if the dead Cousin was the young gay lord Thomas had a wee fling with oh so many seasons ago... he certainly seemed to react to the news of his death.
posted by coriolisdave at 5:20 PM on November 15, 2015


Couldn't help myself - according to the Wiki that was a Duke, not the Marquess.
posted by coriolisdave at 6:57 PM on November 15, 2015


I don't believe Mary was sorry, and I don't think Edith believes it either. I wish Henry had said that he didn't want to marry such a horrible bitch -- she didn't tell him what she did, of course, because she has become a terrible hypocrite.

Obviously I watch this show for the faint hope that something terrible will happen to Mary.
posted by jeather at 4:59 PM on November 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Anybody else notice the acting in this episode was really sharp? The writing, the cinematography, the acting, the laughs, the real talk, the feels, were really great. I'm going to miss this show.
posted by bleep at 10:10 PM on February 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also poor Barrow - I just hope he can hold out long enough to be Master George's valet some day. I really genuinely like all these characters, even Mary. Yeah Mary is a stone-cold bitch but I love her for who she is. She's a goddess who's hurting and doesn't know what to do about it. I even love Edith. I don't blame her for being gun-shy about telling him and I don't think he should have dumped her for it. And I love her for telling Mary off finally.
posted by bleep at 10:55 PM on February 16, 2016


Sometimes I feel like a show's writers misjudge their viewers. When Mary pulled the stunt at breakfast of revealing that Edith is Marigold's mother, they burnt up every last vestige of sympathy and/or empathy I had for Mary. Perhaps they thought they were balancing it by having Tom and Edith verbally spank her, but no, that wasn't enough, and she didn't do enough to atone for it to make her wedding in any way a happy thing. Although if I understand this right it sound like Edith with end up with a higher ranked title? But that's seriously cold comfort in this time when all of those ranks and titles become hollow.

In the thread for a previous episode here I wrote:

Just, please let's not have Thomas's story end in hopeless suicide, which is where I fear they could be headed with that last shot of him sobbing. I mean, ok, for the era I guess suicide might be a likely end but I would really hate to see that cliche again.

Sigh. They went there after all. At least they let him live, which is something. But still sad that they never thought to find a more creative ending for his story, one that brought in a wider scope of the history of the times - We're in the late 20s, right, if Thomas fled to Berlin he could run into Christopher Isherwood and whole range of British ex-pat gays.
posted by dnash at 8:40 PM on February 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


What happens to Denker? Fired, I hope.
Spratt: good for you on that second career! Maybe everyone should go to him for advice.
Oh, hey, we saw a housemaid briefly! THEY DO EXIST!

"The wrap up of the series is all about marrying everyone off will nilly, it seems, which is terribly cheesy, but at least most of the couples make sense. Mosely and Baxter? Yay! Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason? Sure! Edith and Bernie? Let's hope. Daisy and Andy? That one needs a little more development. I don't think Mary and Henry made much sense. They've barely spent any time together. How could they possibly feel ready to get married? And I want poor Thomas to meet someone, or at least find a position in London where he can have a secretly fabulous gay lifestyle."

My rankings:
Moseley and Baxter: YES PLEASE.
Patmore and Mason: not really feeling it but not against it either per se.
Edith and Bernie: he'll get over it and Edith can finally lord it over Mary forever, please.
Daisy and Andy: um, no thanks. Andy seems nice enough but I am sick to death of Daisy, and for once I don't think she's actually pining over a footman anyway. Girl has bizarre taste to not be into Andy or William but into Alfred (?!) and Thomas.
Mary and Henry: see below, I agree. Kinda strange we wasted all that time with those other dudes and she hops in with this one.
Thomas: it's probably incredibly hard for him to ah, settle down in this time period. At this point I just wish he could get a job elsewhere that's decent and he can get a fresh start and try not to piss everyone off.

There's something very strange about Moseley getting a day job and then suddenly still working at the house at night. Dude, it's okay to quit, except then he doesn't have an excuse to see Baxter, I guess. I really do want them to end up together, they've actually had romantic build of sorts unlike some people.

I figured Thomas would commit suicide because if he can't find a job there is literally no hope for him. Especially when you're getting told you're overqualified. (Seriously, every week his job hunt is reminding me of our shit world.) When Baxter realized that him being nice to Moseley was a suicidal thing--whoa. Damn right that Lord Grantham and Carson should feel guilty about it. Look, I think Thomas is a jerk a lot of the time, but generally speaking he did his job correctly and given how loyal they are the rest of the time (see the "house of ill repute" plot, LOL), come on. Hell, they didn't even can him for being gay, but now they're being cheap? Oy. Poor guy. I hope he finds a city job, but who knows. And Mary visiting him with George was sweet.

Carson, you're being a rude ass in this one, stop it. You're making Mrs. Hughes wish she'd kept her virginity, I suspect.

