|directed by: Minkie Spiro||air date: September 20, 2015|
April 1925. The local hospital is threatened with a take-over by the larger County Hospital; the board is split, with Violet objecting, and Isobel approving. Rita Bevan, a former chambermaid at the hotel where Mary and Lord Gillingham stayed, attempts to blackmail Mary by exposing their tryst. Mary refuses to pay, but Rita confronts Robert, who buys her off with £50 instead of the £1,000 she demanded. Sergeant Willis informs Bates and Anna that a woman has confessed to murdering Green, and the case is closed. Anna is upset at not having had a child. Edith plans to spend more time in London and be more hands-on with the magazine. The family attend an auction at a neighbouring estate which is being sold to pay off debts. The former owner tells Robert that great estates like theirs are obsolete, and advises him to sell up too.
|directed by: Minkie Spiro||air date: September 27, 2015|
April 1925. Mary chides Robert for offering Carson the servants’ hall for his and Mrs Hughes’s wedding reception, and offers the upstairs instead; Mrs Hughes insists on a separate venue which better represents who they are, which leads to friction between the couple. Edith argues vehemently with Mr Skinner, the magazine’s publisher, whom she believes dislikes all her ideas because she is a woman. Mary takes Anna to a Harley Street doctor, who proposes minor surgery during her next pregnancy to prevent another miscarriage. Mary takes Marigold with her and little George when she goes to inspect the animals at the farm. Mrs Drewe kidnaps the girl during the local livestock show competition; her husband persuades her to return Marigold.
|directed by: Philip John||air date: October 4, 2015|
May 1925. Mrs Patmore tells Cora that Mrs Hughes is unhappy with having her wedding breakfast in Downton’s hall. Violet tries to get Robert to support her view on the hospital merger; things get nasty at a Board meeting, and an annoyed Isobel is rude to Dr Clarkson. Edith dismisses her editor. Anna is pregnant. Daisy hopes that Mr Mason can take over the Drewes’ farm. She mistakenly believes that Cora has already arranged it. Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes are married in the church. During the wedding breakfast at the village school, Tom Branson and his daughter, Sybbie, unexpectedly arrive from Boston; he announces he feels Downton is his home and wants to stay.
|directed by: Philip John||air date: October 11, 2015|
May 1925. Lady Shackleton visits, with her nephew, Henry Talbot. Lady Rosamund also arrives, and Downton is visited by Mr and Mrs Harding. Anna recognizes and greets Mrs Harding as Gwen, the former Downton housemaid who left service to better herself in a new career. Sergeant Willis asks Baxter to testify against the man with whom she was involved when she stole from a previous employer. Cora persuades Robert and Mary to lease Mason Yew Tree Farm, which Daisy learns from Robert as she is about to confront Cora. Lady Mary rushes Anna to London where the doctor performs surgery, saving the baby. Bates is delighted to learn that Anna is pregnant. Robert continues to experience stomach pain but dismisses it as indigestion. Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes return from their Scarborough honeymoon and move into a cottage. Edith announces plans to appoint a woman as editor to her magazine.
|directed by: Michael Engler||air date: October 18, 2015|
May 1925. Mrs Patmore, Daisy, and Andy help Mr Mason move into the farm. Andy confesses to Thomas that he is illiterate, and accepts Thomas’s offer to teach him in secret. Edith hires Laura Edmunds as her editor, and Edith also becomes romantic with Bertie Pelham. Molesley accompanies Baxter to the trial, but she is not called upon to testify as Coyle accepts a plea. Violet persuades Minister of Health Neville Chamberlain to attend dinner at Downton, and she harangues everyone about the hospital. Robert suddenly vomits blood over the dinner table, collapses, and is rushed to hospital. He has a burst ulcer and survives surgery, but Mary tells Tom that the two of them must take over running the estate, as her father must not be stressed further. Mary becomes suspicious about Marigold’s birth, after hearing a puzzling remark about the child between Cora and Violet.
