‘Downton Abbey’ season 6, episode 3 review: A Tom Branson surprise during Mr. Carson – Mrs. Hughes wedding

Through almost every preview out there going into Sunday night’s new episode of “Downton Abbey,” the one thing that we continued to hear time and time again was that this was the episode fans of Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes could truly look forward to. After great delay, they were finally set to marry!

Given that this is “Downton Abbey,” however, you have to know that nothing would come easy. While there was no event that took place in here that necessarily put the brakes on the happy occasion, there was a particularly upsetting moment where Cora snapped at Mrs. Hughes after she saw her with Anna and Mrs. Patmore trying on one of her coats. Lady Mary had given her permission to do so, but she was in a terrible mood after sparring with Violet and company. (We still do not find that story entirely compelling.)

Most of the episode was spent preparing for this particular occasion, and seeing what happened when the final vows were stated. The big surprise? Seeing the arrival of Tom Branson at the reception. Sure, we could groan about the utter coincidence of it all, but if we were to do so it’d take away the magic. In this case, we really did not mind.

Edith’s progression – Does she have a new love in her life? For the first time, we are starting to feel as though she is moving forward since the death of Michael Gregson, and in an organic way to boot. Her relationship does not feel forced; instead, it is with a man who respects her work, her time, and wants to contribute to it. This is, at least for now, the most contemporary relationship that we have seen on the show.

Daisy puts the cart before the horse – Given that Lady Cora and her do not seem to be particularly on the same page regarding the Masons, it feels as though we are setting up Daisy for a fall. In general this season, she has routinely gotten perhaps a tad too excited about things that are not yet confirmed.

Anna’s big news – She is starting to become a little more optimistic that she and Mr. Bates can have a child! The problem is merely that nothing is concerned just yet.

This episode of “Downton Abbey” was lovely: Meaningful, funny at times, and one we’ll remember for some time. By far, this is our favorite one of season 6 so far.

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