Downton Abbey
Episode Five

Episode Report Card
admin: B+ | 3 USERS: A-
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Life Goes On
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

I should probably mention that PBS' airing schedule is different from what was done in the UK, where they had eight one-hour episodes and a two-hour Christmas special. As you know from my first recap (which you may still be reading), PBS combined episodes 1 and 2 into a two-hour special; similarly, they're combining the episodes that aired as 7 and 8 in the UK into a two-hour offering next week and calling it Episode 6. Finally, the two-hour Christmas special will air the following week. What all this means is that you're going to be hearing me babble about this show a lot in the next couple weeks. So fair warning and all.

From the somber departure of many gracious lords and ladies dressed in black, we can infer that Sybil's funeral has just taken place at Downton. Inside, Matthew apologizes to Branson for sounding like a parent, but says he and Mary would really like to help. Branson can barely meet Matthew's eyes, as if he feels cursed and unclean, and says that his wife has died. "I'm past help." Sorry to bring it into the gutter quite this early, Branson, but I feel safe in saying that there are many people who won't be so easily dissuaded from trying. (Also, I just realized on a re-watch of Rome that he played Agrippa, the grown-up Octavian's trusted adviser. Different accent; same level of hotness.) He does manage to thank Matthew while still staring hauntedly out the window and then Lord Grantham enters and tells Cora that some couple was looking for her to say goodbye. With palpable tension, she tells him she was where he is now and then Isobel -- possibly feeling like the day has been stressful enough -- rises and asks the room to let her know if there's anything she can do. Mary thanks her and then the Dowager Countess rises to join her, softly saying it'll save them having to get the car out twice. Lord Grantham invites them both to stay for dinner, but the Dowager Countess begs off: "Grief makes one so terribly tired." It's true; days tend to feel like months in situations such as these. After a speculative look in Branson's direction that goes unnoticed by him, the Dowager Countess says her goodbyes, gently advising Cora while she's at it to get some rest now that it's over. When she's gone, Cora tightly asks Lord Grantham if when one loses a child it's ever really over, and I don't think that's exactly what the Dowager Countess was referring to, but Lord Grantham's on thin enough ice with Cora without pointing that out.

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Downton Abbey

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