Downton Abbey: Everything seems to be hitting the rocks

atticus rose downton(Series 5, ep.8)  The episode featured a wedding, and who doesn’t love a wedding? Well, the bride’s mother and the groom’s father, for two, but that just added to the fun and made for an extremely awkward dinner party at the Crawleys’ London residence, as the families of Rose and Atticus apparently competed as to who could be the most offensive. I think Rose’s mother, Mrs Shrimpy (soon to be ex-Mrs Shrimpy) won that particular contest. The wedding itself was a tad low-key, though, but I suppose they hadn’t had long to arrange it because the happy couple only got engaged last week.

Thomas is now fully recovered from the side effects of his “gay cure” and had enough energy to join forces with temporary footman Andy in getting one over on Lady Violet’s scheming maid Denker.  This involved a visit to ‘The Velvet Violin,’ which sounds more like a euphemism than a gambling den. 

bates anna downtonThe big shock of the episode (if you can call anything in the relentlessly slow-moving saga of Mr and Mrs Bates a shock) was that Anna was summoned to Scotland Yard to take part in a line-up, and was arrested for the murder of Evil Mr Green. Even Lady Mary, with her eyebrows set to stun, wasn’t able to prevent it.

It wasn’t Mary’s happiest ever day, despite the wedding. As well as her loyal maid being arrested, she also heard that Tom has been offered a job in America, and Lord Gillingham is getting married to Mabel Lane-Fox. Mary didn’t want Lord Gillingam herself, but it would have been nice to have kept him on the back burner just in case.

Meanwhile, Lady Edith spent the whole wedding weekend pining for Darling Marigold, who’d been left at Downton with George and Sybby and a posse of nannies. Every time Lord G saw Edith and Marigold together, his eyebrows jiggled a bit, but this had to happen several times before the penny dropped and he realised that Marigold wasn’t simply a confused-looking farmer’s child – she was actually a confused-looking Crawley. He’s a bit stern, Lord G, but he has a tender heart and informed his wife that he thought he would be able to love his new grand-child and teach her to expect disappointment via the medium of boardgames just like he was teaching Sybby.

And Prince Kuragin informed the Dowager that he wants to spend his final years with her, despite Princess Kuragin being alive and well somewhere on the planet.

The weirdest thing is that this was the finale of the series. It didn’t feel like that at all, unless you view the incarceration of Anna as being a huge cliffhanger, which I don’t because I’m bored of her and even more bored of her deadly dull husband. I just hope the Christmas episode isn’t full of scenes of Anna having to deal with itchy prison blankets and gruel. Itchy blankets is not what I want from Downton, especially at Christmas.

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