‘Downton Abbey’ season 5, episode 5 review: Robert versus Simon Bricker; is Sarah Bunting gone?

Downton Abbey -Tonight, “Downton Abbey” aired an episode that was about transitions for many, hard choices, and also struggles to figure out just who everyone truly was. (Warning: Spoilers ahead for Americans!)

For Tom Branson, this is one of the hardest transitions of all. He said goodbye this week to Sarah Bunting, a woman he loved, but only to a certain extent. It was like he shared one half of his brain with her. She ended up taking a job elsewhere, and Tom couldn’t completely cut off the part of him that was the father of Sybbie, a child that he had with a member of a prestigious estate. In many ways like the show itself, Tom is an ideal. He represents that you can be a socialist while still having respect for the upper-class institution.

Edith’s woes – Somehow, it feels like we are watching much of the same thing time and time again when it comes to Laura Carmichael’s character. Tonight, this included her getting rejected once again when it comes to seeing her daughter.

With the help of Violet, she then tried to craft some sort of alternate situation where she could still see the child, even if it meant having to head to France whenever she wanted to do so. Her making a private call at the end of the episode suggests that she is instead going to concoct a secret plan in London, and we’re worried about how this will go already.

Mary’s “choice” – There is something devilish about watching Mary work alongside Charles Blake, who tried to create this whole charade tonight regarding Tony’s ex. This story is starting to drag, but we actually are at this point team Charles.

Robert versus Simon – We knew that this was coming, right? Simon Bricker had started to get way too involved with Lady Cora, and when Robert caught him in the family bedroom, he basically charged at him like a bull. It’s the most violent scene we’ve seen on the show in a season, and we wonder if part of it was Robert being angry at himself.

Overall, this was an engaging episode, but one of the weaker ones of the season compared to the past few. While there were entertaining moments, how much really happened here? Save for Robert and Simon, we feel like the other scenes were more foundational than anything else. Grade: B-.

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