Golly Gum Drops, TELL HIM

Tell Him. MUSICA

(Attention: I’m about to give away everything from season 6, episode 8 of Downty. If you haven’t seen it, run from this space!)

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“Tell him!” Cora said to Edith  who was wearing lovely blue lace gloves and sporting a coat with interesting looking trim on the sleeves.

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“Tell him,” said Rosamund, who had overdone it a bit with the curling iron and the hair style all the rage called the Marcelle. “Tell him,” I said, and Joe said.  We begged her, but nooooo, Edith’s fatal flaw stays strong, she can’t tell him, she just can’t. Too scandalous to say out loud.

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She didn’t trust Bertie. Why, I will never know.

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He is such a doll. Cried when Cora was kind to him. Devoted to his cousin. Doesn’t even want to be the Marquess, although he is willing, because he is honorable and believes in duty. And he hopes to use “Edith’s courage” to help himself through it. But Edith has zero courage to share and procrastinates.  It’s clear that someone has to tell him.  Marrying in a lie is not the way to start a life together.  I know, let’s let Mary do it!

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She’s in the village with Tom, wearing my very favorite coat when she first hears

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. . . that the owner of Brancaster Castle has died, and “worries” that Bertie might be out of his job as agent. “Poor Edith,” she says, smiling.

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Later finding out, that NO, in fact Bertie is now the new Marquess. Which makes Mary insta-jealous. Add it to the list of miseries for Mary. (Robert is thrilled when he realizes Edith will be marrying a Marquess and says, “Golly Gum Drops” to show his delight.)

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So now it’s time for lunch, Henry has recently stormily departed due to Mary’s edict, and according to Tom, whom Mary tricked into providing confirmation about Marigold, Mary is a bully and “like all bullies, she’s a coward” which makes her the perfect person to drop the bombshell. “You are very forgiving” she says to poor unsuspecting Bertie, “Not everyone would accept Edith’s past.” (GASP! Did you just gasp? I thought I could hear the entire country gasp.) She couldn’t help it, everyone was  having more fun than her, plus Edith would outrank her if she married Bertie. (“Absurd!” she says when she hears), so she decides to destroy her sister’s life over breakfast. Note: Mary did it when her father and mother and granny were not in the room.  She could have just as easily done it at dinner the night before, but she waited.IMG_6019

Poor Edith. Or, as her father would say, “Poor old Edith couldn’t even make her dolls do what she wanted them to.” I don’t see how anyone with that skin wouldn’t be a little bit braver in life.

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And off Bertie goes, hurt and dismayed . . . I hope you are satisfied, Mary. But we could see it in her face, she had even shocked herself at this disgusting thing.

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So out we go for terrible goodbye forever’s in front of lovely Abbey.

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Bertie feels tricked. “Would you have married me in a lie?” He asks. He is such a down-to-earth, elegant man. And she was such an idiot. Because this was real love, not based on money or position, he wasn’t just some “social-climbing banker.” (Although I did have a bit of a worry the way he talked about his mother and thought if I were Edith I might not like living with her.)

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And Edith said (showing off the complicated trim on the back of her dress that mirrored the trim on the Abbey), “I doubt we’ll meet again . . . so, good luck.” Proper and mannerly. Just like we knew this would be, right?

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Now it is time for everyone to yell at Mary. “Bully! Coward! You finally got what you wanted!  DON’T LIE!”  all from Tom. Eeek, I’m saying to myself. Guess these two won’t be getting married.

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“You nasty, jealous, scheming,” dare I say it? “Bitch.” And once was not enough, Edith said it again. “Ubbidy, ubbidy,” Mary tried to lie her way out of it. “STOP,” said Edith, “Don’t demean yourself by trying to justify your venom.”

Bada-Boom!

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And I said, you go girl.  Because what Mary did was unforgivable. Even though I love her.

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So she went to her gorgeous bedroom and felt sorry for herself. She’s beat Henry back to the point that he’s now called her a gold digger and “abandoned” her, Tom’s disgusted, everyone hates her.

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She puts on her black widow spider outfit and feels misunderstood and alone and has no idea why.

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And the Dowager comes to the rescue, all the way from France, kind of mad because her butler Spratt isn’t waiting at home to greet her. But it was a good thing she came, because there is no one like a Grandma when times are tough.

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And Granny believes in love.

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“Oh Granny, can’t you find me some Duke? Mary cries, she just “can’t be a Crash Widow again.” First thing,” Granny says, “make peace with your sister, and second thing, make peace with yourself.”

hearts and flowers

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Awwwww.

We love Mary. We love Granny. People. We get ourselves into such messes.

Mas MUSICA

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So she goes to the graveyard, choking with tears, and tells Matthew she loves Henry and says she wants to marry him and wishes for his blessing. (Why am I crying while I’m writing this?) And then she sends for Henry.

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You whistled, I came, so what do you want? Not taking any guff.

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This. She wants this. And so, because everyone carries a marriage license in their pocket, we are going to a wedding right now.

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Everyone is getting ready for the wedding, and you can see that Anna has a baby on board. And who surprises everyone by showing up in supreme truth and light?

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Edith, luminescent with forgiveness. Above and beyond the call of duty, and yet . . . she let’s Mary apologize.  Edith takes it as a matter of course and says, “I assumed you’d be sorry unless you actually are insane.” And gives a lovely speech about how important family is, how someday they will be the only ones to remember Sybil and Matthew, and their parents, and all the souls that “peopled our youth.” So right. For the moment, peace reigns, although how Mary can be happy with her sister having lost the love of her life, I don’t know.

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And so Tom becomes the Best Man at Mary’s second wedding.

IMG_6143And I have accepted that my wished-for marriage for Tom and Mary will not be happening. And you are so right, he probably deserves a less foundationally retaliatory kind of person.  And she and Henry are very beautiful together.
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And the throwing of the flower petals was just heaven.flowers IMG_6152

But this is where I was finally won over.  It was a wonderful kiss that Henry gave Mary, well done! I predict a very nice first year of marriage!

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Although, the hat . . . . .

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And off they go!  Where?  Back to Downton? To her room?  Where are they going?

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“A New couple in a New World,” says Robert. Bittersweet. Our people are growing up, going away from us.flowersIMG_5914

I had to show the drama and excitement between Mary and Edith ~ we’d waited so long for it! But one of my favorite parts of this episode were the lovely scenes showing the charms of the English Countryside. Like this one of Cora and Edith in the wildflower meadow.

they mow through the wildflowers

(Thought I’d throw this one in just for excitement. You can find this all over England in the spring!)

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And the umbrellas, they were fun too. I’ve always hoped they would come back into style! Gloves too. I thought perhaps this germier, sunnier world we live in would require it, but so far, it’s just a wish.

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And this scene with the Cruel Miss, boring Lord Merton’s son, Larry’s hideous wife, Miss Amelia Crookshank, having tea with the wonderful Isobel Crawley. Hat, tea, house, grounds, umbrella:happy!IMG_6028

And Isobel tells Amelia that “unless I hear, ‘welcome to the family’ from Larry himself, I’m not joining up!” I do not notice any attraction at all between Lord Merton and Isobel, other than a little hovering on his part every so often. Do you?

IMG_5935This was one of the scenes, I’m not sure where it was, but I would like to go live there for a year or so.

IMG_5960And this pretty scene of Tom and Mary agenting in the woods while he tries to tell her to grow up and quit being afraid and marry Henry.flowersIMG_5920

Now for Mrs. Patmore … this is her reaction when Sergeant Willis tells her that the man in the bushes with the camera in the last episode is a detective, and that the first customers to her B & B were ADULTERERS, that she may have to testify against them in a high profile trial, and that her B & B is now considered a House of Ill Repute!!!! Mrs. Patmore is about to faint.

IMG_5923‘Course her best friend is there for her . . . trying hard not to laugh.

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Anna and Mary go into a laughing fit about the whole idea of it.

IMG_6089 You can’t say as much for Carson who doesn’t seem to know from laughter and says he never thought the whole B & B idea was any good from the beginning. He’s upset because  the family is being dragged into a tawdry local brew-ha-ha, and is being a total curmudgeon in every way possible.  “Yes,” Mrs. Hughes says, “But you’re MY curmudgeon.” I don’t know Mrs. Hughes. Except for sturdiness, this guy seems to have very few redeeming qualities. I would like to see him do something silly please. Twirl her, dance with her, get some lemon curd on his coat and lick it off, play a tiny joke, drop your tea bag on your eyeglasses, something!flowerborderIMG_6085

All Mrs. Patmore’s bookings at the B & B are cancelled, she’s ruined! But the family comes to the rescue, they’re going to tea at the House of Ill Repute to give it good repute and avert further scandal. And Mrs. Patmore is so happy, she’s making the tea . . . I just love the kitchen shots.

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And that egg holder. I can just picture someone who works on Downton Abbey running down to Waitrose and picking up 3 dozen eggs in two colors.

IMG_6111And here is Mrs. Patmore’s wonderful tea at the B & B. This is why tea parties are so much fun. They are delicious and pretty to look at!

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And the cute people in the neighborhood and photographers buy right into it . . . gathering to see and take photos of the Lord and his family.

IMG_6127Who have saved the day  . . .

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Because, essentially, this a very kind family.

IMG_6130And Julian gives us the shot in black and white, as it would have been in the day.flowerborderIMG_6066

More charm . . . the school house with heart-on-his-sleeve Mr. Moseley learning to teach, wishing to give these kids the chance that he never had.

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Daisy, in some pretty good eye make up, listens in, and later tells Moseley in front of everyone in the servants dining room that he’s “a natural” and “the children were spellbound.” Another very sweet kind moment. Everyone clapped and I did too. How about Mr. Moseley and Daisy as a couple?  No?

