Monday, February 18, 2013

Episode 6 Season 2 – Downton Abbey Episode Summary 2.6

Disfigured man claims to be Patrick CrawleySynopsis: A disfigured officer arrives at Downton Abbey and claims himself to be Patrick Crawley.  Sir Richard Carlisle notices that Lady Mary is spending too much time with Matthew, and persuades Lady Cora to bring Lavinia back into Matthew’s life.  Mr. Bates learns that Vera has found a way to prevent him from getting a divorce.

Episode Summary: With Matthew Crawley breaking his relationship with Lavinia and sending her off to London, the newly engaged Mary has willingly taken up the job of caring for Matthew.  Sir Richard Carlisle is fully aware of this arrangement, but seems to be comfortable with it.  In fact, he has paid a visit to Downton in order to take Mary house hunting.  Sir Richard has found Haxby Park to be the most suitable place for the two of them to settle in given its proximity to Downton Abbey and it being vacant for the previous owner no longer resides there. Continue reading...

Dr. Clarkson arrives at Downton Abbey to relay a request from a Canadian major who was badly burned during the war.  The man, Major Patrick Gordon, claims to have a link to Downton, and has asked to be transferred to the Downton convalescent home.  Lord Grantham, though unaware of how the family is connected to Patrick Gordon, approves the young man’s request.  Patrick arrives at Downton, and Lady Edith finds the man in a room surveying the family photos.  With the man blurred by the shadows in the room, Lady Edith found it difficult to contain her shock at the man’s burns that disfigured his face.  She could hardly look at the man as she tries to inform him of the family link Lord Grantham has found.  According to their family history, an aunt of Lord Grantham married a Gordon in the 19th century, but Patrick makes it clear that this is not the link he has with the House of Granthams.  Moreover, he hints that Lady Edith knows him.

With the war almost over, Lady Cora is looking forward to having Downton Abbey restored to its pre-war state.  This, however, disappoints Mrs. Crawley who would rather see the house put to good use, and have asked Lady Cora to allow her to find a way to keep Downton Abbey as a center for recovery.  Both Lady Cora and Lady Violet found her plan outrageous, but were either too polite or cowardly to tell her frankly that they disapprove of her plan.  Instead, Lady Violet suggests that the two of them figure out a way to find a project for Mrs. Crawley that will divert the woman’s interest away from Downton Abbey, and at the same time she will find too difficult to resist.  Lady Violet puts her plan into motion especially since Mrs. Crawley has started her crusade to make Downton Abbey a recovery center.  Lady Violet presents various cases that might interest Mrs. Crawley until she strikes a chord with her talk about the poor refugees who need help in rebuilding their lives.  She adds that an organizer finds that Mrs. Crawley’s experience will prove invaluable in that project.  This seems to have caught Mrs. Crawley’s interest.

Even though William is dead and buried, Daisy’s guilt still has not left her, and a pamphlet explaining what she is owed for being a war widow only added to her guilt.  Mrs. Patmore believes that accepting the dues owed to a war widow is what William would have wanted, but Daisy after being persuaded to marry the dying young man has made up her mind.  She will not allow Mrs. Patmore to pressure her to be false to his memory.  Daisy is unwilling to reap the benefits of a war widow for she knows in her heart that although she cared for him, she did not love William the same way he loved her.

Sir Richard appears to be keen in settling with Lady Mary with him looking to buy a home near Downton, and him asking Mr. Carson to be their butler at Haxby Park.  He explains that his request comes from his knowledge of Lady Mary holding Mr. Carson in high regard.  However, Mr. Carson finds the manner by which Sir Richard went on with his request suspect.  Sir Richard confesses that Lady Mary is not aware of his request, and learning of this Mr. Carson makes it clear that he will take instruction from the young woman.

