Downton Abbey Recap: Fight Club

Downton Abbey 505

Question for the group: Are we supposed to like Robert more or less after Sunday’s Downton Abbey?

Upon catching Simon Bricker in his bedroom with Cora — Simon refused to leave, despite Cora’s pleadings — Robert became the Solange to Simon’s Jay-Z, beginning with a mighty backhand which put the would-be-seducer flat on his back. In fact, I’m quite convinced Robert would have beaten the life out of Simon, had Edith not ruined everything as always knocked on the door in response to Cora’s shrieks of terror.

I have to admit, I kind of enjoyed Robert getting physical to defend his wife (in a very old-school sort of way), but I was considerably less impressed with the cold shoulder he gave her for the remainder of the episode. Did he not ask her what happened? Does he not think there’s a chance he overreacted? (Oh, that’s right, this is Robert we’re talking about.)

Also, can someone please explain Cora and Simon’s lingering stares?

Downton Abbey 505

She can’t possibly be considering pursuing him now, right? (Don’t do it, Cora. You in danger, girl!)

OH, BABY! | Thanks to Rosamund’s loose lips, the Dowager Countess is now clued in to the whole Marigold situation, and the ladies’ “best” solution didn’t exactly go over well with Edith. How could they want her to send her daughter to a boarding school in France, only to see her occasionally and never reveal how they’re related? Then again, does Edith really have a choice, considering the Drewes threatened to move away from Downton at the top of the hour? Regardless of her options, Edith’s late-night phone call to London seemed to imply she’s taking matters into her own hands, whatever the plan may be.

Downton Abbey 505PUNTING BUNTING | Ding, dong! The witch is… not dead, but she’s moving really far away, and that’s good enough for me. Following last week’s blow-out with Robert — though not necessarily because of it — Miss Bunting announced that she’s taken a new position at a grammar school and will be leaving the area immediately. “I loved you, you know,” she told Tom before taking off. “I could have loved you more if you let me.” But if you were expecting this to inspire a “stay” speech from Tom, you were sorely mistaken. Instead, he gave her a sort of “Thanks for helping me learn more about myself” brush-off, then threw her into the car. All’s well that ends well enough, I say.

THE LEFTOVERS | Meanwhile, Mary had another unexpected encounter with Maybe-She’s-Born-With-It-Maybe-It’s-Mabel Lane Fox this week when Charles Blake invited both of Tony’s exes to dine with him. Mary made it quite clear that she has no further interest in dating Tony — much less marrying him — though Ms. Fox also didn’t seem too keen on inheriting Mary’s sloppy seconds, either. (In other news: What does Charles have to gain by reuniting Mabel and Tony?)

Final Odds and Ends:
* The inspectors returned to question Mary and Anna this week, leading me to believe — but not really care a whole lot — that Bates will eventually end up behind bars.
* Thomas looked sicker than ever this week as he continued his series of self-medicating experiments. Very worried about him!
* I miss Jimmy.

Downton fans, your thoughts on this week’s episode? Robert’s fight? Miss Bunting’s farewell? Drop ’em all in the comments section below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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39 Comments
  1. Tess says:

    It was nice to see Robert finally show some emotion with relation to his wife (sometimes it does seem like he’s so proper that they may as well be siblings since he rarely shows much affection; granted it’s not his nature, but once in a while he ought to show her he still cares…) but I didn’t care for him snubbing her in public the following day, where the whole family seemed to be picking up on the vibe. I hope Cora watching Bricker leave was more of a “glad to see the back of ya” sort of thing rather than wondering what could have been. I mean, she wanted him to leave her bedroom and I would assume it wasn’t just on the offhand chance that Robert would be home early…

    Whether Marigold is living in France or with the Drewes, Edith still can’t be with her so neither option works for her. Perhaps she should consider moving far enough away that no one would know her and take Marigold with her and she could just change her last name and claim she was widowed. Who would know the difference?

    I’m glad Ms. Bunting has left town. I hope it’s the last we see of her. Tom deserves a woman who understands who he is now not one who taps into who he used to be.

    If Charles can get Tony back together with Mabel then it frees Mary up for him to swoop in. It certainly seems like Mary has realized Tony was just the safe choice and not the man she really wants to be with, whereas Charles is more exciting and challenging for her. I thought last season that Charles was the better choice for her and I hope in the end he’s the won she does end up with rather than boring Tony.

