‘Downton Abbey’ season 5, episode 2 review: Hard choices; is Bates in trouble?

Downton Abbey -Times are changing. Once again, this rings true with Sunday night’s “Downton Abbey” episode, which turned out to be quite the eventful hour. It was far more exciting than the premiere, and also far more complicated. (Spoilers ahead for Americans!)

Mary’s move – We begin with Michelle Dockery’s character doing a very progressive thing and deciding that she wants to ensure that Tony Gillingham is right for her prior to marriage … in every way possible. Just having Anna purchase contraceptives for her was further proof of just how delicate picking up such things was in this era. Just in case that was not awkward enough, we had to watch Mary try to explain to Charles Blake as to why she didn’t want to be with him right now.

Tom uncensored – Robert is not becoming very thrilled with Tom Branson right now, and largely due to his own desire to keep all things when it comes to differing political beliefs under wraps. The Earl thinks that Sarah Bunting is finding time in between teaching Daisy to poison his mind, and take him further and further away from the other upstairs residents.

Robert at least had another distraction in figuring out, with the help of Carson, where to place the war memorial.

Edith finds a way – She is now in her child’s life again! Through a clever arrangement, she figured out a way to ensure that she can be a part in her upbringing, even at a distance. It is a little tricky, but so far, she has balanced this out.

Finally, technology – The arrival of the radio in Downton is such a huge change for the estate, but something that in the end made many feel closer to the Royal Family. The only person who was still sad after hearing the address was Thomas, who was sullen and somber after the departure of Jimmy.

Then again, Thomas, shouldn’t you be nicer to people like Baxter if you want to fit in?

The big shocker – There may be a witness to Bates’ alleged killing of Mr. Green, so trouble lies ahead…

There were some other elements in this episode, including the arrival of Simon Bricker, that we have not discussed too much at length. They were not that interesting, though overall we found this episode to be enthralling. Grade: A-.

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Photo: ITV

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