Downton Abbey: Moments of Grace

Downton Abbey, Season Five Episode Eight. Shall we?

oooh, it's that time of the week when Rachel does her ONE post!

oooh, it’s that time of the week when Rachel does her ONE post!

To me, the show was all about pivotal grace. A-ha moments and opportunities to do the right thing. So much beauty, I loved every minute.

First off, Mary was not nearly as horrible this week as last. Yes, the show started with Mary observing Edith’s mothering style. “She thinks she invented motherhood.” It was mean, but also funny. Of course, if Mary understood where Edith was coming from with her affection for Marigold she would either be a) much more compassionate or b) much less compassionate. You never know with Mary.

“Love can’t conquer all, but it can conquer quite a lot.” Another perfect moment from Violet. It put into perspective that what Rose and Atticus are about to step into is doable, despite everything they are up against (as an aside: I absolutely wanted to name one of the boys Atticus. That would have been so great.).

Love conquers all.

Love conquers all.

Two words for Rose’s mother, Susan: Day. Ummmm.

Girl you are a hot mess. I’d be interested to delve into her issues at some point. Did she have a rotten childhood? Did she never really love Shrimpie to begin with? Sue, where is all this ugly coming from, and what can we do to help?

I'm unhappy, in case you haven't noticed.

I’m unhappy, in case you haven’t noticed.

I very much enjoyed that moment of Susan calling everyone’s attention and trying to ruin the day, only to have Attitcus’ mama say, “It’s okay, no worries at all just sit down and zip it dearie.” I loved how that moment of grace was able to instantly diffuse the situation.

That's what I thought you said.

That’s what I thought you said Susan.

The wedding was lovely, but I was surprised by the lack of pomp and circumstance. Would the history buffs please step in — I always love hearing from people who can explain the time. Were weddings a more subdued affair during this time, or does this have to do with the difference of religion?

The dinner party before the wedding celebrations was fascinating. It was interesting to watch a group of people trying to throw barbs and maintain dignity all at once. Funny and intense. And I especially loved the scene with the four “sibs” at the end of the night making plans to have lunch together later in the week. So sweet (even though lunch ended up being derailed by the sinister ways of one psychotic mother–of-the-bride).

Hey there, me again still feeling sad.

hey there, me again.

I just love Mrs. Patmore. I think we say this every week. But it’s true. She’s THE BEST. This week, her emotions about Archie and then Daisy, it was so sad and sweet. But how perfect of her to honor Lord Grantham’s request that she attend the ceremony and her gentle obedience to his wishes ended up honoring her. And I’m relieved Daisy isn’t going anywhere just yet. “LIFE’S full of possibilities,” Mrs. Patmore tells Daisy as the girl laments her small world. I love it.


But on that note, how fascinating to watch Daisy’s world expand before her eyes. How interesting to think of her world before she began to learn to read and write. And she’s soaking up every minute.

Do I hear wedding bells in the future for Mr. Molesley and Miss Baxter? How sweet would that be? Very.

baxter m

Could this be love?

Do we have any theories on whether Miss Baxter has a history with Mr. Greene? I think someone mentioned that…I hope we find out the answer very soon. As in, Mr. Fellowes please let’s not drag this story line out after this season. More romance and history, fewer terrifying suspect line ups. I got sick, scary feelings in my stomach for Anna. She’s in jail, where she will likely sit between the end of this season and the beginning on the next.

On a lighter note, there was perfect closure with Robert and Cora, putting the tension behind. Robert acknowledged his mistake, and his willingness and desire to sell the painting showed just how clearly he sees that. He loves his wife, but in the hustle and bustle of life, he misses opportunities to see truth. This is true not only of the situation with Cora but of Edith and Marigold. So many moments where he almost sees what is right in front of him, only to be distracted or interrupted.



Finally, there was such a sense of hope this episode, of the importance of having hope. “Take courage, we must always travel in hope.”

Other thoughts:

*Did Isis die? Please inform.

*Carson and Mary: such a sweet connection. I’d like to think that the servants and masters had something to show for all their years of sharing life with each other. I’m sure it wasn’t true in every case but I’d imagine real family was built between upstairs and down.

*Tom, don’t leave. Please. Trust us, you’ve got a good thing where you are!

*Miss Dinker, what a mess. I mean, I like that you put Spratt in his place, but the open bar you created for yourself at Freelance Footman’s expense? Rude.

*Thomas, you have redeemed yourself. Now keep your mouth shut and DO GOOD. No more badness, please.

*Will there be love for Isobel? Is Lord Merton worth fighting for? The good news is: if Isobel decides to wage war with those bratty sons of his, she has some good team members on her side.


See you next week, dear ones


  1. but what of Vilet and the Prince?

    Will she? Won’t she? And what knowing glance will Mary give her?i like this lost love piece … It has certainly humanize her, especially in coming to terms that she values Isobel’s friendship and company. Nice to see that we. Red our girlfriends no matter, or perhaps, especially as we age.

  2. I assumed that Isis died because of the memorial that Lord Grantham commissioned for Mrs. Patmore’s nephew. The idea for that came from a stone he saw while flipping through the catalog that the stonemason guy brought. I seem to remember a comment about headstones for pets. The guy had done stones for other family pets as well.

