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Downton Abbey Recap Series 5 Episode 9: September Romances, Goodbye Tom And Matthew Goode

This will be the final recap of Downton Abbey for 2015 as series 5 ended last night (:(). As usual, this post contains spoilers about this weekend’s episode.

Upstairs

Isobel and Violet’s romantic adventures are over. Not wanting to be the cause of an emotional rift between Lord Merton and his sons, Isobel ends the engagement.  Through Shrimpy’s connections, Violet is able to locate Princess Kuragin and bring her to England to reunite with her husband. Their next destination is Paris. Violet tells Isobel that she and the Prince were running away together when the princess discovered their plan and sent Violet back to her husband.  I think this has been my favorite series in regards to Violet. She has always been one of the best characters on the show, but this revelation is just so cool.

To the outside world (and Mary), Marigold is Edith’s adopted daughter. Robert, realizing his folly, apologizes to Edith and has a tender father/daughter moment with her.  Tom figures out the truth about Marigold’s parentage.

Speaking of Tom, the decision has been made. He and Sybbie are leaving for Boston, Robert admits that he will miss Tom and not just because of his granddaughter. Tom, Mary and Edith have a tender moment in the nursery, speaking to Sybil as if she was still with them.  It was sad and sweet and broke my heart just a little.

Robert and Cora are back on track as a couple. Robert is having health problems, which at the end of the day, are nothing more than an ulcer.

One of the highlights of the upstairs characters for me is to see how the younger characters mature. Rose, who was introduced as a slightly flighty and rebellious young woman has matured into an intelligent and emotionally open adult. While the family visits Rose’s in laws for a shooting holiday, a woman joins the party. The presumption is that she is Lord Sinderby’s former mistress and the boy with her is his illegitimate son. To prevent a scandal and embarrassment, Rose loudly pretends that this woman is a friend that she has not seen in a long time. She wrangles Mary and Robert to join her in the charade. Lord Sinderby admits that he was wrong about Rose.

And finally, during the shooting party, Mary and Edith make new friends. Edith strikes up a conversation with the land agent while Mary flirts with an aristocrat played by Matthew Goode. Will wedding bells ring or in Mary’s case, ring again in the sixth series?

Downstairs

This episode was the culmination of Chelsie (Charles and Elsie) shippers long held desire to see Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes bound together in holy matrimony. While the proposal was not Matthew kneeling down to Mary in the snow, it was still romantic. I have a feeling that this marriage will be a long and happy one. If friendship and respect are the basis for any long term romantic relationship, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes have it in spades.

Mrs. Hughes, in the moments before the proposal, reveals that she cannot go into business with Mr. Carson because she has no money. Her sister Becky, as she put it “is not quite right in the head”. Most of Mrs. Hughes’s money has been put to the care of her sister.

The merry war between Spratt and Miss Denker is not over. This time, it was over broth. Violet had fond memories of the broth that her mother’s maid used to make for her as a girl. At first, Miss Denker tried to pass Daisy’s broth as her own before Spratt caught her. But then she made her own and Violet thought it was delicious. Score one for the ladies maid.

Daisy is not yet quite ready to leave the nest or her mother figure, Mrs. Patmore.

While visiting Lord and Lady Sinderby, Thomas is demoted to footman by Lord Sinderby’s snooty butler, Stowell.  His level of snobbery even shocks Mary, when Stowell refuses to serve Tom. Using a bit of trickery, Thomas and Baxter work together to humiliate Stowell.  Perhaps tricks have been finally been put to good use.

Molesley is still Molesley and we love him for it.

Anna is released from jail, but not before she shares a long held secret.  Abused sexually by her stepfather, Anna pulled a knife on him to protect herself.  To protect his wife, Bates hides in Ireland, but sneaks back to Downton to surprise Anna just as the episode comes to a close.

Analysis

While this series did not have the ups and downs that previous series have had (I’m looking at you, series 3, loosing Matthew and Sybil, it still breaks my heart a little), it was enjoyable and entertaining.

