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Worldly Distractions: Downton Abbey 5.7 - Episode 7


crazyforkate

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blog-atticusrose.jpg 

atticusrose

So with two episodes to go, what's happening in the land of Downton? Basically, everyone's headed on a collision course, except the Bateses, who seemed doomed to repeat the same damned story every season or two. What new twists and turns could the Abbey residents be headed for next?

 

Rosamund arrives from London, where she is met by her mother. Violet has decided that they have to tell Cora the truth - though her courtesy won't extend as far as Robert, due to his maleness. Mrs Hughes and Carson gossip about it downstairs. Tom, Blake, Rose, Robert, Tony, Laine Fox and Posh Spice discuss her possible whereabouts. Violet steers Cora into the garden for a walk, and Mary is faced with the terrifying prospect of caring for her own son and niece. Meanwhile, Mrs Drew has turned up on their doorstep, which may well blow the secret early.

Outside, Tony and Blake have a match over the two women they're juggling. Basically, they fight over Mary, but pretend not to. The Bateses have a new problem - they have to find a new tenant for the House Bates's mother left him. Their marriage and general life path seem to be back on track, FINALLY.

Cora is understandably shocked and betrayed at the news of her extra grandchild. Rosamund and Violet try to explain themselves away, but it doesn't work. "We wanted to contain it," Violet claims, helpfully. Once she calms down, she decides to a) go find Edith and B) keep Robert out of it. And what are they going to do if they keep the kid and she grows up to look exactly like Edith?

Mrs Hughes fills Mary in on the Scotland Yard situation, mentioning that the train ticket is actually proof of Bates' innocence. Unfortunately, Mary burned it long ago. They're interrupted by the arrival of Atticus and his parents, Lord and Lady Sinderby, which is sure to be entertaining - as well as Lord Merton. Meanwhile, Daisy has taken her learning to heart, which extends to current events, and this is bumming her out. In fact, she sounds just like Miss Bunting, ugh.

Baxter shows up to apologize to the Bateses for kind of implying that Bates was a murderer to the police. She gets exactly no forgiveneess. The dinner goes on upstairs, where they spend most of their time trying to establish how cool they are with the Jewish thing, citing the deceased Mr. Levinson quite often. Rosamund asks Tom if he's planning to leave, which is somewhere along the lines of "maybe, I dunno, pass the potatoes". Atticus is apparently the first person to think of looking for Edith at the publishing house she's inherited, which makes him automatically smarter than all the Crawleys put together. The end of the table is occupied by Love Drama between the quadrangle formed by Blake, Handsome Tony, Mary and Miss Fox.

Isobel interrupts all these sordid affairs by announcing her engagement to Lord Merton, which is met by a general cry of delight, if a slightly tepid reception from Violet. Mary continues to snark about Edith, which meets with some heavy condemnation from her grandmother.

Molesley corners Daisy, expecting some intellectual conversation, but Daisy is still feeling down and goes to bed. Molesley cannot fathom why she's given up on possibility. Mrs Patmore urges him to keep going with this new friendship.

Lord Merton is thinking of hosting a dinner to introduce his sons to Isobel, which sounds like a horrendous idea when you consider that his darling offspring, Larry, was the one who drugged Tom into foolish rambling in Episode 3.1 - right before Matthew and Mary's wedding. We also find out that Merton is Mary's godfather. Considering all the connections involved, the Crawleys wind up hosting yet another event.

Tony tries to explain to Miss Fox that he can't leave Mary, because boning and stuff. Everyone seems happy about Rose and Atticus, except for Atticus' dad. Rose has passed on Atticus' suggestion, which prompts Cora and Rosamund to head to London to look for her. Cora claims she will never trust her mother-in-law again, which is fair enough.

Down at Bates cottage, Anna and Bates discuss the always-riveting matter of real estate, since everything is totally cool with the police and all (he's getting hanged next episode, right?). They also talk about why there's no Baby Bates, which I assume will be the entire plot next season. Tom and Robert ask Mary which man she's chosen, because that's totally in-character, and the answer is David Beckham neither. Robert expresses concern that Tom might go to America, and blames himself. Tom has gone so far as to write to his cousin in Boston to look at opportunities. NOOOOO NOT TOM WE CAN'T LOSE THE HOT ONE!

The ladies show up at Edith's publishing house, where they promptly run into Edith, who is royally pissed off that the secret's out. Mary shows up at her grandmother's, where Spratt (kind of my new favourite character) is dangerously indiscreet. Violet still seems really edgy about the Merton thing, which Mary chalks up to the loss of her "protege" to marriage. In fact, it's plain old loneliness. The femmeslash is raging, my friends. Fanfic writers, to your keyboards!

Tom and Sybbie go out for a walk, where they play Pooh Sticks on the bridge. Tom broaches the idea of moving across the sea as Sybil's Theme plays its melancholy tune. Sybbie is confused, and Tom really can't give her any answers.

