The severity of Lord Grantham’s mysterious illness is revealed as he collapses in the most shocking, graphic scene we’ve ever witnessed on ‘Downton Abbey’ as the Crawley family is once again reminded of how fragile life really is. Read on for our recap of season six, episode five.
While the back and forth regarding the hospital continued to wage on, episode five proved to be action-packed, as the Downton Abbey gals were both occupied by their dating prospects and Robert, (Lord Grantham), had a shocking brush with death.
Edith’s “friend” writes and tells her he would like to see her in London — we can’t wait for Edith’s love life to finally heat up. No one has had worse luck in the love department than Lady Edith — it’s definitely about time.
Never to be outdone, Lady Mary also receives a call from her suitor, Henry Talbot, who invites her to come watch him race a car. Tom agrees to go along — not surprising, since apparently his little jaunt in America gave Branson a newfound love for automobiles, (and racing them?).
Robert couldn’t be happier for Edith and shares the news of her upcoming date night over breakfast, which Lady Edith is quick to downplay in front of her judgemental sister. “Of course not,” Mary replies when Edith says it isn’t a “date.” “What do you mean, of course not?” Edith shoots back.
Meanwhile, over in the newlywed cottage, it isn’t just pure bliss. Apparently one of the reasons Mr. Carson was Downton’s oldest bachelor is because of his impossible standards to live up to. Mrs. Hughes cooks dinner for Mr. Carson, who seems less than pleased with what she prepared. The plate isn’t hot enough, the knife isn’t sharp enough — they’re already sounding like an old married couple. She recaps the evening for Mrs. Patmore, telling her the problem was that she doesn’t cook like his mother. Mr. Carson asks Mrs. Patmore to teach his new wife a thing or two in the kitchen.
Lady Mary’s day is full of pigs and cars, but she still manages to find the time to try to pry date details out of Edith. Mary seems to be struggling with her feelings for Talbot. Not only is he not rich enough for her, but he’s also a race car driver — a profession she doesn’t condone, (especially since her first husband met his fate behind the wheel). “I won’t marry down,” she tells Tom, adding that she doesn’t want to be richer or grander than her husband. Tom calls his marriage to Cybil a marriage of equals based on their beliefs, and Mary ensures him that the family finally sees that now — if only she could learn to take Tom’s advice. While we’re on the topic, I’m not obsessed with this Mary-Henry romance, but that’s probably because I was really shipping Mary and Tony last season.
“Real love means giving someone the power to hurt you,” Tom reminds Mary. “Which I won’t concede easily,” she quickly reminds him while fixing her lipstick — she doesn’t miss a beat.
The Dowager Countess’ unruly maid stirs up drama when she pays a visit to Dr. Clarkson and speaks out of line, which is bound to blow up in her face. Denker has too much time on her hands — the Dowager should order her to polish the silver or something to keep her busy. The Dowager is on point as she tells off her maid for speaking out of turn to Dr. Clarkson. “When we unleash the dogs of war we must go where they take us,” she exclaims to cousin Isobel.
Andrew offers to help Mr. Mason handle the pigs and says he wants to learn about farming — but there’s a catch. Andrew doesn’t know how to read and Barrow quickly discovers his secret. He gets himself all worked up and Barrow offers to teach him — he even kindly offers to keep it a secret. Andrew accepts and apologizes for the way he acted towards him in the past. Aww, Barrow gets a friend! I know he spent years being completely awful, but I feel like Barrow is misunderstood, just like Lady Mary.
Lady Edith invites her suitor to her flat for a drink — a rather racy plan…although Lady Edith obviously learned her lesson from rushing things in the romance department. She admits she wants a life away from Downton, especially since Mary runs the house. She shares a passionate kiss before her night out. It isn’t just about love for Lady Edith. While in London, she also interviews women to fill the editor job — a sign of the changing times. She finds a girl around her age to run the paper, which gives her more time for dating and sitting around to field Mary’s insults.
After a day of racing, Lady Mary finds herself in a pub with Henry and Tom. Tom is quick to call out Mary and Henry for their coy way of interacting — well, at least someone finally said it.
Back at Downton, Tom, Mary and Edith recap their flashy plans. “We’re all members of the bright young things,” Tom exclaims. “I don’t know about bright,” Mary says — a line obviously intended for her little sis. Another day, another Edith dig — but we wouldn’t expect anything less.
Even Robert’s ulcer is tired of hearing the stale fight regarding the hospital — and dinner is interrupted when Lord Grantham’s ulcer bursts and he begins vomiting all over the table before passing out and collapsing on the floor. As Robert is rushed off to the hospital in an ambulance, Lady Mary overhears the Dowager Countess and her mother, Cora, discussing Marigold — it looks like she finally caught on to Edith’s secret. We can only hope she’ll exhibit a smidge of understanding, for her sister’s sake — although knowing Mary, we highly doubt it. The wheels are already turning, as Lady Mary asks Anna about Marigold and wants her to see if there’s any chatter downstairs regarding Marigold’s true identity.
Lord Grantham’s operation goes well, but now Mary and Tom will take over the business of the estate.
Were you shocked by the outcome of this week’s episode?