Before we begin, if you missed last week’s episode, you can find the recap here. And, this episode was truly jam packed with scandal, love, and forgiveness.
The episode picks up with Anna being in jail and Mary descending from her high horse to visit her. Anna doesn’t think her luck will get much brighter, but the Ice Queen melts a little bit and tries her best to reassure her. We find out, though, that Anna was sexually abused by her stepfather and there is evidence that she struck him with a knife. So, Anna’s history will probably be used against her in court to prove that she pushed Mr. Green to his well-deserved death. To bust her out of jail, Bates runs away and makes it look as if he killed Green. It wouldn’t be the first time he was accused of murdering someone…but, this time is different because he has Mosley and Baxter on his side. They visit every pub in York to prove that Bates is innocent. But, in a sick Catch 22, if Bates is innocent, that means Anna is guilty. Is there ever a time when Anna and Bates will be able to just be happy?
The Dowager found Princess Kuragin, which she is incredibly displeased about. When the Princess finally arrives, she and the Dowager exchange some hostile and bitter words. But, the Dowager still tells Prince Kuragin to stay with her. We later find out that the Dowager tried to run away with the Prince and was stopped just in time. She charges the Princess Kuragin saved her reputation, and because of that she is indebted to her. So, to pay her back, she brought her back to her husband. The Dowager won’t be with her Prince Charming, but her conscience is clear.
The entire Grantham family went to visit the Sinderby family, where there was scandal in there servants quarters and with the lords. Stole, the butler for Lord Sindreby, is quite the snob. He refuses to wait on Tom because he wasn’t born into the aristocracy, and bosses around the other servants like mad. Unfortunately for him, he unleashes the wrath of Evil Thomas, who takes revenge by playing a trick on Stole and changing the dinner menu. While Lord Sinderby is yelling at Stole, he calls Thomas a “stupid fool,” which is an even worse idea. Thomas continues on his pathway to revenge by getting Stole drunk and finding out about an affair and a secret child Lord Sinderby has. Thomas writes to the woman as Lord Sinderby, and tells her to visit with the boy on the same day as a cocktail party. Luckily for Sinderby, Rose steps in and pretends the woman is an old friend of hers, saving Sinderby shame and humiliation. Needless to say, Sinderby likes Rose much more after the cocktail party.
Speaking of illegitimate children, Lord Grantham thinks that he might have a life-threatening illness, and decides to make things right with Edith. He tells her that he knows Marigold is her baby, and they become closer knowing that they are at least on the same page.
Sprat and Denker continue their bickering, and this time Denker is made to make chicken broth as part of a bet. Daisy tries to teach her, and then later just makes the broth for her. But, Sprat finds out and pours her soup down the drain. In a hilarious twist, the Dowager decides to put Sprat in his place and pretends she loves the soup.
Carson and Mrs. Hughes begin to look for a house to rent together. However, when the find one, Mrs. Hughes tells the story of her sister who is disabled. Mrs. Hughes pays for her, and so she has no savings for the project. They make up, and, at the end of the episode, we all get what we’ve been waiting for during five seasons: Carson asks Mrs. Hughes to marry him! Of course she says yes.
At the Christmas Party, Tom publicly tells everyone that he is leaving for Boston with Sybbie. Lord Grantham drunkenly sends him off, but he is definitely sadder than he puts off. And, at the end of the episode, Bates sneaks into the party to make out with Anna in the back hallway. He may be a murderer, but he can sure make a girl swoon.
There is so much to work off of for next season. Besides the love life of Edith and Mary, Tom will probably get a spinoff in Boston. Mary’s sure to find out about Marigold, and Carson and Mrs. Hughes will be planning a wedding. And then there’s the whole Bates and Anna debacle. There will be so much to tie up, and I can’t wait for next January to see what the next season will hold.