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'Downton Abbey' recap: Season 5, Episode 6, Edith's desperate move

It's oddly easy to feel both frustrated and sorry for Lady Edith.

She has never been the most likable "Downton" character, but I guess she has reasons to be so sad and mopey all the time. She never got the same attention as her two sisters, she fell in love with a man without a face, she was jilted at the altar by a 100-year-old man, etc.

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But, then again, in the first few seasons, all she did was just meddle in Mary's affairs and be jealous all the time.

Still, you always want to her kind of snap out of it -- or at least smile sometimes.

Seems like that's not going to happen anytime soon, especially after this episode.

We begin with the news that we've been expecting for quite some time -- that Gregson is, in fact, dead. The writer doesn't even let us SEE the news being told to Edith, we just learn the aftermath from Robert. Apparently, he was killed during Hitler's "Beer Hall Putsch" in Munich, and that they've found what's left of his body.

The only silver lining, according to Cora, is that they've put that Hitler fellow in jail for five years.

...

Edith is crushed. And while Robert and Cora are sympathetic, everyone else is like "OK, we knew this. Let's just move on." Mary is ... Mary about the whole thing.

"What did she think he was doing -- living in a tree?" is her reaction. "Nice man, though what he saw in Edith..."

Classy, Mary. Mary mourns in her own way -- by getting a fresh new scandolous bob haircut by a stylist with a fake French accent! "Most of them look like bald monkeys," he says in a British voice as she leaves.

Mary then makes a big spectacle of debuting her hair before dinner. As the family gushes over her new look (except for the dowager, who says she looks like a man), Edith is beside herself.

She tells Mary that she's amazed that "even she" would chose the day after the man "I love" dies to go after the latest fashion (who was surprised by this? Anyone?) and that she's just not going to go with the family to the Fancy Horse Race scheduled for tomorrow.

Mary says that would be fine because Edith usually spoils everything. "Yes, I do. It seems I do," Edith says and then takes her dinner upstairs.

"Poor darling, she's so unhappy," Cora says. Yes, since the beginning of the series.

So as the family gathers for the horse race, Edith goes to the Drewes to claim Marigold, showing her birth certificate to an (understandably) angry and distraught Mrs. Drewe. Before Edith leaves with Marigold, Mrs. Drewe gives the child her stuffed bear and tells Edith that Marigold can't sleep without it.

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Poor Mrs. Drewe. I feel like if there's a "Back to Downton" series 30 years from now, the Drewe children will plot revenge against the Crawleys.

Edith leaves a note for the family when they're away, though Branson's still at home and tries to stop her. The dowager knows what's up, goes to the Drewe farm and confirms that Edith has taken her baby.

We then see Edith with Marigold at a London hotel, wanting to celebrate with ice cream and champagne. Maybe now we'll see her smile.

Barrow asks for help

Thomas looks even worse and he finally asks Baxter for help. He shows him his Injection Kit of Death -- and a nasty infection that's spreading on his body. Baxter says they need to go to the doctor.

Dr. Clarkson checks him out and we learn that Thomas has been injecting himself with a solution of saline and downing unnamed pills. He had gone to London for electrotherapy and the injections were supposed to continue the course of treatment.

He did it "to change me. To make me more like other people, other men," Thomas explains.

Dr. Clarkson picks up what Barrow is throwing down, and urges him to accept his lot in life and that he cannot change his sexuality.

Looks like Barrow has a new ally in Baxter, which is remarkable because...

Further police investigation

...because we learn Barrow wrote a letter to the police investigating Green's death, telling them that Baxter knows some details.

They meet with her and Mr. Hughes, and tell her that if she doesn't tell the truth, she'll go back to prison to complete her term of imprisonment. Baxter says that she believes something happened when Mr. Green was at Downton, and that someone may have taken a trip to London around the time Green was killed, but she can't swear to those facts.

Seemingly satisfied, the investigators leave. Mrs. Hughes asks if Cora knows about the arrest for theft, and when Baxter says she does, Hughes says, "Then we'll say no more about it." Aww, Mrs. Hughes!

Mr. and Mrs. Bates get honest

It took Mr. Bates finding Mary's sex book and contraceptive at his cottage to finally get Anna to admit that it was Green who raped her.

When Mr. Bates accuses his wife of not wanting to have a baby with a murderer, he finally tells her that he wanted to kill Green -- and almost did. He bought a ticket to London and then realized that if he had gone he would have most definitely murdered Green and then would hang.

Anna is weeping though overjoyed that her husband, you know, didn't kill someone. Bates says that if he only had his unused London ticket, he could prove that he didn't do it. But Anna gave away the jacket with the ticket inside to Russian refugees (those Russians!)

That wily Prince Kuragin

The dowager goes to visit the prince in the hole he moved into, which is just slightly better than the dark church basement the refugees have been living in.

The dowager tells him that Shrimpy is close to finding out the whereabouts of the princess but the prince basically doesn't care, professing his love for the dowager.

"I wanted you from the moment I saw you," he tells her. The dowager calls that a "historical detail."

"I love you more than I love her, even today. Even this afternoon," he says. I seriously doubt anything will come of this -- can you imagine the dowager remarrying or even running away with her love -- but it's certainly fun to watch.

Cora lays down the law

Robert, still angry over the Great Bricker Incident of 1924, is still sleeping in a different room. Cora urges him to come back to their bed, though he's stubborn.

What convinces him? Cora says that if he, in the course of their marriage, has never let a flirtation get out of hand or even slightly lust over another woman, then he can stay in his dressing room bed. Otherwise, she expects him in their bed tonight.

That does the trick. Looks like they're happy again.

MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM EPISODE 6

Matchmakers: Charles Blake and Mary are doing everything in their power to slyly get Gillingham and Mabel Lane Fox to get back together, setting them up to both stay at Downton after the horse race. Will Charles get with Mary by the season's end?

Servant fight!: We meet the Dowager's new lady's maid, Denker, who is not really getting along with the always-flustered Spratt. Can't wait to see more of these fights to come!

Cutest moment: Inspired by Patmore buying a cottage, Carson asks Mrs. Hughes if she'd be interested in perhaps buying a house with him and splitting the rental income. He leaves and she smiles.

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Rose moving quickly: Rose has met Atticus' parents and the Crawleys invite them to dinner at Downton. Lady Sinderby seems awesome, Lord Sinderby -- not so much. And when Isobel says that Rose won't have to convert to Judaism if she marries Atticus, the dowager responds with, "There's always something, isn't there?" With this family, yes.

Funniest dowager line that kind of makes no sense: "All this endless thinking. it's overrated," she tells the family. "I blame the war. Before 1914, nobody thought about anything at all."

Least-surprising news: That the dog, Isis, is sick. Isn't it about 20 years old by now?

Happily ever after?: Isobel tells the dowager that she plans to accept Lord Merton's proposal, and we see the dowager look visibly shaken by that news. When will we learn what her real problem is with that?

Is that a good thing?: At the horse race, Mabel Lane Fox says that Mary looks like a cross between "a Vogue fashion model and a box of dynamite."

Best word I want to use in conversation: Mary calls the bitter, sarcastic, slightly mean Mabel Lane Fox, "spiky." I think that's a great replacement for, you know, "bitchy."

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