IMG_6058Then good Baxter saves Barrow’s life with a premonition . . . and finds him in a bathtub with slit wrists, JUST in time, he is so white we almost can’t tell where the bathtub leaves off and he begins . . . “The suicidal footman in the attic,” cruel Carson calls him.

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But we would like to see him happy. Poor lonely guy.flowerborderIMG_6081Mary visits and brings her son to give Barrow an orange and brighten his day, they commiserate about loneliness and doing bad things, and we are left with hope for his future. Even the curmudgeon decides they shouldn’t fire Barrow right this moment because maybe he does have a heart after all.

IMG_6102Oh, here he is, the missing Butler turns out to be in London for tea because Spratt is actually Miss Cassandra Jones, the Lonely Hearts columnist for Edith’s magazine! How perfect is this!!? He’s probably been stealing lines from Granny for years!flowerborderIMG_6162

This second to last episode ends with Edith standing at Sybil’s grave smiling ruefully (first time in my life I ever used that word!) as she watches her darling Marigold . . .

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run and play and giving us the idea she has come to acceptance, that she is saying to herself, at least I have my child. OH, Bertie, Bertie, Bertie, come back to us. We need you!

And that is it, for this week. Apparently the Academy Awards are on next Sunday so, the very last episode (wah!) of Downton will come on March 6, just in time to welcome Spring.  But I’ll be back on the Blog before that!

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You are probably tired and worn out from this recap, but before I go I had to share a bit of Jack with you this morning . . .Jane AustenIMG_5995

Yes, I know, but he is so precious.

IMG_5998All ready for his morning nap . . . And I’m off to work on the calendars some more . . . I showed some watercoloring in the last blog post (which I did just yesterday) in case you want to scroll down and see it.  Joe just came into the Studio to tell me our New Hope, PA “Afternoon Tea” on our Book Tour has sold out!!! How wonderful, I’m so excited! A whole room of kindred spirits!  Most of our events don’t require tickets, but some do, so be sure to get yours before they’re gone, because I’m going to LOVE seeing you. (There has been a little change to the map at the Event in Kansas City, but it is correct in the listing.)

Alright, off I go! Have a wonderful day Girlfriends! XOXO

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509 Responses to Golly Gum Drops, TELL HIM

  1. Jean says:

    I absolutely love your recap of Downton Abby. Been looking forward to it all week. Love, love, love it!!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻😍

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Jean, love your little applause hands! :-)

    • Jerry in Missouri says:

      And may I add the only thing I will miss every bit as much as the show itself is your recaps! They have been such a highlight and bonus to the show. However I am most grateful that your blog continues which will most definitely be the prescription I will need to get past my Downton mourning!

  2. Gina P. from NY says:

    Susan: great recap of our Downty, as usual! I agree with you regarding Rosamund’s hair – Yikes! A bit too tight. I also am not wild about Anna’s or Mrs. Hughes’ hair this season either. Kind of severe looking. But the clothes! That red coat of Mary’s is divine! The hairpieces, the jewelry, the dresses – just gorgeous. It’s hard to figure out what to concentrate on first! I must say you have an eye and catch it all! I didn’t realize that the end scene was around Sybil’s grave. I’ll be re-watching the episode again tonight – another one of our local PBS stations shows the Sunday episode on Monday nights, so I’ll be sure to catch that. I wish Julian would have given Tom a more interesting life other than working in a garage and playing match maker to Mary and Henry. He deserves better! I agree with you that Lord Merton and Isobel seem to have no chemistry whatsoever, however, wouldn’t you look forward to seeing a Larry Grey/Isobel meeting again? With all the fireworks that took place this week, I wonder if Julian will carry them over to the last episode? That setting that you were wondering about (the house) is Crawley House, Isobel’s house. I love it, inside and out. Lots of tears and emotions this episode, and lots of yelling, which I don’t ever remember seeing before! So much laughter over Mrs. Patmore’s plight, then tears at Barrow’s suicide attempt. Happiness to see Mr. Molesley find his niche, then tears over Violet’s wise and loving words to Mary. Frustration at whatever is eating Mr. Carson these days, and contentment at seeing Mary realize that Henry is the one for her after all. Tears watching Mary and Edith tear each other apart, then Edith’s sentimental apology, then laughter again at finding out Mr. Spratt is Miss Cassandra Jones! A roller coaster of a penultimate episode!

    P.S. Jack is too cute for words! Love those front paws…

  3. Barb says:

    The photo of the house that you mentioned that you would like to “stay there a year” is actually the house they use for Mrs. Crawley’s home. It is actually located in the town of Bampton, where many, many outdoor scenes are filmed. In actuality the church and cemetery surrounding it is used for all of the cemetery scenes and church scenes including weddings, is located right next-door to that house in Bampton. And directly next door to “Mrs. Crawley’s house” is the town library that is used as the hospital facade for Downton Abbey. This whole area is used for filming i.e. street scenes, front of buildings etc. in this little section of Bampton. It is a 16th and 15th century sheep wool trading town. I had just made my pilgrimage to High Clere Castle and the town of Bampton, last September.

    • sbranch says:

      So we looked up Brampton and put it on our maybe list! Very pretty little place and so near Bibury where we have stayed twice!

    • Gina P. from NY says:

      Barb: one of the first places I intend to visit if I ever get over to the UK! It sounds heavenly! Thanks for letting us know!

  4. Robyn Brown says:

    I’m sorry I just cannot like Mary at all anymore. She is wicked and selfish. She ruined Edith’s chance at happiness like a spoiled child. I think the telling off that Tom and Edith both gave her was well deserved. I also was very impressed with Edith when she returned and forgave Mary. Edith has really matured. Mary has not. I cried for Edith and I cried for Mrs. Patmore.
    Poor Barrow. I do feel for him. I am so happy for Mr. Moseley and I loved it when Mr. Bates told him “you are a kind man, you deserve happiness”. :) :) That was so sweet and so true!

    • sbranch says:

      A roller coaster! That is what it was!

    • Jenny Page says:

      When Edith called Mary that name, I yelled, “YES!” She must have heard us all cheering because she yelled it again, to which I chorused, “YES!!!” Finally, someone calls it like it is. Edith needs to move out, take her daughter, and begin a life in peace at her newspaper. I love how she and her editor seem like kindred spirits: “BANANAS.”

  5. Robyn Brown says:

    p.s. the clothes were amazing. I love how when someone comes in a room, the ladies all pose. I loved Edith’s black embroidered jacket at the end and Mary’s wedding dress was lovely even if she wasn’t (inside I mean).

    • sbranch says:

      They do don’t they, I never thought of that!

    • Victoria Miller says:

      You make an excellent point. It never occurred to me, either, until you mentioned it, but they do pose! How observant you are!

      • Robyn Brown says:

        I love all the little things about this show. The small envelopes with vintage stamps and lovely handwriting, the soft footfalls on lush carpeting as they walk, the clink of the ladies beaded necklaces, the soft closing of a door as the servants leave a room, the crisp sounds of footsteps on the pea gravel drive, the birdsong when they’re outside…That’s what I will miss and that is why I pick up on them I guess. :)

        • Gina P. from NY says:

          Robyn: all the things you described are what make this show so wonderful… I also enjoy watching them eat! So practiced, so poised, so classy. Small bites, using the knife to place food on the back of the fork, waiting until the bite is chewed and swallowed before picking up another bite. Tea time is also lovely to watch – you never want to just plop a tea bag into a cup again! I also heard that of all the things that Hugh Bonneville wanted to take from the set at the end of the series was a few of the “letters” that he received during the run of the show. He has apparently had them framed, and they are in his home, as they are real letters with the actual wording he was saying written right on them. Lovely. I also noticed how doors are never slammed, but closed softly. The ladies maids pick up the clothes very gently, almost as though they are made of gossamer’s wings. Everything is of a gentler more simple time. I will miss all of this too!

          • Charissa says:

            Gina that is so lovely what you said and about Mr. Bonneville. What a gracious momento.

      • Carol from CT says:

        All part of the ‘Etiquette’ of the time.

  6. Gail says:

    What a night last night. One minute up ,then down. I felt so sad for Thomss, the scene with little George so sweet. Mary,Mary,Mary. I couldn’t believe even she could continue to be so cruel. I’m hoping the last show skips a year. That way we could see Anna and Bates baby, Edith happily married and the rest of the characters going on with their new lives. I’ll miss this show, so much.

  7. Nancy says:

    Love your comments. May I suggest you and your friends visit the blog, Lady Canarvan. This is the blog of the estate, Highclere where Downton Abbey was filmed. It is fascinating to see all the interiors and what happens there. There are tours and cottages where you can stay.
    It will bridge the loss of the show to keep seeing the real thing evolve.
    Smiles

  8. Patsy in Nixa, MO says:

    Susan, I like your comments as much as the show itself. They should do the entire season over again, but halt the film so you could intersperse comments. I’d watch it all over again. We could have all the beautiful clothes, houses, etc. PLUS your take on things.

    And I have this all planned out for the last episode. Marigold’s father had amnesia from the muggers, but now he’s okay and coming home to Edith.

    I have everyone matched up.
    Baxter and Moseley
    Mrs. Patmore and Daisy’s Father-in-law
    Barrow and Spratt
    Daisy and Andy
    Mrs. Crawley will snub the snobs and move in with Granny and they’ll become best friends and fire that troublemaker maid
    and I agree that Branson should marry Edith’s secretary.
    There – everyone accounted for, except Lady Rosamunde. She seems able to take care of herself.

    I just wish the former caretakers who kept Marigold would come back to show everyone their very own new baby girl.