Dowager Quote Of The Week

“I will never again receive an immoral proposal from a man. Was I so wrong to savor it?”

On a serious note, I want to thank everyone who took a few moments out of their day to read my recaps. It means a lot to me.  I look forward to recaps come next year.

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Downton Abbey Recap Series 5 Episode 7: Daisy The Rebel, Edith’s Secret Is Out (Sort Of) & Wedding Bells Will Be Ringing

As usual, this post contains spoilers from this weekends episode. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the episode.

Upstairs

It has been confirmed that wedding bells will be ringing twice. Isobel has accepted Lord Merton’s proposal. While the rest of the family is thrilled, Violet admits that she will miss Isobel’s company with a slight tear in her eye. Dare I say that she has become accustomed to her face? For a recently engaged couple, Lord Merton and Isobel are rather staid, but considering the period, it’s rather acceptable. The biggest hurdle that Isobel will face is her future stepsons. They are just as pleasant and gentleman like are they were the last time we saw them, when Larry insulted Tom and got him drunk the night before Mary and Matthew’s wedding.

Rose and Atticus are engaged. Atticus’s mother likes Rose, but his father is not so keen on having a gentile daughter in law.

Poor Isis has cancer and is slowly dying. Robert seems to be paying more attention to his dying dog than his missing daughter. He also insists on bringing guests in when Edith is still missing. Father of the year, he is not.

Tom is considering moving to Boston. He contemplates the idea with Sybbie as they drop twigs into the river.  It was a sweet father/daughter moment, one that we do not see too often.

Mabel Lane Fox, Tony Gillingham and Charles Blake are all at the house. Mabel is still quite attached to Tony and Mary, is well Mary is talking to Charles Blake about his trip to Poland. It seems that Tony has finally understood that Mary is not going to walk up the aisle with him anytime soon.

Rosamund and Violet tell Cora the truth about Edith. Cora, quite rightly, tells her mother in law and sister in law that they need to let Edith make her own decision in regards to her child.  Rosamund and Cora find Edith in London at the publishing house that Edith has inherited from her late married boyfriend/ baby daddy. In order to prevent a public ruckus, Edith agrees to meet her mother and aunt at a local tea house. Just when you think the entire truth will be revealed, it will not be revealed. Cora suggests that they tell the family that the Drewes are unable to care for Marigold for financial reasons and Edith is stepping in to help. Cora and Edith even go so far as to have Mr. Drewe travel with Marigold to the next station when they get to Downton station and they see Mary waiting for the next train to London. Honestly, if this child grows up to be a normal adult, I will be surprised, considering her first few years of life.

There is still no word of the fate of Princess Kuragin. I suspect that this story line will not end just yet. After years of endless insults against Edith, Violet finally tells Mary to be quiet. About bloody time.

Downstairs

Things are peaceful (for now) in the Bates household as we did not see the police sniffing around, looking for more clues into the death of Mr. Green. I suspect this little pocket of sunshine will not last.

Daisy has become quite the little rebel. She rattles on and on about the Labour government and how the lower classes are getting the short end of the stick. Who knew that the mousy teenager whose only lines in the first few episodes of the first series were “Yes, Mrs. Patmore” or “No, Mrs. Patmore” would take up the cause of politics?

Thomas was Thomas this week, without the drugs in his system. As was Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson.

Mr. Mason invited Daisy, Miss Baxter and Mr. Molesley to his farm house for a meal. Miss Baxter and Mr. Molesley are quickly becoming my favorite downstairs couple. Can we get these two together already?

While we did not see Miss Denker this episode, Spratt put in his notice, claiming that Miss Denker cannot be trained. I don’t think she needs to be trained, Spratt needs to remember that he is simply the hired help.

Analysis

We are third to the last episode to the end of this series. My favorite storyline so far has been Edith. I hope we will go from #PoorEdith to #GoodForYouEdith.

