A lot happened in this episode. I almost don’t know where to begin, but I’ll do my best.
First, we have Sir Richard and Mary’s upcoming marriage. They decide to buy a neighboring estate and ask Carson to leave Downton and come with them. Sir Richard sees just how attentive Mary has been to Matthew, and he threatens to expose her secret if she jilts him. I dislike him intensely and, frankly, I hope he dies in the upcoming flu epidemic (we’re in late 1918 already [as an aside, the entire household honors the Armistice in a truly touching scene] and, since it affected such a huge portion of the world’s population, there is no way that these characters can’t be affected) so she’ll be safe from him. Even if she doesn’t get to marry Matthew.
Next up is the mysterious patient covered in bandages whom we saw in last week’s preview. He claims to be Patrick Crawley, the true heir of Downton. Only Edith believes him, and she’s very passionate in her defense of him to the family. We know that Edith loved the real Patrick, so it makes sense that she would want to believe him. Mary says out loud what I think — Edith says he remembers things, but it’s done in the same way as fortune tellers do it; they lead on their subjects and take it from there. Also, how did he pick up such an impeccable Canadian accent in only 6 years? And then, soon after Edith tells him all the effort that has gone into finding out who he is, he disappears. He leaves Edith a note, and she’s devastated. Personally, I don’t think it’s the real Patrick.
Matthew is still morose, and Lavinia comes back to Downton to be with him. Sir Richard drives her from London. I think it’s because he wants to remind Mary that both she and Matthew are engaged to other people. Well, one afternoon, when Bates is wheeling Matthew around the house, he seems to have feeling in his legs. He doesn’t say anything, but it’s pretty obvious.
Bates goes to London to talk to Vera, and comes back with a nasty cut on his temple. And, within a day or so of his return, he gets a telegram saying she’s dead. Of course he’ll be blamed. It’s got to happen.
Mrs. Hughes asks Cora to write to Ethel’s baby daddy to get him to accept his responsibilities. They get a letter back from his father saying he died in one of the last battles of the war.
Isobel wants Downton to continue to be a convalescent home, and Cora and Violet are just not interested. They want the house back, and they want it back now. So Violet works her magic and convinces Isobel that she’s desperately needed to work with all the European refugees who are homeless because of the war.
As we saw last week, there is a new maid in the house. Her name is Jane and she is a war widow. She tries to convince Daisy that she isn’t being hypocritical in accepting the widow’s portion William wanted her to have. We see a couple of conversations between her and Robert that are rather disturbing. “Disturbing” because something is not quite right between them. I can’t help but wonder if there had been something between them at one point, years ago.
Well, speaking of Jane and Robert, in the trailer for next week, we see a clip of him saying “I’m a foolish man who’s lost his way, and don’t quite know how to find it again.” He says this to Jane. I am NOT amused. We’ve never seen him be anything other than a decent man who loves his family, and if he fools around on Cora with a housemaid, I will be seriously displeased. We’ll know soon enough.