Be aware that there are spoilers of Downton Abbey 5th Series below!
As we approach Downton Abbey Series 5 premiere in UK and after all the blind speculation, trailers and images released by ITV, here are a few guesses about what we can expect to see when the Crawleys finally will join us again on Sundays nights.
1 – Trouble ahead for the Lord and the Lady of the house. In the first episode Lord and Lady Grantham will be celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary (confirmed by Hugh Bonneville’s interview to “The Morning Show“) under the rumors that there may be some trouble ahead for the most solid relationship in the show. The main suspect of disturbing the couple’s happiness is the art expert Simon Bricker, played by Richard E. Grant, who had already said that his character is a kind of troublemaker. The trailer’s scenes suggest that Bricker will actually direct his charms to Cora Crawley. There is one moment when he says to her that he thinks that “everything about Downton is really beautiful” (or something like that). So, be ready to some crisis in Robert and Cora’s marriage, but there is no need to fear the worst.
First, because Grant will be only in four episodes which seems to be time enough to cause some scratches but not to ruin such a solid relationship. And just because it is a solid relationship, the “heart of Downton Abbey” as had been published in the series’ official Facebook page some time ago, they should come out stronger from this crisis, as had already happened in earlier seasons. Of course that after all the bliss the couple had lived last season, it was expected that the fifth series would bring something new. And nothing better than a bit of jealousy to foster romance and enrich the story line of these two characters.
2 – A lot of romance for Lady Mary but she will finish the series as a single woman. Alright, I know you’ve already seen the kissing scene between Mary and Tony and certainly didn’t miss Mary making eyes at him on the trailers. And of course you had already noticed Charles Blake absence in the images and trailers that had been released.
Oh, but WAIT! Blake is in the trailer. Yes, he really is! But he appears so fast that you will only see him if you pause it (on the horse racing scene). This or if you have a pair of eagle eyes. So, there he is! The handsome Charles Blake with a number 12 on his jacket sleeve riding a horse… against Lady Mary? Oh, God. But then, he was the one who had suggested that the “battle should commence”, wasn’t he? And it seems that this is what will happen this season. With one less suitor (no Brendan Patricks, sorry ladies…) and so few of Blake, everything points to Lord Gillingham as the winner of Lady Mary’s heart, right? Wrong. Too obvious. Too easy. Who would deliver a crucial story line like this in a golden tray in the trailer, right? My guess is that we can expect to see a more self-possessed and bolder Lady Mary, taking advantage of all the “wisdom and experience” she acquired after being married once. And while she decides (and experiments) for whom her heart beats faster (although I believe she already knows) there is a good chance that we will watch a good dispute between these two gorgeous gentlemen, full of romance in Downton style. However, I don’t believe she will make her choice until the end of this season. And it will be really a surprise if she does it before the last moments of this series last episode. But the less I heard about Charles Blake, the more I believe he should be the chosen one. (And I will be eternally happy since I am Team Blake. Sorry about that, though). In addition, there was great care in the creation of the character Charles Blake, which involved Michelle Dockery and Julian Ovenden in the process, so it is a fact that he is someone very important to Lady Mary’s storyline.
3 – Another season of misery for Lady Edith but with some chance of happiness at the end. By now everyone knows that Edith will unintentionally cause a fire at Downton. The poor young lady, still devastated by the unexplained Gregson disappearance and the separation of her daughter (so close but still so far away) will cause a fire which will burn not only some rooms of the house, but apparently will leave scorched some people (watch the trailer scene where Lord Grantham breaks into one of the rooms to face Jimmy in Lady Anstruther’s bed). I believe that Edith is the woman who is carried in the arms of a man through the flames, as the fire probably starts in her room. The man’s identity is a mystery but his is dressed on tails, so he can be one of the servants (maybe Thomas since there is a image of him during the fire) or some of the guests.
Since Violet and Rosamund know her secret, it will be easy for them to find out the true identity of the girl who lives with the Drewes (if they do not already know). But what to expect from the rest of the family? Last season Tom has demonstrated a strong empathy with Edith. Due to his activity as an administrator, he visits the farms and tenants often, so it is likely that he is one of the firsts to notice a very probable involvement of Edith with the Drewes. Rumor has it that Mary and Edith will come back to their beginning with Mary being mean to her younger sister once more. This had been confirmed by Michelle Dockery in an interview. Although cunning, Mary will be too involved with her own problems (two dark-haired problems with very charming smiles…) so she will certainly take longer to realize that there is something more behind her sister’s gloomy mood. Robert has no idea of what is happening, but Cora knows that something is amiss, although she doesn’t know what. Depending on how severe will be the problems that will hit her relationship with Robert, Cora soon will also notice Edith odd behavior. As is her nature, Cora won’t force Edith to tell her the truth and will just wait until her daughter could come to her.
But the important thing is that at the end of the season has a promise of peace for poor Edith. Pictures from the filming in Bampton showed her with little Marigold in her lap sitting among her family members while Lord Grantham makes a speech at the inauguration of the memorial to the soldiers killed in the war. May be it is a signal that the truth came to light and that the Crawley family will receive the girl with open arms. This or Edith will invent some random story that will convince everyone that she is just being charitable with one of their tenants’ daughters. I prefer to believe in the first theory, after all, the old and poor Edith needs a break, JF!.
4 – Tom will have a romance with Sarah Bunting, but must finish the season alone. The romance will disturb Lord Grantham who will not easily accept the political convictions of the young teacher. There are rumors of a rift between them over a dinner and in some moment he will say that she is “an annoying little flea of a woman”. He also seems to see her as a risk over Tom and consequently Sybbie’s permanence at Downton Abbey. In the trailer he says to Cora that “they are about to lose one of their grandchildren forever.” And unless Mary is planning to move to Ulster to live next to Blake, which I highly doubt, the grandchild Robert is talking about should be Sybbie. But there are indications that the romance should not last. Rumors said that the actress Daisy Lewis, who plays Sarah Bunting, should leave the series at the end of this season. This, added to the fact that Allen Leech had said in an interview that Tom Branson will increasingly realize that his place is actually in Downton can mean that Tom Branson’s heart will not have a new owner this season.
Downton Abbey Series 5 premiere is scheduled for September, 21th in the UK.