[S6E2] London, Part 2
On July 31, 2013, it was reported by BuzzFeed that Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones would be leaving the series around the middle of the season. Their final episode was episode 13, "Ann and Chris". Due to the departure of Jones and Lowe, longtime regulars Jim O'Heir and Retta were added to the show's opening credit sequence starting with episode 14, "Anniversaries". Jones appears as a special guest star in episode 17 when Ann has her baby.
[S6E2] London, Part 2
Chris Pratt was absent for much of the early part of the season, due to him filming Guardians of the Galaxy in London. Executive producer Michael Schur stated the show went to London for the first two episodes in order for Pratt's character Andy to make an appearance. Pratt made a brief return in the sixth episode, with Schur adding that Pratt would return to the series in the tenth episode, the series' 100th episode.
The estate's future is hanging in the balance and Mary is hoping to receive a bailout from grandmother Martha. Violet also attempts to help her make sure that Downton puts on a bigger show than ever before with a grand party for friends and neighbours. Mrs Hughes gets some news that worries her. O'Brien's attempts to boost Alfred's progress are met with disapproval from Thomas.
An extravagant house party at the Abbey gives the Crawleys a chance to reconnect with old friends. But some guests prove more welcome than others, and along with the celebrations come skulduggery and heartache.
Amid the fallout from the eventful house party, Mary faces a pressing question about her future. Carson reveals surprisingly intimate details of his former life, and a trip to the bright lights of London sees Rose put the reputation of the Crawleys in jeopardy.
A birthday party is planned for Robert, but Rose's surprise contribution to the event ruffles feathers above and below stairs. A new farming venture on the Downton estate comes with dramatic repercussions for Mary, and Edith receives more unwelcome news.
Rosamund shows up at Downton following Edith's surprise departure. Rose is pleased to introduce Atticus and his parents to everyone. Anna and Bates think about a fresh start, now that that their problems seem to be behind them. Molesley is worried after Daisy becoming disillusioned with her studies. Mary and Blake seize a chance to send Gillingham a strong message.
More talk about the boring hospital thing, which is thankfully interrupted by the children. Mary wants to take the kids on a field trip to see pigs at a local farm, which conveniently is the very farm where Edith kept Marigold hidden while she was pretending not to be post-partum depressed last year. Edith gets super anxious. Mary calls her a ninny. Same ol', same ol'.
Downstairs, Baxter encourages Daisy not to be angry with Cora for not being able to help Daisy's father-in-law. Daisy's A+ response: "It's the system's fault! That's what makes me angry: the system! And she's part of it!" Out of the mouth of immortal, ageless, partially educated babes! Revolution is nigh! Tom Branson would be so proud.
Downstairs at Downton, Mrs. Hughes tells Carson she doesn't want to get married at Downton because it's not who they are. Carson, who's convinced himself that he's a part of the Crawley family, despite the whole waiting on them hand and foot for a lifetime thing, doesn't agree, but plans to decline the offer because happy wife, happy life or whatever people say.
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Did you know?In this episode, Charles drives from Walnut Grove to Mankato and back on the same day, two days in a row. This would seem impossible since, in reality, the two towns are 74 miles apart. Also, in at least one earlier episode, Charles states that the round trip to Mankato takes about three days.
