Nearing the end of another season of Downton Abbey, we face a series of high highs (Rose and Atticus!) and low lows (that bastard, Larry Grey). There’s lots to dissect, so let’s jump right in!
Oh, I have to wade into this Edith business? Maybe no recap this week… All right, fine. Here we go.
Rosamund arrives in town to help deal with Edith’s disappearance/newfound hobby of kidnapping, and Violet meets her. The dowager countess hasn’t slept all night, wrestling with the question of what to do. She decides that it’s Cora’s right to know what happened to her daughter, but Robert doesn’t need to know. “He’s a man,” she says. “Men don’t have rights.” Man, the dowager countess was way ahead of her time. She was hip to “meninist” foolishness back in the 1920s.
Despite Edith taking off with a baby that she previously gave away, the guests, including Tony Gillingham, Charlies Blake, and Mabel Lane Fox, are still coming. Tom found out that Edith must be in London because she bought a ticket for King’s Cross. Tony and Charles are like, “Uhh, should we go?” But there are so many other guests coming that they can’t put off the dinner. It would send up red flags that something is wrong. Once Violet arrives to the house, she insists on taking Cora out to the garden to tell her the truth about Edith, but Mrs. Drewe arrives before she can get her daughter-in-law alone. Robert offers to go for a walk in her stead, and Violet responds perfectly. “Why would I want to walk?” she asks. Off-screen, Mrs. Drewe drops the bomb, and suffice it to say that Cora is pissed. Mrs. Drewe told her everything, including that Rosamund and Violet know. “Mrs. Drewe was being difficult,” explains Rosamund, who would probably describe a mugging victim as “annoyingly protective of her purse.” As mad as she is, Cora isn’t telling Robert. She suggests finding Edith and seeing what she wants. But isn’t Edith getting what she wants what started this whole problem in the first place?
The secret keepers find out from Atticus that they can find Edith through the magazine editor. Cora decides to go see her daughter and granddaughter in London, but before she goes, she implies that she can’t trust Violet anymore. “On the contrary,” Violet says when Rosamund comes to her defense, “It’s the most honest thing she’s ever said to me.” True to Atticus’ tip, Edith is at the magazine office. Over lunch, she explains her rough plan to her aunt and mother. Edith was going to drop her title, invent a dead husband, and move to America, somewhere like Chicago or Detroit. Edith, take it from me, someone from the future, those two ain’t equal. She would have left already, but she feels responsibility to the magazine Michael Gregson left her, and she wants Marigold to grow up English. Cora has a plan of her own. She suggests slandering the Drewes by saying that they took on a child they can’t care for and raising Marigold in the Downton nursery. Edith agrees, but doesn’t want Lord Grantham or Mary to know. Cora disagrees about keeping Robert in the dark, but relents. She’ll call Mr. Drewe that evening to help. When Rosamund asks about the ever-“rude” Mrs. Drewe, Edith replies, “Let him manage her.”
It’s taken a few episodes to come to this conclusion, but I can’t shake the feeling that the show expects us to agree with everyone who finds Mrs. Drewe annoying, which is troubling. All that poor woman did was care for someone else’s child as her own and then try to protect that child when a stranger came to take her away. What a monster!
NEXT: Bring ‘er on home