REVIEW: Downton Abbey “Season 2, Episode 5”

By now you’ve probably realized what the theme of Season 2 of Downton Abbey is: Mary’s unhappiness (spiralling toward depression). Not only is she desperately in love with Matthew (who has all but eliminated the possibility of marriage), she’s engaged to a man blackmailing her into it. And then to have her own mother turn against her by bringing back Matthew’s fiancee. Plus her (supposed) old fiancee, Patrick Crawley, coming back from the dead to claim her fortune from Matthew. And with all three in the same house! I’d feel sorry for Edith if she weren’t so horrible in Season 1. She’s so desperate to get back at Mary for being prettier and smarter that she will go to any length. Meanwhile, Sybil can’t be taken down with the weight of her desperately unhappy sisters because she’s got a real career going and a proposal from the guy she loves. The youngest always gets what they want.

Carson gets offered a chance to go with Mary in her new life…imprisoned in Haxby Park. Mary is clinging on to everything she can and begs for Carson to come with her. And since he’s never been able to resist her charms, he agrees to leave.

The plot thickens when Bates’ wife just won’t let go of their marriage. Rashly, Bates decides to go to London and confront his wife. But when she turns up dead at the end of the episode we’re left to wonder if Bates had anything to do with it. The fact that he told Lord Grantham he wished she were the “Late Mrs. Bates” can’t help matters. Do you think he did it?

Violet and Cora hatch a plan to get rid of Isobel. She’d love to become the eternal dictator over Downton Abbey but they don’t want that to happen. By giving her something else to focus her overbearing, micro-managing energies on, they’re all better off.

Mrs. Hughes is doing her darndest to help Ethel with her illegitimate child. Despite attempts to contact the father, Ethel’s still a single, unwed mother. When Cora tries to contact the father she discovers that he died, leaving Ethel little hope of any sort of help from the family.

The news that Patrick Gordon may in fact be Patrick Crawley shocks the house. Mary is upset at the thought but Matthew’s self-esteem is so low he actually thinks Patrick would be a better heir. When he leaves, signing the card ‘P. Gordon’ leaves us wondering what the truth actually is. Maybe he’ll reappear in the future?

Holy crap, Levinia’s back. The poor girl has been thrown into this power struggle between Carlisle and Mary that I’m sure Matthew isn’t even aware of. Even I’ll admit that Mary is being awful to Carlisle in return. She’s so blatantly in love with Matthew, it’s pretty embarrassing for him.

All Matthew did this week is wallow in self-pity. I have to admit, he’s been more attractive than this week. And what about that moment at the end when Bates is pushing his chair? What do you think that’s about?

But most importantly, THE WAR IS OVER.

Heather is a recent West Coast transplant and can't remember what humidity feels like. She spends most of her time (& money) watching movies, marathoning TV shows on DVD, attending concerts, reading, eating vegetables, attending conventions (San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, Dragon*Con so far!), blogging about her quarter-life crisis, downing coffee and traveling the world. She likes comic books, photography, reading on the Metro bus and wearing cold weather clothes despite the actual temperature in Southern California.

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