‘Downton Abbey’ season 5 character debate: Michelle Dockery and Lady Mary

“Downton Abbey” season 4 is done, and thanks to that, we are pressing forward now in an attempt to answer a question on the minds of many: What in the world is going to happen next? This is where our Character Debate Series starts to come into play. We’re going to spend much of the next couple of weeks sharing what could happen moving forward into season 5 (using evidence from the past), and also what we would personally like to see.

Today, we’re focusing on a character and an actress who has never had a shortage of things to do: Michelle Dockery’s Mary Crawley. She started this past year in mourning, but over the course of time has started to find her way. Just a quick warning if you are waiting to watch the show in America: There are some pretty big spoilers ahead!

Where we last saw her – Mary started off season 4 completely uncertain about her life, and what she was looking to do with it moving forward. After finally being convinced that there was value moving forward without Matthew, she found a job within the Abbey, and also a pair of love interests in Tony Gillingham and Charles Blake. She then proceeded to lead the two on in the final weeks of the season and the Christmas Special, and she still has not decided who she wants to be with … if either of them. Mary also managed to get herself involved in the Bates / Anna story this year, and came very close to turning him over to the authorities after it was clear that he may have murdered Mr. Green after he raped Anna early on in the season. Ultimately, the reason that she changed her mind was because Bates showed the family such loyalty.

What we could see – The biggest story that we can expect to see unfold here is Mary making a decision, and then continuing to become more and more involved in finding a way to preserve the Abbey in the future. She, like Edith, could start to discover more of her independence, and realize that her future does not have to be tied to just listening to her father and attending various social functions.

What we want to see – With Mary, there are so many options since she has already been through so much. But what we would really like to see from her now is for her to drop some of the cold persona and learn to be more and more of a leader. She seems to be more of a society woman than Edith, and to see her both embrace this and be progressive would be a nice symbol for the entire series as it starts to move closer to the 1930s.

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