  9. Deb W says:

    Unlike some, I have never liked Mary. Too arrogant, too spiteful, so I enjoyed watching her (finally) grow a conscience, and have it smack her around a little in the process. First came the blast from Tom (BIG smack). That had to hurt, because she values his opinion. Then Edith (profoundly overdue smack), that she couldn’t even argue back to because light is beginning to dawn….. Then Henry (shocking smack) – ‘I’m better than that? Hey! You’re supposed to adore me, and put up with anything!” Then Mary snaps at Anna……. and immediately realizes this a pattern of abusing those she loves. Then Violet (gentle smack, because there were more urgent things to get across). And finally, when she falls into the pattern and slams Lord Grantham for his part in Barrow’s suicide attempt – “that’s rather below the belt, Mary, even for you.” EVEN FOR YOU…….. then you can see it. Her body slumps and she finally sees the ugly, dark side of herself, and knows everyone around her has always known…….. and the seed for a new, more mature Mary is sown.

    I loved the soliloquy Julian wrote for Edith when the two sisters reconcile. Edith’s journey to maturity and self-discovery came earlier, perhaps due to her more difficult life. In the beginning they were alike as two peas in that regard – each equally nasty. Remember Edith’s letter to the Turkish Ambassador about Mr. Pamuk?

    • sbranch says:

      Right, that “even for you” was something!!! Yes, I remember that letter every time Mary says something nasty to Edith.

      • Christabelle says:

        And that’s why I’ve given Mary a “hall pass” with her attitude towards Edith for some time now. I do agree that she went too far with Edith this time, but didn’t it seem like she couldn’t control herself? Almost like an out-of-body experience, watching yourself behave badly and not being able to stop it? I sobbed when Granny came back and gently set her straight, intuiting exactly what was causing Mary to act like a runaway train. And I’m glad we saw her take George down to visit Barrow, so we could get a glimpse of the softer side of her again.

        • sbranch says:

          I felt the same way about the hall pass. But one of our Girlfriends mentioned that although Mary thought Bertie should know about Edith’s checkered past, she neglected to tell Henry about the Turk that died in her bed! I’m guessing she didn’t mention it to Matthew either! Fun, Funny show. Wouldn’t it have been hysterical if Edith had looked across the table and Mary and said, “Yeah-but … how about YOU and the dead guy in your bed?!” Bertie would have fainted.

          • VickeyB says:

            Mary DID tell Matthew about the Turkish guy BEFORE they were married. He made a comment to the effect that they were both adults, and both had pasts. He never held it against her, or over her head.

            No one seems to recall that the Turkish guy showed up uninvited–and unexpected–in Mary’s room. She didn’t ask him there, and couldn’t get rid of him without creating a scene, which would have resulted in a ruined reputation for her. Although, as we all remember, Edith tried to ruin Mary’s reputation anyway, with her nasty letter to the Turkish ambassador. That was just as mean and despicable as Mary spilling the beans about Marigold to Bertie.

            We viewers will never know what went on between Mary and Edith as they were growing up, but–to me–Edith’s dirty trick with the letter to the Ambassador was the opening salvo in the “sister wars,” and was unforgivable.

  10. Kendra says:

    I hope Mary was forgoing with all her secrets , Mr. Pamuk, before she married poor Henry !!!

  11. diana from ancaster says:

    hmmmmm….perhaps love will find and match Lady Edith and Tom?

  12. Kathie Ferko says:

    So glad I bought my tickets to the New Hope signing….so excited.

    Kathie from Limerick

  13. Frances Fowler says:

    Jack looks as if he just can’t look at that awful, awful breakfast scene, and who could blame him? In a little over an hour, Mary showed the very worst of her mean, spiteful side (and Tom minced no words!), even to her Papa, who seemed to spend most of the episode either giddy with happiness or showing stern disapproval. But if Mary got a well deserved lashing from Tom, who it turns out hasn’t lost the ability to show some Irish temper after all, that slow train of aptly chosen words finally arrived from Edith, who has now had two marriages maliciously subverted by Mary. It’s not every episode that shows Mary getting her just desserts by being at the receiving end of such words as “bully”, “coward”, “scheming,” “stupid,” “stuck-up”, and, yes — “Uppidy, uppidy,” and she was deserving of them all! You are soooo right — Bada-boom! Well, she was quite happy enough by the end. Oh, you KNOW Edith will have her happy ending, they all will! Oh, if there isn’t a movie, I don’t know what I’ll do. And just which Downton female will play Susan in your movie? Meryl doesn’t count!

  14. Kathie Ferko says:

    Dear Susan…..
    Ilove to read your synopsis of Downton every week…what will we do after next week…they are like a family…I will miss them…most of them.
    Kathie from Limerick

  15. Bonnie says:

    Great recap as always!
    Can’t wait to have tea with you.
    See you in New Hope. I have my ticket.

  16. Well, the minute Robert said “Golly Gum Drops” I thought of you and HOPED that you had not missed that little nugget. Once again, you have not failed us. How you are able to notice and retain every little bit – lace trim on gloves, etc. – is astonishing and I do so love (and wait with bated breath) for your weekly recap. Honestly, it is one of the highlights of my week.

    I will say that Mary really outdid herself and I found myself wondering how on earth it is that Edith did not fly across the breakfast table and stick a grapefruit spoon in her eye or something equally drastic. I probably would have. But then again, I suppose I would have failed miserably at being an aristocrat in Britain in the 1920s.

    I was devastetd for poor dumb Edith – Bertie was wonderful. Like you, though, the spectre of his Mama sounded a little terrifying and God only knows what she would have made of Marigold. Still, I think Julian will not let us – or Edith down – this final time.

    There are just too many more things to say about last night – what a ride it was. I’m going to watch it all over again tonight. And laugh and cry.

    Thank you so much for lifting my Monday!
    Cackie

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Marigold stuck in a stiff household with that mother would probably be awful for her, unless the mother secretly has a heart like Bertie’s. But now he’s a Marquess and I guess it matters even more what he does. I would be a terrible aristocrat too. Probably they would expel me for mouthiness.

    • Donna Wheeler says:

      Bertie sounded a bit too much like a Mama’s boy; certainly not a good MIL. Edith has grown up to be a modern business woman and mother. She don’t need no stinkin’ husband.

  17. Susan Taylor says:

    Love the recap of last nights Downton. I keep hoping Michael (Marigold’s dad)will suddenly reappear for Edith and they live happily ever after. Could happen who knows, only Julian.

  18. Susan (in VA) says:

    I’ve enjoyed your recaps even tho I’ve known what happens since the episodes aired in Britain. I love all the little things you notice.

    But. . . I have to say that you and I will always disagree about Mary. She has few redeeming qualities and I’ve disliked her almost from the start. Of all the characters, she’s grown the least. (Well, still deciding about Thomas. He and Mary are vying for the “Most Evil” award.)

    • sbranch says:

      Well, I wouldn’t want her for my sister, but I do love watching her antics from afar. She is someone else’s problem, thank goodness! :-)

      • Susan (in VA) says:

        BTW, in case no one else has already mentioned it, I wanted to point out that the final episode of the regular series isn’t “really” the final episode as there was a later Downton Christmas special that wrapped everything up. So, make sure you don’t miss it! It will make you :-).

        • sbranch says:

          This is the Christmas Special, as they called it in England, but since it’s not Christmas here, it is the last episode, coming on Sunday. Prepare to mop up, I’m sure the oceans will rise with the tears.

          • Susan (in VA) says:

            Oh, good. I’m glad they’re not making you wait long. And your tears will be happy tears. Enjoy.

          • sbranch says:

            But the sad part is that it’s the last. Then of course we will just have to start over!

    • KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

      I thought Mary looked radiant and happy at her wedding….that cold, bitter look was gone! Hopefully for good!

  19. Victoria Miller says:

    Having got a bit behind, I had some catch up watching to do, and I must be thinking of the previous episode, but I truly enjoyed Mrs. Hughes initiating Carson in what it is like to come home from work and have to cook dinner ~ and what a dinner it was! Also, he does very rarely ‘let his hair down’ so to speak — remember he went wading at the beach once, without shoes or even socks!

    Interesting how Mary could behave so very, very, very badly and yet get whisked down the aisle at the end of the evening, with shining Edith left in the midst of the dead with her daughter….a bit symbolic considering what she’s been through. I loved your ‘Tell him…’ posts here, reminding us Edith did, after all, have plenty of encouragement to do the right thing.

    After every season, we miss this show when it ends. This year is really going to be rough. I am contemplating buying the DVDs just so I can have a watch when I feel the urge. Also, it is great to watch things at least a second time. We often find much we missed the first time around.

    Best wishes with the completion of your new book! We are all waiting with baited breath!

  20. Jan Lane says:

    Mary, what an unpleasant and self absorbed jealous soul. She really takes the biscuit. I was glad that Edit finally laid it all on the line, and Tom as well. Mary seemed totally clueless as to the nature of her perpetual bad behaviour. I was not that happy to see her find happiness with Henry. How long will it be before she betrays him. I cannot take anything she does with any more than a grain of salt. I never liked her character, even from the beginning.
    Edith is the one who has struggled for every bit of happiness, but she seems to find it more easily than her demanding older sister. I do believe she will find happiness in the end, with Bertie.
    It will be difficult for many of us when Downton ends. I hope that Mr. Fellowes will be working on the series to carry it forth, as there is so much material which could come from the characters for several more seasons.
    I do wonder what they are going to do with the lovely wardrobe pieces. It would be interesting to see if they somehow resurface in future BBC productions, lol.

    • sbranch says:

      You’re right. All Mary knew was she didn’t feel good, but she was so out of touch with herself, she wasn’t quite sure why! I wish someone, a designer, would start making those clothes available to the general public. I would certainly be interested in them! That would be the business I would start now if I was 23. I would design clothes based on Downton and Out of Africa. Those linen things!!!

      • Laura says:

        I know!!! Remember a few seasons ago when they had the village fete on the lawns of Downton? All of those gorgeous linen dresses…swoon! I would love one of each and also that red coat and the dress Mary was wearing when Matthew proposed…oh my!! I would love to wear all of those and live in Isobel’s house and tend her rose garden…SWOON!!

