(Series 5, ep.4) I watched this week’s Downton online on the ITV Player, for which I had to register. Then every fifteen minutes or so the gentility of country house life was punctuated by a loud woman wanting “to bust the myths about female intimate health.” This did not enhance my enjoyment of the programme, though the glimpses of Tom Hiddleston in the Jaguar car ads made up for it a bit.
To the action now, and Lady Mary bobbed up to London for an overnight stay, during which she visited a fashion show with her Aunt Rosamund and had dinner with Charles Blake. The real reason for her visit was to tell Lord Gillingham that she wouldn’t be marrying him. She arranged to meet him at the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens. He must have felt all romantic meeting her there, but not when she told him that their week of lust in Liverpool hadn’t convinced her that he was the man for her. “Am I a bad lover?” he said anxiously. If only it was that simple. But the problem is that it doesn’t look like Tony is going to take no for an answer, and he still has the ace up his sleeve of being able to destroy Mary’s reputation if the truth about Liverpool became known.
Just ask Rose’s father, Shrimpy, about scandal. He’s getting divorced from Mrs Shrimpy, and according to Lord Grantham, “People will drop them like hot potatoes.” “Will we?” said Lady Mary, “Drop Shrimpy?”
The problem with the Shrimpys was that they married for convenience rather than love, and it’s not a path Rose wants to go down. Nor is it a path Isobel Crawley wants to go down, despite receiving a proposal from Lord Merton, who is seriously in love with her.
Was Lady Violet in love with Prince Kuragin back in the day? He did want her to elope with him and she might have if she hadn’t been peruaded to stay by a picture of her children in a Fabergé frame. These days Prince Kuragin is penniless and stateless, and Mrs Kuragin is missing. Lady Violet has enlisted Shrimpy to help find her.
Other things that were going on:
- Thomas returned to Downton looking unwell, and it seems that he’s taking some kind of drugs in an attempt to “cure” his homosexuality. This is a shocking piece of social history that shouldn’t be forgotten, but I have to say I enjoyed it a lot more when Thomas was seducing visiting dignitaries. I imagine so did Thomas.
- Lord Grantham doesn’t mind houses being built on his estate as long as they’re nice houses. That’s a no to Barratt Homes, then.
- Mr Bricker the art expert thinks everything about Downton is beautiful, including its mistress. Even Lord G has started to get irritated by Mr Bricker oozing around his wife. Lord G is less annoyed by Bricker than he is by Miss Sarah Bunting and her radical views. She annoyed him so much he had to slam his hand on the dinner table.
- And the police now suspect Anna of pushing Mr Green to his death, after a plain clothes officer followed her as she went to ponder the scene of the crime after taking a letter to Lord Gillingham.