‘Downton Abbey’ s5e8 – ‘The big parade’s passed by’ but the show goes on

1 Mar

“My dear, love is a far more dangerous motive than dislike.” – Dowager Countess

It’s been months and months since the last episode — well, at least more than two months according to Mary’s estimation of when Shrimpie and Susan should have returned from India. And Rose has just finished up the shortest engagement ever — once again off-screen. She’s sticking with Atticus (because they’re just right together, you know), but it’s very clear he’s the right choice. Lucky for Rose he’s such a dishy Prince Charming…and that she’s part of the Fantastic Four when “racy” photos arrive from after the stag party in his hotel room. He may have been duped, but he’s smart enough to marry Rose in spite of her mother.

Susan’s behavior is so appalling it’s not worth my time repeating. All I have to say about her is whatever sympathy I may have had for her as a woman that Christmas at Duneagle is gone. Now that she’s been separated from everyone it’s clear her troubles are her own and not brought on by others as she claims. She’s certainly made her own choices without taking into consideration anyone else’s advise or feelings. I suspect that not only was she the loneliest person at Rose’s reception, but that she also has far lonelier days to come.

Speaking of Susan and her troubles…WHERE IS O’BRIEN???

They’ve lost every dime and let go all their servants. O’Brien hitched her wagon to the wrong star. Even in the discussions downstairs at Downton regarding their servantless condition her name is not brought up. Does this mean that O’Brien was left behind in India? Was her passage home paid for by Shrimpie? Is she loose in England? Will she challenge Baxter to a duel for the job with Lady Cora? Do not leave us in suspense!!!

Speaking of suspense, DCI Viner returns from Scotland Yard to say that Green’s other victims have started coming forward (what’d I tell ya?), and he’s putting two and two together about Anna being one of them. He very wrongly tosses Anna into an identity parade without telling her, which she and Bates must endure unprepared and helplessly. Who wouldn’t look guilty being tossed in there totally upset like that? “You of all people should know” this is just routine — Viner’s nasty little dig at Bates. But his brain is even smaller than his evidence if he thinks he can endure the weight of the entire Crawley family that’s about to come down on him.

If another victim did it, would they really let fellow victim Anna hang for it?

“Sorrow seems to shadow them both, and in their wake it shadows us.” – Mrs. Hughes
“Take courage for their sake. We must always travel in hope.” – Mr. Carson

In other downstairs news, Carson is putting the pieces together about Anna…but will he want to finish that puzzle? Danker sizes temporary footman Andy up in 10 seconds…to lead him astray at The Velvet Violin. But don’t worry, she’ll still have her job even after she shows up at work drunk. Lucky Spratt. Crafty “Uncle Thomas” is still being helpful. That little chat with Baxter must have given him a superhero complex.

Love the outfits for Mary and Rose at the first London dinner party: Mary’s navy blue satin dress with the bright yellow rose and her now perpetual headband and Rose’s metallic dress with the very coronet-like headpiece. Are they deliberately dressing Rose for Cinderella now? It’s no coincidence — don’t tell me they didn’t know the movie opens in two weeks. If you find her headpiece for sale somewhere, message me so I can add it to my Downton wardrobe immediately.

Lady Sinderby and Lady Grantham should become best friends. Lady S is not afraid of Susan or Lord Sinderby. Her forebearance and courage are pretty amazing (and Granny loves it when she’s got front row seats). The two Ladies should have matching charm bracelets that say “bffs 4ever” and “classy is the new catty.” James Avery should really launch a Downton Abbey line.

Lord Sinderby doesn’t help things by accidentally provoking Susan with his sentiments regarding divorce. How that must have stung her to the paper-thin depths of her being — to lose her wealth (but nothing else) and now have a Jew make her feel below him in London society. He may have plenty of rough edges, but he’s still a better egg than her. A little time getting wrapped around Rose’s pinky finger should soften him up just fine.

“I feel as if I’ve been down a corn hole and someone’s opened the lid and brought me into the sunlight…I feel so resentful, so dis-con-ten-ted. It’s as if my whole life were a prison I have to go back to.” – Daisy

Cup of tea for Mrs. Patmore. Daisy’s finally thinking for herself, but she’s not got a lick of common sense to rub any of those thoughts together with. She flippantly gives her notice and wounds Mrs. Patmore, who loves her as a daughter. It’s beautiful the way the people downstairs who never get to have a family adopt each other for their own.

“I hate it when people who love each other must be far apart.” – Mr. Mason

I loved the way Molesley took Baxter’s hand in last week’s episode…and the look on his face when she gives him encouragement this week. It’s priceless how he asks a question but is stunned there is an answer.

“When you read in the paper I’m on trial for murder it will be your fault.” – Lady Mary

This has not been Mary’s season. Her character has made no forward progress at all, and this week she’s staring down a bunch of goodbyes. She’s had to say goodbye to Blake leaving for work abroad. She says a final goodbye to Gillingham and closes the door on that chapter for good. She learns she’ll be saying goodbye to Tom and Sybbie after Christmas. But my favorite moment with her this whole season came when Carson caught her downstairs during the wedding reception. I relish the reminder that she’s one of us. Weddings are wonderful, but they do not always feel that way for all of us. She’s escaped downstairs because today she’s been reminded what once was, what she’s let go of, what she wishes she had, and she’s being hounded by goodbyes. It’s Rose’s day to shine, and Mary’s day to hide. Such a real moment. Love that.

Listen for the sound of the motor cars going by on the street outside the London house in the bedroom confrontation between Shrimpie and Susan. You’d never hear that at Downton Abbey.

Shrimpie’s a good papa in the end when all the chips are down. Humility really becomes him. I’d like to see how life opens up possibilities for his character. By possibilities, I don’t mean another marriage. I mean possibilities…love of humanity and joys previously shackled by an overprivileged life.

Lord Grantham sells Bricker’s favorite painting — a family heirloom — to fund the cottage renovations in the village. A few episodes ago he would have done it to hurt Cora, but now he’s doing it for the right reasons: to help build the village, and to finish mending the trust in their marriage.

“Don’t proclaim your intransigence as if it were a virtue.” – Dowager Countess

Why do I love Granny? Because she makes me look up words. Prince Kuragin storms Granny’s castle before she’s even out of bed. He’s finally losing his patience like a little royal should — and he’s pretty heartless about his missing wife. Does he really love Granny? Or is he interested in living out his remaining years in comfort? Granny makes it clear she does have feelings for Kuragin. Wonders will never cease. Their romance has a very As Time Goes By feel to it — love interrupted.

“Let us go forward in hope.” – Lord Sinderby

The WWI memorial unveiling made me cry. So glad this was included in the series. The whole cast assembled (minus Anna), and tribute beautifully paid to Mrs. Patmore’s nephew by Lord Grantham. As the Crawley family WALKED all the way back to the estate, they left us with some goodies to look forward to in the Christmas episode and perhaps next season:

  • Lord Grantham knows about Edith and Michael Gregson and that little Marigold is his own…and must be in on keeping a secret for once.
  • Bates won’t let Anna be convicted. He will confess before he lets that happen.
  • The Crawleys will hire a new land agent. Wonder if we’ll see more of him than we have of Tom’s replacement in the garage.
  • Isobel will be fighting for “Dickie.”
  • Granny will be getting to the bottom of the Princess mystery. Will it take as long as the Gregson mystery did? Will Kuragin still be interested by then?
  • Ephraim Atticus, Jr.?

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