Read on to find out just what happened in this week's visit to the Crawley household...
Patrick's back! Or is he? Oh, he's gone again...
The big news this week was the arrival of that mysterious soldier. We hear that a Canadian major called Patrick Gordon - who's been badly burned - has asked to come to Downton because of a family link.
When he turns up, he's all bandaged so we - and the family - can conveniently not see his face. But Edith goes to see him, and he's disappointed when she doesn't recognise his voice (even though it's turned Canadian since they last met - hmm).
Later, when Edith is comforting him, she suddenly realises that it's Patrick. You know, the one that died when the Titanic sunk. DOWNTON'S HEIR. Blimey, right? Or at least, that's who he says he is.
In fact, Patrick's got a whole story worked out. Apparently, he was pulled out of the water when the Titanic sank, but had amnesia (yes, amnesia). He was misidentified and shipped off to Canada, and his memory didn't come back until an explosion in Passchendaele. Yeah, it's sounding a bit dodgy to us too. But when Patrick says he always knew Edith loved him - and throws in some tears for good measure - she's convinced.
But then, of course, she has to tell the Earl. Robert doesn't know what to make of the whole mess, but he goes to see Patrick and decides to send a letter to the lawyers to get his story checked out. "The whole situation is certainly odd," he says, in a lesson in understatement.
Later, Robert gathers everyone into a huge room (apologising for the squeeze) and gives everyone the lowdown. Edith believes Patrick, Mary downright refuses to believe Patrick, and Matthew thinks it would be best if everyone believed Patrick - after all, he'd make a better heir because he can have children (oh, don't be so grumpy, Matthew).
While they wait for the lawyers' letter, Edith takes Patrick on a walk, and begins to believe his story more because he makes vague references to a governess they hated (which children didn't have a governess they hated in those days?) But funnily enough, Edith is about the only person who does believe him, and he gets so angry that he tips over a table. Eek.
Anyway, the letter from the lawyers finally arrives, but it's unhelpfully inconclusive. There's someone they can track down in Canada to find out more information, though. But Patrick's had enough and heads off, leaving a note for Edith: "It was too difficult, I'm sorry." Edith is upset that they drove their own cousin away, while we're left to wonder - was Patrick really who he said he was? Hopefully we'll find out soon...
Sir Richard Carlisle gives Carson a choice - and Mary a threat
Ooh, he's a jealous one, that Sir Richard Carlisle. He's a bit fed up with the amount of time Mary's spending nursing Matthew, but at least he can take her house hunting (well, to a nearby estate that's up for sale).
He's got another plan up his sleeve, too - he wants Carson to ditch the Crawleys and come and work for him and Mary. Of course, this provides Carson with plenty of opportunity to do some flustered huffing about.
But anyway, they go to see the house and Mary is filled with enthusiasm - "I suppose one has to live somewhere." But she wants to head back to Downton quickly so that she can wheel Matthew around the garden. Hmm. Anyway, they have a lovely moment when Mary whispers that she doesn't really have to marry Sir Richard, you know, and Matthew firmly tells her that he doesn't want to get in the way of her life. Oh, Matthew, do! She'd thank you for it, trust us.
Naturally, Sir Richard's not best pleased with this friendship - he thinks Mary's a little bit in love with Matthew, for some reason. And then he goes all cold and scheming and asks Cora if she wants children. "Because if you do, isn't it time for Lavinia Swire to come back into his life?" he asks. Someone get that man a white cat pronto!
Mary's also on to Carson to get him to accept the job now, but he won't make up his mind until she asks the Earl (who's annoyed, but reluctantly agrees to let Mary have him). And eventually Carson decides to go with Mary.
But meanwhile, Sir Richard's been down to London, and when he returns he's brought someone with him - yes, Lavinia. She's adamant that she's not going to leave Matthew now, despite his protests (poor guy can't get away from her). The Earl's not best pleased with Cora for inviting her, either.
In another of the corridors, Mary and Sir Richard are having a little tiff, but it all gets marvellously chilling. In the episode's best scene, Sir Richard pushes Mary up against a column and warns her that she has given him the power to destroy her - and he'll use it. "I want to be a good husband and for you to be happy," he growls, looking like he means the opposite. "But don't ever cross me, do you understand? Never." Then, horribly, he kisses her. Shudder!
Oh, and at the very end of the episode, Bates is wheeling Matthew back to his room, when suddenly Matthew says: "My God." He felt something, but what? He's not saying until he feels it again (stop your rude jokes, please). He's going to get the use of his legs back, isn't he? It's inevitable.
We knew the Dowager Countess's sudden goodness in the last episode couldn't last. She's still scheming, but it's not with quite such good intentions this week. Everyone knows the war's almost at an end, and Cora's counting down the days until she gets her house back. But Isobel's shocked - she wants to keep Downton open as a centre of recovery. She'll run it, too, so that won't annoy Cora at all.