Dowager Quote Of The Week

“He is a man. Men don’t have rights”.

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Downton Abbey Series 5 Episode 4 Recap: One Marriage Proposal, Goodbye Miss Bunting (Hopefully) And Mrs. Patmore Pleads For Her Family

As usual,  this recap contains spoilers from the most recent episode. Read at your own risk if you have not seen it.

Upstairs

Lord Merton’s marriage proposal to Isobel is heartfelt. I’m not an expert in the field of romance by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe that he genuinely cares for and loves Isobel. Another reason that I like him as a character is that instead of expecting an answer right away, he will give her some time to decide. I hope she says yes. It would be rather interesting to see Isobel become Lady Merton and have a higher status in society than her odd couple bestie, Violet.

Edith has gone slightly stalker-ish on the Drewe’s and Marigold. I wouldn’t want to be in Mr. Drewe’s shoes, torn between his family and knowing that Edith is Marigold’s natural mother. She also finds out that Michael has gotten a fight with men in brown shirts in Munich. Robert refers to them at thugs. Thugs is a polite word for what these men really are and will become.

Miss Bunting is again invited to dine with the Crawleys. Once again, she opens her mouth and inserts her foot. This time, Robert looses his cool and demands that she leave and never darken their door again.  Tom looked like he wanted to crawl into himself and disappear. While I wish this would be the last episode that we see Miss Bunting, I doubt my wish will be granted. It’s only the 4th episode.

Violet and Isobel visit Prince Kuragin. We learn that the Prince has not seen his wife for a long time and Violet, despite admitting that she nearly abandoned her husband and her children for him, wants to help the prince locate his wife. One of my favorite things about Violet is that under that sharp tongue and shrewd brain, beats a warm and loving heart. For me, Violet is one of the central reasons why I watch Downton Abbey.

Shrimpie (Peter Egan) is back from India. He admits to his daughter and the family that he and his wife are divorcing. Rose extracts a promise from her father to let her marry for love instead of convenience, while Susan (Rose’s mother) accuses her family via letter of taking sides. Divorce is never fun.

Mr. Bricker continues with his foolish infatuation with Cora. Only it has become waaaaay more obvious that he is more into the lady of the house than the art. If I was Robert, I would be quick to show my wife how much I appreciated her.

And finally, the post coital bliss of Tony and Mary is over. While in London for a fashion show, Mary runs into Charles Blake and Mabel Lane Fox, who coolly asses her rival before dashing off to dinner. Mary and Charles then go to dinner. The next day, Mary dispatches Anna to bring a letter to Tony’s London residence. Meeting Mary in the park, Tony’s reaction to being dumped is completely unexpected. This man is not going down without a fight.

Downstairs

Mrs. Patmore is still heartbroken (as anyone would be) that her nephew’s name will not be inscribed on the town war memorial. Going to Lord Grantham, she pleads with him. He agrees with her, but it looks as if Archie’s name will not be on the list.

Sometimes when you wish for something to happen and it actually happens, the image you have in your heard is not the reality. Mr. Molesley is now the only footman and must take on the responsibilities of what was two or three footmen.

Daisy’s education is moving so quickly that she is starting to develop ideas about her future that could mean not spending the rest of her days in Downton. I say good for her.

Thomas’s trip last episode to visit his “ailing father” resulted in him coming back not looking so hot. Miss Baxter finds him in his room with a bunch of syringes.  I can guess where his story line is going to go for the rest of the season.

And finally, downstairs, the police continue to swirl around Anna and Bates.  When Anna goes to Lord Gillingham’s to post the letter, there a man having his shoes shined and watching with odd intent in her direction. Duh duh duh………..

Analysis

The show is finally getting good. The plots are getting better and better and I am become more and more hooked (as if I wasn’t already).

Dowager Moment Of The Week

I have two. The first is in the beginning of the episode when she gave Edith the stink-eye. The second is when she asked Shrimpie to find out what happened to the princess.  Best character on the show.

