We’ve reached the half-way stage of the latest series of Downton Abbey and this week’s episode opened the day after last week’s momentous scenes. Unfortunately the episode felt a bit disjointed with the audience being introduced to some of peripheral characters right at the beginning only for them to disappear after ten minutes.
What it did mean was that some of the big storylines from last week continued to flow: Anna dealing with her rape and refusing to tell Mr Bates; Mournful Mary still flirting with Lord Gillingham and Naughty Branson who’d been having his end away with Evil Edna, Lady Cora’s maid.
At least Mary remembered she has a son this week with a passing mention of ‘the children’. Still no sighting though. I reckon Sybbie and George are the Tracy Barlow of Downton. They’ll stay upstairs in their rooms until they’re 18 listening to tapes (or in their case, Matthew’s old gramophone). However as soon as Mary remembered she has a son who’s less than a year old she promptly forgot all about Georgie and headed off to London with Rose and Branson for a meeting with the tax man.
Upon arrival at Aunt Rosamund’s who should Mary run into but dishy Lord Gillingham who’d helpfully been invited round by her aunt at Lady Cora’s prodding. It seems Lord G or ‘Tony’ as he’s suddenly become this week has decided the poor woman he’s ‘almost’ engaged to isn’t quite the thing anymore and he fancies Mary instead. He promptly proposed telling Mary ‘Matthew’s dead, I’m alive’. Thanks for stating the bloody obvious Tone.
In other news, the love rectangle between Alfred, Ivy, Jimmy and Daisy continues. Daisy caught Jimmy and Ivy snogging in the bootroom (not a euphemism). And there was more kissing with Lady Edith up to no good with Michael Gregson but it seems Mary knows exactly what’s going on with her line of the week: ‘Edith’s about as mysterious as a bucket!’ Has anyone else noticed how often Edith is wearing her red dress this series? The wardrobe department seem desperate to push home the fact she’s becoming a scarlet woman. Anyway, Gregson got Edith to sign some papers to ‘give her say over his affairs’. I think we can all see where this is going.
Evil Edna finally got her comeuppance thanks to Mrs Hughes. It seems everyone goes to the housekeeper with their burdens; it’s amazing she can stand up straight with all the secrets she’s carrying.
The hardest storyline to watch is definitely Anna and Mr Bates. Still refusing to tell her husband what Lord G’s valet did, Anna decided the best thing would be for her to move back into the big house. Poor Mr Bates was left confused and upset, blaming himself for his wife’s actions. There was a particularly poignant scene between the valet and Lord Grantham as the head of the house tried to give Mr B some advice. I really hope this storyline won’t go on for too long. I think it’s an important subject to deal with but no-one wants to see Anna and Mr Bates spilt for good.
Definitely not enough of Dame Maggie as the Dowager this week, Julian. And where was Mr Molesley? Maybe he’s George’s new Nanny?