New Show Recap: Downton Abbey, Episode 5×06

To start, Lady Edith receives a telegram while the family is at breakfast talking about their plans for the day, and her editor is coming to visit her. Cora seems to be the only person who feels bad for Edith. Of course, Lady Mary wins the contest for snark: “What did she think? That he was living in a tree?” Of course, Mary, being Edith’s sister, does feel sorry for her, though she’s not sure what Michael Gregson saw in Edith.

Mrs. Patmore asks Mrs. Hughes to come see a cottage with her, and Mrs. Hughes asks Carson to come along as well, Carson is hesitant, but Mrs. Hughes assures him that this could be an opportunity to resolve the issue with not being able to put Mrs. Patmore’s nephew’s name on the local war memorial. Carson ends going and thinks the cottage is a dump. Later, he goes to Mrs. Hughes and asks her if she would like to invest in a cottage with him to provide some income for them when they retire.

Edith takes Michael’s death terribly; it seems Michael was attacked by Adolf Hitler and his Brownshirts on the night of the Beer Hall Putsch. It seems Michael’s body was found and they were able to identify him, even though he had been burned. Cora sighs in relief and tries to console Edith that at least Hitler is in jail and will never hurt anyone again. You so sure about that, Cora? Edith is also inheriting Michael’s publishing company, so she will be a woman of independent means.

The family has also been invited to a picnic and horse race. As they plan for the journey, Edith is looking more and more doleful, but no one seems to notice. Edith tries to take a walk to go see Marigold, but Mrs. Drewe refuses to let Edith in the house.

Mary makes an appointment in York and has her hair shingled, and she’s convinced that her father will freak out, but he takes it really well. She unveils her haircut at a dinner with Atticus Aldridge. The dowager, not up with the times but always quick with witty saying, remarks to Mary that she thought a man was wearing her clothes. Edith is really upset and bursts out that no one seems to care about the fact that Michael is dead and she has lost the man she loves, but very sadly, the family had suspected that he was dead for a while and had gotten used to the idea. Edith was the only one who had held out hope.

So, tons of dramz with the dowager. Lady Violet has a new maid, who has her own opinions of how things should be done. Sprat hates her already. Lady Violet also goes to see Prince Kuragin in his rooms, which are a dump. They talk about their time in Russia together, and how that it isn’t their first time meeting secretly. Violet mentions that Shrimpie may have found the princess, but Kuragin reveals to Violet that, “I wanted you more than mortal men ever wanted a woman.” The dowager replies, “That is an historical detail.” She still has feelings for Kuragin, but she doesn’t seem to want to get in the way of a reunion between him and his wife. But what really occurred between these two?

Robert and Cora make up. Sort of. Robert is still sleeping in the dressing room, and Cora calls him out on his shit. She tells him that if he never had been attracted to anyone else or flirted with anyone else during the course of their marriage, then he could sleep with whomever he wanted. If not, she expected him back in her bed going forward. He and Cora are sleeping in the same bed again.

Robert shows Mary, Tom, and yes, Cora, the plans he has for the building developments on some of Downton’s land, but Cora notices that Isis is lounging around and just looking sick. No, Isis is the best character ever!

So downstairs, Thomas is in the process of becoming a vampire, until he seeks out help from Baxter. He shows her the sore on his back where he has been injecting himself with the medicine prescribed for his treatment. Baxter thinks it looks awful, and Thomas is in a lot of pain. Baxter insists that they go to Dr. Clarkson, who does not judge Thomas. He says that Thomas was taken advantage of and that he had been injected saline into himself with an unsterilized needle, which caused the wound. Ouch! Clarkson also tells Thomas that the pills and electrotherapy can’t change the fact that he’s gay and to try to live a good life. Thomas and Baxter bury the hatchet, and she is honest with him and tells him that she thinks he is brave because he wanted to change. Try not being the remaining member of Team Rocket, Thomas!

