Downton Abbey Recap: Season 5, Episode 2

Look who’s back! Me! And also Downton Abbey is back!  For the first time ever, I’m attempting a recap of last week’s episode.  Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s almost time for next week’s episode. But life gets in the way, and also holy hell did someone sign me up for a demolition derby  without my consent because why do people keep crashing into my car?  Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. Also I have holes in my car now. Not a great look for a car, but I digress.

But back to the guilty pleasure that is Downton Abbey. If anyone could use the distraction of those uptight Brits and their tepid but oddly pleasing drama, it’s me right now. I’ll be tuning in tomorrow night for Episode 3, but meanwhile if you missed it last week  and need to catch up? I’m here to help. If you haven’t seen last week’s episode, fair warning: stop reading now. Spoilers  are ahead.  Also, this is kind of long, so if you choose to continue on might I suggest you grab provisions first? Perhaps a beverage, or a protein bar. What? Okay fine then. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. See you on the other side.

Also, I’ve decided to break it down by character. Less back and forth and hopping from the dinner table to downstairs and to the village and back that way.  I might not keep it this way. Or, I might.  Stop pressuring me!


We open at the scene of last week’s fire which was dramatic and scary. We know that because of all the coughing. So much coughing!  Anna and Mrs. Hughes are tasked with cleaning up Edith’s room after the fire and seeing what they can salvage and Hey Edith here’s a tip: Maybe if you’re trying to keep your love child a secret maybe don’t stick a picture of the baby under your pillow and then set fire to the room. Just saying.

At lunch, Lady Mary calls Edith an idiot. And so Edith makes this face:

Downton Abbey Season 5 episode 2


But wait. Can we just pause a minute and look at Cora’s face in that screen grab? It’s somewhere between a scold and a smirk. It’s a scuh-mirk. Proper British manners of the time, of course, dictated that this is the face one must make when someone insults your least favorite daughter during the pudding course of your meal. Now, if it was the soup course, that would be an entirely different matter. It’s all quite complicated. Try to keep up.

Later, Edith pays a visit to the Drewe farm. Edith and Mr. Drewe have hatched a plot to get Edith involved in Marigold’s life, and it mostly involves the two of them talking and ignoring Mrs. Drewe whenever she tries to say something. Kind of like this:

Edith: Maybe I could take her up to the house with me!

Mrs. Drewe: If I could just…

Mr. Drewe, interrupting: What a great idea!

Mrs. Drewe: But I…

Mr. Drewe, interrupting: What a lucky girl she’ll be!

Mrs. Drewe: Can I just…

Edith, interrupting: I can be her Godmother!

Mrs. Drewe: She already has a…

Mr. Drewe, interrupting: Yes, let’s get started on that right away!

Mrs. Drewe is getting more pissed off by the day, and has had it with Edith sniffing around Marigold. She makes a lot of this face:

Downton Abbey Season 5, Episode 2

She seriously can’t even pretend to be polite any more.  In a later exchange, she snatches Marigold off of Edith’s lap all grumpy-like and says something like, “Don’t go filling her head with dreams! “ But it’s okay because no one is really listening to her anyway.

Later Edith presents her idea about being “involved” in Marigolds life to Cora and Robert, but it’s okay because no one is really listening to her anyway.

The War Memorial

Carson and Lord Grantham are accompanying a delegation to scout a location for the war memorial, and they propose using … gasp…the cricket field! There’s talk of honoring the dead and sanctity and such but Lord Grantham just keeps saying “But… what about the cricket?” And the rest of the people, even Carson, are thinking this is the perfect spot and he’s still all, “But…. The cricket?” and he wants the memorial in town instead because, you know, cricket.   Mrs. Wigan, who obviously is all, “You think you’re all fancy with your fish forks and your guy that helps you button your pants but Imma tell you something, Son!”  delivers a sucker punch of a line that makes Lord Grantham look like a gigantic horses’ ass.

Carson and Mrs. Hughes disagree on where to put the memorial. Carson is vexed, but Mrs. Hughes simply says, “Every relationship has its ups and downs,” and walks away and wait in the truck, Sissy! Are they in a relationship?  Welp, I guess you don’t just hold hands with just anyone and go frisking into the ocean like a common trollop, so maybe they are a couple after all.

But in the end everything works out and it is decided the memorial will be in town and even Carson seems to be happy but it’s hard to tell because he looks like Sam the Eagle from the Muppets and never ever smiles.  Ever.

Downton Abbey Season 5, Episode 2

Look at you, Carson, all starchy and full of grump. Tune in next season for the answer to the question, “Does Carson Have Teeth?”


