Without qualms, I can easily say Downton Abbey Season 4 Episode 6 was down the best hour of the season.
It's taken far too long to get here, but the stories are all across the board right now. We have happiness, and darkness, good decisions and bad - and, with so many different tales being told, the hour flew by.
There were four big stories that I think warrant attention and that's what I'm going to focus on.
I daresay I finally found the Lady Mary I'd want to be friends with. Far more than she was even with Matthew, the Mary we saw with Mr. Blake was carefree and just shy of being self-sufficient. It turns out that she can do more than put herself to bed when Anna is away, she can make herself breakfast so she won't starve to death after she saves her pigs from dying of dehydration!
I've never been so proud of Mary as I was during those scenes. There wasn't a hint of shock or mild agitation at slopping through mud to take care of her livestock, only the reality that she had made a commitment to her farm and her animals and she needed to see it through.
That she didn't let on to anyone how much she really enjoyed her adventure with Blake was proof of just how much fun she had in his presence. The mud fight followed by eggs and wine was the best I'd ever seen Mary look and she was in the highest spirits. She had accomplished something she never imagined. She's a fully realized woman now. A woman who doesn't need someone like engaged Lord Gillingham pining after her like a puppy.
Edith took her trip to London to terminate her pregnancy, but not before she confided in her Aunt Rosamund. Rosamund came through with incredible resolve, concerned not for social standing and what others may think, but genuinely worried that Edith would make a decision she could live with. Edith's heart was breaking, again.
I am killing the wanted child of the man I am in love with and you're asking if I've thought about it?Edith
Rosamund accompanied Edith to the appointment and offered to stand by her side when the time came to tell Cora she had chosen to have a baby. She's always had the best interests of her nieces at heart, even when her worst fears have come to fruition.
While they were going through an extremely difficult situation in London, Rose was busily building her own castle of trouble. She and Jack Ross are getting far too close, and have even taken to kissing in public. Mary has kept what she saw to herself, but when it goes into wide release (theaters everywhere!), she'll have no choice but to let Rose know what her future might look like should she choose that path.
Mary was let in on another secret when Robert was called to America on family business and Mrs. Hughes thought it best Bates remind behind. She had to confide in Mary about what happened in order for Mary to convince Robert to take Thomas.
The secret is always bubbling just under the surface of everything that goes on at Downton, and when Gillingham had to show up to see Mary, he brought along Green. Baxter noticed Anna's reaction straight away, but Bates was tipped off when Green flippantly talking about walking away from the concert.
Now does anybody think Green wasn't provoking Bates on purpose? Mrs. Hughes already told him Bates knew, but didn't know who did it. By saying he was downstairs at the time of the incident, he was egging him on. The guy is an idiot as well as a rapist. I do hope he comes by a horrible ending by the end of next week.
What scandal will have the biggest impact on Downton?
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.