Even the servants are aware that the war is almost over, and have wondered what they will be doing when it is finally over.  Thomas who benefited much from the war has not yet figured out what he is supposed to do, but Mrs. Patmore may have given him an idea.  Mrs. Patmore finds the rationing cumbersome with her having to battle to get enough supplies for her kitchen.  Thomas looks into Mrs. Patmore’s insinuation that there is demand for rationed food, and finds that the cook is right.  Thomas now only needs to come up with the money, but finds that O’Brien is not willing to join him in his scheme.  Mrs. Hughes helping out Ethel with some food from the pantry is only adding to Mrs. Patmore’s problem.  Unfortunately for Mrs. Hughes, Mr. Carson caught her red-handed, and in spite of their friendship, the butler is left with no other choice, but to bring the matter to the attention of Lady Cora.  Although Lady Cora feels for Ethel, she believes that Mrs. Hughes should have informed her that she has been supplementing the young woman’s food with stock from the house.  Lady Cora does not judge Ethel knowing that she is not the first woman to have fallen for a man in uniform; more so a man with no good intentions.  Learning that Ethel has failed several times to get Major Bryant to assume responsibility, Lady Cora plans on taking the matter into her own hands.  She considers inviting Major Bryant to Downton Abbey, and having Lord Grantham persuade him to take responsibility.  Mrs. Hughes having come to know the kind of man Major Bryant is finds this to be a lost cause.  Nonetheless, she informs Ethel of Lady Cora’s plan.  This news gave Ethel some hope, which Mrs. Hughes nipped in the bud given her belief that Major Bryant is not a good-natured man who will take responsibility for his actions.  Her advice to Ethel is for her to go to a different city, and invent a new past.

Sir Richard and Lady Mary pay a visit to Haxby Park, an estate, Lady Mary is very familiar with having gone there so many times.  The previous owners and long-time neighbors of the Crawleys, the Russells, have decided to leave the estate after their son Billy was killed in the war.  Despite the sad circumstances of why the Russells are open to the idea of disposing the estate, Lady Mary finds no reason why she and Sir Richard could not give the house a new beginning.  With everyone, masters and servants alike, busy with their own tasks, Lord Grantham is left to lunch alone.  Moreover, Mr. Carson having to tend to the wine delivery sends Jane to serve Lord Grantham’s luncheon.  This gave Lord Grantham the chance to know more about Jane, and learns that her twelve-year old son has applied for a scholarship to Ripon Grammar.  Lord Grantham offers to put in a good word for the child, which Jane accepts graciously.

Patrick Gordon tries once again to give Lady Edith a chance to recognize him, but the young woman could not.  Patrick informs her that he had spent a lot of time at Downton Abbey as a child, and that he is Patrick Crawley, Downton’s heir thought to have drowned in the Titanic.  He explains that he was at the Titanic, but Fifth Officer Lowe pulled him out of the water thus saving his life.  By the time he came around, someone had already misidentified him as Canadian, and was shipped to Montreal.  Patrick argues that his amnesia prevented him from informing the authorities of his true identity, which led him to make up a name from a gin bottle.  During the war, he had joined Princess Pat’s Infantry where the shock from the big explosion at Passchendaele caused him to remember his true identity.  Hearing of Downton Abbey operating as an officer’s convalescent home gave him the hope that somebody would recognize him, but nobody did.  Lady Edith seems to have bought the young man’s story, and had promised to alert her father at once.  She does inform Patrick that there are complications to him coming back with Matthew being the new heir, and Mary whom Patrick was to marry is now engaged to another man.  Patrick hinting that Edith was the one who really loved him added to her conviction that the disfigured man before her is indeed Patrick Crawley.

Mr. Bates receives a telephone call from his lawyer informing him that Vera had told the judge that he had paid her to agree to a divorce, which he in fact did.  Given this new information, the judge may decide to withdraw the decree nisi invalidating the divorce that was previously granted.  Anna is determined to be with Mr. Bates with or without the dissolution of his marriage.  She is prepared to leave with him if necessary in order for them to live the life they have planned together.  Unlucky for them, Miss O’Brien has been secretly listening in on their conversation.

