10 Little Suggestions about Downton’s Series 5
Downton gets rolling again on September 21! I’m unusually excited, since Series 5 is promoted to be much more dramatic and packed with storylines than Series 4, which was – to tell the truth – rather disappointing. There’s nothing like promising promotion, eh? I’m writing about what I assembled from every little SPOILER I could get my hands on, so beware! Here we go, let’s see which of my predictions will prove to be true.
#1 Daring Dames
As it seems, there’s love in store for both the Dowager and Isobel! Violet’s heart could be stirred by the return of a love which she had already declared cold and forgotten. Of course she won’t throw herself into the arms of the handsome fellow arriving, but her feelings must tell her something about herself. That she’s still capable of something beyond ‘business as usual’. It will frighten her, inevitably. Oh, and she’ll grow fierce as she’s sensing her own fragility.
Isobel finds herself in something like a romance with Lord Merton. He’s rather keen, and I don’t think Dr Clarkson will play a great part – maybe shortly before it’s too late (could that wedding in the Christmas Episode or whenever not be Mary’s at all?!). But I’m smelling trouble here, as Lady Shackleton reappears. She might want to claim Lord Merton and try to crush Isobel by making her feel she’s not his equal. Of course nothing will break Isobel. What if she doesn’t love Merton after all? Ah, I’m so excited!
#2 Not Yet
Mrs Hughes and Carson might have had their lovely paddle, but I’m quite sure things between them won’t have changed too much – yet. Maybe we’ll see a couple of evening scenes with that occasional glass of sherry, perhaps even pointing to feelings growing stronger. Mrs Hughes would be the driving force, though Carson’s feelings shouldn’t differ too much from hers. But first there’s the struggle about the War memorial, in which the two will take opposite sides. This might benefit their relationship in the long term, so let’s see. But I’m convinced Julian Fellowes won’t let anything saucy happen in Series 5. Anyway, there’s always a Christmas Special, and since the last one this proves to be promising!
#3 Naughty Boy
Lady Anstruther seems to be quite taken with former employee Jimmy. What will Lord Grantham do, catching the two of them in bed? Sack Jimmy? Make her leave the house? Or quite the opposite, since she’s in fact just as blue-blooded as himself? Maybe it will even remind him of his own stroll beside the path, back then with Jane. I’m quite interested in how his reaction will turn out. If the trailer didn’t lie and maybe he won’t be the one discovering the couple’s secret rendezvous. Let’s see if Jimmy’s time at Downton comes to an end – or whether his smug smile will only grow wider.
‘Everything about Downton is beautiful’, says the art historian. Exchanging smiles with the lady of the house while he’s on a job? Maybe that’s Julian Fellowes’ revenge for Robert’s snogging Jane, however especially the historian seems keen to get something going. Let’s just hope Cora hasn’t too bad a conscience. But, regarding that she hadn’t had a storyline for ages, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Keep up the flirting! It would certainly challenge Robert to find out . We might see what stuff he’s made of – despising his wife for something he has done as well wouldn’t exactly benefit his reputation. By the way, I’m quite sure Cora won’t even allow a kiss that’s out of order. So there you go, I bet that’s just one big prank instead of a scandalous affair.
#5 Simply Edith
How grown-up she sounds! Edith looks very beautiful, yet stern. And she’ll be saved from a fire, by Thomas – as if that wasn’t enough already. Maybe that’s the point where she decides that every moment is precious. But if it happens in Episode 1, it won’t result in her telling the family of a little daughter staying nearby. What was it Robert said,’Our grandchild is about to be stolen from us forever’? Are they – at some point – taking little Marigold back, revealing it all? Or was Robert talking about Sybbie, who might be taken away when Tom decides to go all middle-class with Miss Bunting (see #6)?
Will Michael return? I’m not really able to see that happy family reunion, but Series 5 will definitely reveal her secret to the family. How might Mary react to the fact that she has a little niece? And how will they deal with Edith having lied to them all the time? Reflecting about their own actions would be nice for a change. But it will all start with Edith visiting her little Marigold at the Drews’, pining for the child to be with her and know her as a mother, yet unable to tell anyone, and waiting for a sign of the father who quarreled with a pack of nazis. She’ll be distressed, but not throughout the whole series. If Michael might be found to be dead, she’ll be devastated. If he returns – there’s a marriage awaiting, and nobody can be sure it will by Mary’s!