Oh, Jimmy. Step into my office! You’re fired! Out the back door with you Jimmy, and even though it’s 1924 and cars are everywhere you get to be driven away in a kidney-rattling horse drawn cart because that’s what you get for doing the nasty with Lady Anstruther. Thomas sees him off and wait, is that a flash of emotion I see in Thomas? Right there. No? Anyone else want to see them bro-hug? No? Okay, just me then.


Daisy is whining that school is hard and then straight out of  Foreshadowing 101  she says “What’s the answer, then?” and you can practically hear the ,”PING!” sound effect and all that’s missing is the lightbulb graphic over Mrs. Patmore’s head and we know what’s coming.  Oh no.  Mrs. Patmore, nooooo! Anything but that, please. But yep, she goes there, and asks Rose if Rabble Rouser Miss Bunting will take on Daisy as a student. Which means we’ll have to see more of Miss Bunting and her stupid floppy hats.

Of course Miss Bunting gives Daisy one math  lesson with nonsense about “clues” and “figures are your friends” and “just like a painting!” and suddenly Daisy’s all, “Oh! I get it!” like math is that just that easy. If I had a nickel for anytime someone said math was easy I’d have… well I don’t know how much I’d have because math is hard and Miss Bunting’s a lying liar mouth. But I’m not bitter. Sorry, where was I? Right. After Miss Bunting’s Miraculous Five Minute Math Lesson After Which Daisy is Totally Ready For Quantum Physics, she starts in on Daisy with her ominous ways. She plants Ideas in Daisy’s head, saying things like, “You’d like to have some choices in your life… and why shouldn’t you?” only the way she says it sounds like she’s trying to convince Daisy to just come to one teensy weensy Scientology meeting. (Careful Daisy. That’s how they get you!)


Molesley is still scrabbling for dignity after last week’s unfortunate attempt to join the Hair Club for Men and practically begs Carson to be declared First Footman. Carson’s all, “Dude, you’re like, the only footman! Congrats. Now take the damn tray upstairs ‘cause now you get to do the work of three people.” And Molesley’s all “Yay!” and off he trots with his pudding that smells like victory.

Thomas ramps up the evil and rats out Baxter to Molesley. Molesley tells Baxter that Thomas ratted her out. So Moseley knows, and now Baxter knows that he knows.

Mean Thomas! Bad Thomas! Picking on poor , sweet, bumbling Molesley.  Molesley is crushed. We are crushed for him. Sweet Jesus, can this guy not catch a break?

Cora is still leaving Baxter hanging about whether she’s going to fire her or not. Every night she’s letting Baxter tuck her in, then telling her in her angsty, mildly annoyed way that she’s just not sure what she’s going to do yet, and I all I can think of is ,“Good night, Wesley. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning!” And Baxter’s all, “Oh for God’s sake! Would you just fire me and get it over with?”


Dumb Rose wants to invite Miss Bunting for dinner, despite the train wreck that ensued the last time. Tom says no. Cora says go ahead. Tom says okay. Really Tom, if one of the women in the house told you to jump off of a bridge, would you?   Wait, don’t answer that.

This episode consists entirely of: Weak Tom being lead around by the nose by various women. Seriously, five minutes of yammering from Miss Bunting and suddenly Tom is ready to throw down with Lord Grantham at dinner. He keeps saying things to remind us that really, underneath the white tie and tails, he is a Rebellious Person because Miss Bunting said he was and don’t you forget it and by the way can you make my pillow extra fluffy tonight thanks very much oh wait! Communism! Revolution! Awkward dinner conversation!  Ergh.

Lady Mary

Isobel makes a comment about how baby George is growing up, and Lady Mary’s all, “Oh, yes. He is rather sweet, isn’t he?” (which is her version of warmth) and that’s enough of that because her mind is on the impending naughty business with Lord Gillingham. The naughty business that she’s trying to pretend is a “sketching trip” with a girlfriend.

Mary shoves a leather bound book at Anna (we know it is naughty because she keeps it in her bedside table!) asks Anna to buy her “one of these” for her upcoming tryst with Gillingham, to be sure there are no, ahem, “consequences”, and Anna is shocked.

Cue awkwardly placed conversation about reproductive choice.

After Charles Blake arrives with the very Tanned and Oily Simon Bricker, Ice Queen Mary apologizes to him in advance for probably, sorta, giving her, um, “heart” to Tony Gillingham. ‘Kay, first let’s establish that Mary has no heart. At least one not made of human parts. Her heart is made of, I don’t know, something akin to tungsten.  And even if she did have a living, breathing, feeling heart, that’s not exactly what she’s giving to him, know what I’m saying?

Later the awkwardness between Lady Mary and Charles Blake leads to an encounter in the library where they cast glances at each other and talk around the real issue until finally Mary is all, “Are we talking about sex… or love?” Leading Charles Blake to respond awesomely, “That is the question mankind has been wrestling with since the dawn of time. Good night!” (Drops mic, sprints from library) leaving Lady Mary making a gaspy, stammery face.

