Downton Abbey’s Episode 6 set us up for an overseas departure with more than one member of the Crawley household hinting at a trip to the United States. Sadly, the journey west arrived sooner than we expected with one character setting sail in the very next episode.
Don’t shed too many tears at the dock, however. Despite his talk of leaving England forever, Tom Branson (Allen Leech) isn’t the one getting on a boat this episode. Instead saying bon voyage is Earl of Grantham, Robert (Hugh Bonneville) and, thankfully, it’s only for a short trip to help his brother-in-law, Harold Levinson (Paul Giamatti), out of a tough fix.
In a clip from the episode, we see Lord Robert bidding his family farewell as he heads to the train station. Visitors to the house, Evelyn Napier (Brendan Patricks) and Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden), say they’ll be staying “a few weeks more” — a promising development for Lady Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) love life.
Robert tells daughter Edith (Laura Carmichael) to “stay strong” as they wait to hear of news of her beau, Michael Gregson. If only Daddy knew how very important that news is for Edith...
“Try not to let those Yankees drive you mad,” the Dowager (Maggie Smith) advises her son. We already know that soon after Robert’s departure, his mother takes ill. Let’s hope it’s just from nerves at her son facing down those Yankees and nothing more serious.
One additional note of interest: Thomas (Rob James-Collier) and not Robert’s valet, Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle), is accompanying the Earl of Grantham to America. It’s a perplexing change but one we’re happy to see since the evil Mr. Green (Nigel Harmen) is expected to return in the same episode and once again terrorize dear Anna Bates’s (Joanne Froggatt).