Downton Abbey Season Six, Episode Two: Taking No for an Answer is for the Lower Classes

Downton Abbey

It’s a busy morning for the servants of Downton. As the family takes breakfast, Mary tells them about letters they’ve received from Tom and Rose. Tom’s business is doing well, as is Rose, and there are hints that Rose might be pregnant. They discuss the fact that Violet is hosting a meeting of the hospital board later, but Robert doesn’t want any of them to tell Cora.

Carson comes in and they ask him about the wedding. Robert, thinking he’d being magnanimous, tells him that they can have the reception here, in the servants’ hall. Carson thanks him, but is clearly not thrilled. When Carson has gone, Mary chastises him. Clearly, the servants’ hall won’t do.

Down in the kitchen, Daisy is commiserating with Molesly about the bad position Mr. Mason is in, and her part in it. She seems to think Cora is sympathetic and might be able to help. Molesly reminds her she’s a servant, and she shouldn’t expect too much from Lady Grantham.

A Mr. Finch arrives to talk to the estate agent, so Mary meets with him. He is somewhat taken aback by the news that she is acting as agent, but seems to accept it well enough. He tells her about a livestock show coming up at Malton, and hopes Downton will participate. Mary tells him that they always seem to do well with pigs, so that’s probably what they’ll enter.

Hughes tells Carson that she doesn’t want to hold the reception at Downton at all, especially not in the servants’ hall. She wants them to have a place of their own. She teases Carson about his relationship with Mary, but doesn’t want to be a servant on her wedding day. Carson dreads telling the family this answer.

At the servant’s lunch, Andy is expressing interest in learning all he can about the estate. Thomas offers to show him around, but Andy clearly wants nothing to do with him. Thomas asks Carson if he should start looking for a new job, since there’s still been no official word about cutbacks. Carson tells him “what can it hurt?” Baxter tries to help Thomas look on the bright side, but all he can see is that he’s probably going to be among the first to be let go.

Back in the library, Edith is on the phone with her editor, who is clearly still angry. Robert reports on his meeting with Violet and the others: Clarkson and granny want to get Cora on their side, and Robert is officially not taking a side. This conflict doesn’t seem like it’s going to be resolved any time soon.

The children come in, and Mary tells everyone about the Malton show. She plans on going to Yew Tree farm to check out the pigs tomorrow. The children want to come and Mary says that they can. Edith is concerned about taking Marigold to the Drews’, since she won’t be there as she has to go to London to meet with her editor. Mary doesn’t take no for an answer, and says it will be fine. Sensing Edith’s concern, Cora says she’ll go in her place.

Molesly finds Daisy downstairs to tell her that the schoolmaster has given him some old test materials to look at to help her prepare for exams.

Mary and Anna are in Mary’s room, and Mary notices that Anna is looking a little down, when she should be happy about being cleared in the Green case. Reluctantly, Anna tells Mary about her miscarriages, and her fear that she’ll never have a child.

In town, Isobel meets Lord Merton coming out of the post office. He’s been asked by the Yorkshire hospital to be in charge of fundraising for their hospital, and he thinks he’s going to take the job. He and Isobel discuss what a boon the takeover will be, as it will lead to more and better treatments, and give them more money to work with.

Back at Downton, Daisy asks Baxter if she can put in a good word for Mason, and allow Daisy to see Lady Grantham. Baxter says she’ll mention it, but she’s not sure there’s anything anyone can do.

At Yew Tree farm, Cora and Mary have taken the children to see the pigs. While they are there, Mrs. Drew comes in and has a tearful reunion with Marigold. She’s clearly still not over losing the child. Cora succeeds in gracefully prying them apart and they leave.

Thomas asks Carson if he can please have some time off that afternoon to go to an interview, and Carson grants it. Baxter wishes him good luck.

In the library, Mary, Cora and Robert are discussing the state of the pigs when Carson comes in. Mary tells him that her father was being silly, and of course he and Mrs. Hughes can have their wedding reception in the great hall. Cora tells him that he must feel free to refuse, but Robert says there’s no use arguing with Lady Mary.

Bates comes in upon Anna while she’s crying. The commiserate about their infertility, and when Bates brings up the option on adoption, Anna says that it wouldn’t be good enough, that Bates needs a child of his own blood as there are not many members of his family left. He tells her that maybe they need to learn to be content with what they have.

At Edith’s magazine in London, Rosamunde waits as Edith is being shouted at by her editor. Edith leaves, angry about several things. The first is her editor. The second is Mary taking Marigold to the Drews’. She didn’t feel like she could put her foot down and flatly refuse without making Mary ask too many questions. Rosamunde tells her that Mary will find out sooner or later so she should just tell her.

Thomas goes to his job interview, and finds out that the job is for a combination butler/footman/chauffer. Thomas is very much not into that prospect, and his interviewer is obviously not into Thomas, calling him delicate and asking why he’s not married.

