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The year is 1925. Mary and Lord Grantham go on a hunt with several others. Mary spots a woman who is lurking around and wonders who she is. Later, the woman (Rita Bevan) confronts Mary, telling Mary that she was a chambermaid at the hotel where Mary and Lord Gillingham had their scandalous tryst before Mary turned down his marriage proposal. Bevan threatens to go to the press with the story, unless Mary pays her one thousand pounds.

Mary frets about what to do, consulting with Anna, but eventually decides that she refuses to be blackmailed yet again and will not pay the woman off. Bevan returns to the house when Mary is out, and despite Carson's attempts to get her to leave, the woman manages to force a meeting with Lord Grantham. He pays her off with fifty pounds and gets her to agree to sign a confession of blackmail, insuring that she will not come back for more money.

Mary expresses her gratitude for her father handling the issue so astutely, and her father tells her that her refusal to be blackmailed has proven she has the chops to run Downton. She also explains to her father that she'd prefer to be alone rather than marry the wrong man.

Anna suffers a miscarriage. She tries to keep the truth from her husband, but Mr. Bates notices that she is saddened and gets the truth out of her once she breaks down. She confesses she had two other miscarriages before this one. She apologizes and expresses regret for not being able to bear him a child when she knows he wants them. He insists that he is happy with just her.

Bates and Anna discuss the fact that they still haven't heard anything about the Mr. Green murder (both of them being uncharged/out on bail). Later, they find out from Sergeant Willis that another woman who Green raped has confessed to his murder. When her confession is confirmed, the entire house (servants and nobility alike) rejoices and they all drink/dance in celebration.

Violet and Isobel battle over potential changes in the running of the hospital. Cora and Dr. Clarkson are both caught in the middle.

Meanwhile, with news that a nearby estate has been sold and the family there is selling off its things, Lord Grantham, Carson, and Violet are each concerned about the end of their way of life. Carson and Robert discuss potential needs for downsizing the staff. Robert confers this to Violet, who in turn confides in her own lady's maid, Denker, swearing her to secrecy. Denker immediately reports back to the servants at Downton as well as Violet's butler Spratt, sending them all into a panic. Spratt is led to believe he'll be fired, and later asks Violet to please give him advance notice. Violet, realizing that Denker disobeyed her and spread the news, pretends that she's going to fire Denker (not Spratt) in order to tease Denker and "punish" her for her disobedience.

Edith's tenant in her London flat (left to her by Gregson) departs, and she wonders whether she should rent the flat again or move there herself, making a new life for herself and Marigold in the less-traditional London. She visits the flat and discusses her options with Aunt Rosamund. Edith expresses that she doesn't know what she wants her life to be.

Mr. Mason, Daisy's father-in-law, confides in the Downton servants that he is fearful about his tenancy of his farm, since he lives on the estate that is being sold. Carson asks Lord Grantham, on Mason's behalf, to speak with the seller to clarify whether the estate is to be delivered vacant and whether Mr. Mason will definitely be evicted. Robert speaks to the owner, but the owner is unable to definitively say whether the new owner will want to keep Mr. Mason on.

The Crawleys attend the auction of the estate, along with Mr. Mason and Daisy. Robert and his family are clearly alarmed at the idea of the estate-selling family selling off all of their things, packing up and leaving. Daisy, unable to control herself, confronts the new owner on Mr. Mason's behalf and chastises him about kicking Mr. Mason out, much to the embarrassment of the Crawleys and Mr. Mason. The new owner is angered by Daisy's remarks and tells her that she's only insured that Mr. Mason will not be one of the tenants that he keeps on. Daisy is mortified. Later, Carson discusses what Daisy did with Lord and Lady Grantham, clarifying that it is a dismissal-worthy offense. Lady Grantham instructs him to only chastise Daisy but not to fire her, much to Daisy's relief.

Mrs. Patmore confronts Mrs. Hughes about why she hasn't set a date for the wedding to Carson. Mrs. Hughes confides in Mrs. Patmore that she is concerned because she isn't clear about whether Carson expects them to have a sexual relationship while married. Mrs. Hughes recruits a reluctant Mrs. Patmore to have the conversation with Carson on her behalf. After initial discomfort, Mrs. Patmore tells Carson about Mrs. Hughes's concerns. Carson confesses that he does love Mrs. Hughes and wants them to have a real marriage. Mrs. Patmore is moved by his words and relays them to Mrs. Hughes. Mrs. Hughes finally speaks with Carson. After initially misunderstanding and thinking she wants to call off the engagement, Mrs. Hughes clarifies that Carson can have her "warts and all." They kiss.

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Downton Abbey Season 6 Episode 1 Quotes

I love her, Mrs. Patmore. I am happy and tickled and bursting with pride that she would agree to be my wife. And I want us to live as closely as two people can for the time that remains to us on earth.


Lord Grantham: If I could stop history in its tracks, maybe I would. But I can't, Carson. Nor you nor I can hold back time.
Carson: Unfortunately.