Downton Abbey Series 5 Episode 7 Review

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We couldn’t expect to get through an entire series of Downton Abbey without at least a little heartbreak now, could we? This year it was time for the dog to get the chop, no doubt brought on by the unfortunate timeliness of her name, and it was as heartbreaking as Matthew and Lady Sybil.

Okay, that might depend on how attached you’ve gotten to Isis over the years, but the sight of Lord Grantham devastated and dithering over the loss of his loyal Labrador companion was enough to melt even the hardest of hearts. It wasn’t the main plot of the episode, and it’s a thread that probably won’t run into next week’s finale, but it was sad all the same. I might have cried.

More important was the apparent resolution of Edith’s storyline, which has culminated in Marigold moving into Downton under the guise of an unwanted orphan. It’s so simple that you wonder why nobody thought of it before, and now Edith can live with her family (though, after everything we’ve seen, it’s hard to know why she’d want to) and her daughter, though never revealing her true parentage.

The trouble is, the gossiping downstairs has become something of a problem, and some of the staff are a little curious about the circumstances surrounding the adoption.

Her return with offspring in tow throws the eccentricity of this family into light, and I have to say that its all kinds of charming. There’s Tom, apparently still mulling over his decision to move to Boston with little Sybil, Mary and her status as a confirmed bachelorette, Isobel and her (maybe) new fiancé, and then Rose and her typically strange choice of suitor.

It’s lovely to think that these used to be the people who sneered at Matthew and his weekends, but are now welcoming in strays left right and centre. Similarly, it was something of a revelation to see Violet admit to her affection for Isobel, and her fear of change and loneliness once she marries Lord Merton.

Unexpected bonds are also forming underneath, with Thomas sticking up for Baxter after her show of kindness last week and Moseley staying true to his word with Daisy. There’s even a visit to the farm this week – something there should always be more of – and confirmation that Daisy could indeed better herself with the right support from her friends and family.

With all of this loveliness going around, Mary kind of spoils things. Firstly, if that’s really the end of the tiresome love square then it might be the worst thing Downton Abbey has ever done to the audience and, secondly, what exactly does she do now?

She’s become more and more unlikeable since the calming presence of Matthew went away, and I wonder if the writers think her “vulgar” lack of compassion is somehow endearing. This was a waste of all of our time, and I hope it’s just an elaborate trick.

What did you think of the episode? Did you, like me, think Isis was immortal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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