Back at Downton, Anna is helping Mary get ready for dinner, and Mary tells her about the visit to Yew Tree farm, which, in a moment of uncharacteristic self-reflection, she now regrets. She also tells Anna that she’s been thinking about her problem. She reminds her of her own problems conceiving, and wants to take Anna to see the doctor who helped her. Anna refuses, at first, saying there’s nothing to be done and anyway she couldn’t afford it. Mary doesn’t take no for an answer (again) and says that’s nonsense, there’s no way of knowing what the doctor will say, and she’ll pay for it. She owes Anna for all her years of service, and the things Anna has done for her: helping cover up Pamuk’s death, getting and hiding the diaphragm, etc. Anna finally agrees, but doesn’t want to tell Bates because she’s afraid he’ll get his hopes up.

Baxter asks Cora if she’ll talk to Daisy. Cora agrees, but doesn’t think there’s anything she can do to help Mr. Mason. Robert comes in, and Cora tells him about the incident between Mrs. Drew and Marigold. Robert and Cora agree that Mrs. Drew will never get over Marigold while she’s so close, and perhaps it might be better if the Drews would find another tenancy and move away entirely.

Back in London, Rosamunde gets a letter that Mary is coming the next day. Edith tells her that she’s decided to keep her flat to use herself while she’s in London. Rosamunde warns her against getting too used to living alone.

Hughes tells Carson (again) that she doesn’t want to have the reception at Downton at all. Carson says he doesn’t want to tell Lord Grantham that, but when she says she’ll do it for him, he refuses, saying he’ll do it himself.

At lunch, Mary asks Carson if Mrs. Hughes is excited about having the reception in the great hall. When he says she’s hesitant, Mary again doesn’t take no for an answer and says “Leave Mrs. Hughes to me.”

At the hospital, Cora is getting a tour. She and Isobel are definitely on the side of the county takeover, while Clarkson and Violet are on the other. Cora and Clarkson both agree that they each want what is best for the people of the village.

Robert has gone to Yew Tree farm to have a talk with Drew. He broaches the subject of them perhaps finding another tenancy. Drew is upset, asking if he is being ordered to leave, but Robert sys no, it’s just something to think about. Drew says he can handle things, and can find some way to get his wife to let go of Marigold.

Hughes guesses Carson didn’t manage to refuse Lady Mary. She tells him she absolutely doesn’t want to have the reception at Downton, saying “The wedding is mine!”

Daisy talks to Cora, who tells her she doesn’t think she can do anything for Mr. Mason, but then she seems to have an idea, which she doesn’t share.

At the doctor, Anna is diagnosed with having “Cervical Incompetence,” which basically means she can carry a baby to about 12 weeks, then it can no longer be held in the uterus. He says there is a treatment, he can put a stitch in which should allow her to carry the baby to term.

The next morning, at the servants’ breakfast, Carson fills everyone in on the details for the day. Bates remarks that Anna seems happier than he’s seen her for a while, but she doesn’t say why. Thomas offers to help Andy again, and is once more rebuffed.

It’s the day of the Malton show, and everyone is there to see the livestock. The Drews are there, and Mrs. Drew can hardly take her eyes off Marigold. The servants remark positively on Mary’s new role as a farmer, saying it suits her and impresses them. Carson tells Hughes that he wants to have the reception at Downton because the place means a lot to him. They decide to have more of a discussion later.

Mary’s pigs win first prize, and in all the commotion, Marigold disappears. Edith panics, and everyone is deputized to look for her. Mr. Drew realizes that his wife is gone, and has taken their truck. He tells Edith and Robert that he knows his wife has taken Marigold, and indeed, when they reach Yew Tree farm, she is there with the girl.

Mrs. Drew is rocking her and singing to her and obviously doesn’t want to let her go, but eventually she does and it’s heartbreaking.

As Drew returns Marigold to Edith and Robert, he says they’ll look for a new tenancy. He and Edith made a plan, he says, but they forgot about emotion.

Robert says he’ll do everything in his power to help them.

Chad Grayson
Chad Grayson has been a gas station attendant, sold video games over the phone, and even was the person who cuts the mold off the cheese in the cheese factory, but spent most of his career as a middle school Language Arts and History teacher. He is now a full-time stay at home dad and writer. You can find him on twitter at @chadgrayson and on his blog at cegrayson.wordpress.com.
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3 Responses

  1. EasternCounty says:

    Instead of forcing the Drewes to move, Edith and Marigold should move to her London flat.  Edith and Mary are frequently at odds; so the distance might be very good for both Edith and Marigold.

    • That’s a brilliant suggestion! It is so sad to see the Drewes leave, only because Mrs. Drewe formed a maternal attachment to Marigold. I hope the writers follow your suggestion so the Drewes can stay.

  2. Melanie says:

    I agree! Seriously, Mrs. Drewe never signed on for this and her life/emotions have been trampled all over. Plus, who will tend the pigs?