Sunday, December 29, 2013

Episode 3 Season 3 – Downton Abbey Episode Summary 3.3

Sir Anthony Strallan leaves Lady Edith at the altar
Synopsis: The Crawleys have accepted the fact that they must leave Downton Abbey and set their eyes on a smaller estate in Eryholme that they are to call Downton Place.  Matthew Crawley receives confirmation that he is going to inherit Reggie Swire’s inheritance and along with it a letter from the late Mr. Swire.  Matthew and Lady Mary have news to share, but decide to forego the announcement until after the wedding of Lady Edith.  Lady Edith walks down the aisle to meet his groom, Sir Anthony Strallan.

Episode Summary: Everyone is busy preparing for Lady Edith’s wedding, which will be the last one celebrated at Downton Abbey.  Lord Grantham is already working on the ads to help sell the mansion and is planning to move to their house at Eryholme, which will be called Downton Place.  Lady Cora suggests that the family hold a picnic at what will be their future home.Continue reading...

Thomas has not forgotten the subterfuge he was subjected to at the dinner party.  Learning that the daughter of Mr. Molesley’s friend is having difficulty finding work, Thomas misinforms Mr. Molesley that Miss O’Brien has plans of leaving Downton.  Mr. Molesley wastes no time to recommend a candidate to Lady Cora for Miss O’Brien’s replacement.  Lady Cora and the rest of the family are caught by surprise with the news of Miss O’Brien’s planned departure even though not all of them are sad to see her go.  This leads them to the more sullen subject of informing the staff of their impending future.  Lady Mary recommends foregoing the announcement until after Lady Edith’s wedding.

Mr. Carson overhears Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes talking about getting word from Dr. Clarkson.  Mrs. Hughes’ reticence about the matter leads him to ask Dr. Clarkson about it, but the doctor could not provide him that information.  Nonetheless, the carefully chosen words of the doctor gave Mr. Carson reason to believe that Mrs. Hughes affliction is of a serious matter.  Discerning its gravity, Mr. Carson turns to deception and manages to fool Mrs. Patmore into telling him that Mrs. Hughes may have cancer.  He takes Dr. Clarkson’s advice of lessening Mrs. Hughes workload more seriously enough for her to suspect that someone had divulged her secret.  Unsure if Mr. Carson truly knows of her secret, she decides not to press the man about it.  Mr. Carson takes it upon himself to inform Lady Cora, without giving out details, that Mrs. Hughes is gravely ill. In turn, Lady Cora confides to him her concern of the difficulty of managing the house with Mrs. Hughes taken ill and Miss O’Brien’s departure.  News about the latter is a surprise to Mr. Carson for he was not aware of it.  Anna being preoccupied with visiting Mr. Bates in prison and proving his innocence is becoming a problem as well.

In fact, Anna has left the house to go see Mrs. Bartlett leaving her endless chores for Lady Edith’s wedding.  She finds Mrs. Bartlett who has agreed to speak to her in exchange for money.  Regrettably, the woman takes her money, but tells her that she has nothing to say.  Anna, however, presses her with questions, determined to know if Vera was unhappy enough to commit suicide.  She learns that Mrs. Bartlett saw her that fateful day.  Mrs. Bartlett found Vera, the day she died, making pastry.  She remembers the woman thoroughly scrubbing the dough off her nails, terrified undeniably of Mr. Bates’ return.  Mrs. Bartlett also confirms that Vera mailed the letter that day.  Although her story could support the theory of Vera committing suicide, she remains certain that Mr. Bates killed her.

Matthew Crawley receives a call from Mr. Charkham informing him that the death certificate from India has arrived and the lawyer would like to speak to him in person about it.  Matthew agrees to meet with him the next day forgetting that the family has planned a picnic at Eryholme to assess their future home.  His forgetfulness on top of his reluctance to save Downton Abbey riles Lady Mary.  In an act that appears callous of Matthew, he asks his wife to think of whom to give the money.  This infuriates Lady Mary even more knowing that she will give it to no one else but her father.  Matthew pleads his wife to understand his dilemma, but Lady Mary confesses to have tried but failed.

Although it is too late, Lord Grantham still could not hide his disappointment at Lady Edith’s choice of a husband.  Lord Grantham finds it disheartening to think of Lady Edith wasting her life as a nurse to a one-armed old man.  Sir Anthony Strallan could see the regret in Lord Grantham’s face.  He confronts him about it only to confirm the man’s disappointment after hearing that he is not particularly fond of their marriage, but is content at knowing that Lady Edith is happy with her choice.

Matthew meets with Mr. Charkham before leaving for the picnic at Eryholme, and receives from him a letter from Reggie Swire.  Lady Mary asks about the meeting and learns of the letter and of her husband’s refusal to read its contents.  Matthew believes that the letter will only contain praises for Lavinia’s choice for a husband, which he knows very well is quite the opposite for he had betrayed her.  The Crawleys arrive at what will become Downton Place.  Although it is still of considerable size than most houses, it is much smaller than the mansion at Downton Abbey.  This, however, means that the Crawleys will have to let go of many of their servants for the house is much easier to manage.

Mrs. Crawley continues her program of teaching debased women new skills to help them reenter society.  Ethel Parks returns to the center and confirms that she has fallen into the world of prostitution.  However, she has not come to ask Mrs. Crawley to help her rebuild her life, but rather has come to ask a favor for someone else.  Ethel unsure of the decision she has to make runs away once again.  Mrs. Crawley takes it upon herself to go looking for her instead and asks Mrs. Hughes for Ethel’s address.