Jeebus christ, I usually like Mary despite herself at times but hoooooly shit was she a brat in this one. Was that ever getting Edith back for the Pamuk thing in season one or what. I really enjoyed Tom telling her off. Also, speaking of people who can't get up the nerve to say anything (Bertie, clearly Edith was trying to spit it out when you think about it, also you were trying to jump the gun a bit), Mary couldn't speak to Henry about being afraid of being a crash widow again? I get that she didn't want to ruin his fun, but that is something you need to hash out far more than your title snobbery. Also, dude is handsome but this was such a last minute romance. Which clearly is gonna happen this season, but I was all, NOW THEY'RE ELOPING?! WTF?! Damn, girl. (Also, those kisses...oh, you English are such cold fish, honestly, even while saying romantic stuff. KInda...chaste and dull, you two.) Also kinda strange how even the Dowager Countess has to book it back to talk to Mary about this. Given that the DC gave up her Russian again and kinda derailed Isobel's engagement to some degree, uh-HUH, you're a believer in love.

Well, at least Isobel handled the Larry's fiancee issue on her own in a reasonable manner.

"I figure for the nod to Modern Womanhood, Edith and Bertie will get married and be Marquess/Marchioness, but be all like "but yeah we don't really actually want that" and spend a lot of time living in London with Edith still running her magazine. Recognizing that they have a responsibility to their tenants, but also that that entire system is on the way out and they can't just host fancy dinners anymore. I've never been much of a fan of Edith until this last season, so I hope she gets this."

Seconded.

Oh, notable quote from the AV Club review: "On Mary’s wedding day, Edith arrives to make peace with the sister whose entire apology to date consists of “Look, I wasn’t to know you hadn’t told him.” (By contrast, in a scene with Anna, Mary says “I’m sorry” and “I apologize” three times. She’s saying it to the wrong person, but maybe the only person who would believe her.)" Uh-HUH. Then again, Anna and Tom are probably Mary's best friends, but Anna's a quieter, more accepting person and also she's probably been dealing with Mary intimately for longer and seeing her very hidden nice side. You know, once in a while.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:47 PM on February 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


Poor Thomas. I've been thinking for a while he was going to make a suicide attempt. I'm really glad he didn't succeed. I know he was terrible in the first couple of seasons but really he has made a real change and is a much better person now. UNLIKE MARY, holy shit what a horrible person!!! I knew she was going to do it, but it was still kind of shocking when she did. Like dnash said, any shred of sympathy I had for Mary has totally vanished now. I thought it was horrible that she got her happy ending and I can't stand her at all now.

And I was frankly annoyed at Bertie for chastising her so thoroughly about not telling him. Like jenfullmoon said, she was obviously trying to tell him something before, and GEE I WONDER why she'd be a little hesitant to share with someone an out of wedlock daughter in that era. I mean, come ON. I thought the advice her family was giving her--to tell Bertie so they would not have a secret between them in their marriage--was actually very good advice...for the modern era. I thought it was terribly anachronistic that they'd be encouraging her to do it. Robert's response (to leave it to Edith to tell or not) was the most realistic one.

And fucking Mr. Carson. He needs to be reigned in, stat. I think Mrs. Hughes is reaching the end of her rope with him, "you're my old curmudgeon" or not. Perhaps I'm projecting, because he annoyed the hell out of me this episode.

Still, I enjoyed this episode a lot. I felt like a lot happened and I did think the acting was excellent. Plus, you know, the clothes were beautiful as always. And Spratt as Cassandra Jones! I loved that.

Poor Edith. I just really want her to be happy at this point.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:44 PM on February 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


And fucking Mr. Carson. He needs to be reigned in, stat. I think Mrs. Hughes is reaching the end of her rope with him, "you're my old curmudgeon" or not. Perhaps I'm projecting, because he annoyed the hell out of me this episode.

I feel like this whole season has been Mary and Carson being various shades of awful, as if somehow we'll be less sad to see the show go if they make us hate the characters first. For both of them, it's something that's been there for a while, but it feels like they decided to emphasize it this season. If I'm honest, I enjoyed Mary being awful to Edith a while back (because Edith was being boring and morose), but this season has been too much for me.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:18 AM on February 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Bananas! I guess we should have expected it to be Spratt since of course it would be the least likely candidate this side of Robert. But it kind of makes sense - he is such a snob and I'm sure he thinks he knows what's best for everyone.

Edith is so fabulous in London, I'd wish she'd just stay there with those other excellent women at the magazine.

I'm so pleased with Robert - even if it's historically inaccurate, I love seeing a traditionalist like him just learn how to roll with it and be Thoroughly Modern Robert. And clearly all he needed to get well was that darling new pup.

It was gratifying to see everyone call The Blessed Lady Mary on her BS. Good for them! And it was good for her. But I just cannot buy the Mary-Henry ship. The caption in that A-V Club page says "Behold Mary and Henry, beaming with joy!" (and maybe A-V Club is just sarcastic) but they really just look smug to me.

And a minor thing but I really liked the part when Baxter grabs Andy (I think) to help her check on Mr. Barrow. He starts to ask her if Mr. Carson knows she's on the men's floor but when he realizes something is actually wrong he doesn't mess about. It's so aggravating when one character is visibly in distress and the other character just dithers around saying "What is it? I'm not doing anything until you tell me what's going on!" (There was an excellent scene like this in Three Kings when Troy Barlow calls his wife and she's all chatty. But when he says "I need you to listen to me!" she damned well does and starts taking care of business.)

tl;dr - Thank all the gods that next week is the last damned episode.
posted by Beti at 4:09 PM on February 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


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