Hughes refuses to tell Carson what's going on, and why she has slowed down a bit. She won't even let Mrs. Patmore tell him. She's selfless, that Mrs. Hughes. And so the episode ends on a down note.
She turns off the light. Sniff!
MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SEASON PREMIERE
Understatement of the night: "Are you not popular downstairs?" Robert to Thomas.
Biggest surprise reappearance: Ethel, who was impregnated by a wounded soldier at Downton last year, visits Isobel Crawley, who's now working with prostitutes to better their lives. Anyone else tired of the Ethel subplot? I'm assuming everyone's hand is raised. Cool.
Best Dowager Countess burn:
DC: [To Cora]: "I'm so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I'm with her, I'm reminded of the virtues of the English."
Matthew: "But isn't she American?"
NOT LIKELY SEEN ON THE NEXT SAT ENGLISH SECTION: "An aristocrat without servants is as much use to the county as a glass hammer" — the dowager countess
BEST EXAMPLE OF FLIRTING, 1920S-STYLE: Mary: "Are you looking forward to the wedding?" Matthew: "I'm looking forward to all sorts of things." Mary: "Don't make me blush."
CORA EXPLAINS SEX WITHOUT THOSE STUBBORN DETAILS: "It's the most terrific fun!"
WHAT EVERY DAD SHOULD TELL HIS DAUGHTER ON HER WEDDING DAY: "I'm so happy, so very happy, I feel my chest will explode."
I'D THINK SHE'D WANT AN OLD FASHIONED: The dowager countess, when offered one of those "new cocktails": "No, thank you. They look too exciting for so early in the evening."
MOST DISTRACTING CAMEO: Mrs. Levinson's maid's weird eyebrows.