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Downton Abbey Series 4 Episode 7 Recap

This recap contains spoilers from this weekend’s episode. Read at your own risk if you haven’t watched the episode yet.

Upstairs

The list of Mary’s suitors is down to two. The tepid Mr. Napier is gone, but Anthony Gilllingham is back; his off screen fiance has become his off screen ex-fiance. He stares at her with adoring eyes, a la, a puppy dog. She convinces him to fire Mr. Green, but does not reveal the reason.

If I were a betting woman, I would put my money on Charles Blake.  But only time and Julian Fellows will tell.

The doomed relationship between Rose and Jack is over, as both Mary and Jack know that when she pays him a visit. It was not Rose, but Jack who ended it. In his words “A marquis’s daughter and a musician…” That said it all. Call it a youthful infatuation, a rebellion, whatever label you want to use.  Rose is young and head strong, if it was 2014, this relationship would hopefully not be an issue. But the show is set in the early 1920’s and this relationship is doomed from the get go. At least Jack knew that the best thing to do was to end the relationship.

With her usual acuteness, it didn’t take Violet long to figure out why Rosamund had not only visited Downton unannounced, but had offered to take Edith to Switzerland for four months, all expenses paid.  I feel for her, it’s not an easy decision to make. We would hope that her mother would be included in this decision making process, especially when a third grandchild is on the way. But either Cora was wearing rose colored glasses or she was so engrossed in the bazaar that she wasn’t paying attention to her daughter.

Violet re-introduces Isobel to Lord Merton, who is Mary’s godfather and the father of the childhood friend of Sybil who tried to get Tom drunk the night before Matthew and Mary’s wedding. The conversation about their lives and their children is going well until oops, Lord Merton does not remember that Matthew is dead.

We know more about the young woman who Tom sat next to at the political meeting.  Her name is Sarah Bunting (Sarah Lewis) and she teaches at one of the local school. She is also as political and anti-aristocrat as Tom claims he used to be.  She could either be the woman who heals his heart or be the second coming of Evil Edna.

Robert is in America for the end of the episode, having rescued Cora’s brother Harold from scandal.

Downstairs

Alfred is coming back to Yorkshire due to his father’s funeral. He writes to Ivy proposing marriage. Sounds like Robert Martin’s proposal to Harriet Smith in Emma.  Daisy starts off the episode with another childlike hissy fit.  But after spending a day with her father in law, she finally comes to the very mature conclusion that Alfred does not return her love and it is time to move on.  This story line has been bordering on the inane since the first episode, at least it’s over.

With the return of Lord Gillingham comes Mr. Green and the death stares of Mr. Bates.  With Thomas in America and the staff working at the bazaar, John requests a day off. Onerous music follows him as he leaves Downton. When Mary and Tony meet for lunch in London, he tells her that Mr. Green is dead, hit by a bus. It was an accident, witnesses by many. An accident, I wonder or a man taking revenge for his wife’s rape?

Molesley, despite being the Edith of downstairs, seemed to have found kindred spirit in Baxter. He also beats full of it Jimmy at the bazaar and offers a gentleman like arm to Baxter after Thomas returns home.  Maybe the Edith of downstairs will be Edith no more.

Analysis

I love how Mary has grown as a character from the first episode. She started as a spoiled, selfish young woman to a mature woman who is taking charge of her future and her family’s future.

Martha Levinson (Shirley Maclaine) is back this weekend, bringing her unknown son Harold (Paul Giamatti).  This is the 2013 Christmas episode and the last episode of the series. Unlike last year, I have been very good about not being spoiled.  I am curious to see how this series will end and what morsels we will be left with to hold us through to next year.  I have enjoyed series 4, overall and I look forward to series 5.

Dowager Moment/Quote Of The Week

“All life is a series of problems which we must try and solve. The first one, then the next, and then the next, until at last we die.”

 

 

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