Downton Abbey Season Six, Episode Three: Flowers, Frocks, and Misunderstandings

Downton Abbey | Series Six We return to the sumptuous setting of Downton Abbey for the sixth and final season of this internationally acclaimed hit drama series. As our time with the Crawleys begins to draw to a close, we see what will finally become of them all. The family and the servants, who work for them, remain inseparably interlinked as they face new challenges and begin forging different paths in a rapidly changing world. Photographer: Nick Briggs PHYLLIS LOGAN as Mrs Hughes and LESLEY NICOL as Mrs Patmore

It’s a couple of days before Carson and Hughes’ wedding, and Hughes and Patmore are discussing plans. Hughes is frustrated because she wants a full on wedding breakfast, but Carson wants to do what the family would do, which is to host a cocktail party with finger foods. They go into Hughes’ room and have a look at the dress she intends to wear. It’s just one of her old day dresses, but Anna has promised to try to fix it up for her. Patmore clearly isn’t in favor of this idea, and tells Hughes she has a catalogue and maybe she could order a dress, but Hughes dismisses this.

Violet has come to visit Robert to enlist his support against the hospital takeover. He refuses to get between her and Cora. Edith comes in with the news that she’s going to London again to try to deal with her editor (again). Instead of staying with Rosamunde, she’s going to stay at her own flat. Violet wonders if this is proper, but Edith says she’s approaching middle age, so of course it is.

Down in the kitchen area, Cora is going over menus with Mrs. Patmore. She tells her that Hughes is a little down about the wedding plans and how her wishes aren’t quite being followed.

At the Dower House, Spratt is tending to his stamp collection when Denker comes in. She’s just getting through telling him how silly it all is when the doorbell rings. Spratt answers it, and there’s a hushed conversation, but Spratt slams the door shut before Denker can find out who it is. He says it was someone who came to the wrong house, to which Denker replies “Haven’t we all.”

Anna and Mary are getting ready for the afternoon. Mary shares a letter she’s received from Branson, who seems to be dreaming about Downton, and missing it. They discuss Edith, Mary wondering why she doesn’t just fire her editor, and Anna tells Mary about the concern over Hughes’ dress. She tried to fix it, but it still doesn’t seem suitable, though Mrs. Patmore has had an idea, it seems. She also tells Mary that she thinks she might be pregnant, and the two make plans to see the doctor at the end of the third month to have the procedure that will allow her to carry it to term.

Thomas looks over the want ads in the paper, and sees a job that might be suitable. He makes plans to have an interview.

At dinner, Isobel is there, but Violet isn’t, which leads Robert to observe that Cora and Isobel seem to be plotting. Cora asks that Mrs. Hughes be brought up to talk to them. When she arrives, Cora puts her on the spot about the wedding plans, getting it out, in front of Robert and Mary and everybody, that Hughes wants to have the reception at a neutral place, where they will have a sit down meal. Cora tells her of course this is what she should have. Mary makes to argue, but Cora cuts her off, saying it is absolutely Hughes’ day and she should have what she wants.

Back at the Dower House, Spratt is going outside when he’s caught by Denker. He says he’s just going out for some air, but he’s clearly up to something. Denker goes in to ask Violet about it, but Violet knows nothing and tells her to ask him if she’s so concerned.

Robert and Carson are talking, and Carson mentions that Thomas might have a new opportunity, which would be the best for all concerned. Robert blanches for a moment, but says it’s just indigestion. Mary comes in and asks Carson if he’s really happy about the wedding plans. He says he is, and that as long as Mary is there, that’s enough for him.

The next day, Thomas goes to Dryden Park, the manor that placed the ad. The ad stated that they were looking for someone to fill a trusted position in a prominent house. But the house has clearly seen better days. It is run down, and mostly empty. The owner, Sir Michael, talks about its past glories, but Thomas clearly wants something more settled, so turns down the job.

In London, Edith is walking along the street when she runs into Bertie Pelham, the estate agent for Brancaster, where they spent the last holiday. The two have a friendly reunion, and Edith explains to him her reason for coming to London. He asks her out for a drink and the two agree to meet at 7:00 that night.

At the magazine, Edith and the editor are arguing, when Edith has had enough and fires him on the spot. The secretary comes in to see how she can help, and is glad the editor is gone. This leaves them in a tough spot, however, as the magazine has to go out that night. Edith says she’s up to it, and they’ll get it done. Then she sees it’s 7:00 and leaves abruptly, telling the secretary to get the copy ready and she’ll be back soon.

She goes to meet Pelham and explains the situation, telling him she can’t stay. But he says that’s all right, he’ll go with her and help out however he can. She is taken aback, but agrees to take him with her, and the two hurry back to the office.

Molesly and Daisy are studying for her exams, when Molesly tells her the Drewes are leaving Yew Tree farm. Daisy is ecstatic, as this means that the tenancy is available for Mr. Mason. Indeed this must have been the idea that Lady Grantham had. Molesly tells her not to get her hopes up, but she doesn’t seem to listen.

