Downton Abbey Season 5 Episode 7 Review: Change on the Horizon

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Downton Abbey Season 5 Episode 7 captured this show for everything it is. It also captured the fact that change is on the horizon for every single character on the show. 

It feels like everyone is accepting their lives are changing, or will change at some point. The most intriguing has been how the folks down below are preparing for the changes. This episode was a good reminder that it has been over ten years since we first met these characters.

The servants can see and feel that the world is changing and for them that means this is a very good time to start thinking about how they will be taken care of in retirement. It seems there is going to be some competition in the village to open an inn.

Like most of the changes that have affected the social hierarchy surrounding the Crawleys, Violet did not like what the result was. Although, the change that she was upset by hit much closer to her heart than to her aristocratic principles.

Violet: But Isobel and I had a lot in common and I shall miss her.
Mary: Granny you are quite dewey eyed, I never think of you as sentimental.

Mary is still being extremely cold and insensitive toward people she loves the most. Matthew really did bring out the nicer side of her.

My dear. A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears.


Cora’s plan about how to get Marigold to live under the same roof as Edith was pretty bold. Was it just me or did Cora seem like she was having some fun hiding Marigold from Mary on the train?

Cora: How can you imagine I will ever trust you again?
Rosamund: She doesn’t mean it Mama.
Violet: On the contrary, it is the most honest thing she has ever said to me.

I think we have seen a different side of Cora this season. Sure, it isn't drastically different and she is still Cora, but she has felt more emboldened about doing what she wants. What does everyone else think?

Although, I am not sure how these two expect to keep it hidden from Mary. She always seems to be the first one to find out about family secrets. I just hope she is as understanding with Edith’s situation as she was when she found out about Rose and Sybil’s relationships.

I'd like to see Mary cut the condescending tone when she talks to Edith and actually show some sisterly love. It wouldn’t even have to be a huge divergence from Mary’s character if the scene were made awkward enough between the two.

Mary should perhaps take some notes from Robert, who has come to accept and love Tom for whatever decision he makes. I was impressed by how well he took Tom’s news that he was considering going to America. I think Tom and Sybil would have liked the freedom and openness of America, especially when compared to Europe at this time.

I must admit that Mabel is an entertaining, strong female character addition to the show. She speaks her mind and her situation with Tony reminds me of the Mary, Matthew and Lavinia love triangle a bit.

My least favorite scene was Larry insulting Isobel and Lord Merton’s marriage. I really think that Lord Merton is trying to marry for love and that these two both deserve what Isobel called her last adventure. Larry should never ever come back.

My favorite bits:

  • Mary and Charles staging a kiss
  • Isobel’s look of disappointment when Lord Merton’s sons said he wouldn’t accept a child
  • Violet getting called dewy eyes and being un-English for a second

There is something about Rose and Atticus’s relationship that I don’t trust. It is all happening so fast and  they were just spurned by the insult Larry made at the table. This won’t be the first time someone comments on the differences of their backgrounds.

The saddest part of the episode and potentially the whole serious was the death of Isis. You will be dearly missed Isis, but at least you lived a good comfortable life in a castle and were privy to juice family drama. Not every dog can say that. 

What was your favorite scene? What do you think of Rose’s engagement? Do you think Cora and Edith will be able to keep their secret?

If you haven't seen it yet, remember you can watch Downton Abbey online via TV Fanatic! 

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Downton Abbey Season 5 Episode 7 Quotes

Violet: But Isobel and I had a lot in common and I shall miss her.
Mary: Granny you are quite dewey eyed, I never think of you as sentimental.

My dear. A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears.