Downton Abbey Recap, Series 5 Episode 6: Mary Gets A Haircut, Edith Makes A Decision And There is Trouble In Bates Paradise

As usual, this recap contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen this weekend’s episode.


Mary gets a stylish new haircut. The man who cuts her hair fools her with a fake French accent, but makes a bitchy remark in an English accent once Mary is out earshot. It’s a rather nice haircut, the bob really suits her. Do I predict that this will be the new Rachel? Later in the episode, Mary and her nemesis Mabel Lane Fox are racing in a horse race and are trying to one up each other not just in the race, but in nasty comments. Mabel Lane Fox has no idea whom she trying out to out bitch, Mary wins this argument every time.

Edith receives a telegram about Michael Gregson. When a character receives a telegram on Downton Abbey, it’s never good news. Michael is dead, killed by the Nazis in the Beer Hall Putsch. Feeling even more emotionally isolated, Edith runs away against Tom’s advice, but not before she takes her daughter with her. Mrs. Drewe was visibly upset (wouldn’t you be?), but she is a mother at the end of the day and understood. Where Edith has gone, we do not know, but she tells her daughter (who looks different than the child who played Marigold earlier in the series) that they will order champagne and ice cream. If nothing else, Julian Fellows knows as a writer when to amp up the drama and Edith’s story line last night was full of drama.

Cora demands that Robert return to her bed. Robert, still smarting from Mr. Bricker entering his wife’s bedroom is ready to sleep in his dressing room. Cora asks him if he ever led a woman astray. Remember Jane Moorsum? The housemaid that Robert kissed several seasons ago? That jogged his memory and send him quickly back to Cora’s room.

Isobel has made up her mind about Lord Merton. What that decision is…we don’t know yet. But, I get the feeling that Isobel is ready to become Lady Merton. She has become rather smug around Violet and the idea that Violet, at one point in her life, was not the prim and proper society matron that we now know her to be. Violet visits Prince Kuragin and tells him that Shrimpy has a lead on where the Princess might be.   The Prince tells her that he is not over her.

The relationship between Rose and Atticus is going strong. So much so, that we are introduced to his parents. Isobel remarks that if this marriage were to take place, there might not be a need to convert. Violet is unaware that Atticus is Jewish. First comes the meet cute, then meeting the family and the finally the inter-religious wedding bells.


Mrs. Patmore takes Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes on a tour of the cottage she intends to purchase as a future retirement home.  The idea of Mrs. Patmore purchasing a home for her post Downton life inspires Mr. Carson to ask Mrs. Hughes if they should do the same. Who knew under that old school, stoic old heart was a semi romantic?

While Miss Bunting is finally gone (yay!) her spirit lives on in the confidence that she gave Daisy.  Mr. Molesley offers to help Daisy with her studies by letting her borrow his books.  If only there were more like him.

Thomas reveals his secret to Miss Baxter. He has been injecting himself with saline in hopes of changing who he is. Miss Baxter insists on taking him to see Dr. Clarkson. In an indirect way, Thomas admit the truth about who he is. Dr. Clarkson basically tells him to be himself.   That’s well and good, but homosexuality was on the books in England and other parts of the world at that time as a crime with a jail sentence usually attached to it.

Violet has a new ladies maid. Miss Denker (Sue Johnston) does not see eye to with Spratt (Jeremy Swift), Violet’s butler. Good, it’s about time that Spratt received a dose of his own medicine.  Methinks the gentleman has forgotten his place.

And finally, the boat is a rockin in the Bates household and not in a good way. Bates finds the contraception that Anna hide for Mary and assumes that she has been trying to prevent their future child from being born. While protecting her employer and defending her own actions, Anna scolds her husband for going through her things. Then we learn the truth about Bates’s visit to York the day that Mr. Green was killed. He bought the train ticket, but never got on the train. He has an alibi, but that alibi is in a coat that was donated to the Russian refugees last season. The police also interview Miss Baxter, holding what was left of her unfulfilled jail sentence, to share what she knows about Anna and Bates. The saga and the damage that Mr Green left behind continues.


I loved this episode, especially Edith taking charge of her own life. My Sunday nights will not be the same when this series is over in a few weeks.

Dowager Moment Of The Week

All this endless thinking, it’s very overrated…I blame the war. Before 1914 nobody thought about anything at all.


