Let's take a moment to review the short and Ridiculously Soap Opera-riffic life of little Marigold.
Edith and Michael Gregson's baby was born in Switzerland (under the guise that Edith was going there to learn French...), adopted by a random family, reclaimed by her mother suddenly and then given to the Drewe family one of Downton's farm workers who specialize in pigs.
Mr. Drewe then tells his wife that Marigold is the daughter of a friend who died, they raise her and think of her as their own daughter. As the result of another "shall I keep and love my daughter?" coin flip, Edith changes her mind again, takes her back from the Drewes and raises her at Downton as her ward.
All caught up? Great. Because this rather unfocused episode is replete with more Marigold drama and a little Carson-Hughes wedding nonsense thrown in for good measure.
As Edith plans a trip to London to fight with her magazine editor in person, Mary decides to take a little trip to the Drewes' farm so George can see the pigs. I'll take Marigold, too, she decides. What harm could come of that? No big nasty dirty family secret could come undone.
Edith is horrified, but the only plan she has is expressing worry that the farm "isn't safe" for the Kids Who Are Played With Once a Week to visit. Seems like simply taking Marigold with her to London could have solved this whole issue, but I digress. Instead, Cora decides to tag along on the pig trip with Mary to make sure everything goes OK.
It doesn't. Mrs. Drewe is surprised to see Marigold and instantly goes into a kind of This is Really My Daughter and I Will Deeply Resent the Crawleys Forever trance. Cora's all, "It's lunch time!" and whisks the kids away back to the Better Life Manor.
Later, at the quaintly titled Fat Stock Show in Molton (sidenote: Is this the same thing as a livestock show and why do we not keep the clearly more interesting "fat stock" name? Either way, apparently this show is real and still going on), the Crawleys (like ALL of them and ALL of the staff) are watching Mary show the Drewes' pigs.
I like how sMary wore a tie for the occasion as if to say, "Men usually do this but, now I am! And I can wear a tie, too!"
Again, I digress. Mrs. Drewe shows up and spend her time stalking Marigold. She waits until the family is preoccupied with applauding Mary's pig-showing 1st place win (really), tand akes Marigold. Mrs. Drewe is quickly found at the house cradling Marigold in her arms and humming a tune.
Slightly disturbing? How about totally justified? Look, Marigold undoubtedly gets more education and clothes and such at Downton, but this kid was pretty much raised by the Drewes and their many children (and pigs). Mrs. Drewe loved her, took her in without really questioning her husband and had to put up with Edith poking around her house all of last season, only to see Marigold ripped away from her.
Not to mention: The Drewes work for the Crawleys and make them money and they have to deal with this? God, I feel bad for this woman.
Mr. Drewe takes Marigold from his wife's arms (again) and gives her to Edith and her folks waiting outside to whisk her away (yes, also again). Earlier in the episode, Cora tells Robert that she thinks the best thing to do is encourage the Drewes to find a tenancy elsewhere.
But they've lived there for a hundred years, Robert offers.
Who cares, Cora seems to imply. Edith wants to take care of this baby she originally gave up for adoption, took back from Switzerland and made a poor family adopt and then took her back again.
THE DREWES NEED TO GO.
Drewe bristled earlier at Robert suggesting they move. Yes, the family helped Mr. Drewe pay his debts to keep his land earlier in the series, but really ... making him move? This poor family.
But after his wife's display, Mr. Drewe agrees to look for new tenancy immediately, as his wife forlornly watches Marigold from a window. "It's a poor return for what you and your wife have done for this family," Robert offers. You can say that again.
"God bless you, Drewe," Robert finally offers. Somehow, Mr. Drewe actually THANKS Robert for everything.
"Kthanksbye," is what the family really means to say.
Wedding bell blues
Most of the rest of the episode was taken up with more Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson wedding drama. No sex talk this time (thankfully), but now the issue is where to have the reception.
Robert offers to "decorate the servants hall and make it really special," which prompts eye-rolls from both Mary and Edith, which is, I believe, the first time they've been on the same page about anything.
To be fair, some streamers and balloons would really make the dungeon-like servants area really festive.