Baxter has come up with a new idea - she can swear to the police that she saw the ticket and it was unused. It's too late to do any good, and they're not keen on an olive branch. Molesley rises to her defense, but is quickly sent away by Thomas, who urges her to come clean about her reasons.

Charles calls from London - he's been posted to Poland and will be leaving for several months. He also has a great plan for "settling the matter once and for all", an idea from Laine, which involves going to the cinema for some reason. Meanwhile, Isis continues to be sick and the vet's out of town. Rose arrives all aflutter about Atticus. Robert counsels her not to make any rash decisions. There's some concern about faith and such, and he tells her it will be a rough path down the line.

Edith has been thinking of going to America, too, but has thought better of it and is now thinking of the "orphan godchild" plan. Cora does her one better - they'll bring Marigold back to Downton, claim the Drews were overwhelmed with kids, and let Marigold take her place in the Downton nursery. This way, no one will know and Edith will be close to her child. Rosamund thinks they're nuts, but hasn't come up with anything better, so the plan is on.

Daisy and Molesley have been invited to visit Mr Mason, which is weird because I'm sure Mr Mason has never heard of Molesley before. Mrs Patmore even offers to let her off for the day. The women arrive home, but Mary's leaving for London at the same time, so they have some sneaky subterfuge with the help of Mr Drew. Fortunately, they manage to pull it off.

Lord Merton and Isobel have a tense tea with Violet. Isobel takes her aside and thanks her for her support, and asks after Prince Kuragin, whose wife is still missing amid plans to bring her back to England. They're interrupted when Spratt resigns, in his customary monotone. You go, Spratt. Violet calls him "as touchy as a beauty losing her looks", which sounds rather apt, but she's not willing to find a new butler, so she'll forgive him  this time.

At the movies, Blake and Flapper!Mary sneak into the lobby and kiss conspicuously in the lobby. They are then "discovered" by Fox and Handsome Tony, who seems rather good-natured about the whole charade. It's like one of those old-fashioned, trumped-up "adultery" cases in divorce. Everyone gets back with their respective partners and all is well. That was - surprisingly painless.

Daisy arrives at her former father-in-law's, with Baxter and Molesley in tow. He gives her a speech about how "education is power" and how keeping at her books is everything. Baxter and Molesley flirt adorably, Daisy continues to mope. Mr Mason urges her not to give up, no matter what the political situation. Another note - it's rare to see the staff out of uniform, and Daisy and Baxter look fabulous - very '20s.

The family  discusses the "adoption", and are all skeptical. Robert comes in with the real news of the episode, which is that Isis has cancer and only a little time left. He's devastated, and everyone else is deeply sympathetic. I lean over and pat my own golden, because dammit, it's always the worst when the dog dies. The children are brought down, and Mary and Robert dismiss her idea. Cora carefully works around their objections. Marigold has a new home. Sybbie goes to pat Isis, which makes everyone's eyes well up.

Mrs Hughes and Anna discuss how Times are Changing, both personally and in general. However, Anna has something else to talk about - she thought she saw something involving Mr Drew, Edith and a kid. Mrs Hughes tells her to mind her own business, since the child is loved and that's all that matters.

At dinner, Isobel thinks the adoption's a great idea. Lord Merton's sons are predictably horrid about every topic brought before them. This, of course, extends to Mrs Crawley, their soon-to-be stepmother. Larry immediately goes too far, and Robert throws him out. Tom calls him a bastard, which Robert kind of supports. Young Merton is kicked to the curb. Or kerb, I should say. The other son, however, is just as snobbish. The servants all gossip, of course, as long as Carson's not in the room.

Atticus takes Rose aside and proposes, despite having known her about two weeks. The flighty young flapper immediately says yes. No way this is going to end badly. There's some hallway necking for good measure. Take care, naughty young things.

An embarrassed Merton and Isobel try to patch things up, but Isobel is clearly having serious doubts. Upstairs, Robert is quite sure Isis won't last the night, so Cora and Robert take her into their bed, so that she can be beside the people she loves in her last hours. And so we all end the episode sobbing. Thanks, Fellowes.

Next time: The engagement is announced, everyone flips out. Daisy thinks of moving on. Tom appears to have decided to leave. There's more drama in the House of Bates.

Okay, now that I've finished crying over Isis, let's talk about the show. Thank effing god the Marigold issue seems to be settled - I look forward to seeing her settle in with her new cousins. It remains to be seen, of course, whether they can keep her identity a secret. However, I'll eat my hat if we're done with Scotland Yard and the Bateses. It just seems too neat. So, what are we to expect in the finale? Class drama. Mary probably getting some action. And, of course, some wonderful quips from the DC to keep us going. Who could ask for anything more?

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