“Downton Abbey” recap: Ep. #5.4

Almost 24 hours after this week’s Downton Abbey has aired, I’ve been doing some thinking amid my rapid emailing and business-handling. Even though this season is shaping up to be one of the better seasons, there are still a few things that are not shaping up as well as it could. I’ll just down the bulleted points.

•WTF is going on with Thomas? I think it’s safe to say that he’s trying to get rid of his homosexuality, which he’ll realize is a lost cause too late since it appears he’s trying to get rid of it with drugs. With hard drugs, whatever drugs they might be.

How did Thomas come to this conclusion? I mean, yes, he probably feels he can’t get close to anyone due to his homosexuality, and I get where he’s coming from. But if we’re supposed to really feel bad for him instead of just confused, how come there wasn’t more set-up for this? All we had was Anna asking him if he wanted friendship. I thought the logical storyline would be for Anna to keep extending the olive branch until he takes it and they slowly become friends. But apparently, he’s trying to kill himself.

Also, how come Thomas just doesn’t get out of Downton? Getting out of Downton would solve a lot of characters’ problems, actually. There’s a big gay scene in London, and I’m surprised Thomas didn’t try to flock there to begin with. I don’t think Downton is that far away from London as it is; why didn’t Thomas set up shop for himself long ago instead of giving it a go at Downton? And even if he decided to stay, I’m sure there’s a small pocket of gay men and women there. There’s always a gay scene in any spot, even in Birmingham, AL (Alabama, by the way, has got gay marriage now, for all intents and purposes. Hooray, home state!)

•Just tell Farmer’s Wife, your parents, and everyone that matters about the kid, Edith. It just makes the most sense at this point. But now, Edith has just made herself an outlier. Well, even more of an outlier than she’s been her entire life. The simplest thing to do would be to confide to Farmer’s Wife, mother to mother, instead of just hiding this secret that’s now cost too much to keep hidden.

Also, if we think Downton will stay on the air for several more seasons, can you imagine how much Marigold is going to hate Edith once she realizes Edith didn’t want anyone to know Marigold was her child just to save face (and her money)? Edith is going to be in for a long hard road for many more years to come unless she just tells people Marigold is her daughter and leaves Downton. 

•Cora’s still unsatisfied with Grantham since he’s always keeping her out of the loop of business affairs. However, when did Cora become so keen on being a part of business? She’s usually more interested in parties, and now she wants to be a true landowner?

All I need Cora to do is do the affair she’s threatening to have. It’d make for good television and possibly some better characterization from her. But we all know she’ll stay with Grantham because nothing can upset the status quo Julian Fellowes loves so much. WHY CAN’T WE EVER STAY OUT OF DOWNTON ABBEY FOR A WHOLE EPISODE? Like, can’t we ever check up on Gwen or Jimmy or even Mrs. O’Brien? And what happened to William’s poor father? I thought we’d be seeing him since Daisy’s been studying up a storm.

Speaking of studying:

• Sarah Bunting is really annoying. Look, I get what she’s always ranting about. I don’t much like entitlement myself. But at the same time, she’s somehow constantly a guest in Grantham’s house so it would behoove her to act like a f*cking guest! I would completely react like Grantham if my wife or daughters kept inviting someone I hated to my home just because Branson sort-of likes her. Grantham’s the one paying the bills; he should have said the second time her name was brought up, “HELL NO! I’M LORD GRANTHAM!”

This gets into why I thing Fellowes always gets tunnel vision since he’s the only one writing these scripts. A committee of writers would have alerted him to the fact that it makes no sense for Bunting to be constantly invited back. It’s just not realistic.

• The Dowager and Mrs. Crawley’s love woes are interesting and yet not. I’m more interested in Mrs. Crawley’s, since she truly deserves some happiness after the death of her only son and is worthy of companionship. Not to say The Dowager isn’t, but she seems to derive her power from snarky retorts and hats, not so much love. But it is cool to see her pine over the Russian prince. But why is she looking for his wife? Is she not dead? Just get with the dude, Dowager. Make life simple for yourself.

• Mary gets hers from Gillingham and I loved it. Feminism dictates that she can change her mind about men, yes. But if I may speak only for myself, I loved seeing Mary finally get told off by her man of choice (for the hour). Mary’s been deserving of a right telling-off since Episode One. I only wish Edith could have seen it.

But Gillingham saying that they’ll work through it together is a little…disturbing. What does that mean? That she can’t get out of her pseudo-engagement? And will Charles now have to fight for her honor? Or will he just say, “You made your bed, now lie in it” and walk off? I hope he does the latter, but I also (for some reason) don’t want Mary to suffer in a horrible relationship with a controlling man.

• Did Anna kill Greene? How’d she know where he died? Did I miss something from last season? We’re going to go with the theory that Anna killed Greene then? Fellowes, this makes no doggone sense and you know it. You’ve got to have some kind of imagination to think of something else for the Bateses apart from always getting into trouble with the police and being sent to jail. This is boring. If I was a Grantham, I’d have fired them years ago.

What did you think about this week’s episode? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

Photo credit: Nick Briggs/Carnival Film Television Limited 2014 for MASTERPIECE

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