Downton took an emotional turn last night, with a possible abortion playing a central role.
With Edith’s discovery of her pregnancy and no knowledge of Mr. German’s whereabouts, she decides her only option is to abort the baby. We all know this is 1920 (the procedure can’t be safe), but even if Downton were to air in a 21st-century world, we would still be begging Edith not to go through with it.
She informs Aunt Rosamund of her decision, who after recovering from shock, accompanies Edith to the illegal clinic. Edith has to wait on a bench outside the operating room and imagines her inability to walk into Downton’s nursery should she abort her own child. At last, she darts out of the clinic when she hears the sobs of another patient. Relief. Sigh. Good. Downton refreshingly stays true to the moral standards of the time and chooses life, much to Edith’s own detriment.
On a far more upbeat note, Mary gets down and dirty. She and Mr. Blake go on a walk to visit her new pigs when they find that the pigs are dehydrated. The next thing we see is Mary and Mr. Blake slopping through the mud with water buckets. (Mary has never even done this much for baby George.) After a flirtatious mud fight, they trek home and Mary scrambles eggs in the servants’ quarters. We can’t imagine her ever getting this filthy with Matthew, but perhaps managing an estate has changed her.
Pa-pa gets a telegram summoning him to America to save Cora’s brother from shady financial dealings. Mrs. Hughes has to tell Mary what happened to Anna in order to keep Bates at Downton and ship Thomas overseas instead.
The Dowager falls ill with bronchitis, but Saint Crawley nurses her back to health, despite the verbal beatings she receives from the loopy Countess.
Tom takes a chance and goes to a political rally where, lo and behold, he comes across another radical lady who offers him a seat. She is nowhere as stunning as Sybil, but her rebel heart might do the trick for this former chauffer hoping to reignite his dampened political passions.
Mary, who has become the most desirable woman in all of Yorkshire, encounters Mr. Gillingham again when he comes to Downton to see how she fares. This endearing and desperate move on Gillingham’s part only makes us like him more. When he ends up under the same roof as Mr. Blake and Mr. Napier, the tension escalates, but sadly none of it erupts into a fistfight.
Unfortunately, Gillingham brings his man, Mr. Green, for his visit. Mrs. Hughes chastises Green with scathing indignation, and Bates finally realizes for certain that Green is his wife’s abuser. With fear and trembling, we await the outcome of Bates’s well-deserving wrath.
Jack Ross and Rose share more flirting and kisses. When Ross wonders where their relationship will go, Rose, like any foolish 19-year-old girl, says not to worry about it because it is fun. She is as ditzy as ever, but Ross gets accolades for at least thinking this through.
Who will end up with Mary? What will Edith do now? Will Mr. Green live? As usual, we are stuck waiting until next week.