“What A To-Do!” – Downton Abbey 5×04
So many things happened in this episode that I’m just going to jump right in.
Mr. Bricker is back again at Downton, being Flirty McFlirty with Cora. We are shown several scenes where Lord Grantham is pointedly ignoring Cora and her opinions, and I really wish Cora would say something to him already. Lord Grantham is really becoming more and more grumpy with each episode, but then he has moments of wisdom and understanding, as in the scene with Mrs. Patmore and at the end with Mary and Branson. I guess he’s representing the old guard that is clinging tenaciously to the old way of life, relentlessly fighting change. But it’s coming across as inconsistent and a little bit constipated. Just have it out with Cora, man!
Speaking of having it out, Lady Mary tells Gillingham that she doesn’t want to marry him anymore, and he pitches an almighty fit! He’s all angry and making a scene at the park, and for the first time, I actually like him. He’s finally being real and not his usual greasy and annoying self. There’s actually life in the man, who knew?
Lord Merton finally proposes to Isobel, and it was surprisingly sweet and heartfelt. I have to admit, I was actually screaming like a little girl and laughing hysterically throughout this scene. I thought for a moment in Episode 2, when the Dowager was butting in on Isobel’s love life, that Lord Merton was distracted by Lady Shackleton. Apparently not. Now I’m rooting for Merty and Isobel!
I’m glad that Rose has a few substantial lines this episode instead of just talking about the wireless incessantly. Her parents are divorcing and she has quite an emotional scene with her father.
I’ve saved up Miss Bunting for last, because you know, MISS BUNTING. She gets invited to Downton again. She is insufferable again. Lord Grantham finally has enough, enough I tell you! And there is, as I think they call it, an almighty row. He storms out of dinner and everyone is uncomfortable. I don’t understand why no one comments on how rude Miss Bunting is. Everyone is ragging on the Earl for losing his temper, but maybe it’s because they all think he should not have stooped to her level. I know Bunting is being painted as a free-thinking liberal and that her strong views should be considered admirable. But she literally just aims to offend everybody, whether or not she is provoked. Lord Grantham is trying to make polite conversation, and the first words out of her mouth are abrasive. Miss Liberal, if you are really angry at the aristocracy, stop eating their food and just stage a protest or burn something! I love the teaser from next week’s episode where Branson reminds her that his daughter is part of the system Bunting abhors so much. Frankly, I just want the whole Bunting situation to be resolved one way or another – I am entirely and completely over her. (Rewatching the dinner scene, I had this crazy idea. Maybe the reason Miss Bunting is always out to get the Earl is because he went out with her mother then cruelly jilted her! Eh, I don’t know. I’m still trying to rationalize her totally unredeemable character.)
Whew. I’m glad I got that off my chest. I wonder what’s up with Barrow, and I am still rooting for something good to happen to Edith. I’m glad I still have Downton Abbey for my weekly British fix.
PS. Can someone help my uncultured self here? What exactly is Carson doing? Is he making moonshine?