Downton Abbey
Episode Five

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Couch Baron: B+ | 3 USERS: A-
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Life Goes On

Downstairs, Carson wonders about the loyalty of English Catholics to the crown, to which Mrs. Hughes replies that she's glad he no longer wants them burned at the stake. Heh. Jimmy James pipes up that he doesn't believe in orthodoxy: "A man can choose to be different without it making him a traitor." It's hard to hear over the noise of the silverware, but if you listen carefully, you can hear Thomas' sudden erection hit the underside of the table. In any case, he cheerfully agrees, getting a hilariously remorseful look from Jimmy James in response, and while Anna suggests the talk of such a personal subject can't lead anywhere good, Alfred does mention he's a good Church of England boy, earning him approval from Carson for his heart being in the right place. "I can't say that for everyone under this roof." Thomas twitches, which at least gets his mind off Jimmy James for five seconds.

In bed, Matthew wonders if the way Sybil talked on her last day is evidence that she had some idea that her number was up. As I implied in the recaplet, I wouldn't have pegged Matthew as a particularly spiritual type, but I suppose anyone who's been as close to death as he has is going to be a bit more generally sensitive to it than the average person. Mary admits that the thought has crossed her mind since the tragedy and Matthew, sounding almost as haunted as Branson, says you'd think they'd be used to young death after the four years of war. Mary replies that they must never take anything for granted, and Matthew -- showing he still knows how to tread all over a moment -- tells her that's what he's been trying to get Lord Grantham to see; that they need to work to preserve Downton. Mary turns to him and adds that they can't take "us" for granted, but Matthew smiles and says he knows one thing -- he'll love her until the last breath leaves his body. For a middle-class clod with serious timing issues, he has his moments. Mary breathes that she feels the same way and I don't know if they're getting down to any funny business, but if so, I'd keep your eyes on nine months from now.

Ah, here's Matthew calling on Mrs. Bartlett. She's quite alive, which is good news considering all the ominous talk. Less favorable is the fact that she's apparently told Murray a tale that's rather different from the one she relayed to Anna. Murray questions her on a few points, but he's hardly surprised that she's lying, although he does wonder why -- if she had nothing to say that would overturn the verdict -- she even let him come there? She replies that she thought he should see how real people live and when you think about it, it's really not a great line, but I suppose she had to say something.

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Downton Abbey

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