    I’m bored with the constant inquiry to who was in the vicinity of Green when he died. Do we need Bates on trial AGAIN? Besides, IF Green was pushed, Bates is too obvious a choice for who did it. Wouldn’t it be more shocking/awesome if it turned out that Mary did it? Or if she shared more info than we know with Tony and Tony pushed Green himself?! (That’d be another way to get Tony out of the picture for good too…)

    I’m worried about Thomas too. And I also miss Jimmy! If Jimmy were still around, would Thomas still be doing what he’s doing? or would Jimmy be the one person who could’ve convinced him not to?

  2. Alichat says:

    Thank god Miss Bunting is gone!!!! I was never so happy to see a character depart in my life! Her profession of love was ridiculous. She loves who she thinks he is, not who he really is. “Don’t you despise them, really?” My god woman, he’s told you three times now that they are his family now, and he loves them!?!? While I was happy Robert smacked Bricker, his cold shoulder is pathetic. This is the same man who cheated on Cora 3 seasons ago. And frankly, I’d love for Cora to address the cold shoulder he’s giving her by revealing that she knows about Jane and what happened in season 2. I don’t know if she knows, but I’d love it if she does. And I think life would be so much better if Edith would just tell Mrs Drewe who she is to Marigold instead of running off with the child or sending her to France.

    • BTM says:

      He and Jane chose not to go through with it. It was more wistful than anything.

      • Sairy says:

        Excuse me, Robert kissed her. More than once. Cora and Bricker didn’t touch at all.

        • Alichat says:

          Thank you! Robert made out with Jane more than once, and they almost consummated their relationship, but Bates knocked on the door and interrupted them. Robert also paid for her son’s education. Bricker wasn’t invited to Cora’s room, and she ordered Bricker to leave the room multiple times.

  3. Downton Fan says:

    It would have been more gratifying if, instead of sneaking behind Robert’s back, Bricker had just confronted Robert and told him that if he didn’t take care of his woman, someone else would. It would have been better still, if Cora had just told him off the moment he ridiculed her opinions on art, etc…but alas, that’s not what women did back then (and some still don’t). The only chance Edith could have to be with her daughter is to leave England. At the time, an unmarried pregnant woman was scandalized and censured beyond all reason. I don’t think I could stand to watch another episode of Bates in prison, should that happen. There is speculation on another site that Tony is broke and wants Mary for her fortune, Green knows about it or colluded with him and Tony killed him to silence him. Make sense to me.

    • herman1959 says:

      Mr. Bricker must have some kind of death wish – he is unwanted in a married woman’s bedroom, yet refuses to leave, AND he is confronted by the woman’s husband and shoots his mouth off. He deserved that smack down. As far as Edith goes, I hope she doesn’t take the girl and run off because some kind of show down is coming. Finally, maybe Tony just wants Mary for himself…let’s hope so.

    • S. says:

      Tony doesn’t strike me as a murderer. I could see him being a fortune hunter of sorts, but he’s got a title and there are many women wanting access to one. It wasn’t that odd or unacceptable. I mean, Robert did it with Cora if you think about it. If you’re a woman with money, he’s a catch. I don’t think he’d have too hard a time finding someone, esp. after the war. Besides, if he was just into money, he’d have stayed with Mabel in the first place. It clearly wasn’t a bluff/scam. She was mad she’d been thrown over for Mary. Obviously he was really with Mabel and then broke it off with her.

  4. Claire meade says:

    Please let this be the end of Miss Bunting. Give Tom a love interest that has the enthusiasm and love of life his wife did, and can share his social and political values without the hate. I like the Bates, let’s give them some sunshine and happy times. Mr. Bates has a history with lord Grantham, explore that instead of another prison story. I like Grantham, they need to give him some sensitivity, that’s all. I love Cora and I’m glad they’ve given her more expanded role at least for a few episodes, hope they continue to feature her. I’m sick of Thomas, can’t believe the sullen freak still works there. Mrs Hughes should have a love interest besides Carson to spice things up a little. And the more Maggie Smith and Mrs Crawley the better. Basically, there’s so much the writers could be doing with other characters we wouldn’t have to listen to Edith whining and Moseley acting like a putz every week. Writers, Start creating !

