Downton Abbey: Season 6 Episode 5
October 19, 2015 5:54 PM - Season 6, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Neville Chamberlain visits Downton for dinner, and is drawn into Violet's plan to save the hospital, with distressing consequences for everyone. Andy finds an unexpected confidante while helping Mr Mason move into Yew Tree Farm, Mary is uncertain if she has met her match, Edith meets Bertie Pelham in London, and Spratt comes to Denker's aid. Mrs Hughes struggles to keep Carson happy, while Mary thinks secrets are being kept from her.

Dr Clarkson's wavering on the hospital issue infuriates Denker who accuses him of being a traitor. His letter to the Dowager leads to Denker's dismissal but she blackmails Spratt into pleading her case.

Edith makes plans to hire a new editor, even a woman editor, for the magazine in London and her relationship with Pelham progresses when she invites him to her flat for drinks. Meanwhile, Henry Talbot finds and excuse to come to Yorkshire to see Mary.

Branson proposes to open a repair shop at the edge of the estate and he and Mary have a discussion about marriage between partners of unequal status. Mr Mason is moving into the tenant's house and is quite keen on pigs although there is some doubt that he'll be capable of handling the more physical aspects. Not to worry, the new lad, Andy offers to help as he's a country boy at heart... if he only knew how to read the how-to-farm books Mr Mason pressed on him. Lurking Thomas is there to help and he even seems to be sincere.

In what seems to be a non-event, Baxter's testimony is not needed at trial after all.

To bolster her case, Violet invites Chamberlain, the Health Minster, to dinner and in a dramatic scene, after some spirited hospital discussion, Robert collapses at the table, his ulcer has burst. As Cora prepares to follow him to the hospital, she mutters darkly about there being too many secrets which for some reason, Violet thinks is about Marigold and she assures Cora that "that" is settled. Mary overhears this and later asks Anna if there is any gossip in the servants hall about Marigold.

Next week: Robert survives the operation; Mary and Tom prepare to take over the running of the estate.
posted by TWinbrook8 (16 comments total)
I'm sorry but as shocking "wtf" as the ulcer burst scene was meant to be, my reaction was to laugh, because it is just SO unusual for stuffy Downton Abbey, rather than to be properly horrified.

Carson, you're such an ass.
posted by olinerd at 7:14 PM on October 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

The bursting ulcer scene was a bit of a disappointment after the 'shocking scenes' warning. There was a bit where I thought Bates was about to be run over, another where Mary's love interest was going to be spread over the racetrack and more. A guardian TV blogger had pretty much the same reaction.

Where do we think things are heading? Does Fellowes dare kill off the Dowager as a representation of the end of an era? Will Thomas be redeemed by being nice to Andy and adult education? Will Andy end up with Daisy, or will he turn out to much better at being secretly gay than Thomas and settle down with him? Will Robert recover in time to bet his house on a long shot business proposition ahead of 1929? Will Anna's baby come out ok? Well, yes of course it will, but the iron rule of soap is that new baby = sudden death for someone else so I suspect a lot of happy ending's but someone getting it in the neck.

How about instead of the dowager there's a sudden bad turn for Penelope Wilton, local hospital doesn't cut it, she dies. Dowager comes round to her argument, but is left friendless in her declining years?
posted by biffa at 5:31 AM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I managed to be completely unspoiled about the episode so it was shocking for me but regrettably, my first thought was what a shame to get blood over all those gorgeous clothes.

Since last season, I thought the mysterious pains were cancer and that Robert was nobly covering it up to protect his family and all along I thought his death was going to be the climax of the series. The Dowager's death would be too predictable (although we're talking about Fellowes here); Robert's death would put modern Mary and the next generation in the forefront. Plus you get the sad aspect of Violet outliving her son. This would happen in the last regular episode with the Christmas episode devoted to changes for the good (or not) at the house (Mrs Patmore retires and Daisy takes over) and Edith's engagement. I think Mary would devote her life to running the estate and chose not to remarry but, I don't trust Fellowes as a writer... ffs, she has SAID OUT LOUD she thinks of Tom as a brother.

Did anyone else find the cottages (Mr Mason's, Carson's) suspiciously roomy? I remember the Drewe's kitchen as seeming cramped, now it looks the size of Downton's.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:27 AM on October 20, 2015

It seems pretty clear that Mr. mason is going to die and Daisy and the new footman are going to end up together in the cottage caring for the pigs.

