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'Downton Abbey' recap: Episode 5

The 5-0 come calling for Anna, and Rose meets a certain someone of a certain Abrahamic faith.

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Nick Briggs/Masterpiece

Downton Abbey

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter, Maggie Smith

Though it might seem like a lot of bad things are starting to happen at Downton Abbey—specifically nosy detectives, kidnap plots, and man-to-man open-palmed slaps—it’s not all bad.

Ms. Bunting is gone!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s circle back, and we can discuss the world’s worst dinner guest in a bit.

Rosamund arrives in London and quickly becomes curious about the dear little farmer’s daughter that Edith has taken a great interest in. It’s quite obvious to her that Edith has invoked the right of Take Backsies from the Swiss couple she originally gave Marigold to, but round two of “Here, Take My Daughter” isn’t going as well as expected. Mrs. Drewe, acting like a responsible and sensible parent, appears to be creeped out by the pale, waifish aristocrat who’s obsessed with her adopted daughter. Nope, nothing weird about that. Be cool, Mrs. Drewe! It’s not like she’s bringing around her aunt to gawk at—Oh no, wait. She did. Never mind, you’re justified, Mrs. Drewe, but don’t worry. Things will be fine as long as they don’t conspire to steal the baby back.

Back in the main house, Carson is doing his best to appear “hip” and “with it” and “not stuck as a cog within an outdated class system” by cribbing a move from Robert’s playbook and suggesting to Mrs. Patmore that she invest her recent inheritance in a building company that he keeps hearing about. Mrs. P doesn’t end up taking the advice, instead opting to buy a cottage to rent out until she’s ready to move there and take on boarders, but she very much appreciated Carson’s advice. I’m not entirely sure what the point of this subplot was, but any amount of time shared with Carson, Mrs. Patmore, and Mrs. Hughes is a goddamn delight.

Elsewhere, the two most eligible bachelorettes of Downton, Violet and Isobel, are up to their usual saucy bit of madness. Mrs. Crawley is still considering the proposal of her “follower” Lord Merton, who’s a rather boring chap. Violet, the Thelma to Isobel’s Louise, can’t stand to see her best friend tied down in some drafty manor without any of the spunk and grit, or as she so eloquently puts it, stuck in “a life devoid of industry and moral worth.” For help, Violet turns to Dr. Clarkson, the bad boy of post-WWI, small-town medicine, whose will-they-won’t-them chemistry with Isobel keeps me up at night. Their plan is to tag team a luncheon and drive the would-be couple apart. There’s a lengthy discussion of goiters and how easily they can be cured with the right know-how, which should have dampened any existing flames, but Violet and Clarkson have to agreed: Merton and Isobel make a pretty cute, boring couple.

Since Clarkson didn’t tear open his shirt and confess his love for Isobel, let’s turn our attention to something awesome that actually happened in the episode. But what?

Oh, yeah. Tom totally dumped Ms. Bunting.

After a conversation with Robert about how close he has become to the family over the years, Tom decides that it’s probably best to nix things with the woman who has on a number of occasions picked fights with the people who were kind enough to invite her into their home and offer her food. It’s one thing for Sarah to stand in as reminder for Tom’s humbler beginnings—that’s all well and good—but there’s a line. And her insistence that Tom should hate the Crawley’s just because of their status crosses it. That position seems unnecessarily hostile, even if the family is snobbish, and thankfully, Tom isn’t feeling it. He tells her that he wants to “call it a day,” which, all things considered, is one of the nicer ways to dump somebody. Daisy tries to intercede, and Tom kisses Sarah before she leaves. Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. She’s gone, and I’m not sorry.

NEXT: The slap heard round the world…