Downton Abbey Season 2 Episode 5

Where to start? Ethel had the baby already?? The show is skipping whole months each episode, I’m getting dizzy from the fast timetable. And yet, and yet, in certain storylines, not much has progressed – Sybil and Branson are still mooning over each other (is this the most boring “breaking class barrier” love story ever or what? Doesn’t help that both actors are so tepid and lukewarm, for heaven’s sake, learn from Mary and Matthew how to communicate barely concealed passions!), Mary and Richard Carlisle still not formally engaged at the beginning of the episode, even though Mary had decided to accept him in the last episode, many, many months ago.

Pretty disappointing they went for dead William – so predictable that storyline most people would have guessed that the moment William went on and on about serving his country, doing his duty etc etc. Come on, show, this is tackling the lowest hanging fruit, betting on the audience’s sympathy for poor, kind, but ultimately not that important to the story William. The “I can’t have kids and sex” Matthew storyline is just temporary, surely. But Mary is stuck now, she can’t break off the engagement with Richard Carlisle without her tryst with Kamal Pamuk coming out. And that’s not going to be welcome news to Matthew – wouldn’t have been under any circumstances probably with the sexual mores and double standards of that period, but more so now after his injuries. Finding out the woman he loves (oh please, of course he still loves her, no one is fooled by this Lavinia business) had a sexual tryst with someone else when he is useless in that department now, well, maybe one blow to the ego too many.

Michelle Dockery said in an interview that there are a sex scene, a wedding and a funeral this season, and Mary is involved in one of them. We’ve seen the sex scene (Ethel and the officer), the wedding (William and Daisy), so that leaves the funeral. I don’t think they can kill off Mary or Matthew without alienating a large portion of the audience, Richard Carlisle’s death to clear the way for Mary and Matthew is just so predictable and cliched. Maybe it’s the poor, unsuspecting Lord Grantham, who is probably the only person in the world who doesn’t know about Mary and the Turk. The shock of finding out killed him. I would salute the show if it has the courage to do this, but, never going to happen.

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