Downton Abbey Season 6 Episode 5 Recap: Bloody Hell

The theory of Chekhov's gun says, more or less, that a gun which appears in the first act must be fired by the second or third act. All of this is to say that Lord Grantham's ongoing tummy trouble was definitely not just heartburn. It was an ulcer, and boy, did it get fired. We'll save that gory medical discovery for later. Down in the servant quarters, it seems that Mrs. Hughes can't cook and Andy can't read. The former's bubble has no squeak, and Carson can't handle it. God forbid he purchase his own horseradish sauce. Andy, no doubt looking to get in good with Daisy, has professed an interest in helping Mr. Mason with his farm after assuring Mary and Branson that he'll provide some manpower. Little does he know that this will involve reading books about farming, and not just shoveling pig poop. It takes Thomas all of two seconds to guess the problem: Dude can't read. He offers to teach him, and Andy sets his homophobia to the side for the moment in order to accept the offer. How brave of him. Mr. Mason has invited Daisy to move in with him, but she's not sure. Baxter, meanwhile, catches a lucky break of sorts. Coyle has confessed, so there's no need for her to testify at his trial. Speaking of witnesses, Branson has been given little more to do than oversee Mary's interactions with Henry. He joins her to watch the racecar driver run a few laps, which, understandably, fails to impress a woman who lost her first husband in a car accident. Also, she has no intentions of "marrying down." Down at the pub, a second outing is proposed, but the straight-shooting Branson has had enough. He's over playing wingman, and Mary and Henry just need to get on with it. His advice? "Why can't you just say, 'I’d like to spend more time with you. When can we do it?' Hands-in-the-air emoji for our favorite Irishman. Edith is also having a romantic streak. She's in London to hire a new editor, who happens to be young, female, and lovely. We approve. She also takes the time to meet up with Bertie, which results in a kiss. It’s a go.
Back home, Denker nearly loses her job when she has a go at Dr. Clarkson on Violet's behalf. Violet coolly dismisses her maid and we, like Spratt, are ready to toss her suitcase out the door. Unfortunately, Denker remembers the dirt she has on Spratt's nephew and he's forced to lobby for her job back. Anna is still being cautious about her pregnancy. As she tells Bates, it's bad luck to get ahead of themselves, and she chants an old-school phrase, "bad harvest, bad harvest" to ward off any bad baby juju. Perhaps Lord Grantham should have followed her lead. Ma-ma has more or less conned future Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain into joining the family for dinner in the hopes of convincing him to take her side in her ongoing hospital battle. Fortunately for fans sick of mind-numbing hospital talk, Robert sacrificed himself by interrupting dinner and spewing blood all over the food and several aristocrats. He's rushed to the hospital to treat his ulcer and Cora no doubt files away a mental note to tell him I told you so. In the melee, Mary happens to hear a reference to Marigold, instantly raising her suspicions. Later, she quizzes Anna about Edith's charge (cough, actual daughter) but doesn't get any dirt. Pity Dr. Clarkson doesn't do DNA tests.

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