This week on "Downton Abbey": a sad car race, a breakup, a proposal, a nasty daughter-in-law, and a departure to the Continent.

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Would the Dowager Countess please publish a “Guide to Life,” in which she explains that the only thing to do, when one is annoyed by one’s relations, is to head off to the South of France to pout? This seems like a very useful strategy. In other developments on this week’s “Downton Abbey,” as we draw closer to the series end: Mary broke things off with dishy Henry (alas!) after a very sad day at the races; Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore schemed to make Carson less picky about his dinner; Lord Merton’s prospective daughter-in-law revealed herself to be quite a nasty piece of work indeed; Molesley was honored as a great scholar; Mrs. Patmore’s bed-and-breakfast seems to be off to a fine start (but who is that gentleman with the notebook?); Edith received a proposal of marriage; Mary wore a truly delightful pair of sunglasses that I covet; and we learned that British race-car drivers in the 1920s wore neckties with their coveralls. To the quotes!

5) Edith: “I don’t ever think I’m the sort of girl men are mad about.” Oh, really, Edith? What about Michael Gregson? Or that farmer who kissed you? Or your elderly ex-fiance (well, right up until the moment that he ditched you at the altar)? Or the mysterious Wartime Hospital Burn Victim? Lady Edith is, shall we say, being rather disingenuous. Nonetheless, she looked very relaxed curled up on the settee with Bertie.

4) Molesley, after being offered a position teaching at the school (and being told by the headmaster that “there are Oxford and Cambridge graduates who know far less than you”): “I never think I deserve anything. Perhaps I’ve been wrong all along.” All together now: Awww. (Can we also say “awww” to Daisy’s brief scene with Mrs. Patmore, in which Mrs. P. briskly reminded her young assistant that she loved her like a daughter? Daisy’s been quite irritating in recent weeks, but this scene melted my heart toward her again.)

3) Mary, to Henry, on that wrenching phone call: “We’re not meant to be together. I don’t want you to give up anything. Except me.” And then she walked, slowly and miserably, up Rosamund’s exquisite staircase, and I was reminded once again that “Downton Abbey” is the kind of show where even really good performances get upstaged by architecture, all the time.

2) The Dowager Countess, to the odious Larry Merton’s wife-to-be: “You are a cruel little miss, aren’t you? I should feel sorry for Larry, if I didn’t dislike him so much.”

1) And the D.C. again, as she contemplates her departure. “My reason for traveling is to make myself eager to come home. A month among the French should manage it.” Could we please have a spinoff series, “The Dowager Countess Abroad”? You know you’d watch it.

 

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