        • sbranch says:

          Swoon is right!

          • Sharrie says:

            I just found the designer on Instagram. Follow “annamaryscott” (middle name Mary not Marie) to see more close up pictures of all the accoutrements! And sketches! And inspiration photos! So lovely! I haven’t seen any spoiler pictures yet, but you might should wait if you do not care for spoilers.

            You can type in “annamaryscott on Instagram” in your search engine and see the photos (click or tap the photos to read the comments) even if you’re not on Instagram.

            I also follow “masterpieceonpbs” on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes photos.

            I would like to thank all of the Girlfriends that mention shows and books in their comments! It makes me so happy to track down more information and learn something new.

  21. Regina says:

    Even though the next episode isn’t until two weeks from now I thought I heard them say there would be a Downton show next Sunday . Not sure if I heard it right . Maybe it’s a special about Downton . You might want to check your local listings next week to see if there is something on. Love your summaries of the show Susan . It’s like getting a second dose of Downton. I will certainly miss your contributions and insights about the show. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • sbranch says:

      I hope there’s a special! Thanks for letting us know Regina!

      • Carol from CT says:

        I think PBS said that next Sunday’s show would be “More Manners of Downton Abbey”, i.e., a sequel to “The Manners of Downton Abbey”. I’m checking the website to try to find out.

  22. AngieTink says:

    😊💜🌟✨🎶 Bravo Sweetest Sue!!! I Agree With Every~Word…. :-) Thank~You For This Downty~ReCap Photos & All…..I Wept! I Gasped A Lot :-) Oh My Word!!!! I Laughed…Then More Weeping…I Was Worn Out At The End…. Whew! :-) I Love Our Mary…I Think She Has Been in a State Of Grief For So Long She Lost Her Mind For a Bit…Tom Had To Snap Her Out Of It….Tom Truly Has Brotherly~Love For Both Mary & Edith….(Our Wish For Those Two Mary & Tom Won’t Come True…Alas…But Mary Seems Happy Now…) Poor Edith….I Hope Bertie Has a Change of Heart…Comes Back To Edith & Adopts Marigold! Please~GOD!!!!!! :-) & Mr. Barrow…My Heart Aches For Him & When Little George Brought Him The Orange…. OMG….. & Mr. Carson…..I Love What You Said About Him…lol…& Daisy & Mr Mosely & Mrs Hughes & Mrs Patmore & Anna & Mr Bates & Isobel & Granny….Oh How I Love Violet!!!! & Robert!….I Love Downton~Abbey…At The End When They Announced The Finale Will Be March 6th..I Was Like What??? Then it Did Hit Me Oh The Oscars…..Well I’m Gonna Say Good~Night Sweet Sue (Good~Morning When You Read This) The Pics Of Jack….My Wings All~a~Flutter Kitty~Kisses From Me Please! (Girl~Kitty Too) Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…….xoxo Poof! 😊💖💙⛄💜💚🌟💛✨💘🎶 P.S. Golly~Gum~Drops! 😊💖🌟🎶

    • sbranch says:

      I know just how you feel Angie, we have taken these characters to heart and it will be hard to say goodbye!

      • AngieTink says:

        Good~Morning Sweet Sue…. Yes! & Now These Glorious~Characters Will Remain With Us…..We Shall Keep Them Close…..Always…..& Like Our Favorite Good~Books We Can Go Back in Time….Whether We Open Up The Pages Or Pop In The DVDs & Visit Them…. When We Need Them….& Remember…… 😊💖 Warm Hugzzz For Your Day…Looks Like The Winter~Spring~Dance Has Begun…Snow…Rain…More Snow…Then Rain Again…xoxo Splash! 😊💖💙⛄💜💚🌟💛✨💘🎶

  23. K says:

    DA Ending: The butler did it. :-)

  24. Ericka says:

    Didn’t you just love Lord Grantham’s disappointment in Mr. Carson’s reservations about supporting Mrs. Patmore? And who better than Carson’s beloved lord to put him right? About time!
    And speaking of Mrs. Patmore, how adorable is she? She’s larger than life in the kitchen, but coming out of the inn to take a photo with the family we see that she’s just a wee little thing…or else everyone else is incredibly tall!

    I can’t stand that there’s one episode left. I believe I’ll have to start watching from the beginning again. :)

  25. Ann Woleben says:

    Sighs and sadness that there is only one more episode. Thank goodness we will have your new book once Downton has ended. Love your photos of the beach this past weekend. The warm temperatures gave hope that spring is near.

  26. Julie C says:

    I don’t like Mary anymore. Yes, she got yelled at a couple of times. Then an hour later is getting married and living happily ever after. Edith should have gotten married not Mary. What Edith said before the wedding was so true, but lost on evil Mary. Enough of my rant. Love the pics of Jack! Kisses to the Kitties.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sorry to say, but I’m not sure Mary will ever live “happily ever after.” She’s a bit of hell on wheels and it will always come back to bite her. Love our commentary!! :-)

  27. Nancy from Washington says:

    Oh oh where are the comments about Mr. Carson having to fix dinner?? I clapped my hands and laughed out loud all through that scene all the while Mrs. Hughes with a little smirk telling him “don’t forget” this or that, and him falling asleep at the table! Then when she just ‘mentioned’ that the dishes could wait overnight! The look on his face, he got his comeuppance! Mrs. Hughes really had him running to and fro from the kitchen to the dining table. Then he EVEN said he had a new respect for the cook! Amidst all the drama of this episode this was such fun to watch wasn’t it?

    • sbranch says:

      And all he was doing was warming up the meal that Mrs. Patmore made, and setting the table for two! Phew, poor thing! SO wonderful the way Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore collaborated on that one!

  28. Suzen says:

    You are so right Karen…….Mrs. Patmore does look like Mrs. Twiggy Winkle!!!! I have her sitting on my windowsill! That is hilarious! I’m going thru withdrawal already. I am surely going to miss them all. My husband thinks I’m a little bonkers. What shall we replace them with? Susan, I read your last book in 2 days so I guess I will have to spread the new one out a little longer….that will help take up some time as I’m getting over the sorrow! I read somewhere that you will be able to stay at Highclere overnight soon? Am I right?

  29. Bee Stevens says:

    I love the lamps in Lord and Lady Granthams bedroom on the dressing table.
    Of course I love the whole show. Looking forward to your new book which
    I have on order. Really enjoy your blog.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m a big lamp person myself. Always looking for interesting ones in antique stores. We have very few overhead lights in our house, just those nice little pools of lamp light everywhere. Mary’s room has some nice lamps too. But LOVE the pink ones in the Lord and Lady’s room.

  30. Linda from Virginia says:

    Kathy and Karen and Cathy from Maryland all said what I have been wondering – could Michael come back? Does anyone know the historical incident that his death was part of and if anyone survived? I do believe Mary will have a hand in making Edith’s story have a happy ending so that we would relent a little in our anger at her.

    • sbranch says:

      Yeah, that’s what we’re thinking . . . maybe all that talk about Bertie’s mother being so strict . . . was the hint.

  31. Diane from Poulsbo says:

    What an exciting episode this was! I hate that we only have one more! However, soon after it ends, I will be comforted after I receive your brand new book that I pre-ordered today……yay! 😊 it is the only thing that will help me get over the loss of this show….even though I have every season on dvd…..lol. Jack is looking so handsome and happy these days. Do you know that I never realized that Girl is a senior….an elderly little lady? She doesnt look like she is older than Jack at all. I wish I could send you my little old pokey….he is a senior, but is driving me crazy these days! Soooo demanding in his old age. Maybe we pamper him toooo much. Anyhoo…..xxxxooooxxxx

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, she is a senior, she is 14 this year. She’s a bit rickety, likes to throw up a bit more than we really approve of, but we love her.

      • yes, we love our family no matter what “gifts” they leave us to clean up! lol. Speaking of gifts….I was just dreaming about receiving your new book, and I remembered that you are going to have the opportunity of a movie or series made of your life. It is absolutely thrilling! I hope you will have a hand in the writing of any and all scripts. Your humor, and the way you phrase things is such a part of who you are and what we love about you. You are too fun! You may hate admitting it to yourself, but you are an Icon. What you have brought to the lives of so many is nothing short of a heavenly gift from above through you. It needs and deserves to be shared on the screen! xoxoxoxo please keep us posted! And dont worry, Girl Kitty and Jack will keep you grounded, if you think you need to be……! I think I WILL send you my little pokey to help….lol

        • sbranch says:

          You are too sweet. I’m very touched by your words, but of course I don’t really believe them, so I think I will stay grounded forever. :-) And of course, because of the throw up! XOXO

          • Chris Wells From Knickerbocker, W. TX says:

            You better believe them ( the words) because they are the truth! But we aren’t worried about you staying grounded….Joe, Jack and Girl will see to that!!

          • sbranch says:

            Not to mention my dad! :-)

  32. Kathy Thompson (in Rialto CA) says:

    Hi Susan: On your recent post about SPRING, it reminded me of a blog conversation we had a couple of years ago. I said: I think you should write a new book entitled “Spring Has Sprung…from the Heart of the Home.” You said: “I say…brilliant.” Any chance of that happening as a soon project?

    My husband and I will be heading on a road trip of our own soon. We will be traveling the beautiful California coastline, up 1 and 101 through your neck of the California woods and up to visit Solvang, Monterey, San Francisco, the beautiful estate at FILOLI and then to Grass Valley and a couple of more spots…all in celebration of our 40th anniversary. It will be wonderful to have your new book arriving soon after we return. Spring is on it’s way!!!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      What a lovely trip! Happy Anniversary! As for another book . . . I’ll be away soon, for 2 months traveling to bookstores, then back home just long enough to do the laundry and let the cats know I still love them, and then off again on another two month trip to Britain . . . we don’t get home until around Thanksgiving. So I’m not sure right now what my next project is. Plus it takes maybe a year or a year and a half to write and illustrate a book, so I can’t say “soon” — but we’ll see. I need a little time out and I think I’m just about to get it!

