Thursday, January 22, 2015

What I’m Watching: Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey: Season 5, Episode 3 (B+)

This season’s threads are becoming clearer and clearer the more we get into it, though there are a few surprises along the way too. Those come mainly in the form of Russians who much prefer tea and relics of their past to modern criticism by the likes of their leadership by one Sarah Bunting. It’s hard to decide who is more predictably prickly, Robert or Sarah, since the former always gets angry about anything new or untoward and the latter seems to incite furor whenever she shows up and happens to be invited to crash a party. The big shock of the hour was discovering that Violet had a forbidden flirtation much in the style of Cora with a Russian royal back in the day, and this just after she gave Mary such a hard time for being caught by her valet after her night of passion with Tony. I didn’t mention last week just how fantastic Richard E. Grant, who I first saw in “Gosford Park” over a decade ago and who this past year was one of the main reasons to see “Dom Hemingway,” was as Cora’s admirer who got Robert to boil over when he kept her out for the majority of the evening. Mary isn’t letting anyone tell her what to do, and I really like her relationship with Tom as he peruses his different options of how to upset the balance of things. It’s no surprise that Edith came on too strong and has now been barred from seeing her child, and no one is particularly sympathetic since they don’t know the circumstances. Thomas left rather abruptly to go see his dying father, and things seem to have returned to a comfortable place with Mosley and Baxter that hopefully won’t be upset by his impending return.

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