Mr. Bates receives information from a fellow inmate that Craig and his friends are setting him up for another crime.  The inmate recommends that Mr. Bates search his cell for something incriminating.  Mr. Bates scours for whatever it is and finds it hidden in his mattress just before the prison guards arrive to check it.  One of the prison guards is surprised when the other guard informs him that he did not find anything in Mr. Bates’ bed.

Mr. Carson confronts Miss O’Brien about her plan of leaving Downton.  He does so in the presence of all the other servants including Mr. Molesley.  News of this is a surprise to everyone including Miss O’Brien.  Mr. Molesley unable to defend himself gets the wrath of Miss O’Brien who now has to explain to Lady Cora that the confusion about her leaving Downton is just a rumor.  Afraid to suffer the wrath of Miss O’Brien, Mr. Molesley wastes no time to explain himself.  He apologizes to Miss O’Brien and informs her that Thomas was the one who told him her plan.  He, however, believes that it was an honest mistake on Thomas’ part.  Miss O’Brien nevertheless is quite certain that Thomas misinforming Mr. Molesley was no accident.  Some of the rumors that have been going around have finally become known including the news about Mrs. Hughes’ illness.  Lady Cora speaks to her about it only to tell Mrs. Hughes that she is welcome to stay if she falls ill and that she will be cared for at her time of need.  Lady Cora’s compassion and generosity towards her touched Mrs. Hughes deeply.

Lady Mary fearing that Matthew will destroy Mr. Swire’s letter without reading its contents decides to read it before he does.  This proved to be fruitless for it only brought forth Matthew’s fury, but not her husband’s curiosity.  She, nonetheless, presses on with a notion that Lavinia must have written to her father right before she died.  She has come to believe this, because Mr. Swire mentioned in his letter of his knowledge that Lavinia had tried to persuade Matthew to call off the wedding, but Matthew would not.  Lady Mary begins to read Mr. Swire’s letter to tell Matthew that he knows of his willingness to sacrifice his happiness for Lavinia.  She continues to read for she knows that Mr. Swire’s words will appease Matthew’s conscience for Reggie Swire knew of everything that transpired the night Lavinia passed away.  Moreover, Mr. Swire asks Matthew to accept his inheritance without any grief, guilt or regret.  Matthew is in disbelief of the contents of the letter so much so that he refuses to accept it.  He finds it impossible for Lavinia to have written to her father without their knowledge.

Believing that the key that will erase Matthew’s doubts lies in proving that Lavinia did send a letter to her father the night she died, Lady Mary sets out to ask the servants about it.  Unfortunately, none of them knew of the letter.  Moreover, Mr. Carson explains that if there was a letter that was mailed that night, he or Mrs. Hughes would have been told about it.  Daisy arrives at the servant’s hall and hears of Lady Mary’s inquiry.  She informs them that she was making up a fire in her room when Ms. Swire had asked her to put a letter she had written into the box in the hall.  Lady Mary was within earshot when Daisy made her revelation, and she would forever be grateful to her for it.  Ecstatic and relieved she informs Matthew that Lavinia did send a letter to her father from Downton Abbey, which means that Mr. Swire was truly aware of what had transpired that night and he still chose Matthew as his heir in spite of it.  With this discovery, Matthew can now accept Mr. Swire’s fortune and use it to save Downton Abbey.  He, however, asks Lady Mary not to steal Lady Edith’s thunder on her wedding day.  They are to inform Lord Grantham of the marvelous news when Lady Edith has gone to her honeymoon.

It is the day of Lady Edith’s wedding, and still Lady Violet finds Sir Anthony an unsuitable choice for a husband despite him being the most traditional one among the husbands of her granddaughters.  The idea of her granddaughter becoming an old man’s drudge overshadows the status and the riches he can offer her.  All gather in the church with joyful anticipation for Lady Edith to walk down the aisle, all except for Sir Anthony.  The groom has decided to wear a severe mien at his wedding.  Lord Grantham walks Lady Edith down the aisle.  Moments after he delivered his daughter to the groom Sir Anthony declares that he could not go through with the wedding for he does not want Lady Edith to waste her life away on an old cripple.  Sir Anthony comes to this decision at the last minute humiliating Lady Edith in front of her family and guests.  Lady Edith holds on to her groom embarrassing her even more.  Lady Violet could no longer endure the shame Sir Anthony had put Lady Edith through.  She tells her granddaughter to let the man go.

Lady Edith returns to the mansion shamed and broken.  Her mother along with her sisters follows her, but the sight of her sisters happily married with loving husbands is the last thing she would like to see.  Lord Grantham instructs the servants to remove any remembrance of what should have been a joyous occasion.  Without the excitement of a wedding, there is no reason for Lord Grantham to forego the business of leaving Downton.  Without thunder to steal, Matthew resolves to tell Lord Grantham of his decision to accept Reggie Swire’s fortune and to give it to him that he may keep Downton Abbey.  Lord Grantham refuses to take Matthew’s money if he does not agree to share the ownership of Downton.  With a handshake, Lord Grantham and Matthew Crawley become the masters of Downton Abbey.

Lady Edith spent the rest of what would have been her wedding day in bed unable to eat.  The following day, she realizes that her fate is to become a useful unmarried woman and she gets out of the bed unwilling but ready to face it.  Meanwhile, it is time for Mrs. Hughes to learn of her fate.  She and Mrs. Patmore make their way to the cottage hospital filled with apprehension.  They return with news that Mrs. Hughes does not have cancer; Mr. Carson was the first to know.  Relieved and delighted with the news, Mr. Carson goes out of character and begins to sing while polishing the silver.

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