The future of many relationships, whether romantic or not, are put into question as things largely turn sour.
Review (with Spoilers)
It seems more and more that relationships are the focus of the season. For with Cora seeming very unhappy with Robert; the Dowager speaking of what could have happened with the Russian prince; Mary’s decision in regards to Tony; Ms. Crawley’s relationship with Lord Merton; as well as the burgeoning love Tom is finding for Ms. Bunting, the ends and beginning of relationships dominate. Though this isn’t to say those without a beau are forgotten. For more on episode four, look below.
Topic 1: A Change is Coming – Daisy, T. Barrow, Moseley
As the years go by at Downton, it seems while those past 40 are bracing for the impact of change, the younger ones are ready and joyous about it. Take Daisy for example, with her learning more and more from Ms. Bunting, she has gone beyond simply having an interest in accounting and now is seeking a knowledge of history. Something which is slightly interfering with her work. Though, in general, the downstairs staff all have something interfering with their work. For example, Ms. Patmore’s nephew not getting his name on the memorial  is bothering her; Barrow seems to be either taking medicine or shooting up drugs; and Mr. Moseley seems very overwhelmed with being first footmen for it lacks the privileges he remembers seeing it have in the past.
While it has long been known Moseley solely wanted to be first footman because of the prestige more than anything, I did find it comical how Ms. Hughes and Mr. Carson were treating him. Almost like they were running him through the ringer for kicks. That thought aside, I’m quite loving Daisy’s new tenacity. However, I fear that as she talks about having options, and pursues further knowledge, it could very well mean that either by the end of this season, or the next, she may move on elsewhere. As for Mr. Barrow, I assume he is doing drugs, but I must admit that I am unsure why. However, with Baxter catching him, and him looking strung out, I’m sure sooner or later all will be revealed.
Topic 2: The Birth of Love – Tom, Ms. Crawley, Dowager Violet
For the names mentioned, we all see them with a twinkle in their eye as their significant other, whether official or not, is around them. Tom, despite how Ms. Bunting butts heads with his family, you can see if falling in love more and more with her rebellious ways; Ms. Crawley is proposed to and is, as she says, taken aback by Lord Merton’s words when he purposes; and as the Dowager notes how she was offered the chance to run away with Prince Kuragin, but stayed with her husband due to their children, and the little bit of vulnerability the former Lord of Downton showed, you begin to not just understand why she looks for Kuragin’s princess, but perhaps why she is so against other people’s romantic happiness, much less why she sometimes is so snarky.
Like with Daisy, I can see Tom within a season or two possibly leaving the show. Though with little Sybie being part of the equation, that maybe the only thing which may slow down, or outright stop him from leaving. Either way, I’m quite taken by his and Ms. Bunting’s interaction and hope Lord Grantham banning her from Downton doesn’t mean Tom will stop any sort of pursuit.
As for Ms. Crawley, I must admit I’m not invested much into her character anymore since she has devolved to being either the Dowager’s side kick or having her little romantic storyline with Lord Merton. Which, up to his proposal, she was so iffy about that it became hard to invest in. But, when it comes to Violet, oh I want to see Maggie Smith and Mr. Serbedzija have something going on. A kiss, a little scandal, anything! Not just because it would be slightly out of character, but damn if I don’t want the Dowager’s happiness to solely come from other people’s drama entertaining her.
Topic 3: The Death of Marriage – Cora, Anna, and Mary
As Cora continues to show signs she wants to be more than the Lady of Grantham, Lord Grantham continues ignore ways to make her happy. Thus leading to Mr. Bricker returning, as well as Lord Grantham’s jealousy. Which, combined with Ms. Bunting coming to dinner, leads him to make a fool of himself .
Which brings us to the topic of Mary and Anna. Starting with Anna, with the cops still looking for Mr. Green’s killer, and Mary and Anna off to London, unfortunately Anna does enough suspicious things to become a new suspect! She even gets questioned if she may have killed Mr. Green over Mr. Bates. As for Mary, she tries to break it off with Lord Gillingham, but he seems quite adamant on them working whatever troubles they have out. Almost to the point of seeming he may become abusive down the line.
With Rose’s father getting a divorce, I’m curious if ever such talk may come to Cora’s marriage. Especially since Mr. Bricker, with his constant flirting, is surely making her happier than I’ve ever seen Robert try. Though perhaps the real interesting story here is whether Anna maybe willing to go down for murder in Mr. Bates’ place? Much less if they may ever pin the murder on anyone we know of.
As for Mary, it would be quite interesting if Tony does fight back against Mary denying him. Though also it is troubling. For while he likely will use the old ways of an arranged marriage, there is also the chance he may blackmail her. It is hard to say since we don’t know Tony that well.
“Hope is a tease designed to prevent us from accepting reality.”
— “Season 5/ Episode 4.” Downton Abbey