“Downton Abbey” recap: Ep. #5.6

It looks like I’m back to really hating Mary, but other than Mary’s story spinning its wheels—because just how uninteresting is it seeing a woman get her way with men all the time while railroading her unfortunate sister and Lady Fox?—some other stories are coming along rather nicely (if we’re grading on a curve).

Edith has finally taken the advice of the multitude of fans (including myself) and has finally LEFT Downton Abbey! She’s moved to London with her child and is hopefully going to make a go of running the publishing company her fiance left to her. It’s about time Edith left, and I’m glad Mary was the last of the Crawleys to say something to her to push her over the edge. I hope that in the next episode, we find some kind of compassion coming from Mary. I just need a little bit of guilt from her, since she’s an awful big sister and is the driving force for Edith getting out of the house. She shames all of us big sisters and we should kick her out of the club.

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However, Edith just straight taking Marigold from a grieving and deceived Farmer’s Wife is too cruel. What are we supposed to make of the wife’s hurt feelings? Are we supposed to just say “Ho hum, them’s the breaks” and move on? The wife raised Marigold as her own! She loved her! And now she’s just expected to give her away? Not to mention learning of her husband’s lies? The actress who played this part did an excellent job, and I wish there was a whole series about her and how she gets on without Marigold. Hopefully, she divorces her trifling husband. Future husbands out there, please don’t deceive your wife like this. It can only end badly.

Whilst I do like seeing Mary talk to an equal like Lady Fox—It’s like seeing the relationship between the Dowager and Mrs. Crawley develop, but among the 30-somethings—I really can’t get behind her story anymore. To be honest, I was never really behind Mary’s story. She’s never been that interesting to me since she always got her way. But she really showed her behind in this episode. Why does she always dismiss Edith’s pain? She has come across as a spoiled brat, but she really came across as the queen of spoiled brats in this episode. Her lines during the haircut reveal to the family scene just sounded in my head like this: “How come it’s not all about me and my new haircut! Everyone’s attention should be on me because I’m Lady Mary and you will love me and despair!

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Also, why does that whole family dismiss Edith like that? What does Fellowes have against Edith? Is there an Edith in his life and he’s just venting his frustrations out on this poor character? Why is Cora so stupid sometimes? Doesn’t she realize that no one, including Cora herself, cares about Edith? It seems the only one who does care is the outsider, Branson. Makes sense, since he’s was one of the few characters that had common sense written into his personality.

However, Cora did make Grantham shelve his idiotic, prideful pity party. Grantham didn’t know that Cora knew that Grantham had strayed and broken off something he knew he wasn’t good for. Grantham is an idiot.

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Finally, Thomas has quit injecting himself with junk, and the doctor has agreed with all of us that it’s best to just accept who you are and be done with it. However, what doctor would be saying that in the 1920s? I would think most doctors would have prescribed even more aggressive treatment or at least a different kind of treatment.
Back then, homosexuality was still assumed to be a mental disorder. It was a common “fact” back then, and if you thought otherwise, you probably could have your license under suspicion, I’m guessing. Despite certain aspects of gay culture making their way into the mainstream, it still wasn’t “mainstream,” if you get my drift. There wouldn’t have been any gay marriages going down. In any case, it’s highly unlikely Thomas would have received such a 21st century explanation. Not to say it’s impossible, since I’m sure someone out there thought like that, but I doubt they were a doctor. But what do I know?

But Tom and Lorenzo did tweet this last night:

And I believe they are right. In any event, I’m glad that Thomas is moving forward and that Baxter is there to help him. I’m also glad he decided to reach out to someone.

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We all know the Bates have murder troubles, so I won’t even discuss it. What’s there to discuss at this point? Also not really worth discussing is the Dowager’s love life, although I’m extremely digging the Russian prince for bringing the mack game strong. Again, why was the Dowager even looking for the princess when everyone knew (including the Dowager, I’d have to believe) that the prince only has eyes for her and could care less where his wife (ex-wife?) has gone to? I am interested, though, in Mrs. Crawley finding happiness again. I’m intrigued by Mrs. Patmore thinking about retirement, but even more so that Carson is not only thinking about leaving Downton, but taking Mrs. Hughes with him. Carson with a libido is a scary thought, but at least we know he’s alive.

I’ll end with this: I could live for a spin-off featuring those two hairdressers. I loved them, particularly the dude who gave Mary the haircut. That subtle dig at the aristocracy, what with Mary taken in by a fake French accent, is some cleverness the show could indulge in more than it sees fit to.

What did you think of the episode? Give your opinions in the comments section below.

Photo credit: Nick Briggs/Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE

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