The second episode of Downton Abbey's sixth season kicks off with Michelle Dockery's Lady Mary dressed in an immaculate white crochet knit top with matineé-length pearls as she spars with Lord Grantham and Laura Carmichael's Lady Edith over a meal at the table. (Who doesn't wear pearls to breakfast?)
With Season 6, Downton's characters find themselves firmly in the 1920s, complete with loose silhouettes, drop waists, midiskirts, and cloche hats for the ladies. And while there are there are significant signs of change in the outside world (Mrs. Patmore is actually considering buying a jar of ready-made horseradish!), inside Downton order has been restored. Edith is still keeping her dark secret about illegitimate daughter Marigold and the traditionalist Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) and modernizer Cousin Isobel (Penelope Wilton) have abandoned last season's truce and are locked in a power struggle over management of the local hospital.
Simultaneously, the course of middle-aged love is not running smooth: Carson is delighted that Lady Mary has insisted his wedding to Mrs. Hughes be held at Downton—upstairs, no less—but the bride is reluctant and would prefer to have it in a neutral location, saying, "I don't want to be a servant on my wedding day."
There are further signs of discontent below stairs. Scheming footman Thomas sees the writing on the wall and starts looking for a new job, while kitchen maid-slash-radical firebrand Daisy rails against "the system" and her surrogate father being turfed off his farm. Anna (Joanne Froggatt) faces infertility, prompting Lady Mary to whisk her off to visit an expensive London gynecologist.
Warming to her new role as estate manager, Mary dons an immaculately cut double-breasted tweed skirt suit and agrees to show the Downton pigs in a local agricultural fair, which the family and servants all attend. The estate's pigs win, but crisis strikes when little Marigold is spirited away by her former foster mother, Mrs. Drewe, who still pines for the child. Marigold is quickly recovered, but Lord Grantham must reluctantly evict the Drewes.
Catch Downton Abbey Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.