Season 5 of Downton Abbey focused on love, the future, and acceptance.  Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) had an affair, Edith (Laura Carmichael) brought her daughter back to live at Downton. Even Cora enjoyed a little flirtation with the art dealer.  The Dowager Duchess’ past returned in the form of the Prince Kuragin.

Downstairs there were plans for the future.  Thomas tried to cure his gayness, Baxter owned up to her past, and Mosley (Kevin Doyle) excepted his role as “First footman.”  Mrs. Patmore bought a cottage, and Daisy (Sophie McShera) became better educated.  It was the show’s best season with crisp writing, and faster storylines.

The Christmas Special was no exception.  This episode found the family at a country estate on a shooting holiday with Rose’s in-laws.  They brought with them a butler Stow (Alun Armstrong) who soon found himself the object of Thomas’ trouble-making ways over the way he treated Tom Branson (Allen Leech).  Thomas ended it by getting the guy drunk enough to spill the family’s secrets which, included Lord Sindeby’s (James Falukner)’s dalliance that resulted in a child.  When they showed up at a gathering the next day it was Rose (Lily James) to the rescue pretending friendship with the young mother.

The finale also introduced another suitor for Mary in the form of Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode).  Carson (Jim Carter), and Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) stole the show with their final scene as Carson proposed marriage.  It made for a very sweet ending for the season.

Downton Abbey Musings:

  • I didn’t mention the Bates’ storyline on purpose.  Having Anna arrested for Green’s murder is a shark-jumping moment for me.
  • I love that Violet, and Isobel seem to have the old Stadler and Waldorf routine down to an art-form.
  • I hope Lord Merton is going to hang around.  I’m starting to like him as a character.
  • Maggie Smith has said season 6 will be her last.  It would be fitting to let the show go with her.
  • Wasn’t Alun Armstrong great as the uptight butler?