When there’s smoke, there’s fire — and fire and former flames set the ‘Downton’ estate ablaze in the premiere episode of the historical drama, as Mary contemplates sex before remarriage and we get the first glimpse of Edith’s baby girl!
The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same in Downton. Lady Mary, (the world’s most desirable widow), still hasn’t selected a suitor, while Lady Edith just can’t seem to catch a break. Not only is she mourning her missing suitor, (Mr. Gregson), but she also seems to regret giving her daughter away.
‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5 Premiere Recap — Fires & Old Flames:
Edith’s interest in her daughter, Marigold, begins to spark suspicions from the tenant family that adopted her, (but that’s only the beginning of Lady Edith’s problems), as the adopted mother suspects Edith is visiting because she has the hots for her hubby. She just can’t deal with the fact that she gave up her baby girl — and on top of it she’s also mourning the mysterious disappearance of the first guy who actually seemed to care about her, (who also happens to be the father of her illegitimate child).
Lady Mary & Tony Gillingham Unite:
Meanwhile, the Grantham’s are celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary — and what better way to honor the anniversary than by hoping to “inspire thoughts of marriage” in your daughter’s eligible suitor? Although Mary is still fighting off a gaggle of guys, her frontrunner bachelor, Tony Gillingham, has a visit that coincides with her parent’s anniversary — and if running the Downton estate ever fails Lady Mary, she could always start penning greeting cards. Take, for instance, the endearing way she replied to Tony’s latest marriage proposal when he comes to town: “I do love you, you know, in my cold and unfeeling way.” Move over, Elsa. Mary is the original ice queen.
Swoon. Tony has obviously ticked Mary’s fancy, but she already decided that she doesn’t plan on accepting a marriage proposal without testing out the goods. If I had to pick a song to sum up the new, forward-thinking Lady Mary, it would be Nelly Furtado‘s “Promiscuous Girl.”
Mary even manages to shock her lady maid, Anna, with her thoughts of sex before marriage, (an idea Mary has clearly been toying with for some time). It turns out Mary isn’t the only one who wants to take the relationship to the next level. Lord Gillingham, (who, might I remind you, has proposed to Mary on more than one occasion and even ditched his former fiancée for a chance with her), has decided on a new approach in an attempt to win over my favorite ice queen. He boldly sneaks into her room after dark à la Pamuk, (very brave, considering the last guy who did so didn’t make it out alive), and says he wants them to be lovers.
Speaking of suitors, Isboel is also in demand these days — and by the very eligible Lord Merton. The thought of Isobel rising in social ranks is enough to send the Dowager into a tizzy — and so she sets out to change the course of the relationship by organizing a very strategic tea party. All this manipulative relationship meddling has me thinking that the Dowager would fit in great with Cher and Dion from Clueless. “There’s nothing simpler than avoiding people you don’t like, it is avoiding one’s friends that is the real test.” As always, the Dowager is spot on.
Lady Edith’s Misery, Ablaze:
Lady Edith, (aka the turn of the century version of Jan Brady), can’t seem to catch a break. Not only did she have to strategically hide her pregnancy from her entire family and give up her daughter for the sake of her dignity, but her married suitor embarked on a trip and was never heard from again — and all it took was a book to bring back all of the bad thoughts. Edith gets all shaken up at the sight of a hard cover that used to belong to the MIA Mr. Gregson and falls asleep with his photo under her pillow — but not before (very) poorly chucking the book into the fireplace.
Thomas Barrow sees the smoke and quickly jumps in to save the day as he carries an unconscious Lady Edith out of her room and to safety. Somehow he is always managing to crawl out of the dog house in the nick of time. Everyone, (including Lord Grantham’s #1 fan, his dog Isis), makes it out of the house in one piece.
Also in this episode, (but not as exciting): some bullying and scheming from Barrow, more progressive, rebellious sentiments from Tom Branson’s working-class love interest and Lord Grantham tends to a bruised ego — clearly nothing new to report on these fronts.
What did you think of the premiere episode of Downton Abbey?
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