Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What I’m Watching: Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey: Season 5, Episode 2 (B+)

Rose seems to be singlehandedly modernizing this show, eagerly begging Robert to get a radio, resulting in his playing the king’s speech for everyone and then deciding that maybe he should just keep the wireless since they went to the trouble of setting it up in the first place. Robert does seem awfully grumpy lately, judging James and dismissing him at the end of last week’s episode and now groaning about how obnoxious he finds Sarah. He did score one victory, of course, and that was over Carson when they talked to the mother of a soldier killed in the war who made a compelling case for why the memorial should be in the center of town rather than far away from it. Carson did say that he wanted to agree with Robert, which made it not that hard to convince him, and it’s endearing to hear him talk about how his discord with Mrs. Hughes upsets him since he prefers that they see eye to eye. Daisy’s new education is off to a great start with Sarah popping in to give her lessons, though she’s likely either to run off with Tom or be dismissed by Robert before any major progress truly occurs. Everything involving Edith’s godmother role is awkward and she and her co-conspirator are coming on way too strong, and I worry that she’ll soon be exposed for a secret which can’t stay secret for long. Violet and Isobel’s interactions are infinitely entertaining, and though Maggie Smith is a perennial nominee for so many awards, she really is terrific. After his hair dye antics last week, it’s good to see Mosley cast in a more dramatic light with his disappointment about Baxter’s past, and even Thomas is starting to become sympathetic. I guess Anna was just feeling charitable after her uncomfortable and hilarious visit to pick up a contraceptive for Mary in town. Hopefully her dalliance with Tony, which seems quite ambitious, will prove productive in only appropriate ways.

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