Well, fellow (and sister) Downton Abbey aficionados and addicts, we have witnessed Episode 5 of 2015 Downton Abbey and we have one more episode to go. The question is, just how many loose ends will Mr. Fallowes, the script writer, force us to dangle in the wind until the next series happens in January of 2016? Who knows what shape we will be in by then, or whether we will even care?
Here is what we didn't see in Episode 5: We didn't see the wee children Georgie and Sybbie who were not required to put in their standard 20 second performance. We didn't see Miss Bunting at the dinner table. We didn't see the Mr. Green mystery resolved while Anna told a great big fib, I think, saying that she liked Mr. Green. Really? We didn't see Lady Mary pick out a man. We didn't see Shrimpie find the elusive Russian Princess. We didn't see construction begin on the building project that presumably will save the Abbey from collapse and prolong the favored life of the aristocrats busily conducting their dinners, cocktail parties, and subterfuges while they wear themselves and their valets and ladies' maids out getting dressed and undressed a half dozen times a day.
But, oh boy, here's what we did see. The highlight of the Episode, of course, is when Lord G. comes home from his dinner early, surprise, surprise, all decked out in his red regalia of something or other, and comes to Lady C's bedroom only to find, again surprise, Mr. Bricker there in his bathrobe and Lady C in hers. Though Lady C weakly says she didn't invite him there, Mr. Bricker, with no pretense at tact or manners, tells Lord G that he (Lord G) doesn't pay any attention to Lady C whereupon Lord G bops him one and then takes after him on the floor to beat the stuffing out of him. In an episode commentary, Lord G says it took a long time to film that little sequence. Mr. Bricker was there, we were told, because he wanted to take a picture of a painting to put in a book. How dumb did they think we were? We knew he was hustling Lady C all the time.
So back to the beginning. In a heart rending and tear jerking sequence Branson must bid farewell, so long, adieu to Miss Bunting in the rain outside the Abbey since his heart belongs to the Abbey and his late wife and his child and he likes them, thank you very much, in contrast to Miss Bunting's expectation that he hates them. Miss Bunting wishes she had known Branson before he became muddled with all these thoughts at the Abbey. So we no longer have Miss Bunting to teach Daisy long division or revolutionary stuff or to disrupt the dinner table by insulting Lord G and the dinner guests. By by.
Mrs. Patmore has come into an inheritance so she asks help from Carson in deciding what to do with it and he recommends putting it in the building investment stuff but she decides to put the money in a cottage where she can take in boarders and Carson is miffed because she didn't quite take his advice. Some shocking reference was made to a nudist colony, which, we are told is a place where people take off all their clothes, but I couldn't tell where that shocking reference was going. Apparently, no where. Rose's mother, who apparently had something to do with looking after Lady Edith during her prolonged touristy and educational absence from the Abbey while giving secret birth to little Marigold, shows up to stir the Marigold business and wants Edith to haul the tyke off to France or somewhere and stick her in a school there. Mr. and Mrs. Drew keep telling Lady E to butt out.
Meanwhile Baxter tells Barrow, who likes like death warmed over, that he can't change his nature with electric shock or the other stuff he is doing. Sgt. Wells shows up again with a Scotland Yard detective to continue detecting their way through the Mr. Green Puzzle though we were not left with any idea how this is going to end. Molesley keeps whining about having to polish the silver but is reminded that he is getting what he wanted so just get busy and polish the stupid silver and shut up.
Somebody named Atticus Aldridge shows up out of nowhere and makes an invisible contribution to the plot, I couldn't tell what he was doing there. Mary once more meets Blake and Lord G's former flame and another delightfully snooty and nasty exchange occurs.
And then, to finish off the mystifying Episode 5, we have a formidable cocktail party and someone says they have to make a phone call to London. Really? For what? We are left hanging by a thread until next Sunday, six more days, and then we are likely to be kept dangling for another year while our friends in the UK will get the scoop this fall. Serves us right, I guess for not being nicer to the Brits.
Thus concludes the Curmudgeonly Professor's feeble attempt to be a renowned television and drama critic. Critiquing is a heck of a lot harder work than it looks like. A critic can get dozens of things wrong, make countless erroneous inferences, and miss the whole point of what is happening. Since the Curmudgeonly Professor does not profess to be a qualified drama and television critic, perhaps his readers (two sisters, one daughter in law, one sister in law, who knows who else?) will overlook his weaknesses and make their own judgments about what happened.