    • gdv says:

      Agree with everything you said. Give Tom a love interest who’s deserving (Mary, too! But I did like Rose’s new guy. Hope he sticks around.) I thought this was the best episode in quite a while, but the show has a long way to go if it wants to match the storyline interest of S1–S3.

      • Mary Hauth says:

        Thoughts on Rose as a possible love interest for Tom: she has Sybil’s bubbly personality, perhaps not as savvy as Sybil (re: faux pas with Atticus and the Russians). But she is somewhat of an idealist who wants to Do Good for the poor Russians. AND she flouts the status quo with her partying ways with Jack the Jazz Singer. Kinda like Sybil going for the chauffeur.
        Then, what can we do with the Adorable Atticus? Perhaps Lady Mary can become Cougar Mary….. They’d definitely be a stunningly gorgeous couple.
        OK, here’s another scenario: Tom and Edith. Wadda y’all think? The cousins can grow up as step-sisters and Tom can tutor Edith in the fine art of socialism/politics/journalism, not to mention a dose of exploring her true self and raisson d’etre. Edith’s friendship with Tom could blossom into full-fledged love; Tom would receive the adoration and support he deserves (I LOVE Tom). OR she and Tom can use Gregson’s fortune, move to Ireland, and become involved in the Irish Troubles. And then maybe have to flee Ireland, come back to Downton, and invest in saving the financially-struggling estate.
        Just some brainstorming….

    • roz says:

      Yes, Claire, I think Mr. Fellow is slipping. 1) Strange that a policeman happens to be at the hotel where Anna is delivering a note to Mary’s suitor. 2) Would a teacher in 1924 know the etiquette of an upper class dining table? Would she have the nerve to open her mouth there, and after being reprimanded, want to thank the cook for her service? Sorry, it seems far fetched to me.

      • Lois says:

        I thought is was strange that they would have a police officer staking out Tony’s apartment. Mr. Greene’s death still seems to be an accident. Someone overhearing Greene ask someone, “why are you here?,” doesn’t make it murder. There doesn’t seem to be any witness that actually claims they saw Greene pushed. It seems unlikely that the police would spend so much time and manpower investigating this case.

  5. Bill says:

    Perhaps Anna pushed Mr. Green into traffic.

  6. Mo says:

    So done with the “who pushed Green” storyline. At this point I almost don’t even care if it means Bates goes back to prison.

    I was also done with Miss Bunting, so I am happy she’s shipping off to parts-not-nearby. Please let that be the last we have to see of her. I love Tom & he deserves so much better.

    I’m very nearly done with the back & forth between Mary & Tony & Charles. Don’t choose either of them. So much competition, she should just shout a la Princess Jasmine “I AM NOT A PRIZE TO BE WON!” But I doubt that will happen.

    I miss Jimmy, too.

  7. libby24 says:

    bored to tears with the Green affair, the investigation that has taken, how many years, No way this would have happened in those times. And also bored with Edith’s whey face.

  8. Okay – The only resolution that makes sense to Edith’s storyline is that she goes to the USA with Tom and lives with Granny Shirley and Marigold…

    • Stormy says:

      Except there was a lot of back and forth between Newport society and English society because a lot of impoverished Brits married American money. Marigold would be just as hard to explain in America as in England.

      • Jane says:

        I don’t care where we send her as long as we don’t have to watch any more of her “poor me” act.

        • roz says:

          Why don’t we see Edith at the newspaper working? She signed an agreement that gave her some jurisdiction over the publishing of Michael’s paper. She says she has nothing to do, it doesn’t make sense.

      • herman1959 says:

        Yes, they would still have to come up with a story – Marigold could be introduced as Edith’s “ward”.

        • Stormy says:

          Yeah because no one would see through that. LOL Especially if Marigold called her Mama, which I’m sure Edith would want her to do.

  9. dman6015 says:

    “Following last week’s blow-out with Robert — though not necessarily because of it…” Had nothing to do with her decision to leave. It was Tom telling her that it wasn’t going to work between them.