Mary can sense Anna judging her, but Anna just says, “Good luck!” when you know she really wants to add under her breath, “…Floozy McTrampypants!”  And how great would that be? But instead she just gives her this look:

Downton Abbey Season 5, Episode 2

That’s the face of someone who’s been an unwilling accomplice to shenanigans.

Later Mary arrives at a hotel. That’s right; nothing says “sexy time” like Liverpool, ladies and gentlemen.  Lord Gillingham surprises her by (gasp) getting adjoining rooms! Oh, Lord Gillingham, you devil you. He’s trying to be all seductive but then he goes and uses the word “scrumptious” and ruins the moment suddenly I cannot take him seriously.  There is a kiss, but really it’s not even worth talking about because it has all the passion and spice of flan. So it’s a flan-kiss. Yech. Thank God it’s over in about 2 seconds.

Miss Bunting

After Bunting teaches Daisy all there is to know about math in five minutes,  Rose invites Bunting to dinner. Ah-gain. (Seriously, Rose?) It’s as if she doesn’t remember that the last time she invited Bunting to dinner it was a complete train wreck. Lord Grantham is peeved that Miss Bunting has once again been invited to dinner, but fortunately she declines the offer. She does, however continue her pot-stirring ways all the way out the door and for the love of God Miss Bunting would you just shut up and get in the damn car!  I can’t be the only one hoping that Bunting is the next one Bates pushes under a bus.


This episode consists entirely of Rose making not so subtle ploys to get a wireless at Downton. And delighted expressions.  We get it. Rose is delighted about something. And also about as deep as a puddle. An aside: Anyone else think they should really replace Roses’ dialog with the same sound they use for Tinker Bell in Peter Pan? Just think of it: when she opened her mouth to speak and all you would hear would be a tiny bell:  ting-a-ling-a-ling. Aaaaand scene.

(Sound of bells tinkling.) Oops, sorry, Rose has decided to give clothing to Russian refugees. Something about shopping and going to parties. Have decided Rose is dumb as a box of hair.

(Sound of bells tinkling.) Oh, sorry, poor simple Rose is talking about that damn radio again. Box. Of. Hair.

Then surprise, they end up getting a wireless at Downton. Rose makes another delighted face, kind of like I did the year I got the Sunset Malibu PJ for Christmas. Carson is having none of it. Everyone gathers around to listen to the King’s voice come out of the Mysterious Magical Box of Sorcery.

Isobel Crawley/Dowager Countess

What’s up with these two? Are they joined at the hip? First they have lunch with Doctor Carson. Then they have lunch with Lord Merton. They are constantly together and bickering like two housecats.  My advice: Take some time apart, ladies.

To the writers of Downton abbey: More clever dialogue, fewer dagger stares, please.

Anna and Bates

Anna skulks to the village and buys “the thing” for Lady Mary, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one thinking Mr. Bates is going to come waltzing in the door of the pharmacy, see her purchase, and get all ominous and murder-ey. But he doesn’t. So we’ll have to wait for him to get murder-ey until another time. Prolly next week.

Later Bates is questioning Anna about Lady Mary’s mystery trip, and Anna  covers for her. Is it me or does something seem to have shifted in Anna and Mr. Bates’ relationship? Come on, Anna, give the guy a break! I mean, isn’t there something a bit attractive about a guy who’s willing to push another guy into traffic to defend your honor? Oh, er, wait. Okay I see it now. Moving on….

Simon Bricker.

Simon Bricker arrives. Ogles a painting. Ogles Cora. Hopefully he’s just a conduit to get Charles Blake back in the house, because if the direction this is going is some kind of an affair between Bricker and Cora then I’m out. Although the flirting and innuendo did lead to one of the best lines of the night, with clueless Lord Grantham shouting, “And tell your friend Bricker to stop flirting with Isis! There is nothing more ill bred than trying to steal the affections of someone else’s dog!”  And Cora gives this look:

Downton Abbey Season 5, Episode 2

Which is kind of like, “Seriously? The guy practically had his tongue down my throat and you’re worried about him flirting with the dog?”

In the end, there is a kind of adorable flirting moment between Carson and Mrs. Hughes, but the moment is interrupted by a policeman visiting with an inquiry into the death of Mr. Greene. Apparently a witness has turned up! Shocked look from Mrs. Hughes. Ominous music.  The end.  Stupid policeman.

In summary: Birth control! Freedom! Choices! Awkwardness! Education for the servants!  Wireless radios! Communism! We get it, Downton abbey. Changes are a-comin.  But  I’m with Lord Grantham; Let’s all stick our heads in the sand and pretend none of it is happening. ‘Cause as long we still have The Pudding, and a servant to lug it three floors, all is right with the world.








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