Downton Abbey Series 6 Episode 5 Recap: Edith Has A Man (And A Good One To Boot), Andy Finally Gets A Story Line And Robert Pukes Up His Guts (Literally) At The Dinner Table

As usual this recap contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the episode.

Upstairs 

  • The issue regarding the hospital and Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) concerns about Robert (Hugh Bonneville) health finally come to a head. No wait, that was the blood coming out of Robert like a scene of out of the Exorcist. Neville Chamberlain (Rupert Frazer) (yes, that Neville Chamberlain) in 1925 is the Minister of Health and invited by the Dowager (Dame Maggie Smith) in hopes that she will win regarding the hospital. The only one that wins that night is the person who will receive overtime in their paycheck for washing the blood out of Robert’s clothes and the tablecloth. Robert’s ulcer burst at the perfect time. That’s a family dinner for you. Though I don’t think that will be enough to convince Cora and Isobel (Penelope Wilton) to change their minds.
  • Did anyone notice that Marigold never speaks, nor shows any sign of emotion? In what could be one of the cutest scenes this series, Robert and Cora are babysitting the grandchildren. Sybbie (Fifi Hart) and George (played by twins Zac and Oliver Barker) pepper their grandparents with questions while Marigold is curiously silent. I sometimes wonder if this child is suffering from some sort of PTSD after being taken from the Drewes.
  • I may be a feminist, but I am rooting for Edith (Laura Carmichael) to finally lose the title of the Edwardian Jan Brady. The first kiss between Edith and Bertie Pelham (Harry Haddon-Paton) held the promise of what I hope will be a happy and satisfying relationship. Let’s hope that between this relationship and the new editor she hired for the sketch, Edith will finally be happy.
  • Speaking of relationships, Tom (Allen Leech) is trying to convince Mary (Michelle Dockery) to go full throttle for Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode). This is of course, during a car race in which Henry is participating. Mary tries to shrug it off as she always does. Whether it Mary’s usual playing hard to get or she is reliving the death of Matthew (Dan Stevens), only time will tell.
  • Tom has found his professional future. He will fix cars for a living. Appropriate.

Downstairs

  • If you have noticed that I have not spoken of Andy (Michael Fox) so far this series. That’s because he has been background fodder so far. This episode, he finally had his own story line. In helping Daisy (Sophie McShera), Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and Mr. Mason (Paul Copley) setup Yew Tree far as his own, Andy offers to help Mr. Mason with the pigs. Naturally,  Mr. Mason offers him some books to read to learn the basics. Then we discover that Andy cannot read. Thomas (Rob James-Collier), in his helpful but creepy uncle manner offers to help Andy. I wouldn’t take the offer.
  • Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) may be experienced in many things, but marriage he is not. When he indirectly insults Mrs. Hughes’s (Phyllis Logan) due to her lack of kitchen experience, she takes it with a smile. Let’s hope Carson slept in his bed and not on the couch.
  • Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and Bates (Brendan Coyle) have yet to have any pregnancy trouble. I’m crossing fingers that they have a healthy child.
  • Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) is asked to testify at the trial of the man who responsible for her prison term. Molesley (Kevin Doyle) offers to join Baxter. I’m wondering if we will be at 3/3 for downstairs romance at this point.
  • The merry war at the Dowager house comes to a boil before taking an interesting twist. First Denker (Sue Johnston) makes a comment to Dr. Clarkson (David Robb) about the hospital issue. That get’s back to the Dowager house and Denker is given her walking papers. Buuut, before she walks out the door, she reminds Spratt (Jeremy Swift), whose first name we learn is Septimus, that he briefly sheltered his convict nephew under the Dowager’s roof. That got her job re-instated real quick.

Overall

Robert’s ulcer bursting during dinner, especially with the hospital disagreement hanging in the air was the perfect out of left field moment. Well, it was not so left field, but that is not when one expects to sit down to dinner with the English aristocracy.

Dowager moment of the week: Not the Dowager, but Mary, who in  50 years, will hopefully be in her grandmother’s place. After dinner, Tom and Mary are discussing how to keep Downton afloat with Robert. “Long live our Queen Mary”. Here here.

See you next week.

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Filed under Downton Abbey, History, Television, TV Recap

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