After last week’s welcome farewell to Ms. Bunting, we move onto a long-expected, but terrible good-bye for Edith. A telegram arrives at the big house for her, announcing that her editor will be arriving from London shortly, bringing good news no doubt. Maybe Marigold has started speaking and asked for her real mommy in perfect English. But since this is Edith we’re talking about, everyone correctly assumes that the tidings are ill and more specifically, have to do with the missing Michael Gregson. The most likely outcome was the truth all along. Gregson died shortly after arriving in Munich, during the Nazi party’s Beer Hall Putsch. I mean, it was only a matter of time before Downton perpetrated its first Hitler name drop, right?
(Up until the bitter, it felt like the show was saving this as a possible card to play for a major twist. Everything from Gregson’s invisible, unwell wife to his sudden disappearance stank of red herring, but for now, this storyline will go into the Peter Gordon Hall of Anticlimax.)
The editor from London also reveals that Edith has inherited the publishing company from Gregson, which will hopefully distract her from the baby she’s trying to kidnap. Edith then immediately marches off to Yew Tree Farm to see Marigold. When Mrs. Drewe tells her that she cannot see the child—no matter how bad the day has been going—Edith calls her “rude,” which—I believe—is a use of the more archaic definition meaning “behavior a rich person doesn’t like.”
Downstairs, the staff of Downton Abbey continues to delight by being a nice group of people that enjoy helping each other out.
Following her decision to go ahead and just buy a damn cottage last week, Mrs. Patmore invites Mrs. Hughes to come with her to inspect the place. Carson, hoping to smooth things over after the nasty business with Mrs. Patmore’s nephew and the war memorial, asks to come along. Despite having an “outside privy,” the cottage is more than sufficient for Mrs. Patmore, opening up the door to one of my other dream spin-offs, Mrs. P’s Place, about the hilarious tenants of her future boarding house. The trip inspires Carson to do some of his own contemplation of the future, and he asks Mrs. Hughes if she’s thought about her retirement, something she doesn’t consider a possibility. Fat chance, Mrs. Hughes. Don’t discount the surly sweetness of Mr. Carson, who asks if she would like to invest in a property with him “as a business venture.” She stalls. He leaves. She smiles. The hearts of the PBS-watching audience explode.
Daisy, literally the one person who is upset about Ms. Bunting leaving, has turned her former tutor’s departure into motivation to continue her studies, though she misses the confidence an instructor instilled. For the past two weeks, Molesley has repeatedly offered his resources to Daisy, and she has responded by ignoring him or being rude. [Note: “Rude” meaning actual impoliteness, not Edith’s definition.] Honestly, what would Daisy do without Mrs. Patmore as a moral compass? After being told that, yes, you should be nice to people who are kind to you, Daisy actually listens to what Molesley has to say. He offers to let her use the encyclopedias that his father gave to him, and we get the sweet, sad story of Molesley’s early life. He had quit school at 12 to help support his family after his mother got sick, despite his father’s wishes that he become a teacher. “I’d like to help,” Molesley tells Daisy. “Make sure somebody got away.” Can we please give Molesley his Baxter-centric happy ending already?!
NEXT: Doctor Clarkson, self-esteem doctor