      • Kathy Thompson (in Rialto CA) says:

        Have a great time on the book trip and the trip to your beloved England. Enjoy your well-deserved time out. :-)

    • Tawni urrutia says:

      That Filoli is so Incredible! Very Downton feeling, with flowers and gardens that take your breath away. Susan, you should look into swinging by there when you’re in Daniville…it’s not that far at all! Unless it’d commuter traffic, then it could take 3 weeks.😂

  33. mary kremer says:

    As I was watching DA last evening, several times I thought”I wonder what Susan thinks of this,” or “I know Susan will comment on this.”
    I love Downton and your re-caps are as awaited as the episodes themselves.
    It seems for me that each episode I dislike Mary more and more. I could not have been happier when Edith called her B….. But then Edith’s speech about them being the only ones who will remember and that’s why she came back, oh my gosh, that got me so much, it was beautiful.
    Carson is getting on my nerves too, that he had the audacity to question Robert’s support of Mrs. Patmore.
    They all had me giggling right alone with them when the word got around about what the B&B was rumored to be. First Anna and Mary, then Cora,it was a stitch.
    I will be anxiously awaiting your commentary on the final episode. I am not sure I can wait two whole weeks to see the finale.
    I am going to do my best to be at Joseph-Beth in May to meet you.
    One final comment- Oh that wonderful gorgeous fabulous furry little Jack,I could just smother him in kisses.
    Have a wonderful week

  34. Southern Belle says:

    Mary also waited until Carson left the room before she told Edith’s secret about Marigold. Mary is very insecure that is why she is unkind sometimes, to make herself feel better.

  35. Arrowhead Gramma says:

    Golly Gum Drops Susan, your commentary is better than watching the actual drama and antics of the Downton folks. Really have enjoyed seeing it through your eyes. What a gift you have given to all the girlfriends. Thank you ever so much!!!

  36. Jane Franks says:

    Man, what a roller coaster! I’m just getting to your blog, Susan. I was at the doctor’s office all afternoon. I’m reading some of the responses. I have a little different take on Mary/Edith. I find it hard to feel fondness for Edith. How can she take the moral high ground after that horrible betrayal of Mary years ago in the potential huge scandal when she wrote the Turkish Ambassador? And how could she so coldly and heartlessly — and stupidly — make the deal with the farmer to let them raise her child and than grab the baby back and send the wife into depression, and then have no sense of remorse when the couple had to leave the farm they loved which had been in their family “since Waterloo”? Edith simply cannot tell the truth. She got herself into hot water over the baby/farmer issue; and now has learned nothing in being deceitful, again, with wonderful loving Bertie. I don’t blame him for walking away. I think Edith is the jealous, deceitful “bitch!” (I’m using Edith’s word, not mine!) I agree that Mary has been hard on Edith, but in this episode, I felt Edith asked for it. Maybe because I’m the eldest of two sisters who are very different. And we have had to work hard at our relationship. What Edith said to her editor about the complicated relationship that she and Mary have is true. When there are only two of you, there is no mediator. Sometimes that can be very frustrating. There is that sibling rivalry. Because no two people see exactly alike on everything, and family members can be hard on each other. I think Edith and Mary will always struggle with that. Both of them have been through a lot. And that stress has added to the strain. I really felt for all the feelings that Mary was going through. She and Matthew were so perfect; she even said, back then, he brought out the best in her, and she hoped she could be his version of Mary throughout eternity. She is far more vulnerable than she seems on the surface. I thought Tom waaaay overstepped the bounds in lighting in to her. I wanted to crash through the TV with a baseball bat and hit him over the head. I was telling him to “lay off”. Mary had to process this transition herself. He was being a bully, yet she needed to hear it and he was the only one to do it. Her brother — actually he became the mediator in Sybil’s place. In the end, in hindsight, we saw that he helped her to rethink. But it was Granny, who I believe is the most like Mary in temperament, and therefore understands her the most, that broke through Mary’s fear. Once Mary could let go of that, though, she could let herself love Henry for who he really is, and they will make a strong and stable team. At first I wanted to slug him, too, but as I began to see his strength and resolve and determination, especially when he appealed to her about rank and money “Aren’t you better than that?” he asked. Of course it made her furious, but he saw something in her that others overlooked, and he was willing to take that risk. I knew, then, he was the best choice for Mary that would ever come along. In the end, he may prove to be a better match than even Matthew. I am so happy for both of them. I would like to think that Bertie might come back, even though I don’t care much for Edith, but it would take an awful lot with his position to trust her now. And it’s her own fault. Julian has said in interviews, not everyone gets a happy ending, because in life that’s the way it is. Of course, it depends on what happiness means, but that’s another whole story. Well enough of that! I was so happy for Mosely. He turned out to be a great teacher — a late bloomer! And something he always wanted to do. Well done, him. And while I wanted to clobber Tom, I was also amazed at the lengths he went to to assist both of his sister’s-in-law. I loved seeing Isobel put Miss Cool in her place! I am hopeful that this is a turning point for Thomas. I’m so glad Julian didn’t finish him off. I was very touched by the scene with Mary and Master George giving him the orange. Mary has a lot of goodness in her, in spite of her sharpness. She is loyal to the system that raised her. She was born into aristocracy and changing was not easy for her. She felt an obligation to maintain those ways — especially for George and Matthew’s memory. Now, with Henry, he will help her accept the changing world.

    There is a LOT more in this episode, but I’ve already gone on too long! Thank you Susan for this blog and a place to state our views and challenge each other. Jane xo

    • sbranch says:

      I know, that post was probably one of my longer ones, there was so much that went on! The thing is, Julian shows the human side of every one of his characters . . . they wouldn’t be half so interesting if they were either all good or all bad. Look how we love the evil Barrow now. Knowing what we know, but he’s got this sad streak we can all relate to. And Mary is like Scarlett O’Hara’s long lost twin.

      • KarenP. (Wisconsin) says:

        Ha-ha! Exactly! Scarlets O’Hara’S lost twin! I found it interesting what Carson said about Barrow….that he was in error in thinking he didn’t have a heart. I think it was a fair assessment in light of Barrow’s past cold, calculated maneuvers but beneath every bully’s surface is a wounded heart that needs some love to heal, I think.

        • sbranch says:

          That makes sense. WE could see his broken heart, but Carson, who was up close and personal, only saw the way he hurt others.

      • Jane Franks says:

        Oh, yes, I agree! Julian is the genius, genius in all of this. To be able to write like that! He absolutely should receive an Oscar or something from the Queen for all of this. It is just amazing. He has brought out human traits we can all identity with. I think that is why we feel so strongly. We see parts of many of these characters in ourselves. Some good, some we don’t like, and I think this is the power of story. Helping all of us face our own flaws, failures, and goodness to have a clearer picture of who we truly are, and growing from that to become more fully what we are meant to be. It just drives me back to God and His story of love and grace toward me. This is all so healthy. I am so grateful for the “escape” too, to another world for a time when life experiences might seem overwhelming. Care giving can do that to you. And like Tolkien said, “All escape is not bad!” That’s why the beauty that you share and inspire, too, is good and healthy for others. As we grow, we learn to see the balance between escape and reality, and become better people. Thanks, Susan xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          I think they made him a Knight, or whatever it is, the top honors, the favorite of the Queen. One of our British Girlfriends will know. Yes, Jane, it’s a balance of all things, isn’t it? XOXOXO Thank you for those inspiring words.

        • charissa says:

          Lovely words, Jane. So thoughtful and true xo

    • AngieTink says:

      Well~Done Jane…..xoxo Poof! 😊💖💙⛄💜💚🌟💛✨💘🎶

    • Christabelle says:

      Thank you, Jane, for that perspective. I am the oldest girl of the 10 of us and I know what it is to put up with an “Edith.” Oy. Our “Edith” is now a judge, so make that double “Oy.” I, too, see the goodness in Mary. In some ways, she’s a bit of a female Darcy — her good opinion, once lost, etc. But she is fierce in her loyalty to those she loves and, I feel, had something of a justifiable breakdown. Henry saw that in her, thank God.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Excellent commentary, Jane! I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only one who still loves Mary! She’s always been my favorite, and even though she crossed a serious line in this episode, like you said, she is much more vulnerable on the inside than she appears to nearly everyone around her. She and Edith have both been through a lot and have just never seen eye to eye on much. I think they’re a great example of real-life sisters who don’t get along but just have to do the best they can.

      But to me, Mary has always been the stronger one. People seem to forget that in the instance of Mr. Pamuk, HE pushed into her room, wouldn’t leave, and straight up seduced her. Mary did not ask for it or encourage it in any way, and yet Edith deliberately sought to ruin her with it. To me, that is just as wicked and jealous as Mary’s outing about Marigold in this episode. The Pamuk incident left Mary vulnerable, but that and many other things, including of course Matthew’s death, have in the end made her stronger, and she’s always moved on admirably. Not so much with Edith. She has sulked and complained too much. I totally agree with you too about Edith’s horrible treatment of the Drewe family; that was a really bad mark on her for me. That and many other instances have shown Edith to be weak, self-focused, self-pitying, and inconsiderate of how her actions affect others. Mary, though capable of sharp cruelty, has always had positive relationships with the servants (Carson, Anna, William Mason, Barrow in this episode, and Mrs. Hughes in the instance of the wedding coat, to name a few) and with many other family members. Her father, Tom, and Violet are the ones she resonates with the most, and I also loved how Violet was the one who finally got through to her in this episode. I agree that they are probably the most alike. If Downton were to continue, Mary would undoubtedly be the next Dowager Countess! :) Thanks for sharing all your thoughts! Very refreshing!

  37. Carol J., Santa Maria says:

    Have you noticed how svelte Lord Grantham became due to his confinement? His tummy is gone!