Mary updates Matthew of Sir Richard’s plan to buy Haxby Park including his proposal to get Mr. Carson as their butler.  Matthew has no doubt that Mr. Carson will accept the offer knowing very well that the man holds Mary dear to his heart.  Mary confesses to Matthew that she does not have to marry Sir Richard, but Matthew believes that she must.  Moreover, he cannot be the reason why she should not.  Matthew is in fact happy and quite relieved that Mary has finally found someone she can have a real life with.  Sir Richard is beginning to show concern about Mary’s relationship with Matthew, and tells Lady Cora of his doubt.  Lady Cora having come to know Matthew very well informs him that the young man will never make himself be the reason to stop Mary from marrying another man.  In fact, he will do quite the opposite.  Sir Richard then wonders if it is Lady Mary who is not convinced that she and Matthew have no future together, and with this he asks Lady Cora to bring Lavinia back into Matthew’s life.

Branson is convinced that Lady Sybil has been avoiding him, which is why seeing her at the garage is a pleasant surprise for him.  Lady Sybil, however, has come without an answer to his proposal and moreover has asked him to wait until the war is over.  Branson is willing to wait forever for her answer, and is glad to hear from the young woman that it won’t be long before she makes up her mind.

Lady Mary personally asks Mr. Carson if he would be her butler once she and Sir Richard marries, and is surprised to see the butler dejected at the thought of him leaving Downton.  She had not considered that Mr. Carson might not want to leave Downton.  Moreover, she has not thought to inform her father first.  It could be that the only reason that caused Lady Mary to tell her father of their plan to take Mr. Carson away with her is Mr. Carson’s unwillingness to give her a decision until Lord Grantham grants them permission to take him.  Funnily, Lord Grantham turns to Mr. Bates for advice, and is surprised to hear from him that the decision must come from Mr. Carson.

Lady Edith fulfills her promise to Patrick Gordon and informs her father about the matter.  Lord Grantham wastes no time to see the young man who claims to be Patrick Crawley.  The young man who can offer little proof to his true identity hands him a letter that contains information only Patrick Crawley would know.  As expected, Lord Grantham has his doubts, but the young man’s mannerism almost made him a believer.  He later calls the family including Matthew and Mrs. Crawley to dinner to inform them that one of the badly burned patients at the convalescent home is claiming to be Patrick Crawley.  Everybody has their doubts except Edith who has become convinced that the disfigured young man is indeed Patrick hearing of the things only the real Patrick would know.  Mary immediately dismisses the idea that Major Gordon is Patrick Crawley, and is convinced that the man is an imposter.  Soon the real motivation for her branding Major Gordon as a fraud surfaces, she feels sorry for Matthew who will be displaced as the future Earl of Grantham if the young man turns out to be Patrick.  Matthew overcome with self-pity finds the matter to be a blessing in disguise with him feeling inept given his paralysis, which renders him unable to father children.

Lady Edith updates Major Gordon of the previous night’s events, and informs him that Lord Grantham has sent his statement to his solicitor, Mr. Murray.  Major Gordon once again gives Lady Edith reason to believe that he is Patrick after he stops to look at a place they used to hide in when they were kids.  He then draws out from her Fraulein Kelder, the governess none of them liked.  Lady Edith is convinced that Major Gordon is Patrick in spite of the man losing his temper and making a scene at realizing that no one else believes him to be who he claims to be.

Lady Cora informs Mrs. Hughes that Major Bryant’s father has replied to her letter on behalf of the late Major Bryant who was killed in the Battle of Vittoria Veneto.  Mrs. Hughes relays the message to Ethel who wonders if the Bryants might want to see their grandson, but Lady Cora made no mention of the child for she believed that matter ought to be dealt in person.

At dinner, the servants chat among each other about various subjects.  Anna and Mr. Bates converse about his upcoming trip to London, while Mr. Branson and Mr. Carson discuss politics.  Mr. Branson believes that there will soon become a German Republic, but Mr. Carson finds this unlikely believing that monarchy is the lifeblood of Europe.  Lord Grantham interrupts their lively conversation with news that the war is over.  All rejoice at the announcement, and Lord Grantham invites everybody to the Great Hall on the 11th of November at 11 in the morning to celebrate the end of the war.