  10. Laura says:

    So many great moments last night: The bedroom brawl!; Cora’s “silly game” explanation to Edith (during the bedroom brawl!); Poor Mr. Drewe caught between two hysterical women; Hughes & Patmore “soothing” Carson after telling him Patmore’s decided to take a different direction (than his) regarding her money; Dr. Clarkson and Violet’s chat about Isobel’s marriage proposal (funny!); Barrow’s usual sneaking, slinking, and mouthing while looking like death; the Mary-Charles-Mabel dinner (what is he up too??); all of Violet’s one-liners; Ms. Bunting sent a-packin’; and Aunt Rosamund’s hat(!!)

    • S. says:

      I think it’s pretty obvious what Charles up to. He’s trying to remove the competition that’s only really competition in Tony’s mind. I’m not sure where it ultimately goes because it seems like both Charles and Mary are under the impression that the other person’s not as into them as they were. Mary in particular seems to think it’s too late and not because she’s not interested but because maybe he’s not. Given Charles’ behavior, Mary needs to wake up and realize that he wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t based on feeling.

    • Stormy says:

      I’m not sure how much of a time jump will occur between now and season six, but Mrs. Patmore is smart to buy a cottage with the stock market crash on the horizon.

  11. CoolBean says:

    Edith should have returned with the baby in tow and came up with a story as to why she adopted Marigold herself. Then she could be her mother for all the world to see.

  12. KevyB says:

    How exactly are we ever supposed to take Lord Grantham? I hope it’s supposed to be hatred, because that’s what he makes me feel in every scene. His handling of this was no better. “Hmmm, that man has been flirting with my wife and my wife doesn’t hate him as much as I hate everybody else in the world SO CLEARLY SHE IS SLEEPING WITH HIM!” I wish they would have kept Miss Bunting around at least until he had a deadly stroke and maybe this show could stop falling off a cliff every time he’s in a scene.

  13. shmrck14 says:

    Late to this, but booooo to Robert and he gets zero credit from me. He wasn’t sticking up for Cora, he was sticking up for himself. He only attacked Bricker AFTER he was insulted and called out for being a bad husband.

    Also, I see Blake’s motivation as a way to placate Tony. Last we saw him, he had no intention of taking Mary’s “No” and would still pursue her.

  14. Allee says:

    So glad Bunting is gone. It’s not even that I disagree with her opinions so much as that really, who wants to be around that person who has to EXPRESS her every opinion, particularly in company where she knows no one agrees. It’s like she has some sort of disorder.

  15. Rose says:

    It is kind of ridiculous to me that people actually think Robert is in the wrong in this situation. He has every right to be upset. Has he been neglecting Cora? Yes, he has, and they should talk that out and deal with it. He does need to be a better husband to her, for sure. But last I checked, being ignored sometimes does not give someone a right to cheat. And no, Cora didn’t actually cheat YET, but she certainly hasn’t been discouraging that guy either. She has been flirting her ass off! She knew exactly what he wanted, and she let it go way too far. That was wrong of her, plain and simple. People who actually think this should be tit-for-tat because Robert kissed a maid are being seriously petty. First of all, people should remember what time period this is! It was a patriarchal world, men were allowed to cheat. But even Robert knew it was wrong and stopped it before it went too far. He should never have done anything with that maid in the first place, that is certainly true. But Cora should not be flirting with that smarmy “traveling salesman” either. The bottom line is this is a marriage, with equal partners, and they are both in the wrong. They need to work it out together.

    And I wish Robert had beat that slimy guy to a bloody pulp. He more than deserved it. And I also could not be more glad to see Miss Bunting hit the road! She was a horrible character, just horrible. Unbelievable amount of rudeness. I hope we never have to look at her nasty little face ever again.

    As for Edith, at this point she’s really screwed herself honestly. She should have “adopted” the child herself in the first place. Or at the very least, she should never have taken her away from the first family that had adopted her. She’s made things impossible for herself. And I think it’s a terrible idea to take the poor little girl away from the only family she knows and stick her in some cold boarding school off in Europe. That is cruel. What she should do is just tell Mrs. Drew the truth for god sakes. This is so not going to end well for anyone.

  16. I am thinking that Anna killed Green, and that is why she is so nervous about everything, while Bates seems pretty cool about it.

    I thought Robert acted completely appropriately in smacking Simon in the mouth.

    Edith needs to just admit the girl is hers and deal with it.

  17. Jerry Smith says:

    Didn’t Robert flat out cheat on Cora? And, being as men always have and seemingly always shall be, he suddenly has abniesia. Doesn’t even concern himself with her side.