  38. thea says:

    Given how cruel Mary was to Edith, I think Bertie’s umbrage about Edith not trusting him was suspect.He knew this type of situation was cruel for women. Not sure there was a good time to reveal it to someone not yet in the family. Plus he probably realized his mother wouldn’t get over the news.

    Mary was so bad. She didn’t deserve her HEA.and Carson – so cruel. And his personal life so happy. So grudging feel sorry for his wife.

    And I think granny, having all the ladies in the family enjoying a career,Decides to get one too and I think she is the real advice columnist. Spratt is her beard. Let’s face it – she’s a fixer. Great episode and love your recap. xo t

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, his mother, and that oft repeated “warning” about her. Perhaps Bertie WON’T come back, and the big surprise is (I can’t remember his name) Marigold’s father. Hmmm. We barely knew him. I hardly know what to think about that scenario. “Sprat is her beard” LOL. Wouldn’t that be great!

  39. Joann says:

    Absolutely LOVE your recaps!! Oh goodness…yes, Carson, have yourself a bit of fun why don’t you!!

    OK, things I want to have happen:
    **Bertie comes back
    **Anna and Mr. Bates have twins that are darling
    **Barrow stays on and Mr. Carson begins to accept him
    **Mary is pregnant
    **Mrs Patmore’s b&b is highly rated in tripadvisor (that’s just a little joke)
    **There’s lots of tea, bunting, and pretty flowers throughout the entire last episode….

    ………………..and Mr. Fellowes reconsiders…. and makes a MOVIE!
    xoxo
    Joann

  40. Gill Smith says:

    Dear Susan, how I’ve loved reading your summary of Downton, as good as watching the show!
    I’ve resisted all along to comment, knowing how it all ends, not wanting to spoil for you all.
    What will you be watching when it all comes to an end?
    How I am looking forward to the “picnic in the park”, in September, counting the days!
    I am going to visit another garden group in the next village soon ,to hear a talk by the head gardener at Stourhead, fancy that!
    Can I bring my books for you to sign? Gill

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, for sure, Gill, bring your books, I’d love to sign them. I’m so looking forward to our day at Stourhead. What a funny thing, for us, from everywhere to find each other there. Can not wait!

  41. Lisa R (northern Az) says:

    I just love Robert, golly gum drops! And Cora. And Granny. I was so MAD at Mary!! So GLAD that Tom didn’t mince words with her. So FRUSTRATED with Edith! Oh, my gosh, just tell him!! And so THRILLED that she finally put Mary in her place. So SAD for Barrow. By golly, the emotions were all over the place! …..but then, my mail came….and my sweet man said, “honey, you got something from Susan Branch.” SQUEAL! Two tickets for your tea in Prescott!! My daughter and I can’t wait to meet you! So; happy, happy, happy are the only emotions now! I have to tell you, I kept checking your schedule, and I was willing to travel far and wide to see you. Beyond thrilled you are coming right to us!! Thank you, Susan! See you soon!

    • sbranch says:

      How fun! I can’t wait to get there, it’s going to be a wonderful tea party. . . you know it’s being hosted by one of our Girlfriends, Mary Heiland? She is planning such a special event! See you and your daughter there!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Imagine white bunting hanging from the trees, croquet on the lawn, girlfriends sipping tea together, Susan speaking from the porch steps and then signing our books in the “Secret Garden”of a 114 year old Victorian Manor in the heart of historic Prescott Arizona … ALL while benefiting the library a block away :) Only 3 1/2 hours from Las Vegas, 6 hours from Albuquerque and 7 from El Paso which is closer than driving to Austin! Golly gum drops … doesn’t get much better than that. Parasols, gloves and hats galore … looking forward to a very memorable day ♥ xoxo

        • sbranch says:

          This is going to be the highlight of our trip!!! SO excited!!!

          • Mary in Phoenix says:

            Oh snap … you just made my day! This is going to be the highlight of my year!!! MORE than excited for the best tea party evah :) ♥♥♥

          • sbranch says:

            I put your invitation on Twitter yesterday. I’ll put it on the blog soon. It will be a wonderful time!

          • Lisa R (northern Az) says:

            I’m assuming this is Mary who is hosting the tea? The invitations are darling! Love the eyelet lace wrapped around them. It is going to be absolutely delightful, a most memorable day! We cannot wait!!

          • sbranch says:

            It’s a Girlfriend’s Tea! How fun!

  42. JoAnne Daniels says:

    Wow! I guess I’ve been asleep at the switch! My friend Ellen and I wanted to see you when you came to New Hope, PA and you say It’s already sold out? The last I checked, there still weren’t any details about the tickets! Our other possibility is when when you come to Book Ends in Ridgewood, NJ. Will we need tickets for this one?

  43. Michele Gavaletz says:

    Am I the only one who thought the ending was Edith looking out over the meadow seeing herself and her sisters playing as children? I saw 3 girls frolicking tying in the statement she made about sharing their history. Maybe I was wrong but that’s what I saw. At first I thought it was Marigold but when I saw 3 girls I thought of Mary, Edith and their dead sister at play as children. Loved the episode and will miss terribly. Wish your book tour was coming to upstate New York! I’ve preordered next book and can’t wait!

  44. Candy Charters says:

    Susan, your “recaps” of each episode of DA have been a high point in my week! And Sunday’s episode had us gasping, laughing, cheering….what a great episode. But as one of my co-workers asked me yesterday morning – “Couldn’t you have just slapped Mary?” Yes, yes I could have! We all knew she had a real mean streak when it comes to Edith, but her behavior in this episode was really beyond the pall. But thank God – she finally is married again, and to the divine Henry Tolbert. Yay! Also – I have hope that Bertie and Edith will be reunited in the final episode of this most wonderful of all British period pieces, and I can’t wait for that. The end of Downton Abbey will make us all sob, I’m sure. But hey! Wouldn’t the “Fashion of Downton Abbey” through the years be a fabulous traveling art exhibition, a la Diana’s frocks, which made the rounds a few years ago?

    • sbranch says:

      I think it’s already happening . . . the dresses have been touring the museums here in the U.S. at least from last year about this time. I haven’t seen them, but many of our Girlfriends have and they say the show is exquisite!

  45. Verla says:

    Thank you for that wonderful re-cap of our favorite, look forward to every week, show. The thing I look forward to after it is over is your post about it. And as much as I loved it, I was gloriously happy to see the pictures of your boy Jack at the end of it. Having a precious girl of my own, (and loving kitties of all shapes, sizes and color) I just love seeing him and the posts you do about him. He’s a doll for sure.

  46. Carol from CT says:

    I just found this. In Downty’s time slot next Sunday, 2/28 … “More Manners of Downton Abbey” … pbs.org/video/2365658576/

    Love, Carol … tra la

    • Carol from CT says:

      (copied/pasted) MASTERPIECE …
      More Manners of Downton Abbey: Trailer
      0:59Aired: 02/28/16Rating: TV-PG
      Return to the world of manners with Alastair Bruce, Downton Abbey’s historical advisor. Featuring exclusive interviews with the series’ leading cast members, this documentary navigates the social protocol of aristocrats and servants in the age of jazz. More Manners of Downton Abbey airs Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS. pbs.org/video/2365658576/

    • sbranch says:

      Good! Thank you Carol!

  47. Melissa says:

    Your recap of Sunday’s episode was loads of fun. It was certainly full of drama and Julian was in his element, I’m sure. I have to say, the highlight for me, was that simple moment of when Miss Jones was revealed. Bananas! Perfect comedic moment. I will look forward to the final episode and your recap in a couple of weeks. Thank you Susan!

  48. Kathy Kip says:

    Susan – Just love your recaps of Downton Abbey. My girlfriends and I can barely wait for Monday morning to read your blog. I have never been a patient person and the thought of waiting til March 6 for episode 9 was impossbile! I found episode 9 online and watched it – I feel like I’ve cheated. All I’ll say is that episode 9 does not disappoint!!!!!!!

  49. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!!…..what an emotional roller coaster ride….happiness, suffering, pure joy, rejection, family support, outrage, true friendship, love, fear…..WOW!! but another brilliant episode with great acting and wonderful clothing and stirring plot line….. and hands down my favorite, Granny….. Sharp-tongued sweet soul that she is….ya know..when my first grandchild was born, my kids wanted to know what I wanted him to call me. We have a blended family,, so there are three grandmothers to share in the joy and so not to confuse, we each are called something different……that was 15 years ago and I chose “Granny” for no reason that I can think of except I loved the Beverly Hillbilly’s :-) And now, after learning all about England and Downton Abbey, I am double honored…..my Emma mug reads “Granny” and I love it more everyday! My four grandkids all call me “Granny” and they are so sweet and politely correct anyone who refers to me and their “grandma”….. so cute <3
    So here we are, only the final episode remains..oh golly gumdrops….how ever will they get it all in?!?!?!?! I believe Bertie will come to his senses, Mrs. Patmore will survivie, Bates and Anna become parents, Thomas will find his true home, and if someone doesn't do away with the crabby "curmudgeon" first…..all will live happily ever after….. hopeless romantic..that's me!!! Know you are still busy even after the book is finished…..so I will leave you to it…..
    love, granny xoxo

  50. Pam says:

    Wow, two posts to read. How on earth did I miss the last one?
    I’ve preordered Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams oooh GOODY-GUM-DROPS.

  51. Elaine Erhart says:

    I just love how you recap Downton for us. I really wanted to slap Mary. But you know when you are unhappy, you want everyone else to be too. I would like to see Tom with somebody before this all ends. I find myself talking to the TV a lot when Downton is on. Why can’t everyone just tell the truth and say what they think. (Guess that wasn’t done in that time.) I really can’t believe what a SNOB Carson is. What will we ever do when this is over? Oh yes, my best friend and I will be coming to see you in May at the Main Street Books in St. Charles. Can’t wait-but am sure there will be a long wait to see you that day.
    Love Jack in all his poses. Still looking for a tuxedo cat to love. Be seeing you!