Downton Abbey Series 5 Episode 5 Recap: Mr Bricker Crosses The Line, Mrs. Patmore Is An Heiress and Rose Has A New Boyfriend

As usual, these recaps contain spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the episode.


The gloves are off between Mary and Mabel Lane Fox (Catherine Steadman). Mabel is still not over Mary stealing Tony Gillingham from her, even though Mary has still not changed her mind about ending the relationship with Tony. The person in the middle is Charles Blake. If I were Charles, I would get out of the way, other he might get scratched when these two lionesses fight over the coveted king of the jungle.

Rose has a new potential boyfriend. She meets Atticus Alderidge (Matt Barber) when he helps her with her bags on a rainy day. They walk to the church where the Russian Refugees are spending their days. Mr. Alderidge is the great-grandson of Russian-Jewish refugees who left Odessa after a series of pogroms in 1859 and 1871.  Rose is not phased by the fact that some of the Russian refugees carried their anti-Jewish prejudices with them when they left Russia. Between the African-American Jazz singer last season and a Jewish man this season, Rose is quite the progressive young lady.

Tom has finally said goodbye to Miss Bunting (did I say finally? 🙂 ).  Rabble rouser that she is, Daisy tells Tom that Sarah loves him, but she is leaving Downton.  Tom sees Sarah off and tells her that he is part of the family. Now that she is hopefully gone, I feel kind of sorry for her. If she loved Tom as she said she did, it didn’t show.

Simon Bricker crossed the line, a la, Mr. Pamuk entering Mary’s room in season 1.  While Robert is away for the evening, Mr. Bricker enters Robert and Cora’s bedroom professing his love for her, wearing his night clothes. Then Robert enters and gives Mr. Bricker his just desserts. As someone who has done Muy Thai Kickboxing for nearly two years, I congratulate Robert on his jab. It was truly spectacular.   Mr. Bricker left the next morning like a dog with a tail between it’s legs. Maybe Robert will now learn to appreciate his wife.

Rosamund is visiting Downton for a week. When Rosamund comes, trouble is not too far behind. Edith brings Rosamund to the Drewes to introduce her to Marigold. Mr. Drewe all but threatens to move away and take Marigold with  him.  Then Rosamund and Violet reenact a conversation that easily could have been part of a Golden Girls rerun. Rosamund accuses her mother of becoming rude in her old age. Rosamund makes the suggestion to Edith of taking her daughter, putting her in a school in France and visiting every once in a while. Rosamund is starting to sound like Lady Russell from Persuasion. Listening to her godmother instead of following her own intuition didn’t help Anne and I have feeling that while Rosamund has her niece’s best interest at heart, I think Edith should make the decisions about her life.

Violet has pit Dr. Clarkson against Lord Merton. The prize (as much as I dislike to say it) is Isobel. Isobel has not yet made up her mind about Lord Merton’s proposal from last weekend’s episode. Violet is playing a dangerous game, taking on the role of Emma to Isobel’s Harriet. As anyone who has ever read Emma knows, when one plays matchmaker, one better be prepared for an unexpected outcome.


Daisy’s lessons with Miss Bunting have ended now that Miss Bunting is on the way out. But I have a feeling that lessons that Daisy learned go beyond the school books.

Mrs. Patmore is an heiress. An elderly childless aunt has left her a little bit of money. After consulting with Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, she decides to invest in a cottage. Good for her, setting up a nest egg for retirement is always a good choice.

Thomas is looking more and more like a drug addict. Miss Baxter tries to help, but I don’t think even her intervention will help.  Mr. Molesley is convinced that Miss Baxter is a pawn and innocent. I wouldn’t mind seeing them together, they both deserve a little happiness.

The police once more swirl around Anna and Bates. Anna is questioned by the police. There is talk of a potential baby Bates in the future. I wouldn’t mind a baby Bates.


While the British with their stiff upper lips and the centuries of tradition (especially among the upper classes) are not known for being emotional, it was nice to see a little emotion. Whether it was Robert decking Mr. Bricker or Mabel Lane Fox taking the proverbial gloves off, I enjoyed this episode.

Dowager Moment Of The Week

While there is no specific quote, I kept thinking of Emma as I watched Violet play matchmaker with Isobel. Is there “Badly done, Violet” moment coming up in one of the next few episodes?

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