"Downton Abbey" recap: Ep. #5.7

AAARRRRRRGHHH!!!!!!

End of recap.

No, no, it’s not the end of the recap. But I certainly wish I could end it there. Most of my viewing of this episode was colored by Mary’s lack of feeling and emotion towards Edith. Look, Mary (and by extension, Julian Fellowes)—ENOUGH WITH THE HATE ON EDITH! FOR GOD’S SAKE, STOP TORTURING EDITH!

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Let’s be grateful that the Dowager scolded Mary about “a lack of compassion” being “as vulgar as an excess of tears.” Mary couldn’t have acted more like a petulant, beyond-spoiled rotten child. Maybe I’ve always taken my oldest child duties more seriously than I’m supposed to, but could she at least have some of the neuroses us oldest children have? Couldn’t she at least feel like she has to protect Edith from herself just a little bit? I’m offended on multiple levels.

Therefore, I’m going to be just as cold to Mary as she is to Edith. I don’t care about your haircut, Mary. I don’t care about the men who drag around just by a crook of your finger. I don’t care how you’re trying to give Gillingham the shake since you wanted to ensare him in the first place. I don’t care about your lack of motherhood towards your son. I don’t care about your life. At all. Chew on that!

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This loving picture had to have been a behind-the-scenes shot. When has Mary been this loving to this child?

(I know she’s a fake person. I know she can’t read this. But Julian Fellowes can. Fellowes, if you ever read this, I mean what I said. I hate your character Mary.)

SIGH. Now that that temper tantrum’s done, let’s get back to the recap.

do have to say that I do care about Lady Mabel Fox. Fox seems to be Mary if she had a heart. I could very easily watch an entire series with just Mabel Fox and what she does everyday in London.

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We all know that plan to pretend Marigold is the Drewes’ actual child is stupid, right? Nothing about this plan makes actual sense. It was revealed for the sham that it is when Mary asked all the right questions (See? I can give her props when she deserves them). Even Rose, who’s not really paying that much attention to these shenanigans, thought this didn’t make any sense. Grantham would have complained more, but he was too distraught over Isis’ impending death from cancer.

By the way, Tom and Lorenzo had written before as a joke (kinda) that the Crawleys care more about a dog than Edith. This episode proved that to actually be true. Fellowes, you know that’s cold. Why write this show this way?

Finally, weddings! Well, one wedding, at the very least, is certainly underway. Congrats to Rose and Atticus, two of the most deserving people on this show of happiness.

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Poor Mrs. Crawley has had her wedding announcement sullied by her potential son-in-law calling her out her name and class. Classist jerk a**hole. We know why Sybil never married you. Apparently both Lord Merton’s sons “take after their mother…in every way.” Way to sully the dead, Lord Merton, but they were once living people too; if she was terrible, she was terrible.

But I must say that the reason the Dowager was slightly against the marriage was heartwarming. Turns out she doesn’t care about Mrs. Crawley being on the same level as her; she cares about her company. Once she marries Lord Merton (which is a big “if” now that she was insulted by Merton’s children), she’ll have less time to come by and hang out. See, Mary? That’s how you have depth of feeling!

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Someone else deserving of happiness? Poor Branson. Now that he’s come back to his senses and realized that he’s been living a life he’s not built for, I now forgive him for not sticking up for Jack Ross. He clearly wasn’t in his right mind. Branson is considering living with his cousin abroad, and I hope he decides to leave. It’s for the best. Give Sybbie a chance to be sympathetic to others who aren’t rich! It’s the way of the world!

I also wish Edith had just left. And Thomas. Why can’t everyone just leave for America, or if not America, somewhere else in the British Isles? Somewhere else except for the black hole that is Downton Abbey!

Speaking of Thomas, Thomas is actually giving out good advice to Baxter. JUST TELL EVERYONE YOU’VE STOLEN SOMETHING BECAUSE OF A MAN, BAXTER! They’ll eventually understand, as they inexplicably do on this show. If the Crawleys really lived in this time period, they would have sent Baxter packing long ago, not to mention firing Thomas decades ago once they found out he was gay. Don’t even get me started on what they’d do to Jack and Rose. Edith is right to fear what Grantham, Misogynist, would do if he found out about her daughter, but you know he’ll find out and that eventually, things would be smoothed over. They eventually welcomed Branson, one of the help, after all.

Before I forget, Daisy takes Baxter and Molesley to William’s father’s house. That was a nice moment. Also all of the slightly abstract talk about the Labour Party was cool. It’s glad to see some folks getting interested once again in politics, which brings the tension between the classes back to the forefront. That tension was actually more of a part of the earlier seasons, and it’s dissipated since. We need Daisy to have  Gwen moment and leave to make a go a life on her own!

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You might wonder if I’m hate-watching this now. I really couldn’t tell you. I guess I’m in the middle. That’s generally what happens to me at some point in this season.

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

EDIT: There’s a reason I tweeted this out:

I forgot to add my rage about the idiotic non-scene of Cora meeting Mrs. Drewe! Tom and Lorenzo are right; it’s completely unforgivable that Fellowes wouldn’t write this crucial scene in. It’s as if he’s afraid of writing a drama, even though Downton Abbey is billed as a “drama.”  TLo’s proclamation that “Fellowes would have flunked a first-year screenwriting class for doing that” is only TOO TRUE. Having been in screenwriting classes before, I can tell you firsthand that the lack of conflict would have been the first thing my teacher would have pointed out.

Photo credit: Nick Briggs/Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE