Downton Abbey Season 5 Episode 5 Review: A Man of the World

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One of the cool things about Downton Abbey is its ability to incorporate numerous stories, no matter how meaningless, into one plot about a single family.

On Downton Abbey Season 5 Episode 5 there was something going on with everyone. 

Cora and Mr. Bricker's relationship reached its peak. Maybe the Crawleys should lock their doors. Although in early 20th century England that probably would have implied scandal taking place rather than concern for one's safety. 

I can't say I expected Mr. Bricker to go so far as to sneak into Cora's room, but it was clear that something was going to happen when Robert announced he was going to be out for the night. I was on the edge of my seat during the fight scene. Was it necessary to hide the whole thing from Edith?

What I am not shocked about is Robert giving Cora the cold shoulder. I suspect he holds it against her that he turned out to be right about Bricker and that Cora kept inviting him over. It is very in character for Robert. 

Cora was walking a fine line the entire time, and I find hard to believe she didn't know otherwise. Cora knew Mr. Bricker was flirting with her and she kept ignoring it like it would go away. Mr. Bricker was clear about how passionately he felt about Cora, making it obvious that it wasn't just a crush. Did she expect it to keep going on without being addressed? 

It is easy to sympathize with Cora though; she and Mr. Bricker had a strong connection and talked about things she could never talk about with Robert. 

The second "break-up" was between Tom and Miss Bunting. I imagine there are a lot of relieved and happy fans out there. 

Miss Bunting: Have I finished us before we ever really even got started?
Tom: You pitted yourself against them from the start. How can you retreat from that position?
Miss Bunting: You mean I have made it them or me?
Tom: Haven't you? You despise the family, but I think you forget that my wife was one of them. My child is one of them. Where does that leave me?
Miss Bunting: don't you despise them? Really?
Tom: No, I don't. I would like things to change, but I don't think in black and white terms anymore.
Miss Bunting: Well I do.

This conversation encompassed all of the reasons they shouldn't be together. Miss Bunting thinks in black and white terms, while Tom can no longer think that way. He started to change after marrying Sybil and since living with the Crawleys and running Downton, Tom has been transformed.

Miss Bunting is like Tom before he was one of the family. She doesn't have the same experiences that have allowed Tom's perspective to change. She mentioned that she wishes they had met before he knew the Crawleys, but how can she be sure she would have loved Tom the same? It seems to me she fell in love with who he is now. 

Once again my favorite scenes were those between Isobel an Violet. In Downton Abbey Season 1, these two were middle class and upper class polar opposites, but somehow that has blossomed into a dynamic, funny and genuine friendship. I think Violet is indeed resentful that Isobel's status will change if she marries Lord Merton, but I think her love for her friend trumped that resentment. 

Violet: She keeps talking about her mother being infirm, but I am infirm why doesn't she think about that?
Isobel: You are as infirm as Windsor Castle.

However, the best quote of the night came from Mrs. Hughes, who along with Mrs. Patmore, made Mr. Carson feel like a man of the world. 

Mrs. Patmore: It is good to hear advice from a man of the world.
Carson: Well, I like to do what I can.
Mrs. Hughes: We feel thoroughly protected.

My favorite bits: 

  • Mr. Carson's face when Mrs. Hughes told Mrs. Patmore to ask Branson about her money
  • Mary's face when Isobel disagreed with Violet at the dinner table
  • Violet getting the information she wanted from Rosamund
  • Charles setting up a dinner with Mary by getting Mabel to leave
  • Violet pronouncing the location of Princess Kuragin in Hong Kong 
  • The fact that Rosamund visiting Marigold came off exactly as the Drewe's feared 
  • Rose meeting Aldridge in York and not caring about him being Jewish 
  • Thomas calling Carson the "soul of kindness"

While two story lines were seemingly wrapped up, Edith is planning something with Marigold and we still don't know exactly what Thomas is doing to himself. Is it out in the open that Mary and Tony are finished? Is Mary seeing Charles now? is Mr. Bricker gone for good and what will it all mean for Cora and Robert? 

Remember, you can watch Downton Abbey online TV Fanatic! 

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Downton Abbey Season 5 Episode 5 Quotes

Miss Bunting: Have I finished us before we ever really even got started?
Tom: You pitted yourself against them from the start. How can you retreat from that position?
Miss Bunting: You mean I have made it them or me?
Tom: Haven't you? You despise the family, but I think you forget that my wife was one of them. My child is one of them. Where does that leave me?
Miss Bunting: don't you despise them? Really?
Tom: No, I don't. I would like things to change, but I don't think in black and white terms anymore.
Miss Bunting: Well I do.

Violet: She keeps talking about her mother being infirm, but I am infirm why doesn't she think about that?
Isobel: You are as infirm as Windsor Castle.