Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: Your Instructor – Mr. Moseley
Finally we get to see Mr. Moseley teach, and like many a first time teacher, he stumbles at first. Reason being, like many teachers he doesn’t, at first, open himself up to his students. Thus giving the perception he is but some well to do man trying to teach the lower class. However, with Ms. Baxter noting he should keep at it, maybe reveals himself a bit, so comes his glory. For with him revealing he was in service, and is trying to perhaps provide a shortcut to the students, they take him seriously, and arguably even gain some respect for him.
Topic 2: Time To Show Loyalty – Ms. Patmore
Being that Ms. Patmore’s bed and breakfast became home to an affair, it has damn near ruined her business. Luckily though, Lord and Lady Grantham wish to help. Only issue is, Mr. Carson, being the pessimist he is, doesn’t think the members of the family should at all associate themselves with such a scandalous place. Something which bothers Ms. Patmore for she has put so much time and money into the place. But, being that neither Lord Grantham, or Ms. Hughes for that matters, wishes to pay attention to Mr. Carson’s pursuit of maintaining airs and graces, they show up. Not as a favor either. For, as we have seen, while they may live separate lives, it seems the upstairs and downstairs members of Downton try to look out for each other whenever possible, and this is just one of the many times this season that the lords and ladies are trying to make sure the staff have happy lives outside the house.
Topic 3: The Misery of Three – Mary, Edith, and Mr. Barrow
In this episode I found myself recognizing how similar, yet slightly different, Mr. Carson, Mary, and Mr. Barrow are. Each one can be quite nasty, and usually doesn’t seem to take full responsibility for what they say until the consequences hit. Take Mr. Barrow for example, all of his past misdeeds have pretty much alienated him to the point that his employment has been threatened. And while, yes, he does have Ms. Baxter looking out for him, which perhaps is seen as pity, he doesn’t really have a friend of his own. Hell, since Ms. O’Brien left, arguably he hasn’t had a stable friend really since. So, naturally, with the potential of Andy’s friendship gone, Mr. Carson’s cruelty, and rejection left and right from places he applies to, death becomes an option. One which forces everyone to realize that he isn’t as heartless as he seems.
Though, arguably, while Mr. Barrow is petty, in a multitude of ways, his malice doesn’t reach the levels of Mary. Someone who shares a sharp tongue, but unfortunately has position so she cannot be hit as hard as Thomas. But, being that her decision this episode is to reveal to Bertie, who is on his way to being a lord due to a cousin’s death, that Marigold is Edith’s daughter, arguably she has put Mr. Barrow on notice for being the biggest arse in Downton.
Which, of course, leads to a lot of reprimanding, from Tom to even Dowager Violet, but unfortunately she doesn’t suffer as Edith does. For while Edith, perhaps temporarily, perhaps not, loses Bertie due to Mary revealing her secret, Mary wins in the end. This is despite pushing Henry away multiple times, and the two having a spat, which Tom participates in, and so much internal struggle dealing with her feelings of love vs. the desire of having a man like Bertie who has position and power. Though, in her defense, as noted before, perhaps the only real reason she has an issue with Henry is his occupation. One man she has loved already has died due to a fiery car crash, and that was an accident. With Henry’s job though, it is a constant possibility. Something which Mary, at one time, seemed unable to accept, but between the Dowager and Tom, it seems she got over it enough to walk the aisle. Meanwhile, the best thing happening in Edith’s life is she meets the columnist Ms. Casandra Jones and it is Spratt!
As always, it was beautiful to see Mr. Moseley and Ms. Baxter’s relationship spur growth, and with him becoming a teacher who the kids can look up to, so goes the writing on the wall and a few moments in which surely you may get teary eyed.
Though it isn’t the first, and I doubt the last, time the lords and ladies help the staff, I quite loved Lord Grantham never minding Mr. Carson’s worries about the public perception of the family for they wanted to show loyalty to Ms. Patmore.
I was so glad Edith finally told off Mary. Oh, I honestly rarely get much of a reaction out of Edith, and maybe even Mary, but I was so energized by Edith going off to the point that if she slapped Mary I would have squealed like a pig.
With Mr. Barrow’s suicide attempt, I feel as though he may have finally hit a turning point. For while he for quite some time has been miserable, be it because of lack of love, and now lack of stability, I, like Mr. Carson, never figured it would come to this. So while when Lord Grantham vomited blood was shocking, I’d say this would fight that moment for one of the most shocking of the season.
I honestly find it sad how quickly Mary’s life turned around. She ruined her relationship, forced Edith to share in her misery, and yet now she is married to Henry and things are joyous again. In many ways, she reminds me of Sadie from Awkward. She can say cruel and horrible things, but it seems she is never given a proper comeuppance. Granted, Sadie is in a position where it doesn’t seem that way, and Mary is of a different time and social class, but both are such miserable characters that at times, even when they are knocked down and look pathetic, you don’t want to feel sorry for them. If anything, you are hoping someone kicks them while they are down, it rains, and every door and face they turned to they find not a friendly gesture.
On The Fence
Spratt being revealed as Ms. Casandra Jones seems so out of left field that I’m unsure how to take it. Should it be seen as a joke, a possible running gag, something for Dinker to find out and use against him, or will this be something possibly to take seriously? Either way, Spratt surely is getting quite a few intriguing storylines as of late.
Don’t demean yourself by trying to justify you venom.
— “Season 6/ Episode 8.” Downton Abbey
I hope to be able to teach you, maybe give you the shortcut I never had.
— “Season 6/ Episode 8.” Downton Abbey
Things To Note
Daisy passed her exams.
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