‘Downton Abbey’ season 5 premiere review: Baxter’s secret, a fire, and Sarah Bunting’s party foul

Carson -You have waited for the “Downton Abbey” premiere for some time, but come Sunday night, some of the beloved characters from upstairs and downstairs returned to ITV. (Spoilers ahead!)

Overall, we’d say that this was a nice step in the right direction over the end of season 4, which we found for the first time dull and relatively uneventful. Times are changing, and you can see it with many characters across the board … even Carson. He received an opportunity in the village for a War Memorial, and it was one that created some temporary tension between him and Robert, who expected at first to be the one honored with the gig.

Baxter – Also, we learned in her just who Baxter really was, and whether or not Thomas finally got the upper hand on her. For now, this was a small victory for her. While we learned that she is a former criminal and thief, she was not necessarily a terrible person. While her future status is unclear, Thomas was found out for keeping a secret from Cora, and is now on equally-thin ice.

Tom Branson – This should feel familiar: Tom is torn between two different sides, with one of them being his heart, and the other his head. We imagine that a part of him is fascinated by Sarah Bunting, but her views were such that they caused a major stir during a dinner party with Robert and the rest of the upper-class.

Daisy – She’s getting an education, but also struggling with it at the same time while Carson questions whether or not she really needs it.

Mary’s decision? – Has Michelle Dockery’s character finally made a choice? Tony Gillingham seemed to think so, mostly because he came up with a unique “offer” with her for the two to fall in love together, just to convince her that he is the right person for her.

The fire – A mistake by a distraught Edith laid to the blaze in the bedroom, and Thomas did end up redeeming himself somewhat by becoming the hero of this situation. He rescued her, and Robert tried to take care of the first (even while catching James in a rather surprising act in the process).

This moment ended what was for the most part a strong 90-minute premiere for the show. We feel like it for the most part did everything we could have hoped for, and while it lagged in the middle, the end was definitely exciting. Grade: B+.

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Photo: ITV

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