Of course, Violet doesn't exactly take to this idea so she puts her thinking cap on. She decides they must find something else for Isobel to occupy herself with, and then puts the plan into action. She goes to visit Isobel and talks about various charities until finally one - "wretched refugees" - strikes a chord with Isobel.
Isobel decides to go for it and help out refugees, so she calls Violet and Cora to apologise - oh no! She can no longer run Downton! Cora sweetly tells her they'll not bother with that whole recovery centre thing now, but thanks, love. Then they make a swift exit and congratulate each other on the success of their scheming.
The war's over!
That was quick... Still, we got a nice stirring speech from the Earl of Grantham, so well done, everyone.
More Mrs Bates bother...
Bates has got a divorce, but he's still a grumpy, grumpy man. And he's got good reason to be, too - it's not long before he's shouting "Ridiculous!" on the telephone. Turns out that Mrs Bates let slip that he'd kind of paid her for the divorce, so it's become invalid now. Anna, of course, repeats all her lines about how they'll be together forever, whatever Mrs Bates says.
Bates is rather angry about the whole situation and decides to go down to London to confront her directly. But when he gets back, it doesn't look like it went too well - in fact, he's got a scrape on his cheek. What on Earth could have happened?
Well, later Bates gets a telegram and rushes from the kitchen, flinging it at Anna as he goes. Anna reads it: "His wife's dead!" Then we see Mrs Bates, unmistakably lifeless, lying on her floor. Well, Bates, this doesn't look good. This doesn't look good at all...
The Dowager Countess's best lines
- "Or would you like to abolish private houses?"
- After Isobel says that servants are always more conservative than their employers - "Then I must be the exception that proves the rule."
- "Are you looking forward to this brave new world of Mrs Crawley's imaginings?"
- "I don't dislike him. I just don't like him, which is quite different."
- "We must tempt her with a more enticing scaffold." (Menacing.)
- Isobel says the Dowager Countess has struck a chord. "Oh have I really? Thank heaven."
- "Are we talking financial ruin or a criminal investigation?"
- Isobel explains that the Dowager Countess is partly to blame. "Yes, I usually am."
... And the rest
- Is it just us, or are the trailers at the end of each episode giving up way too much info? We already knew about the possible return of the heir. Talk about a spoiler! We advise a quick bash of the off button as soon as you see those pesky "Next time" words...
- "I shall have arms like Jack Johnson." Took us a minute to realise Mary was talking about the boxer and not the 'Upside Down' songster.
- Patrick will be coming back, right? Otherwise, there wasn't much point to that episode...
- I don't want it to spoil things." "Why, because we've all been such pals until now?"
- Poor Daisy. We didn't get much of her this week, but she's still feeling guilty about marrying William, and won't take the widow's pension she's entitled to.
- Speaking of which, it was a nice touch to have her wearing a black armband.
- Okay, it's not just us, right? There is definitely something going on with the Earl and new housemaid Jane, yes? There were enough loaded glances, at least. UH OH.
- Ooh, Mrs Patmore's all naughty and suggests selling food on the black market. And of course Thomas takes this up and runs with it. Hopefully we'll see consequences next week.
- "Your lot buys it. My lot inherits it."
- I lost a bit of love for Carson this week with his sexism towards Ethel - "Men will be men, but for any young woman to let her judgement so desert her..." Or: "I feel sorry for Ethel but I cannot condone her inability to pronounce a simple two letter word - 'No'." Not cool, Carson. Not cool.
- Ethel still seems a little left out of the whole thing, which is a shame because Amy Nuttall is ace. Mrs Hughes got reprimanded when Carson discovered her stealing food for Ethel, though. And we did find out that Major Bryant's kicked the bucket, too, leaving Ethel with pretty much no hope. And no respect, either. I'm still not sure Jane's really telling the truth about being a war widow, but that might well just be my paranoia and unfounded suspicion.
- I am so glad Downton Abbey found some way to include an amnesia storyline. Pure soap.
- Enjoyed Cora's attempts to justify Downton Abbey. "We provide employment..." Um, that's it.
- Mary tells Matthew about her potential new home. "Mainly, it's just big."
- There's more from Sybil and Branson, but basically it's just more of the same. "Will you come with me?" "I need more time." It's a shame, because Jessica Brown Findlay is great.
- I want Carson to come round and measure the distance between my knife and fork, please.
- "There's nothing more ill-bred than to steal other people's servants."
- "Please say this concerns property and not the former Mrs Bates." "I wish she was the former, or at least the late." Careful what you wish for...
- "The trick of business is to mind your own."
- I liked the banter between Mary and Matthew when Matthew talked about jumping in the river - or getting Mary to push him.
- The Earl pretending Lavinia was expected was kind of brilliant.
- "Sometimes, Cora, you can be curiously unfeeling."