- Summaries (3)
July 1914. In London former suitor Evelyn Napier assures Lady Mary that it was Edith, not he, who spread gossip about her and Kemal. Mary counters by wrecking her sister's marriage plans with Sir Anthony. Robert is reluctant to dismiss John even though O'Brien and Thomas have obtained a letter claiming that he stole from a previous employer. Anna accompanies Mrs. Patmore to London for eye tests, resulting in corrective surgery and, whilst there, discovers that John took the blame for the theft for his ex-wife Vera, a fact which Robert is pleased to hear. Thomas, fed up at his failure to get John sacked, and sensing war on the way, joins the Army Medical Corps whilst Sybil finally gets Gwen her secretarial post. Cora is pregnant, a fact which puts the proposed marriage between Mary and Matthew in doubt, should the baby be a son and heir. However, thanks to O'Brien leaving a bar of soap on the floor, Cora slips and miscarries. All the staff except O'Brien cheer William on as he beats Thomas up for his unfeeling remarks on the loss. Matthew nonetheless feels that the engagement was only an act of pragmatism likely to be altered if an heir had been born and decides to leave Downton Abbey.
The family returns to Downton Abbey from the London house, though Mary has stayed behind with her aunt for a few weeks. While there, she learns from Evelyn Napier of Edith's betrayal and of her letter to the Turkish Ambassador. Lady Cora is pregnant and there is hope that the family might yet have a son and heir but Matthew realizes just how insecure his position might be. When Mary doesn't give Matthew her answer on her return as promised, he assumes it's because his prospects may change should Lady Cora give birth to a boy. Tragedy strikes, however, when, thanks to O'Brien, Lady Cora has a fall. Thomas and Sarah O'Brien get information about John Bates which they pass on to Carson. Anna refuses to believe John was a thief and while in London with Mrs. Patmore, who is there for an eye examination, traces his mother, who tells her the truth of what happened. At the family's garden party, Mary exacts her revenge on Edith and, dismayed at his own status in the family, Matthew decides to leave Downton.
Mary finds it was Edith who let the ambassador know about Faruk's death, Cora announces her pregnancy, and Thomas and O'Brien hatch new slanders against Bates as War clouds loom.
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