(Series 5, ep.3) You’d think in the pre CCTV, snail-mail world of 1924 Downton Abbey that it would be easy to keep things that took place in another city secret from your family. Lady Mary and Lord Gillingham thought they could relax in beautiful Liverpool, away from any tittle tattle and prying eyes. Unfortunately they were in Liverpool at the same time that the Dowager’s butler was in the city for a wedding. And he couldn’t wait to tell the Dowager. She covered beautifully for Lady Mary, then summoned her for a proper dressing-down about her racy behaviour. Apparently women aren’t supposed to let themselves be seduced without their mother’s prior approval.
It looks like Lady Mary might not be seeking Cora’s approval for any further seduction by Lord Gillingham anyway, because it seems that a week of hot Tony lovin’ hasn’t quite hit her spot as far as accepting him as the future Mr Lady Mary is concerned.
Cora, meanwhile, was in London perusing paintings at the National Gallery in the company of a clearly besotted Richard E Grant. Lord Grantham, who bobbed all the way to London to take her out for dinner and found she was already busy, wasn’t best pleased – but I assume it at least takes the worry over whether it’s his dog Isis that Richard E Grant has his eye on.
The eye of the law is currently having a close look at Mr Bates, because the evil Green told his colleagues that he had a disagreement with Mr B shortly before he got fatally pushed into traffic at Piccadilly Circus. Luckily the police officer on the case isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box, unlike Mrs Hughes, who’s worked out that when Bates says he was in York on the day of Green’s death, he never seemed to stray far from the station, thus giving him plenty of time to pop to London, do a quick bit of slaughtering and pop back in time to help His Lordship with his cufflinks. I think Mrs Hughes should get her own spin-off series in which she solves crimes. She’d be fantastic at it – stern yet sympathetic.
Everyone spotted that Edith was looking preoccupied this week and it’s because she spends every minute she can with little whatshername, her biological daughter. The farmer’s wife has finally had enough of this and the farmer arrived at Downton to tell Lady Edith to keep away for a while. I can’t help thinking this is going to drive Edith to do something silly.