Comrade Doll insists they're setting up Mary to end up with Tom, but I find that fantastically unlikely.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:01 AM on October 20, 2015

Tom doesn't seem like much competition for Ozymandias.
posted by biffa at 12:19 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

my first thought was what a shame to get blood over all those gorgeous clothes

I imagine that was Mary's first thought, too.
posted by robcorr at 6:36 PM on October 20, 2015 [7 favorites]

Still the straight up funniest thing on tv this week. I am tempted to just spew blood in formal wear for the next two weeks.
posted by provoliminal at 5:49 PM on October 21, 2015

Really? I didn't see the bloody Robert scene coming (I saw/heard zero warnings), and it was a complete shock-into-silence moment for me, mouth agape, eyes wide. I've just assumed for quite some time now that he'd die of a heart attack, and that's what I thought was about to happen. I did not expect all the blood. It was quite jarring!
posted by heyho at 7:22 AM on October 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ok, i have to admit i actually laughed out loud when Robert's ulcer burst at the dinner table. I turned to my husband and was asking of Tarantino was guest directing this season. And honestly - I understand that they wouldn't change him out of his formal wear for the ambulance...but you're not going to wipe the blood off his face? Not even a little?

Also - If Mary ends up with Tom, i will set the show on fire. That is all.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 1:17 PM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wow, EXPLODING BLOOD. Wow, Downton, didn't think you had it in you. I bet the actor had a good time with that.

Well, we finally got it clarified as to why Andy is giving Thomas the cold shoulder. Time for Thomas to declare platonic friendship and some reading skills.

Feh on Denker and Carson's wanking on about cooking skills. Dude, what did you expect? Y'all both eat with Mrs. Patmore every day for 30 years. Also felt quite cheated out of a good trial scene for Baxter--nice for her, bad for drama after all of that hype. For shame, Fellowes.

Ain't no way Mary is ending up with Tom, between "he's my brother" and "I don't want to have more money than he does." That said, hoo boy, is this uh, courtship coming off as flat. I liked Matthew Goode on the Good Wife enough, but his character is boring as shit for a race car driver somehow.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:11 PM on January 31, 2016

The group I watched with all let out a most un-Downtonlike HOLY SHIT at Robert's blood spewing scene. I've been thinking for a while he was going to keel over, so that aspect didn't surprise me, but The Shining-style geysers of blood definitely did.

Mind you I feel like everyone is in imminent danger. Last week when Carson went to take his name card off his door and paused for a moment of reflection I was sure he was going to DIE on his wedding day. But no.

I do kind of wonder if Mary and Tom will get together.

I think Mrs. Patmore will get together with Mr. Mason.

I agree with biffa--the birth of Anna's baby will mean the death of someone else. I think at the end of the series the Dowager Countess will go out of Downton feet first.

Oh and bloody Denker! She is the worst.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:49 PM on January 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Dowager Countess: "Don't you enjoy a good fight?"
Neville Chamberlain: "I'm not sure I do, really."
Audience Who Know The History of The 1930s: "HAHAHAHAHAHALOL!"
posted by dnash at 7:57 AM on February 1, 2016 [6 favorites]

If those silly ladies would have just stopped yapping about the hospital for 5 seconds and not made poor Robert so stressed!

is what I took from that episode.
posted by naoko at 9:09 AM on February 1, 2016

The looks from Mrs. Hughes at Carson were priceless.

I think Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason are going to get together. The four of them will be a happy family a year from now.

Denker threatening Spratt was hilarious. "Oh, well that rather depends!"

I liked that they finally resolved the Andy/Barrow thing.

Oh goodness, I hope the hospital is up to date!

I was horrified that Lady Mary didn't seem to be taking her bra off before bed but I guess that's not Anna's job.
posted by bleep at 8:30 PM on February 1, 2016

Man if I were Mrs. Hughes though there is no way I'd be moving out of the big house without hiring my own cook/housekeeper. That is madness. How is she supposed to do the work of 2 people?
posted by bleep at 10:01 PM on February 1, 2016

I suspect that the whole hospital thing will be resolved when Robert's life is saved by whatever new fangled thingummy is at the York hospital and the dowager realizes she's all wet on the subject. *sigh*

Daisy is just batshit, right? She needs to take a Xanax and chill about Yew Tree Farm already. Mr. Mason is there, lots of people will welcome him into the fold, deal with it.

I do wish Mary would get the stick out of her ass wrt Edith. A grudge is heavy and it doesn't have a handle.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:11 PM on February 2, 2016

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