A man from Scotland Yard comes to see Baxter. Someone sent the police a note telling them that Baxter knew something. Because of her parole terms, Baxter is obligated to be honest to the police. She is honest, and tells them that she heard Mr. Green had been a jerk to his hosts and that someone may have gone to London, but that was all she knew. She’s upset that everyone knows about her past, but when she tells Mrs. Hughes that yes, Cora knows, Mrs. Hughes says they won’t talk about it again.

Daisy is still continuing with her studies even though Buzzkill Bunting is gone. Moseley loans her some of the history books that his father had purchased for him as a child. Daisy doesn’t know what to say about this, but Mr. Moseley reveals to her that he had to leave school at twelve to work. His father had seen great potential in him and would have liked him to become a teacher, but there had been no money to send Moseley to school. Moseley wants to help Daisy better herself because he never got the chance to do it and because he sees that she has potential.

Anna and Bates are the drama couple of the show. Anna asks Bates to retrieve her button box, and guess what he finds in there: the cervical cap and the book on contraception. He is incensed that Anna–he thinks–is using it and not telling him, even though she has insisted she wants children with him. Anna tells him that it’s Lady Mary’s, and he believes her, but he spills more. He thinks that Anna doesn’t want to have a baby with him because she thinks he killed Mr. Green. As much as Bates wanted to kill Green, he couldn’t do it; he had bought a ticket to London but had never gone. If he can find the ticket, it will prove his innocence. Anna is relieved that Bates didn’t kill Green, and she sets out to find the coat, which had been given to the Russian refugees. She asks Mrs. Hughes about it, and Mrs. Hughes insists she threw it away, though she gave it to Lady Mary to burn last Christmas special.

So, the picnic thing. Everyone is there, and Charles, Tony, and Mabel Lane Fox are hanging with the Crawleys. Operation Dump Lord Gillingham is still active, and Tony asks Mabel if she’s still after him. Mabel is like, “LOLNOPE!” Mabel, Charles, and Tony are all staying at Downton after the race. Oh, jolly good!

Mary and Mabel race. Mary rides sidesaddle and Mabel rides astride. Mabel also remarks that Mary seems to like to flout some rules while following others and does what’s convenient for her. The two Queen Bees race and Mary wins. Yay, Mary!

Isobel tells Violet she has accepted Lord Merton’s proposal. Violet is meh about it, but congratulates Isobel anyhow. We meet Atticus’s parents, who are the nicest people and invite the Crawleys to dinner. Isobel tells Violet the Aldridges are Jewish–which she didn’t know–and that Alridge is super active in the Jewish community. “There’s always something,” Violet mutters.

Now, back to Edith. She writes a note that she is going away, and we’re convinced that she’s going to do a Virginia Woolf, but no, she is just moving away. She tells Tom, who stayed behind, what she’s doing, and Tom begs her to tell him what’s troubling her. Edith doesn’t tell him anything else, except that she’s leaving, period. Bye.

Edith goes to the Drewe farm to get Marigold. Mrs. Drewe, who has bonded with Marigold and loves her as her own, freaks out when Edith reveals she is really Marigold’s mother. Mrs. Drewe tears up the copy of the birth certificate and demands of Mr. Drewe if it’s true. He admits it is, and that he wrote the letter from the child’s putative father himself. Mrs. Drewe is heartbroken, and she gives Edith Marigold’s teddy bear before they leave. It’s a sad scene, because you can see how much Ms. Drewe loved Marigold. Edith leaves for the station, and Mrs. Drewe rips her husband a new one because he had lied to her.

When the family finds out Edith is gone, they split up like the Scooby-Doo gang to see if they can find her. Tom goes to retrieve the car, and Violet goes to the Drewe farm to find out that she just missed Edith. The Drewes pledge their silence about the whole affair, even though Mrs. Drewe is a sobbing mess. Violet seems relieved by their vow of silence.