  52. Glenda says:

    Susan,

    I enjoyed your recap of last weeks’s DA episode. Whatever will we do when it is over. i bought Season 6 DVD and trying nit to watch the ladt episode. Not sureI will make until March though. I do wonderif Edith and Tom might not get together…just a thought with their kids and all, although there is no do romance there. I really thought he and Marymight bit then he started a think like the big brother…Love this series. Can’t wait to see your movie, new book/s😀

  53. Kathie Ferko says:

    There was an exhibit with everything Downton last January at Winterthur in Delaware. It was amazing…costumes galore and rooms set up with props from kitchen etc. There were men’s hunting outfit ,too. It was really something.

    Kathie from Limerick

  54. SHARON in Fresno says:

    Hi Susan,
    Whatever will we do when we no longer have episodes of DA? We have loved watching the lives and loves of the family and staff. It’s become a part of us as we watch it every season and it feels like we are there with them. I have thoroughly enjoyed your weekly recaps of the show. It’s like you are putting into written words what I am also thinking. Good news, I just bought my ticket to see and hear you on your book tour in Morro Bay, CA. So glad I get the opportunity to see you again. It was in Cuyucos last year when you signed a million (not really) books for me. I pre-ordered your next book and I am looking forward to its delivery sometime in April. I noticed you have rain today. We are enjoying 70 deg. weather in Central Cal. Take care and see you in a few months.

  55. Kim says:

    What a pleasure it is to read your retelling of the most recent episode of Downton, accompanied by your video photos. Can’t get enough of the folks in and around the Abbey! As for Bertie … He was a lovely character, and perhaps – at least in my mind – a closeted gay gentleman. Now, wouldn’t THAT just tweak Grandmama??! (Or, maybe not … She’s full of surprising moments of open-mindedness and acceptance.) Like you, Susan, and so many others, I will miss Downton Abbey terribly. As Lady Mary would say, it’s been “yummy”!

  56. Kim says:

    PS – I wonder if Marigold’s father (Michael?) will re-emerge for Edith’s happily-ever-after in the finale? Hoping …!

  57. Shell says:

    I was cheering on Edith putting Mary, finally, in her place. It was worth all these seasons to see that finally happen!! I’m glad Mary apologized and admitted her feelings for Henry. I do hope Bertie will come around. I wish Tom had someone. Perhaps, that will happen when Downton Abbey returns again. I know this is the final season, if X- files can come back, then perhaps in another five years, Downton will too. Poor Mr. Barrow. Broke my heart to see him like that. I do enjoy your recaps, Susan. I make sure to read them as soon as I finish the latest episode.

  58. Pat Johnson says:

    OK I will say it!!! What on earth will we do when Downton is OVER!????! This week was wonderful. Everyone had something going on. The one surprise for me was the attempted suicide. And, yes, I yelled when Mary pulled her horrible trick! But……I guess it all worked out ok. Funny how we get so involved in shows like this. It is definitely a way of turning away from our own lives – that often tend to be boring! I do believe this has been a wonderful “ride”. I await the next episode………happy to know you made it through the winter and that your “book promotions” are looking grand. Hope to see you in Morro Bay. Hugs galore…………

  59. Thanks for yet another wonderful recap! It’s so much fun going over the episode a second time. This one made me choke up a few times. Julian Fellows really is a masterful writer. I’m so going to miss this show. All those wonderful characters just…GONE!

    Susan, did you see this recap of the Mary/Edith controversy? It was very well done.

    ashtreecottage.blogspot.com/2016/02/dearest-edith-of-downton-abbey.html” rel=”nofollow”>Dearest Edith of Downton Abbey

    P.S. I just pre-ordered your new book. *squeal*

  60. Sharrie says:

    I found this article about the details of the costumes/clothing for DA. very interesting reading!

    pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/features/slideshow/downton-abbey-s6-e8-costume-secrets-revealed

    I love this information from the costume designers!

    • sbranch says:

      Really interesting! Love all the detail!

    • Sharrie says:

      I loved in your writing how you described the Downton clothing! And then in reading about the costumes, and a play-by-play of the designs, the designers descriptions of the feelings, emotions and moods they represent, it is exactly what you (and many of us!) saw. I enjoyed the information on how they repurposed special pieces of lace or beading to create a lovely design for the characters. I would love to see their fabric stash.

      I would buy a book about the costumes and fashions of Downton book. The colors! The sparkle! The actors! The settings! We wouldn’t have to leave Downton Abbey for a while yet to come. :)

  61. Leslie Scutellaro aka Mrs. S. says:

    Greetings girlfriends! I am really surprised that no one has touched on Mary’s haste in marrying Henry. You know, “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.” As far as I recall, they just barely had a few dates, and NO trial romantic weekend. Did we ever see him with Master George? I feel a bit ‘played’ in watching this. Okay, we consent to the engagement. Let’s see how he measures up in time, and what about all that palaver about the estate and his position once they married? All of these pesky details were totally ignored in the rush to closure. We could have been thrilled with a double Austenesque wedding a la Jane and Elizabeth in the last episode. On a fashion note, I love the contrast of Edith’s arts and crafts embroidery details with Mary’s no nonsense tailoring, revealing personality. The path of sisters can be a treacherous minefield. It does make me wonder if the parents ever made attempts to mediate or just observed and tasked. I guess that’s another show, Oprah.

    • sbranch says:

      Somehow I think that although we are only one week between episodes, months pass for Julian! LOL, Yes, another show for Oprah!

  62. Leslie Scutellaro aka Mrs. S. says:

    P.S. Re: Barrows revealing his heart so that Mr. Carsons could see it. Apparently
    Mr. Carsons forgot how Mr. Barrows literally took it on the chin for the handsome under butler he liked so much, even he knew his affections were unrequited. That was way back in the seasons, but Barrows was selfless and noble that day. How soon we forget…Of course we could never accuse the correct Mr. Carsons of anything so unpleasant sounding as homophobia, could we?

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think so. He’s just a giant snob. And only thinks about “the family.” I almost think he wouldn’t even know Barrows was gay.

  63. debra sewell says:

    Thank you for the Downton Abbey photos and updates. I love it. Where i live i do not have cable included in rent and cannot afford it this blog post was wonderful. I have watched all other seasons on my dvd player with dvds from my library. I live on Social Security retirement only so limited. Im saving little bits each month for a trip to Cornwall someday, London because i want to go to paddington Station and take a train to Cornwall. Have a great week. Spring is very very near.

    • sbranch says:

      I think you have chosen well on what to do with your money!!! What a great trip that will be! xoxo

    • Carrie says:

      Hi Debra,

      Here’s a link that I go to and watch the episode(s) again. There are some previous episodes available as well:

      pbs.org/video/2365584107/

      Hope the link works for you.

      Cornwall sounds fabulous. Have you watched “Doc Martin” on PBS, filmed in Cornwall and the movie, “About time,” also filmed in Cornwall? That may give you a temporary fix for Cornwall until you travel there.

  64. Bets Kirby says:

    Here in KC our PBS station has scheduled a binge-watch for Sunday afternoon – all episodes up to now. (I couldn’t care less about the Oscars, but oh well…) The finale should be a whopper – lots of loose ends! I did hear that the niece in NYC would be showing up (hopefully still happily married). I’m actually glad I live a simple life – all the drama, bickering and pettiness would drive me nuts. But sure is great to watch – totally addicted to the show (I turn off my cell phone on Sunday nights)

    • sbranch says:

      ALL EPISODES? The entire thing??? That is amazing. I want go to KC this minute! Yes, Rose is coming back. I love her. Yes, I would not like to live that life, but it’s very fun looking at it!

  65. Donna Wheeler says:

    Mosely and Baxter. The Carsons will reside near and remain good friends with Mrs. Patmore. Almost all the rest have been “resolved” in their problems. Who’s left for the finale? Your reviews have been lots more fun than the weekly reruns and new episodes. Does anyone think we may be treated to Downton again by PBS? in a couple years maybe, during a fund-raising? Let’s hope!

    • sbranch says:

      Let’s see. Who’s left. We have Barrow, flapping in the wind. We need to get him situated. We need to get Carson grounded so he understands that he is to be Mrs. Hughes guardian angel and not a ball and chain. Edith, of course. Anna, is it twins or not? Daisy, Mr. Mosely, Baxter, . . . and Mrs. Patmore . . . anyone getting married? Spratt’s column. Larry, the creature and his hideous wife and that whole thing with Isobel. Going to be fun!

  66. Cathy Hoff says:

    What are we going to do after March 6??!! I feel like my friends are leaving and I will never see them again. Oh, please, Julian…do make a movie. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    I laughed out loud when Robert said Golly Gumdrops! And I yelled, “You are a bitch Mary” before Edith said it. But Mary redeemed herself.

    I am so going to miss this show, the people, the clothes, the scenery. Hope something comes on to replace it. Of course, now that he’s not busy with Downton, Julian has LOTS of time to create another period piece for us.

    • sbranch says:

      Let’s hope. I can only imagine how completely absorbing it was for him to do Downton. I would love to know his work habits!

  67. Pam says:

    Susan, I so love your Downton recaps!!! I love that show so much. I am thinking of buying the whole series on dvd. And I think I will start saying “golly gumdrops!” :)
    Happy Wednesday to you!!!
    xo

  68. June Fisher says:

    Oh, how I loved it all! I’m so glad that you caught that Edith was at Sybil’s grave, I wondered…I think E. is going to be a very important woman someday in her own right and that though she was disappointed and “loved” Bertie, he would have held her back by having to be his wife rather than her own important-make a major contribution to the world, self. Did was it proven that Marigold’s father is absolutely, for certain, dead?
    The only think missing between the long-coming scene between E. and M was a good bitch slap, just saying:)
    And I so loved Master George giving Barrow the orange to make him feel better, tears then.
    House of ill-repute, what a bit of fun that was!
    Mary has met her match and Tom will go on…

  69. LindaSonia says:

    Loved seeing Jack … he’s such a cutie.

