Downton Abbey S5E6 – A Bob and a Flutter

Downton Abbey S5E6 Isobel

Despite the focus of this episode being the two worst stories of the season, it’s still much better than last week, as Edith and the Bateses’ plots finally kick into gear.  Edith receives a telegram promising a visit from the editor who replaced Michael Gregson at his paper.  Gregson is dead after all, killed violently in the Munich Putsch in 1923, as Hitler’s name is mentioned for the first time.  Edith is devastated and Mary is even more hateful to Edith than usual, showing off her modern bob and being cheerful about a horse race, while Edith is mourning in black.  Edith attempts to visit Marigold for a little comfort and is again rebuffed.  It’s all too much and while the others are watching Mary the champion race and flirt, Edith says goodbye to Branson before stealing Marigold away from her adopted family, in a heartbreaking scene, and running off to London.  She’s inherited everything from Gregson including his publishing company, so presumably she could make a life for them, but doubtless the family is going to catch up with her.  This also makes two families that Edith has taken her daughter away from.  I might be hopeful that Edith will become a powerful single mom, running Michael’s publishing company, but I thought she would be a sassy single lady journalist back when she began writing her columns and it became all about her romance with Michael instead, so who knows.  Likely, this whole plot will continue to hinge on tossing this kid back and forth.

Downton Abbey S5E6 Mary

Bates finally clears the air with Anna in a scene that is probably supposed to be dramatically romantic, but made me dislike John Bates even more than I already do.  He is searching for a lost button box when he discovers the birth control that Anna has been holding for Mary, as was foretold by all the laws of plot contrivance.  But thankfully, the farce is mainly dealt with in this episode.  Bates confronts Anna about it, claiming she doesn’t want to have his children because she thinks he’s a murderer.  He reveals that he knew it was Greene who raped Anna all along and that he knew she thought he murdered Greene. In fact, he did not!  Yes, after over a year of stringing us along, Bates reveals that he did not kill Mr. Greene.  He was going to, but thought of how the possibility of his hanging for it would hurt Anna and never even got off the train.  The proof is the untorn ticket that was discussed and then burned in the Christmas Special of series four. Instead of screaming at Bates for allowing her to live in terror that her husband was a murderer (again) and keeping all these secrets from her all this time, Anna is just happy her husband didn’t kill a guy.  That is a low bar.  She also blames herself for getting rid of the ticket.  Anna might be an even more depressing character than Edith.  Further, the cops have been called in again, this time to talk to Baxter, who really knows nothing.  They received a letter from a source they won’t name.  It was obviously Thomas.

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