  3. Ok, word on the street is that there’s going to be a James Herriot crossover for the last episode and it will be about Isis, I assume. How exciting is that??

    And I hate to say it, but my fears over Violet’s Russian prince seem to be coming true. There was SO MUCH PRESSURE AND URGENCY behind his “request”. I don’t like the smell of this. (Can you say “Gold digger”?)

    I miss “nice Mary”. I wish that, after all she and Edith have gone through, they would get along and support each other. Come ON, ladies!

    Still adoring the period clothing! Do you know that they use some authentic pieces from that time?? Isn’t that cool?

    • Wow! That’s really awesome about the period clothing. The clothes are gorgeous. I loved the hues from the wedding and the party. The tans and creams and light blues. Gorgeous.

      And yes, the Russian prince. It’s so mysterious.

    • YES the clothing — and the hats — SO great!!

      I’m kinda inspired to get a hat this summer. Maybe a straw Panama? Thinking . . .

  4. Hi Rachel! I met you at St. John the Apostle a few weeks back. I have something for you! Oh, you are gonna love this, girl.

  5. Love, love, love. I just finished posting my DA recap them hurried over here to see how we compared. 🙂 I agree that this was such a visually lovely episode. I especially loved the clothing hues. Almost springlike. I think to go with the recurring message of hope. Even Lord Sinderby spoke of hope saying, “Let us go forward in hope.” Rose and Atticus were lovely examples of that hope. I miss the softer Mary. She only gets that way lately when she is hurting. Her conversation with Carson was so sweet. I loved the closure between Robert and Cora. He was able to redeem himself. Yes, it was implied that Isis died. I don’t know exactly but I believe that the marriage ceremony was changed due to the different religions. (Originally it was to be paired with a blessing in the synagogue.) Oh, and one fun fact, I’m not sure if you knew that the name “Atticus Aldridge” is a real name of a young child. The parents won a contest put on by Fellowes and the winner was able to name a Downton character. The parents chose the name of their son. (I have the link of the piece in one of my old recaps.) Thx for sharing! I love reading these. 🙂

  6. I’m not an history expert, but I’m pretty sure the wedding was subdued because they were married at the register office (our version of a courthouse ceremony). They did have a church blessing in Rose’s Anglican church, but that part wasn’t in the show. (Or was it? Did I miss it?) She was in her wedding dress at the reception at Grantham House when she almost got into it with her really mean Mummy.
    I think an Anglican church blessing is kind of like a Catholic convalidation. It’s not an actual ceremony or Mass – it’s just prayers for the happy couple. It’s what the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall had after they married at a register office since her ex-husband is still living and remarriage is/was technically forbidden at the time.

  7. Oh, Anna!! Well, Mary won’t take this lying down. Hopefully she’ll hire the biggest baddest lawyer in all of London and make this all go away — ? But It does look like Anna’s benched into next season, boo. . .

    On the plus side: Mrs. Patmore, practical yet an old softie! Loved her even more this episode.

    Life is hard sometimes. Hashing over our beloved Downton every week — how fun is this??

  8. I LOVE Atticus’ mom. She is so gracious and accepting of Rose. Rose is gaining a better mother than the one she currently has!

    I have to say, I thought that Lord G. accepted the news that Edith is Marigold’s mom with surprising equanimity. His reaction actually didn’t ring true for me. I’d expect a man in his position to be a little more troubled by the revelation that his daughter had an illegitimate child.

    It was so revealing when they were all in London and Edith asked Tom and Mary if they missed their kids. Mary was like, “No, you crazy girl, why on earth would I do that?” It made me sad for her son.

    Tom is the bomb. I hope he doesn’t leave. I’m not really sure what else his character can do, though, from a screenwriting perspective .. unless they bring Miss Bunting back.

    And how PRETTY was Rose’s hair and dress at the wedding? Loved it!

    • Oh my goodness… I couldn’t agree more about the children! Such a strange dynamic. As for Tom…my husband has a theory that Tom and Mary will get together. How awesome would that be?!

  9. So many wonderful moments this episode; Mrs Patmore encouraging Daisy but letting her know how much she would be missed, the memorial plaque Lord Grantham arranged, Carson comforting Mrs Hughes, Tom diffusing the picture delivery, Thomas helping the young footman.

    So so like the lovely young woman Rose has matured into; hope we continue to see her and the in-laws.

    • Yes, Rose has done a whole lotta maturing, hasn’t she? Her work with the Russians, maybe? She clearly wasn’t just dabbling, her heart was in it — and it seems to have brought her out of herself. Lovely!

  10. I think there is something behind this whole Anna/arrest thing. Maybe they are putting pressure on Bates or something. One thing I found odd was how Anna was hauled off to jail and the very next scene is everyone at the memorial unveiling. Including Bates. It’s like they just threw up their hands and said “oh well” and left poor Anna to rot in jail in London and trotted back off the the big house.

    • My sister and I were discussing this earlier – entirely too weird that Anna is taken to jail and the next scene is at the memorial and they’ve all but forgotten her (although she is mentioned on the walk back).