Feb 012016


When we unleash the dogs of war, we must go where they take us.

Race tracks, spewing blood, pigs, and illiteracy. What fun! I think we all agreed that Sir Robert’s ongoing gastric complaints would somehow interconnect with the Downton Abbey war over control over the local hospital, probably with a medical emergency that depends upon either modernization (most likely) or the local touch. (Although, come to think of it, why don’t they ever bring Sybil’s death up in this regard?) However, I don’t think any of us expected him to spew blood like John Hurt in Alien, with internal bits of Earl landing all over Neville Chamberlain. Bravo for bringing the unexpected! Also, ew.

Obviously, we need a picture of the bloodbath, but for those of delicate sensibility, I’m putting it below the fold, so read on.

Earl of Grantham spews blood

The thing that was so insane and great about this scene is that nothing ever happens on Downton. People die off-camera. People have drama off-camera. Then we all genteelly discuss it wearing fabulous clothes.

Regarding Baxter, I said last week:

Oh, there’s this Baxter thing, and that could get good, except a dramatic confrontation of a serial abuser doesn’t seem very Downton Abbey, so it’ll probably happen off-camera, and then Baxter will thank Moseley, or something meek like that.

It is therefore hilarious that this week, Baxter herself called it “anti-climatic”. YES JULIAN FELLOWES IT IS. You might look into that.

There was much romancing, and a certain amount of cock-blocking, this week. Mary and Talbot romanced, with Tom trying to play the role of matchmaker. Which, Tom, if you want these two together, maybe don’t keep joining them when they’d otherwise be alone together. Edith romances Insipid Guy, and he’s perfect for her. Because insipid.

Mr. Mason is clearly making goo-goo eyes at Mrs. Pattmore, and Daisy can’t cockblock him fast enough. I am so over Daisy. She is explosive about everything. She speaks first, thinks much later if at all, and only if necessary. She has no internal life, everything happens on the outside. I want to slap her. This is a woman, let’s not forget, who married someone she didn’t love on his deathbed out of a mousey inability to say no. She’s developed her inner strength too late for her own romantic prospects, although Andrew is clearly sweet on her, so she’s taking it out by making sure no one else gets together on her watch. Of course, the solution we’re being gently walked towards is a big happy family of the four of them, so we’ll see.

The other theme this week (besides cockblocking and blood-spewing) is stupid coincidences. I have two that especially annoyed me, the first being the aforementioned illiteracy.

Look, Barrow’s behavior is ridiculous. And pathetic. And unseemly. And completely UNLIKE Barrow. He sniffs around Andrew, for “friendship”, is rebuffed every episode, sometimes multiple times per episode, and keeps begging for more. Is this the villain of Season 1? Is this a human person with any dignity at all? NO! And yet, miraculously, Barrow and Barrow alone manages to figure out that Andrew has a problem that he can help resolve. And Andrew, having just proclaimed his hate of the gays, is only too grateful to accept. What a dream come true for Barrow. What a stupid coincidence.

The other is Mary’s overhearing a bit about Marigold. Really? In the middle of Robert spewing half his guts across the future Prime Minister, they stop to discuss Marigold? And Mary just happens to overhear? And pay attention WHILE HER FATHER IS EXPLODING? I call bullshit. And even worse bullshit, she asks Anna about it in a way that is sure to cause gossip downstairs, and then everyone who doesn’t know will know.

As long as Downton Abbey now allows blood and gore, I hope we see Denker’s head explode.


What say you, Basketcases? Whose head do you want to see explode?


  6 Responses to “Downton Abbey, Season 6, Episode 5: Blood on the Tracks”

  1. Deb,
    The John Deere moment shows a stint for drama when the storyline is weak.
    I completely agree the obvious coincidences are disapointing.
    The Queen Mary taking over the heavy lifting of running the estate is a bit too soon.
    Things feel rushed to tie it all up.
    Oh and I predict Mary will suggest Marigold be properly adopted to make her a rightful member of the family as a way of coverying Anna and doing a Sybill kind of gesture. She probably knows her sister is ashamed for her to know Marigold is real family.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • Could children be legally adopted in Great Britian in the 1920’s? I’m asking this because I have been told that this was not possible, thus the number of “wards” in literature like Agatha Christie mysteries.

  2. Here is a fascinating summary of adoption legalities and the 1926 Adoption Act in Great Britian.
    I dig genealogy so I found it compelling, maybe you guys and gals will, too!

  3. After thinking it over, I predict Edith may marry that fellow who reminds one of sensible shoes. She would need to be married to adopt.

  4. I am not good at following legalese, but if she has a birth certificate showing her to be the mother, would she really need to go through the actual adoption process Maybe she could just spread the word she adopted so the status quo could be maintained, while avoiding the actual courthouse. It might be dicey to try to adopt if it requires the consent of the parent(s)….. On the other hand, I really want the dinner dress Lady Mary was wearing and all the slips/ underpinnings that came with it. And did you notice Edith did not race to her father? She must have a thing about keeping her dresses clean,,, remember Carson falling over at the dinner table? A lot of action around the family table.

  5. Well, I am no attorney, but, I think something will take place to protect the out of wedlock child and Edith. It is not known publicly that the child is “blood” so by adopting her daughter she would be telling the world and Marigold that she is entitled to the family dough.

    But, who knows if this will really be an issue.

    I am still trying to figure out what Anna Draper’s family thought of Dick/Don. Did she tell them he stole Don’s identity? Did they think it a coincidence? Did they know about the divorce? That was never explained and it still irks me! Anna’s sister was a nudge…what did they tell her…remember when she told him he was just a man with a checkbook!!!

    When can we do the book club/ReViewing of MadMen thingy?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.