Downton Abbey – Episode 5

25 Oct

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“I must have said it wrong then.”

The Downton Flower Show was the main event in this week’s installment of everyone’s favourite Sunday night comfort blanket. Mrs Crawley locked horns with cousin Violet over the latter’s frequent wins at the contest. It was touching to have even a glimpse of evidence that the Dowager has a heart as she handed over the trophy to Molesley. Or was it more of a defeatist sentiment? As I’ve noted before, Downton Abbey is all about the movements towards modernity, away from the feudal system so beloved by our dear Dowager.

Staying Upstairs, Ladies Mary and Sybil were fighting over the affections of Matthew Crawley. I must admit, I’m a fan of the turn Edith has taken – that lingering view on the letter addressed to the Turkish ambassador can only contain bad news for Mary. Good for her (Edith that is), I say. Mary is a nasty piece of work and despite occasional demonstrations of human emotion, she is clearly a bitch with no soul. So she’s perfect to take up the Dowager’s title. If only she could.

Sybil is also beginning to make an impression – just as it seems we may lose her (if next week’s trailer is anything to go by). I hope it is only a minor mishap and that she doesn’t give up on this new-fangled feminism lark. Gwen needs her help, after all, to secure work somewhere other than the crumbling Abbey.

I use the word crumbling as it is clear things are starting to fall apart. Mrs Patmore is going blind, the gruesome twosome (Thomas and O’Brien) are losing their grip on the others and Anna is abandoning all sense of propiety and declaring her love for Bates.

I’ll admit, I loved that last one. Although I feel there’s something a bit wrong about that, as it’s not the most obviously suitable relationship, but it is the sweetest one. It’s very real too, with feelings that have developed over time and been allowed to mellow. It remains to be seen what happens there and whether we will see more of it next series but I live in hope.

Viv Groskop has written a great piece about the appeal of the Abbey here. I suggest you read it.


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