    As for Downton – I’m tired of Edith and all her melancholia. She brought this latest boo hoo event on herself – no one else to blame.

  70. donna babbitt in so ca says:

    FORESHADOWING?
    Margigold is playing among the tombstones????? Will her father emerge from his murky. past?
    If so he had better have a danged good story!!!!

  71. Vida Howard says:

    What a funny girl you are. We will all miss the post-show chats probably as much as the actual Downton. Guess you will have to do a reunion later on for us all…in your spare time. ha!

    Just thought I would let you know that our local Tulsa, OK news station did a piece the other night on the revival of small bookstores. Hurray!! Even with all our technology and whatnot, the Independent bookstore in Oklahoma is alive and well. And it is wondering why you aren’t swinging through OK for a signing or lunch at my house or something. *hint**bold invitation*
    Anyway, we would love to have you here. I am buying tickets and planning on making it to the KS City get together. Can you believe you are part of my Bucket List? Thank you for keeping me company, brightening my days and keeping me reading.

  72. Annie in IL says:

    I had forgotten, and I think probably other Girlfriends had also, that Edith’s ‘affair’ (and that’s what it was) with Michael Gregson was started under a lie on his part. Edith then ferreted out the info that he was very much married! He says “Yes – BUT”, and then we find out Mrs. Gregson is mentally ill and in care! So he hies off to Germany to get a divorce because he cannot legally divorce Mrs. Gregson in England because they have laws to protect mentally ill spouses who have no say in the process. So – as far as we know, Mrs. Gregson is his legal widow IF indeed he is deceased. Edith was his ‘bit of fluff’, actually. If he turns up, will he be divorced and ready to marry Edith??? ‘What tangled webs we weave…..’

  73. deborah.t.norling says:

    ACCCK ! WARNING ! Do N O T innocently google….Bertie from Downton….I was curious to read more about the character/actor etc…because he is just so adorable….avoid the urge to satiate any curiosities regarding the show until AFTER the finale !

  74. chiyo smith says:

    Dear Susan,
    I may be the only one alive who has not watched this season of Downton Abbey but when I read your blog posts and see the pictures, I don’t even need to. :) It’s like I am fast forwarding and you have written the subtitles, pointing out the important details, added comments and reactions. Delightful! I’m taken to another place on your blog with the lovely water color touches, hand lettering & your Jack & Joe. Aloha from Hawaii.

  75. Carol from CT says:

    “Best Quotes of Episode 8” with photos … pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/features/recap/downton-abbey-s6-e8-best-quotes/

  76. Janice says:

    I have seen any of this seasons downton abbey. No Tv and funds are low at the moment… I did watch last season though… With love Janice

    • sbranch says:

      I think you can see it on your computer! I think if you go to the PBS web site they might have it there! xoxo

    • EsSuzy says:

      Janice, Our local public library has the entire Downton collection from series 1 through 6 on DVDs that can be checked out. I plan to go back and watch it again later this year after the series is over.
      Susan, I’ll see you at Fox Tale Books. Please be sure not to sell out before you make it to GA and have to cut your trip short this time. Your southern fans would be devastated. XO Susan L

      • sbranch says:

        We are REALLY trying hard not to do that!!! Bookstores don’t like you if you do that, so we THINK we have ordered enough books!

  77. Susan Morgon ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

    I can’t resist sharing this! Does jack need another sister? Just look at this face!
    abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/water-cooler/unique-kitten-born-with-mustache-pattern

  78. Jane E D says:

    Susan, did you see this sweet kitty story? She could be related to your sweet Jack.
    fox5atlanta.com/news/most-popular/97381374-story

  79. Terri says:

    I think I’m going to miss your re-caps, as much as I will miss the series! And the Girlfriend’s input too. Thank you for bringing that up in the comments – I had almost forgotten about Edith’s bit of witchiness, in spilling the beans about the Turkish diplomat incident. So I suppose there was a bit of karmic payback, going around, sad and upsetting as it was…Though I really think now, perhaps Mary did her a favor as I’m not sure Bertie wouldn’t be quite right for her, after all. Would his Ma-Mah-h-h ever really let her enjoy running her magazine? And I think she possibly would torment her and Marigold, from Bertie’s description of her.
    I think Carson and Mrs. Hughes should retire to run their own B&B, as Mrs. Hughes reminded us, that they had planned on doing much the same as Mrs. Patmore (presumably, without the ‘house of ill repute,’ label, ha ha). Possibly by the seashore, where she and Carson can kick off their shoes and run through the surf together, like when they were courting (loved that episode). That would allow Barrow to finally step up into the Butler position. Glad Julian somewhat redeemed Mary by showing us her humanity again, taking George up to see him. I think that’s a large part of why it’s continued to stay so appealing to me (well, in addition to the gorgeous costuming, scenery, etc) – no one’s 100% good or bad, on the show (just like real life) so you’re never absolutely certain what any of them might do next!

  80. Happy Friday Susan and Joe and kitties and girlfriends!

    Oh no!, only one more episode of Downty to pull it all together for the happily-ever-afters. I am a bit bummed at having to wait an extra week but I guess I’ll survive. :)

    I just love the art direction and will miss it so much- I think they should do a tour with the costumes and combine it with those from the Australian series about Phryne Fisher. I would personally stand in line for that display!
    BTW I want to use a parasol and gloves too- and I do have a huge box of gloves that I wear occasionally, but it would be nice if the fashion actually came back because-cute! and plus it would be better than all that hand sanitizer.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend out there, all of you lovelies!
    xoxo

  81. Did You Say Mary’s Pregnant !

  82. Laural Wood says:

    I’m glad you agree with me about Mary…I love her the most besides Granny. She is stong and puts up walls around her heart. It reminds me of ME! A lot of love to give and very careful where I put it, but I do reserve some for you Susan Branch. A long with my hubby of 51 years and Mary of course. <3

  83. Vicki S says:

    Hi Susan! Life has kept me far too busy lately, so I have spent this sunny Sunday catching up on the last month’s worth of blog posts…oh,how I’ve missed you! Made a moment of it today though, playing the musica, sipping champagne (life’s short, add bubbles!) and catching up with all that you’ve been doing and thinking. And it’s Academy Awards day– kind of like my Super Bowl Sunday. Pretty swell. Thanks for the joy you bring to my world!
    P.S. Here is my prediction for next Sunday’s Downton … Tom and Edith will finally realize that if they got together, the children would all grow up in the loving embrace of family … Sybill would always be an honored part of their world…Marigold would have a wonderful father…and they will all find a way to live together, accepting one another’s differences but loving each other deeply. I have suspected it for months, but the scene of the children frolicking around Sybill’s grave cemented it for me! Here’s hoping …love conquers all.

  84. Debra V. So Calif says:

    Just a short note. LOVE your synopsis of Downty. I never watched it, but now feel I must purchase the series and watch it. It certainly is remarkable through your eyes. Others agree, and I love the costumes, scenery, and the writing with twists and turns. Like riding a roller coaster, as described by one of your bloggers. MEANWHILE looking forward to your new book. Loved the last one! I’m ready to read about how you survived, started Heart of the Home, connected with Joe, how you progressed to all the books, paintings and blog too. Love your success and love story, can hardly wait to sink my teeth in your new book.

  85. Joan Lesmeister says:

    I just had to come back and give Jack a tummy rub…and hear him purrrrr….great pictures! Have to look up the Oscar Red Carpet pictures of the ladies in their beautiful dresses, see you later! Bye, have a great extra day today! xo

  86. Linda Wright says:

    I watched the whole day yesterday and finally watched this episode so I could read your post. It was SUCH a good one. And I will be SO sad for it to end. I have a lot recorded so I can return to Downton. This episode had my emotions everywhere.

  87. Bobbi Urquhart says:

    I didn’t read all of the other comments, there are so many and maybe someone else already sent this, but, maybe Michael Gregson will come home. I don’t remember that they ever found his body so maybe he’s not dead. Then Edith and Marigold would be happy and they would all live happily ever after. I can’t wait to find out.

    • sbranch says:

      We’re thinking that too . . . BUT, that devil Julian, he can twist us around his little finger. We’ll soon find out!

  88. teresa says:

    Love the recaps on DA! I am about to go into mourning over the end of the show….sniff. I am disappointed you will not be in the Nashville/Franklin area for book signing! If you have never been to Franklin, TN, I am personally inviting you to this delightful town. I promise you would love the shops, the places to eat, the atmosphere, and the southern charm.
    Happy Spring!

    • sbranch says:

      I have always wanted to go to Franklin ever since I met the past president of Friends of Gladys Taber (Gilly Moore) who lived there in the house where she was born. Someday! Thank you Teresa!

  89. melanie says:

    wHAT is the actual show called? Can I find it in the USA?

  90. Mary in St Louis says:

    I love that first picture…she’s my Instagram photo ! Can’t wait for the Downton finale…just hate to see it end, though. Why can’t it go on ???

  91. June Fisher says:

    Oh, how I loved it all! I’m so glad that you caught that Edith was at Sybil’s grave, I wondered…I think E. is going to be a very important woman someday in her own right and that though she was disappointed and “loved” Bertie, he would have held her back by having to be his wife rather than her own important-make a major contribution to the world, self. Was it proven that Marigold’s father is absolutely, for certain, dead?
    The only think missing between the long-coming scene between E. and M was a good bitch slap, just saying:)
    And I so loved Master George giving Barrow the orange to make him feel better, tears then.
    House of ill-repute, what a bit of fun that was!
    Mary has met her match and Tom will go on…

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