So far on “Downton Abbey” season 5, we are already seeing a different side of the Lady Mary character. Not only that, but this is a completely progressive side that would be at odds with what a whole lot of people were thinking at that time. (Spoilers ahead for Americans!)
Could she really be with a man like Anthony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) before marriage? This is an idea that has come out of a debate she is having both internally and externally with him, largely because she wants to perceive this relationship as different. Why not make sure that you want to be with someone before deciding to marry them? Mary will ponder this, and Michelle Dockery explains this process as follows to the Telegraph:
“She’s toying with the idea of having a relationship with a man that’s not in a marriage … she’s starting to ask questions, like, ‘Why can’t I be absolutely sure about it before I decide to walk down the aisle with him?’. It’s an incredibly brave thing she’s doing because someone like her father would be outraged.”
This is a fascinating story for us to watch unfold, largely because of the fact that we feel like this was completely born out of organic storytelling. Julian Fellowes is not throwing this story upon us just for the sake of being progressive. Instead, he is doing so just so that we can understand Mary better. She’s already lost one husband, and with a son and a busy life, she may not want to waste a whole lot of time on marriage unless she can be sure it will be a happy one.
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