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- TV Show Ended -
There is no Next Episode of Downton Abbey planned.
It's summer and as part of Rose's debutante `coming out' she is to be presented at Buckingham Palace. The family is in London, preparing Grantham House for the busy social programme, and Martha Levinson, not one to miss such a grand occasion, arrives from New York with Cora's recently disgraced brother Harold (Sideways star Paul Giamatti). Both outspoken and larger than life, they make quite an impression on certain members of high society. Meanwhile, when the Crawleys are implicated in a scandal that threatens to engulf the monarchy, Robert goes to great lengths to protect the royal family - and his own.
A bombshell was dropped in last week's edition, and it's clear as this episode begins that the household, both upstairs and down, is still coming to terms with what has happened - and it falls on Robert's broad shoulders to make what could be a far-reaching decision about the situation. Rose, meanwhile, seems more concerned with persuading him to buy a wireless than what is happening to those around her - but then again, she's always been trapped in her own self-centred little world. In the kitchen, Mrs Patmore thinks she may have found a way to help Daisy cope with her studies, while Thomas' devious ways look set to scupper Baxter's friendship with Molesley. Finally, as Lord Merton continues to woo Isobel, Anna is reluctantly drawn into Mary's latest scheme.
When it comes to the opposite sex, Lady Mary is a little ahead of her time. A foreign diplomat died in her bed during the first series, and following the death of her husband, she's been involved in a love triangle. Now she's getting up to mischief with Lord Gillingham. It's supposed to be a secret, but her cover story is almost blown - until Violet saves the day. It seems that the battleaxe may have more reason than most to sympathise with her granddaughter's position when a face from her past reappears, hinting at a hidden past of her own. Meanwhile, Carson is dismissive of Mrs Patmore's latest problem, Branson receives a proposition about the estate's future and the circumstances of nasty valet Green's demise are scrutinised - again.
We are at the halfway point of the series, and matters are hotting up nicely. Schoolteacher Sarah Bunting continues to wage her one-woman war against the Crawleys - before pushing them too far. Violet is too busy getting flustered about Prince Kuragin to notice, and finally confides in Isobel the truth about their shared past. Following her illicit trip to Liverpool with Lord Gillingham, Mary makes a decision about their relationship - but does it have any future? Thomas returns to Downton a shadow of his former self, and Baxter wonders if there's more to his mystery illness than he's letting on. Rose's father Shrimpie (guest star Peter Egan) is also back on the estate - with shocking news.
There is chemistry aplenty between Richard E Grant and Elizabeth McGovern, perhaps because they previously played a married couple in the BBC's Scarlet Pimpernel series in 1998. Their Downton characters - art expert Simon Bricker and Lady Cora - have grown close over the past few weeks, and their flirting reaches boiling point in the latest episode. She's enjoying the attention he gives her, but is he about to cross a line - and does she want him to? Cora's eldest child, Mary, is also enjoying male company, this time that of Charles Blake, who's about to do her a big favour. Meanwhile, Rose meets a dashing stranger, Branson makes up his mind about Sarah Bunting and Anna is disturbed by a visit from Inspector Vyner.
Following the altercation, relations between Robert and Cora are strained, while Blake's scheming starts to come to fruition when Mary is unexpectedly pitted against her love rival. Edith decides to take drastic measures after receiving terrible news, leaving various parties reeling. Baxter is embroiled in the investigation into Green's death following a mysterious tip-off, and as Thomas's health deteriorates, he finally reveals the truth to the maid. Elsewhere, love is in the air for more than one member of the Crawley family.
Secrets could be exposed as Rosamund arrives at Downton following Edith's shock departure. Rose is delighted to introduce Atticus and his parents to the Abbey, while Anna and Bates start thinking about a fresh start, now that the worst of their problems are seemingly behind them. Molesley is concerned to see Daisy becoming disillusioned with her studies, and Isobel makes a happy announcement, but there may be trouble on the horizon. Violet has her hands full with her warring servants, while Mary and Blake seize an opportunity to send Gillingham a strong message
Preparations are under way for Rose's wedding, but family tensions on both sides threaten to derail proceedings. Edith's arrangement with Marigold is happily working out, but how long can she and Cora conceal the truth from Robert? Denker reveals an unexpected side to her personality, which causes trouble for more than one of the servants. With the war memorial due to be unveiled, Mrs Patmore is still upset, but Robert has something up his sleeve. Branson comes to a heart-wrenching decision, and the storm clouds that have been gathering over Anna and Bates finally burst.