Downton Abbey Review: A Brilliant Set Up

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There were no punches pulled on "this week's episode" of Downton Abbey. In the last 20 minutes especially, every hit landed right where it was aimed and could very easily lead to one heck of a follow up next week.

A man named Patrick Gordon
Here's a mystery that may never be solved. The story kind of reminded me of the other great mystery of the time, that of Princess Anastasia Nikolaevna and her possible return to the Russian family. Patrick, burned beyond recognition and speaking with a Canadian accent, claimed to be Mary's Patrick, who died in the waters after the Titanic sunk.

The True Heir?!?

While it would have made a lovely story, I didn't believe it. Poor Edith was the sister who was in love with the original Patrick, and she easily allowed herself to believe Patrick Gordon's story of amnesia and unrequited love. Before the full story could be uncovered, he left. The note he left was with an enigmatic P. Gordon. My biggest clue was his inability, even after amnesia, to claim his British accent. Affecting a new accent is the most difficult hurdle for me to accept.

It was left in such a way that this man could continue to wreak havoc against the family for years to come, or he could be the one person to finally make Edith happy. Did anyone else notice that Edith wore to dinner a dress very much like the one Kate Winslet because famous for wearing in the movie the Titanic? I thought that was an interesting touch.

Can Mary live with her decision to marry?
As Mary and Matthew drew ever closer, Carlisle's true nature was revealed. He made sure Mary knew he was not to be jilted with the information he had on her and arranged for Lavinia to return for Matthew.

I don't imagine any of these relationships are going to go off as expected. Mary and Matthew are clearly in love and any attempt to marry another will bring to them deep dissatisfaction in their lives. As the times changed after the way, it seems so much death and loss will lead to more chances being taken; adultery, for example.

Mary and Richard's marriage would also tear apart the house, as Carson would leave to work with his favorite Lady of the house in running her own. A "rundown" manor near to Downton. While they were inside, I realized rundown in their world meant without furniture and wall hangings. I'll take it!

The shock of this segment? Just as Matthew comes to terms with a future with Lavinia Swire, he feels something in his legs. Changes are indeed on the way.

Anna and Bates plans fall apart again
Certain he was already divorced, the other servants were already getting jealous of the thought of Anna and Bates having a place of their own and how it might affect their working relationship within the household. Bates traveled to London to make one more plea for his freedom.

That turned out to be one of the worst decisions of his life, as he returned to the Abbey with a bruise on his face and shortly thereafter was delivered a bigger blow: his wife was found dead in her home. He left for his visit wishing she was the late Mrs. Bates, which certainly won't bode well for dear Mr. Bates.

It seems that under every rock of the Abbey there is another tragedy waiting to unfold. The war was over, so there was at least one stone that was well settled.

Odds and ends:

  • Ethel's baby daddy, Major Bryant, was killed shortly before the war ended.
  • Isobel was home for the slightest of moments, but has taken off again for uncharted waters to use her services elsewhere.
  • I really missed my Violet time. She was in so few scenes that I didn't even get a worthy quote out of her this week. Unacceptable!
  • Sybil asked Branson to give her until the war ended to decide if she loved him. Well the war ended, sweetie! Time's up!
  • I think it was so sweet that Daisy was still so conflicted about marrying William, even though it was his dying wish and made him a happy man. She is such a good soul, I hope her story has the very happiest of endings, whenever it comes.

205 Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Downton Abbey Season 2 Episode 5 Quotes

Mrs. O'Brien: I'm not jealous. I just don't want it to spoil things.
Bates: Why, because we've all been such pals untl now?

Mary: I shall have arms like Jack Johnson if I'm not careful.
Matthew: I'm strong enough to wheel myself.
Mary: I shall be the judge of that.