#6 Indigo Bunting
No applause for the heading? Shame on you. We did see that coming, didn’t we? Quirky teacher Sarah is invited to Downton – by Rose, of course. And Cora was the one allowing it, Robert doesn’t know a thing. Ah, I’m quite looking forward to the things the Dowager will say to Sarah, them sitting at the same dinner-table. I’m not terribly fond of that new character, but she might surprise me by showing the Crawleys that she can be a loving partner to Tom: caring for himself and his child, yet staying strong and somewhat independent. But I’m already annoyed by the speeches she’ll make in front of the family, telling them things they are thinking about all the time. They know best times are changing, and they’re afraid – so please, Sarah, don’t pretend you are that ignorant.
‘I can’t just stand here following orders for the rest of my life!’. Daisy is going to make Mrs Patmore proud. But first, she’ll drive her mad, reading books and neglecting her job. So maybe the Crawleys must do without their pudding once in a while, for Daisy’s getting herself educated! And since she starts being quite insecure, the newly acquired knowledge might make her a little big-headed. This (as well as the fear of losing Daisy as an assistant cook and, moreover, a surrogate daughter) will finally make Mrs Patmore furious. This relationship must be sorted out, and I’m convinced it will prove to be strong enough. However, I don’t believe Daisy will leave just now. Anyway, what does she plan? Making a fresh start and running the farm together with Mr Mason, ready to take over when he’ll be joining his son? Finding a job in a kitchen (or elsewhere) in some bigger city, leaving service for good? Or might she decide that Downton is the place where she is happiest, after a long struggle with herself? Mrs Patmore will be an inevitable party in this struggle, as she also fights her own battle about putting her nephew’s name on a War memorial. The poor boy was shot for cowardice. But isn’t that something the War stands for as well – forcing people to act inhumanly? Lest we forget.
#8 Teasing Thomas
From what I’ve heard, Baxter’s secret is one of the many to be revealed in Series 5 – but Molesley won’t let Thomas give his new sweetheart a bad time. Actually, he’s prepared to get quite nasty and I’m prepared to see Thomas react. I just hope they won’t drag it through too many episodes until they reveal what Baxter did wrong. Also, Molesley must be sticking with her although he comes to know it. If he doesn’t – well, I won’t admire him anymore. But he’ll provide comic relief with his newly dyed hair (what on earth did they think?!). I have to admit it, I completely love Baxter. So whatever she did, I’ll stand by her. I promise, no crossed fingers here. She is such a tranquil, lovely person, though she must suffer greatly. So what could it possibly be? It might sound totally awkward, but there was this talk Anna and Bates had at the table, about children, while Baxter was listening. Maybe the next shot would have shown her sad face? Did she have an illegitimate child, perhaps from a former employer, and abandoned it? Might it be Thomas? Alright, he could be too old. But it’s possible, isn’t it? I mean, what else could there be that’s so very horrible? Robbery, betrayal, murder? I just hope that, might Baxter be cast out, Molesley will be at her side. I’m not expecting too much, am I?
Ah, and Thomas gets another enemy, fierce new lady’s maid to the Dowager, Gladys Denker. I hope she totally finishes Spratt, that awful snob of a butler. The Dowager would have something to giggle about – in secret, that goes without saying.
Bates’ smile makes me feel like I’m watching Miss Marple’s main suspect. Did he, or didn’t he? Actor Brendan Coyle said he was shocked when reading the script and finding out about the circumstances of Green’s death. But he wants us to watch the show, right? Maybe Bates did it, but maybe he staged the ‘accident’ in some cruel way, being the criminal mastermind that he his (I mean, he forges letters in no time?!). However, the whole incident will put a further strain on his relationship with Anna, who will never fully recover. If he goes to jail, she might break, and who could blame her, after all that suffering? Or will they find out Bates was involved in Green’s death, but conceal the truth? Anna and Bates would have to live with it either way. So it looks pretty gloomy for the two of them. I hope their love is strong enough to make them go on.
Frankly, Mary, I don’t care whom of the lookalike admirers you will chose. It looks very much like Gillingham is the lucky chap, but be aware! Charles Blake might not have appeared in the spoiler material for a good reason. Or can there be a third party involved? I’m not too convinced, but I just don’t like Tony at all. Blake isn’t much better, but at least I can stand the sight of him, as he’s clever and charmingly ironic. Qualities Gillingham absolutely lacks. Additionally, none of the boys had had any chance to appeal to the audience as a complex character, someone you would worship as a person because of his actions and a kind-hearted behaviour. These guys are awfully flat, but maybe this was done on purpose and we’ll quickly find a man to favour. Just, please, make it happen really soon!