Mary and Matthew meet again when Matthew returns to Downton on leave from the front lines. He brings his new fiance with him, which last season would have created many hissy fits and scheming. But now Matthew is a soldier and there is every chance he won't survive. Mary pushes her hurt feelings aside, because she does care for Matthew and she knows she may never see him again. It was a situation that broke my heart, but it showed that Mary has matured, which I appreciated.
|Matthew's fiance is sweet, but she's no Lady Mary.|
This is especially interesting, because many of the men at home are struggling to join the war effort. Lord Grantham has an honorary position that will allow him to stay at home and he feels useless. He wants to actually do something. William has been forbidden by his father to join and is taking criticism for being a coward (thank you, Edith, you *****).
Even Lady Sybil has gotten involved. She has always been my favorite character, so I loved that she wanted to join a nursing course. To prepare, she asks the maids to teach her how to cook and clean. Her mother, Cora, is at first appalled, but later approves as she sees her daughter grow up and make her own choices. It seems that class divides are closing as the people of Britain unite against a common enemy, but they haven't closed enough when Branson proposes to Sybil. Oh, Branson, how I love you.
|Sybil learning a real skill.|