|directed by: Michael Engler||air date: October 25, 2015|
Early June 1925. Carson continues to criticise Mrs Hughes’s housekeeping practices at the cottage not being up to standard, to her increasing annoyance. He even complains about how she makes the bed, and suggests she get some cooking pointers from Mrs Patmore. The Board of the Downton Cottage Hospital decides to approve its merger with the Royal Yorkshire Hospital and invites Cora to be their new president, replacing Lady Violet to avoid similar situations in the future. Mary takes Tom to London, where they meet Henry. Henry tells Mary he is falling in love with her. Mary and Tom open the house to the public for a day to raise funds for the hospital. Carson questions Thomas about his meetings with Andy, causing him more distress and reducing him to tears of self-pity.
|directed by: David Evans||air date: November 1, 2015|
July 1925. Isobel is puzzled to receive an invitation to the wedding for Lord Merton’s son, Larry and Amelia Cruikshank. Mary receives a telephone call from Henry, who implores her to give him an answer regarding his romantic intentions; she says he is not the right man for her. Daisy and Molesley sit for their exams; the latter does so well that the headmaster offers him a teaching job at the school. Mrs Hughes pretends to have injured her hand, forcing Mr Carson to do the cooking and housekeeping at the cottage. Carson is exhausted and gains a new respect for his wife’s efforts. Mrs Patmore’s B&B opens with its first guests. Bertie proposes to Edith, who mentions Marigold and asks for time to consider. Violet has departed to the south of France and gives Robert a new dog.
|directed by: David Evans||air date: November 8, 2015|
August 1925. When his cousin dies, Bertie becomes a Marquess. Edith hesitates to tell him that Marigold is her illegitimate daughter. Mary spitefully reveals it at breakfast, and Bertie walks out. After having a heated row with Mary, Edith goes to London, where she and her editor discover that the magazine’s agony aunt, believed to be a female, is in fact Spratt, the Dowager Countess’s butler. When it is revealed that the first couple to stay at Mrs Patmore’s B&B were adulterers, she finds bookings are being cancelled. Cora, and Robert go there for tea, taking a newspaper photographer to record their visit. Molesley begins teaching at the school. Thomas attempts suicide by slashing his wrists. Henry calls Mary again. Mary reveals her fear that Henry will die in a car crash like her late husband, Matthew. Henry is invited back, and Mary agrees to marry him. They marry quickly in the village church. Mary and Edith reconcile.
|directed by: Michael Engler||air date: December 25, 2015|
29 September 1925– 1 January 1926: Carson fumbles serving dinner when his hands begin shaking. Thomas secures a job with an elderly couple. Molesley leaves service when the Headmaster offers him a teaching position, plus a cottage. Lord Merton tells Isobel he suffers from pernicious anaemia, but still wants to marry her. His cruel daughter-in-law, Amelia, prevents Isobel from seeing him. An indignant Violet intervenes, and he enthusiastically agrees to marry Isobel. Andy falls for Daisy, who is uninterested, but she gradually grows to like him. Eventually she decides to live at the farm. Bertie proposes to Edith and she accepts. At Brancaster Castle to announce the engagement, the Crawleys meet Bertie’s moralistic mother Miranda. Edith tells her about her having borne an illegitimate child, Marigold, winning over Mrs Pelham with her honesty. Henry and Tom go into business together selling cars, and Mary tells Henry she is pregnant with his child. Edith and Bertie are finally married on New Year’s Eve 1925 and leave on their honeymoon. Dr Clarkson informs Lord Merton that he has only a mild form of anaemia. During the reception, Anna suddenly goes into labour and gives birth to a healthy son. Carson realizes his illness will ultimately prevent him from performing his duties, and tenders his resignation; Robert reluctantly accepts, and suggests that Thomas return as Butler; Carson can retire with a pension, retaining an oversight role. Violet accepts that Cora has taken over her prime position within the family, and they reconcile.
. . .