Okay, all we really got on Sunday's second episode of the final season was one snippy passing reference from Mrs. Hughes, an incidental aside about "the sainted Lady Mary." But given that Mrs. Hughes has been such a dutifully respectful servant for five seasons, this hint that she might harbor a tiny speck of resentment is as startling as if she had challenged Lady Mary to a steel cage death match. Sunday's flashpoint came after Mrs. Hughes and Carson got past that pesky sex business and set a date for their wedding. When Carson relayed this to the Crawleys, Lord Grantham said he would have the servants' hall decorated for a wedding party. It was a well-intended offer that everyone else, including Cora and Lady Mary, recognized as awkwardly condescending. By the standards of traditional real-life relationships between British aristocrats and servants, Lord Grantham was in fact being generous. But the Crawleys have always been portrayed as close to the long-time staff, forming genuine personal relationships. As Mary pointed out, Carson had been employed at Downton for a half century, since arriving as a junior footman. She personally likes and trusts more than most of her blood relatives. Yes, that means you, Edith. Still, even in Mary's case that affection stops short of regarding Carson as family - a point reinforced in Season 4 when Carson suggested she needed to snap out of it after Matthew's death. She snapped back that he was being impertinent, and while she later retracted the word, she couldn't retract the subtext that he was from a class that was not entitled to that level of intimate connection. Sunday night, when Carson told Mrs. Hughes of Lord Grantham's offer, Mrs. Hughes simply turned it down. "This house is where we work," she said. "It is not who we are." Carson, of course, has always assumed it is. So it may have surprised him when Mrs. Hughes added, "I don't want to feel like a servant on my wedding day." Meanwhile, the Crawley women overruled Lord Grantham, not for the first time, and told Carson the wedding could be held in the regular Downton hall and ballroom. Carson said that was generous and he would relay the restructured offer to Mrs. Hughes. Mary, feeling a suddenly heightened level of investment in the affair, said that of course Mrs. Hughes would be delighted. The wedding would be held in the Great Hall, said Mary, "if it's the last thing I do." Perhaps Mary just liked the idea of a simple, uncomplicated engagement and wedding, concepts she has had some trouble implementing.
Whatever the motivation, Mrs. Hughes was unmoved. She wanted the wedding somewhere else, anywhere else. They own us every day of our lives, she told Carson. Once we get married, you will make the decisions in our own lives for the next 30 years. "But the wedding day," she said, "is mine." Carson gently tried to steer her back by invoking Lady Mary, to which Mrs. Hughes countered that well, this might be the one time when "the blessed Lady Mary" didn't get her way. Whoa. Nor was Mrs. Hughes the only servant to feel stirrings of rebellion. Daisy, still fuming over Mr. Mason losing his tenancy at the neighboring estate, wangled a one-on-one with Cora, asking if she could do anything to help. Cora said that while she sympathized, the answer was probably no. Back downstairs, Daisy was still grumbling when Mrs. Patmore suggested that Cora wasn't the enemy. "I blame the system," said Daisy. "And she's part of it." Amazing what a few sessions with Miss Bunting can do for a girl's political consciousness. Cora did say that she might have an idea on the Mr. Mason situation, though she didn't spell it out. That wasn't much consolation to Daisy, though we viewers know characters don't say something like that if it isn't leading somewhere. One possibility for Mr. Mason might be to profit from the misery of someone else, specifically his fellow tenant farmer Mr. Drewe, who took in Marigold as a favor to Edith back when they thought they could hide the kid in plain sight. Secrecy didn't work out any better here than it did with other Downton secrets, even the ones that were 50 years old. Just ask Violet, that minx. In the Edith/Drewe case, we knew eventually someone was going to have to pay and naturally it didn't turn out to be the rich folks. The final chapter started when Cora naively suggested that Mary and Edith might want to take George and Marigold to see a couple of Drewe's pigs, who were to be Downton's entry in a livestock show. Kids love animals, right? And sure enough, George came back telling Mary that when he grew up, he wanted to be a pig farmer. Royal kids say the darndest things.
In particular, the arrival of stern nun-in-charge Sister Ursula is wreaking significant havoc on the status quo. Jenny Agutter's maternal Sister Julienne has been relegated from supervisor to drudge and must sit in silence as her new superior enacts seriously austere measures toward the nurses' work and living habits.
President Bartlet opens the summit by laying out the goals they hope to accomplish. Back at the White House, C.J. briefs the press on the schedule of events and what has taken place at the summit already. She turns the podium over to General Alexander, who informs the press about the attack that Bartlet authorized against Syria. At Camp David, the President is told about the attack, and delivers the news to the summit participants. 041b061a72