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The wounded figured prominently this week. Physical, emotional, fatal, scarring wounded all around Downton. Let’s start with the war wounded.
The shot of William and Matthew on the field together after being wounded was heartbreaking.
I wish there had been no scenes of Daisy and Mary having their psychic moment when both were injured; it cheapened the moment. Or was it a heavy-handed way of pointing out the true loves of the men? Of course, Matthew was rushed to Downton’s hospital, seeing as he is an officer, but at first the family was told that William was going to have to stay in a hospital in Leeds. Dowager Countess Violet was having none of that and unleashed her determination and iron will to ensure that William was brought home to Downton to die. It was touching to see how he was put in a family room and everyone rallied around him.
It was no surprise that Mary was waiting for Matthew at the hospital when he arrived. Sybil and Mary found the stuffed animal Mary had given Matthew “for luck” among his things. I didn’t notice a photo of Lavinia, did you?
Matthew’s spine is damaged, so after Lavinia arrives, he tells her to leave because he cannot be a “true husband”, and it is Mary who comforts Lavinia.
Mary has shown some remarkable strength in taking care of Matthew and his fiancée, and shows more when she volunteers to tell her own fiancé of the Mr. Pamuk scandal to beat Mrs. Bates to the punch. Oh, yes, she’s back and she is as angry as usual. Mary tells the odious Sir Richard the story, and he promises to deal with Mrs. Bates. One could tell that Sir Richard was happy to hear that he and his intended were more on the same level (since she is “damaged goods”), and I’m sure he’ll be holding that over Mary’s head for a very long time. But for the short time, he publishes their engagement announcement without asking her or her family for permission. His likeability is decreasing with each episode.
He does keep his word to Mary and makes a deal with Mrs. Bates, which includes signing an agreement to not speak of it to anyone else. After the engagement announcement is printed, Mrs. Bates comes to his office raging, but she hasn’t a leg to stand on. Undaunted, she vows to hurt Mr. Bates anyway she can. And his little dog, too!
Finally, Daisy and William are wed. Mrs. Patmore talks Daisy into it, but she feels guilty for marrying a man she doesn’t love, even though it will make his last hours happier. They are wed in the room where he’s staying, and the bed has been decorated quite beautifully with flowers.
Violet, Edith, and most of the servants are crying and it’s a bittersweet moment. Daisy looks lovely and gives her new husband a sweet kiss. William died later that day, with his father and Daisy by his side, hopefully content as he passed.
Only two more episodes; hopefully they’ll be a bit less mournful than this one.