Mrs. Hughes isn't having it, instead suggesting that they hold the reception away from Downton and somewhere simple, a place that's more "them." How dare she! She and Carson have toiled as servants in this huge house for decades. They must be forced to have their own wedding reception there.
Mary later strong-arms Carson (because anything she says, Carson will do) into convincing Mrs. Hughes to have it anywhere in the main house they'd desire. Despite Cora's sensible warning that it's Mrs. Hughes' wedding and she may want to pick out the place to have it, Carson is incapable of turning Mary down.
At the fat stock show, Carson tells his bride-to-be that it means a lot to the family that they have the reception at the house, and there's still no resolution. Why do I picture Mrs. Hughes organizing the menu for her own reception and cleaning up afterward?
We see Anna having her Usual Lonely Crying Time in a Servants Work Room, still heartbroken over her apparently inability to have a child. Bates finds his wife in her Room of Sadness and brings up adoption.
Anna says she has, but she knows that it's not what Bates wants because he's "tribal" (huh?) and only wants "his own child." He doesn't deny it, and seems ready to accept that they won't have kids.
This is weird. Bates is this man who has been utterly and completely devoted to Anna the entire run of the show, and he wouldn't rethink his stance on adoption to make her (and them) happy finally? Also, what have been the hints that Bates is "tribal"? I don't get it.
Anyway, Mary senses something is wrong with Anna and Anna tells her that she may have had three miscarriages and ... isn't that funny because she once had to get 1920s protection for Mary so Mary could avoid the gettting-knocked-up risk during her Weekend Dalliance with Gillingham?!?
Mary comes up with a plan. She reveals that she, too, had problems conceiving (Lady Mary ... so like us), had an operation and then out popped little George so why can't Anna try that, too? She'll even foot the bill, since, as she reminds Anna, she helped move the dead Mr. Pamuk off Mary's body. She owes Anna!
Yes, this was an actual conversation.
In London, Mary's doc confirms that Anna suffers from "cervical incompetence," which is still apparently a term used (I hope less frequently) today. Can you imagine a woman getting that diagnosis?
Friend: So what did the doctor say?
1920s woman: Oh nothing, I just have an incompetent cervix.
The doctor suggests cervical cerclage surgery so Anna may be able to hold a pregnancy to full term. He says to let him know "when and if" she gets pregnant again. So we'll see.
In the unnecessary battle over the future of Downton village's outdated hospital, the dowager and Dr. Clarkson continue to find change while Isobel and Merton are on the "reform" side. Cora is close to announcing she's fully on Isobel's side, while Robert is trying to stay out of it while still overseeing hospital board meetings. You care, right?
Worst gynecological joke ever: Anna hides from Bates the real reason she's going to London, so he only offers his desire that she put her feet up while there, to relax. To which Anna responds, "Yes, I'll put my feet up." BECAUSE SHE'S HAVING A LADY PARTS EXAMINATION. GET IT?!?!
Worst job interview ever: Still freaking out over whether he'll be let go from Downton, Thomas applies for assistant butler job at another estate and when he bristles at all the jobs he alone would have to do, the estate's Mr. Carson Equivalent asks him, "You're a delicate-looking fellow aren't you? Are you married?" Yikes.
An exchange you never want to have with your boss:
Thomas: When you you need me, Mr. Carson?
Carson: When indeed.
Mary takes her Edith hatred up a notch: I like how Mary has traded her typical eye-roll for a full-on sneer, exhibited when Mary deduces from a letter that Rose may be pregnant and gives a little noiseless growl when Edith says, "As usual you take two and two and make 53."
Daisy's uprising: Not only is she continuing her social-equality experiment by preparing for exams at a real school, but she decides to talk one-on-one with Cora about helping Mr. Mason keep his mom and job. Rise on up, Daisy!
Something you never want your godfather to say to you: "My goddaughter, the pig breeder!" - Lord Merton to Mary
Very, very, very wrong: "I just don't want to be a servant on my wedding day. Is that so wrong?" - Mrs. Hughes
Debbie Downer of the episode: Rosamund, who advises Edith that the risk of living alone is that you get too used to it.
Line I'll have to use when arguing with someone: "Mine are the true facts!" - the dowager countess