Mrs. Crawley also has an announcement to make, and she calls Lady Cora and Lady Violet to her house to inform them of her decision to help the war refugees.  She does ask Lady Cora to keep Downton Abbey as a recovery center, but Lady Cora reminds her that it was Mrs. Crawley’s idea to do so, and with her gone they are probably not going to push through with it.  She, however, believes that closing the convalescent home at Downton Abbey is a small price to pay for Mrs. Crawley’s service with the refugees.  Knowing very well that it was Lady Violet that paved the way for Mrs. Crawley’s new project, Lady Cora could not be more grateful to her.

Mr. Bates asks Lord Grantham’s permission to allow him to go to London.  Mrs. Bates once again is the cause of the urgency of his having to go.  The woman has found another way to prevent their divorce forcing Mr. Bates to make the trip to reason with her.  Seeing that Mr. Bates is running out of patience with his wife, Lord Grantham asks him not to lose his temper when he goes to see Vera.  O’Brien reports to the other servants that the anger in Mr. Bates can be clearly seen on his face when he left for London.  Him returning with a gash near his left eye has cast a suspicion on what transpired during his visit to his wife, but his anger has been replaced with defeat.

Lord Grantham calls another meeting with his family having received word from Mr. Murray about Major Gordon.  The solicitor has checked the facts Major Gordon wrote in his statement, and confirms that Fifth Officer Lowe did pull an unidentified man out of the sea who was later reported to have died before they reached the Carpathia.  However, another report showed that the unidentified man made it to New York, but there is no clear record of his name.  Mr. Murray, however, has uncovered that there was a Peter Gordon who worked with Patrick Crawley at the foreign office who then emigrated to Montreal in 1913.  Like Lady Mary, Lady Violet believes that Major Gordon saw the perfect opportunity with his face being disfigured beyond recognition to claim the inheritance of his close friend.  Lady Mary coming up with details similar to what Major Gordon has been telling Lady Edith made her think twice for it showed how easily one would be able to conjure childhood stories shared by people of their status.  Lord Grantham requests them while Mr. Murray continues his investigation to be polite to the man, but nothing more.  He, however, believes that more evidence will surface especially with the end of the war.  Lady Edith goes against her father’s orders, and updates Major Gordon of the details that were shared at the family meeting.  She is still convinced that Major Gordon is Patrick Crawley, and believes that they will find Peter Gordon.  Soon, Lady Edith learns that Major Gordon has left without saying goodbye, but he did leave her a letter saying nothing much except that he found the situation he was in too difficult.  Moreover, he signed his letter without confirming his true identity.  Lady Edith still believes that Major Gordon is Patrick Crawley, and that they drove him away.  Lady Sybil, however, thinks that Lady Edith believing in the man is worth something no matter what the truth really is.

Sir Richard Carlisle arrives late for dinner with a guest, Lavinia Swire.  The sight of her is a surprise to Lady Mary and Lord Robert, but not to Lady Cora who was the one who called for her.  Lady Cora asks Lavinia to bring Matthew to the small library allowing Matthew to tell her that nothing has changed.  Lavinia, however, has changed.  She is more determined to be with Matthew through thick and thin, and unlike before she will not allow him to send her away for she truly loves him.  Recognizing that it was his wife who summoned Lavinia back to Downton Abbey, Lord Grantham scolds her for what she has done, but Lady Cora argues that it was the only way to ensure the success of Mary’s marriage and the preservation of the Grantham line.  Lady Mary reprimands Sir Richard for taking part in bringing Lavinia back to Matthew’s life, but knowing the root of her anger, Sir Richard turns the tables and threatens Lady Mary with the scandal that will be her ruin.

At 11 o’clock in the morning of November 11, masters, officers, and servants all gather at the Great Hall of Downton Abbey in silent prayer to remember the sacrifices that have been made and to give thanks to all the men who served in the war especially those whose lives were lost.  Their silent prayer will mark the end of the terrible war, and the dawn of a new age.  After the gathering as Mr. Bates brings Matthew back to his room, Matthew seems to have felt something, but he keeps it to himself.  As for Mr. Carson, he finds that change for him is inevitable for he with a heavy heart has decided to be Lady Mary and Sir Richard’s butler.  However, it is Mr. Bates who becomes the first recipient of change.  This after receiving a telegram informing him that Vera was found dead early that morning.

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