RECAP: The Wheels of Change Are Turning on DOWNTON ABBEY - Ep. 5
Though lucky in land, Daisy is still unlucky in love. Cupid continues to aim his bow in all the
wrong directions downstairs. Ivy attracts Alfred's attention by wearing rouge, but is outright rejected by Jimmy. Meanwhile, Daisy and Jimmy find themselves the object of Carson's outrage when he catches them dancing the foxtrot. Alfred escapes his reprimand by mere seconds, as it was he who had asked Daisy to teach him the dance step, though sadly only for the purpose of impressing Ivy. More notably, O'Brien's scheme is slowly coming to light. It appears that she is egging Thomas on in his affections for Jimmy when she knows very well that the footman is uncomfortable with Thomas' overfamiliarity.
One bit of change that all the Crawleys can agree is positive is that Anna and Mr. Murray finally manage Bates' release. But not before overcoming one final tribulation. When the lawyer visits Mrs. Bartlett, she refuses to corroborate the evidence needed to overturn the verdict. Bates, hearing this news, suspects his former roommate and his crooked guard friend are behind her change of tune. He has a plan to set things right, but Anna fears he might jeopardize his
exoneration doing so. And rightly so. With the prospect of freedom at his fingertips, Bates' temper overcomes him. Using a makeshift weapon, he threatens Craig, saying he will tell the Governor that he and Durrant are smuggling drugs into the prison. Fearful that this will prolong his sentence and lose Durrant his job, Craig arranges for Mrs. Bartlett to change her testimony. At long last, Anna receives a letter informing her that her husband's release is imminent. And the Crawleys, yearning for some good news, are all overjoyed to hear that he will be returning to Downton. But what does this mean for Thomas? Between O'Brien's plotting and the former valet's return, are Mr. Barrow's days at the big house numbered?
With the encouraging news of Bates' freedom, Robert goes with Cora to visit his mother. When they arrive, they are met by Dr. Clarkson, who has some information to share. He tells them he had misled them to believe that, had he been allowed to operate on Sybil, he would have been able to save her from the effects of eclampsia, when in fact, "in all likelihood she would have died anyway." The truth of this statement is dubious, as Violet had previously asked the doctor to make this admission in order to reconcile the couple. Dr. Clarkson at that point believed that it would be a lie to do so, but agreed to do some research into the matter. Whether he found information that changed his mind or Violet persuaded him that the truth was less important than Robert and Cora's relationship is unclear. Regardless of the reason, his confession softens Cora to her husband's remorse and the two finally grieve together. Perhaps with the support of his wife again, Robert will be better prepared to face the changes ahead.
What will go down at Downton Abbey next week? Where will Tom go to build a new life and will he bring his daughter with him? Will Daisy agree to take over Mr. Mason's farm? Will she and Jimmy be dancing the Charleston next? Tune in Sunday, February 10 at 9 PM ET/CT on PBS
to find out.