It’s the spring of 1920, and both the upstairs and downstairs factions of Downton are finally preparing for Matthew and Mary’s wedding. (Seriously, how long have we waited for this?)
Amongst the upstairs contingent, the talk of the Crawleys is Sybil’s absence. Mary, Cora, Violet and Isobel all want to see the Earl’s youngest daughter at her sister’s nuptials, but Robert doesn’t want Sybil’s husband, the house’s former chauffeur Tom Branson, anywhere near the village. That would be too embarrassing for the Earl, because people would talk about it.
At Downton, Robert takes a mysterious phone call that doesn’t sound good. “But it can’t be as bad … look, I’ll come and see you tomorrow … No, I insist.” He later informs Cora that he must travel to London for the day, and refuses to tell her why. He’s such a great husband, isn’t he?
On a stroll through the Abbey’s grounds, Matthew and Mary discuss where they will live after the honeymoon. More importantly, they have what must have been a scandalous exchange in the ’20s. “I doubt I’ll get used to taking you to bed with your father watching,” Matthew says. “He’s so relieved we’re getting married, he wouldn’t mind if you carried me up naked,” she responds. “Careful, I might try it,” he smirks. Oh please do, Matthew. I can’t be the only one who’d want to see that.
When Robert travels to London, he meets with Mr. Murray, who is not only his lawyer, but his financial advisor and estate trustee. (What kind of degree does one study for to be all of these things?) Murray tells him that the railway investment Robert made wasn’t the best idea ever and there is no more money left. So basically, Robert not only runs around kissing maids, but he loses all of Cora’s money, too.
Now, we can’t forget about Edith, as much as we’d want to. She runs into Sir Anthony Strallan — the man she hoped to marry, but he says he’s too old for her — in the road, and barges into his car. She laments the fact that all she talks about anymore is the wedding plans. And Sir Anthony tries to offer his thoughts. “Yes, weddings can be reminders of one’s loneliness, can’t they?” Ouch. Even her ex-boyfriend is commenting on Edith’s probable descent into spinsterhood.
NEXT: There’s talk of sex and talk of dead fiancée’s dead fathers