‘Downton Abbey’ season 6, episode 4 review: Rose Leslie’s return, Anna’s reveal, Mrs. Hughes’ ‘new’ name

The sixth season of “Downton Abbey” seems to already be very much invested in fan service, or at least making sure that longtime viewers are rewarded for their service watching.

With that in mind, how else can you explain the surprise appearance from Rose Leslie in this installment? (Well, it may not have been that big of a surprise if you saw promos.) We don’t really think Gwen’s return was altogether necessary for the episode to work, though, and seemed to for the most part serve two simple functions: Making certain that you got a chance to see what has happened to her since her last appearance, and also having Daisy realize that she needs to stand up for what she believes in.

Lucky for her, she avoided a tense conversation with Cora by Mr. Mason getting to secure the Yew Tree Farm. This probably would have caused her to lose her job had things gone a little differently.

Anna’s big news – To us, her pregnancy story is the happiest thing going on the show right now, though it took a long time for us to be at a point where we could celebrate this. There was yet another scare for Anna during this episode, but she seems to be making some sort of a recovery already.

The servants prepare for the future – Whether it be Thomas, Mr. Carson, or Mrs. Hughes (who is still being called Mrs. Hughes), they all have to start to look ahead. For Thomas in particular, he is in a curious spot. He is young enough to realize that he needs to be more than what he has been to guarantee some sort of future success, but this for him is far from guaranteed.

While Lady Edith continued to have some nice moments (we’re all for her hiring a female editor), we must admit that this was our least favorite installment of season 6 so far. Despite the hype and coming off such a huge episode, it really did not feel like there was all that much that happened. Grade: C+.

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