Spratt and Denker are having tea when Sgt Willis arrives. Willis wants to know if they’ve seen Spratt’s nephew, who recently escaped from prison and who’s been seen in the area. Spratt says no, but Denker puts two and two together and realizes that Spratt must be hiding him. Still, she tells Willis she’s seen nothing out of the ordinary.

Back in London, Edith, Pelham and the staff pull that magazine together at the last minute. Edith and Pelham have a celebratory coffee, where Pelham compliments her on her work. She tells him she needs a purpose in her life, and has been considering what the future may hold for her.

Back at Downton, Patmore’s surprise has arrived. She’s ordered a dress from the catalogue for Mrs. Hughes. She, Daisy, and Anna have a look and it’s awful, not anything like what it looked like in the catalogue. Hughes comes in and they hide it from her.

Cora is up early because she’s going to see the hospital in York. On her way out, she sees Daisy, who thanks her for helping Mr. Mason get the tenancy. Cora tries to explain that this is not a settled matter, but Daisy isn’t listening.

In Mary’s room, Anna tells Mary about the ongoing saga of Hughes’ dress. Mary suggests that they might borrow one of Cora’s coats. When Anna tells her that Lady Grantham has left, Mary says it will be fine and Cora won’t mind.

Cora has returned from York and is at a meeting of the local hospital board, where they are still arguing about the County takeover. Isobel and Clarkson are upset that Cora went behind their backs to visit York. Isobel has had enough, and angrily tells Clarkson that he’s only opposed because he doesn’t want to give up his control of the hospital. The meeting breaks up with everyone still angry.

During afternoon tea in the library, Edith comes in showing off the mock-up of the magazine. Cora comes in for a second, announcing her return, clearly in a bad mood, and stomps away. Mary tries to tell her about the offer for Hughes to borrow her clothes, but she’s gone too soon for Mary to get it out and Mary doesn’t pursue her.

When Cora reaches her room, she finds Hughes, Anna, and Patmore going through her things. She’s angry about it and clearly feels violated, and yells at them, expressing disappointment at Hughes in particular. Anna explains about Mary’s offer, but Cora doesn’t want to hear it and kicks them out.

Anna tells Mary about the incident, and how upset and embarrassed they are. Mary says to leave it to her. Mary goes to Cora and tells her about the truth about what was going on. Cora is abashed at her own behavior, and resolves to do something to make it up to them.

Later, Hughes and Patmore are having tea, when Cora comes in. She apologizes for her behavior, and wants Hughes to have the coat she was looking at. Not only that, but she wants her to keep it. Hughes accepts Cora’s apology, and the coat, and everything seems like it’s been smoothed over.

The next day is the wedding. Anna and Baxter come in to dress the bride, while the gardener brings Carson roses for his ushers to wear. Carson hasn’t thought of ushers, and Thomas, Molesly, and Andy are recruited at the last minute.

Carson and Hughes are married at the church, with everyone in attendance.

As the guests leave, Isobel finds Clarkson and apologizes for her outburst. Clarkson says she might not have been entirely wrong and he’s rethinking his position. Violet overhears this, and is upset, but there’s nothing she can do about it.

They hold the reception at the schoolhouse, where everyone congratulates the Carsons.

Denker takes a moment to tell Spratt that she knows he hid his nephew in the woodshed, but won’t say anything. Spratt wants to know how long that will last.

Anna seems particularly happy, which Bates asks her about, but she doesn’t tell him about the pregnancy or about the hope she has that she’ll be able to keep it.

Molesly is discussing Daisy with Dawes, the schoolmaster, who asks if Molesly maybe missed his calling. Molesely says he’s “missed everything.”

Daisy and Mason thank Cora for everything she’s done, Cora tried to protest again, but is interrupted by Carson’s toast to his wife.

During the toast, Tom Branson comes in with Sybbie. He’s returned to Grantham for good, because he’s realized it’s his home. They are welcomed by everyone, and the reception continues, with causes for joy all around.

Downton Abbey airs Sundays at 9pm on KIXE.

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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4 Responses

  1. EasternCounty says:

    I hope Denker gets her “come uppin’s” soon.  She has been a thorn ever since she first came to the dower house.  I’m surprised that Violet keeps her.  And can it be that Edith may have finally met the man of her future?  I am so tempted to purchase Season Seven so I don’t have to wait for weekly installments to learn how it ends.

  2. I know. Wouldn’t it be nice if Edith found her guy? Now, at some point, she’ll have to admit that Marigold – her “charge” – is actually her daughter. (Watch, as soon as that happens, Marigold’s father will reappear.)

    • EasternCounty says:

      Since there was never any real proof that Marigold’s father was dead, I, too, have thought he would reappear.  If Edith has a crush on this new chap and Marigold’s father makes his way back to England, poor Edith.  The writers would seem to have it out for her.  But with Tom back, might he be a new romance for either Edith or Mary?  It’s happened before that they were in competition for a beau.  It would be nice if Edith won one.  Stay tuned.

  3. Melanie says:

    Mary’s had enough men–it is Edith’s turn for some happiness. Remember in an earlier season she was jilted at the alter and then Marigold’s father went missing, I am ready for her to have a happy ending.

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