Later, Edith arrives in London with Marigold and has rented a hotel room. She promises Marigold a party and orders ice cream and champagne. Marigold is thoroughly confused, because isn’t she way too young to have champagne? Being the cool mom isn’t going to win you any points. Edith. Just ask Regina George’s mom.

And that’s it for this week! Only two more episodes left! I honestly don’t think this whole “what happened to Michael Gregson” storyline is over yet. It may have been put to rest for this season, but I think Michael is going to suddenly pop up a few years later with, “Hey, I’m alive! How’s it going? I faked my death so my wife and I aren’t married anymore. Let’s get married, Edith!” Now I’m curious as to when they started using dental records to identify dead bodies in Europe.

7 thoughts on “New Show Recap: Downton Abbey, Episode 5×06”

  1. I’ve always had a soft spot for Edith, and this week I was all “Yay! Rah!” when she left those terrible people. I get it that the rest of the family was over Gregson’s death, but Edith was clearly very upset. Making this the perfect opportunity for Mary to debut a daring new hairstyle to make her ex super jealous and make a huge production out of it. And was there any scene of Cora pulling Mary aside and tell her she was being a huge bitch? No. Rather, we just get everyone telling Edith “Of COURSE Mary feels bad!” She doesn’t. She’s a center of attention drama queen. So go Edith! Take your newfound independence that Mary will NEVER had, since she is tied to the estate by George, and have champagne and ice cream with Marigold and become a publishing giant! And then spread all of Mary’s secrets in the newspaper. She has it coming.

    1. I honestly don’t think they know the extent to which Edith is upset, which makes it worse for Edith. Granny knows, of course, but Granny is good ay keeping things to herself and putting on a calm façade.

      Edith honestly held out hope that Michael was alive because that meant that there was some chance of piecing their lives together if and when he returned. It would mean that she would be able to claim Marigold as her daughter and have Marigold grow up with her cousins. There would have been some scandal, of course, if this ended up happening and she ended up marrying Michael, but it would have been forgiven just as Sybil’s marriage was. Now that there is no hope of that, Edith is devastated.

      Mary has always been colder than Edith when it comes to matters of the heart and thinks more with her head, but you have to remember she has made a lot of mistakes and learned from them, especially with Mr. Pamuk and Sir Richard Douchepapers. If Mary knew the truth, I am sure she would come out as supportive of her sister.

    2. I identify with Edith for a variety of reasons and I know that everyone LOOOOVES Mary, but she’s such a bitch to Edith for no good reason much of the time and I’m glad Edith stood up for herself.

      There’s also been some criticism for what Edith did by taking Marigold, but she’s grieving and probably suffering from postpartum depression; I think she deserves some compassion.

  2. First of all, I can barely tell Charles and Tony apart. Which one did she sleep with? And why is he acting like a punk?

    Secondly, I’m so over the Mary/Edith dynamic. It’s clear Mary loathes Edith because Edith’s not as awesome (whatever, Mary) as she is. Which is a fucked up way to be. I know people love Mary because she’s so prickly but I’m not one of them. I just want Edith to take ahold of that publishing empire (um… didn’t old dude have a wife? she doesn’t get some of the paper?) and just outshine everyone in this godawful family.

    Third, when Edith and Branson were talking in the study… I ship it.

    1. Tony. She slept with Tony. And while his refusal to let go is pretty rooted in “Ladies don’t sleep with men they’re not going to marry,” he’s probably pretty pissed that he broke off his engagement (which is a HUGE deal) to Mabel Lane Fox to pursue Mary, who made it pretty clear that she was choosing him over all other pursuers.

    2. Michael did have a wife, but she was in a mental hospital because she was insane. That was why he couldn’t divorce her to marry Edith, because English law did not permit it, and so he went to Germany to obtain the divorce. I’m sure this will be touched on in the next episode or two, like maybe there’s a trust set up for the wife, but I also don’t think Edith would leave her uncared for.

      I really think Edith will take on the publishing empire and may even write some potboiler of a roman a clef based on her family.

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