All it takes is a little swine emergency for Mary to claim herself a third suitor.
It's about a year after Matthew's death, and, yeah, it's a bit jarring to see Mary pursued by three men so soon. But it's also a bit fun. Well, Lord Gillingham is fun. Evelyn Napier's a bit blah.
He's nice enough, but in a total friend-zone sort of way.
Now enter Charles Blake, who, in the course of this episode, goes from considering Mary "aloof" (super-mean, early-20th-century wise) to crushing on her.
The pigs have arrived! Could you tell when the pigs arrived in this episode? Because several people said it at different times. With everyone away for various reasons (we'll get to those -- it was a very busy episode), Mary and Charles take a long after-dinner walk to check on Downton's new pig pen.
Things have already gone badly. Charles notices a pig that's close to death! The water trough has been knocked over! We must get them water and make them drink it slowly!
Dude knows his pigs.
Charles, in his judge-an-aristocrat-by-her-cover ways, assumes Mary will hightail it back to the estate. But Mary, being Mary, literally gets in the thick of it. They labor for hours to get these darn pigs healthy.
It's all sort of cute in the end (cue the requisite Mary fall in the mud!). They both lighten up with each other, enough to throw mud in each other's faces and laugh.
Could it be? I'm kind of liking these two together.
Back at the house, Mary continues to shatter rich-people stereotypes (or something) by making herself and Charles scrambled eggs in -- scandal!! -- the servant's kitchen.
Even a bad joke can't ruin this moment: "You saved our bacon," Mary tells Charles. "Literally."
Thank you, thank you. She'll be at Downton all week.
What could make this situation more dramatic? Let's bring back Lord Gillingham, shall we? Now we suuddenly have Evelyn telling Mary that Charles likes her now and it has "increased the competition." We also have Charles loosening up, and bonding with Tony Gillingham over not just serving in World War I together -- but how they both really, really love them some Mary.
This surely won't get complicated at all, will it?
BATES' KNOWING LOOK
With the arrival of Gillingham (he's just stopping by while on his travels -- *COUGHsureCOUGH*), comes ... dun-dun-dun, Gllingham's Valet From Satan.
This was tense and horrible to watch. Mrs. Hughes gives the valet some death staggers, Anna is forced to pretend like he has done nothing ... so sad. Anna even has to sit next to him at the dinner table.
But there were two awesome scenes here.
1. Mrs. Hughes' confrontation. Seriously, Mrs. Hughes is great this season. She corners Mr. Green in a room and lays down the law in now-patented Mrs. Hughes Scary-Good Manner.