September 21, 2014

Downton Abbey Season 5 - Episode 1

Click HERE for part one of watch Episode ONE
and HERE for part two

• Spoiler alert: this is a post-transmission review of episode one of season five of Downton Abbey, after its broadcast in the UK on 21 September 2014. If you don’t want to learn what happens in that episode, stop reading now.
The hype is over, and the first episode of season five of Downton Abbey – as usual, a feature-length opener – has aired in the UK. Which means that a few of the new season’s secrets have been revealed – and a few more hang tantalisingly in the aristocratic air. Here are the five that I find the most intriguiging:
1 Lady Edith’s secret is bursting to be revealed
It’s surely no mistake that this series opened with Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) cycling over the estate to see her secret daughter, Marigold, at the home of Marigold’s adoptive parents.
Mr Drewe (Andrew Scarborough), the kindly farmhand who has taken Marigold in, wasted no time in reassuring Edith that her secret is safe with him. But that reassurance came with an implicit disclosure that’s rather worrying for Edith: Mr Drewe has figured out her secret all by himself.
And if he can do it, his wife can do it too – and might not be so unjudgmental.
More worrying for Edith were the events of the end of the episode, when fire ripped through her bedroom. The fire was started by Mr Gregson’s German primer, which Edith threw across the room in frustration and which landed next to the grate.
What Edith also did, in that unhappy state, was to put a photo of Marigold as a baby under her pillow before she went to sleep. As Edith was rescued, the photo certainly wasn’t. If the fire didn’t burn it to ashes, the photo remains as a potential giveaway of Edith’s secret to whoever finds it.
2 Miss Baxter’s secret is already out – or is it?
Miss Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) took strength from Mr Molesley (Kevin Doyle) in this first episode, and confessed her criminal record to Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern).
Which put Mr Barrow (Rob James-Collier) in a difficult position – of which more below – but also set two other hares running.
First, will Lady Grantham see fit to fire Miss Baxter, who is – as Lady Grantham so pithily put it – a ‘convicted felon’?
My guess is that she won’t, because – and here’s the second thing – it looks as if Miss Baxter has plenty more storyline in her yet.
We discovered in episode 1 what she’s done, but we pointedly didn’t discover why she did it.
The theft (and disposal) of her former employer’s jewels must have had a reason, which promises plenty more Baxter to come.
3 Lady Mary is getting louche – again 

Dedicated Downton fans will remember that – despite all her icy aloofness – Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) is not above a little slap and tickle when she fancies it.
In season 1, she was famously in bed with the visiting Turk Mr Pamuk when he spontaneously died.
Now she is planning a dirty week away with Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen), who (ironically) plans to use her loose morals to show her that she should let him make an honest woman of her.
But Mr Blake may not have been rejected as comprehensively as Gillingham believes – there’s an interview with the actor who plays him, Julian Ovenden, in the season 5 press pack. He’ll be back…
4 Mr Barrow is thwarted – and not for the last time
Barrow’s little plan to blackmail Baxter has been foiled – for now.
Only his heroism in the fire saved him from Lady Grantham’s wrath over his treatment of Baxter.
And it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a happy season for poor Mr Barrow. Actor Rob James-Collier has said that Barrow is going to have to come to terms with the fact that he’ll never find romantic happiness with another man (this being 1924) – so his spat with Baxter could herald more sadness to come.
5 This is a pacier, snappier, more political Downton
A couple of final thoughts on the overarching themes that episode 1 established.
It seemed to me that there was more pace and structure in the writing – to wit, some halfway decent cliffhangers (Edith with Mr Drewe in the barn, Edith throwing her book into the fire) going into commercial breaks, let alone ending the episode.
And though the world outside has always had a tendency to impinge on the great house – especially when the world outside was fighting World War I – it seems that this series may include more politics than before.
ITV has made much of the ‘shaking ground’ beneath Mr Carson’s feet in the trailer for this new series, and the election of the 1924 Labour government was rammed home in the second scene of this first episode.
If historical accuracy is to be maintained, Downton – like all entailed estates – must sooner or later come under threat from death duties and social change.
Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen until we’ve had a few more juicy seasons…


  1. I can't get the first link to play sound and the link with the episode broken in two parts won't load! :(

  2. SOOO HAPPY that Downton is back! Thank you so very much for uploading all the episodes! The first link worked like a charm! Can't wait for next week! Cheers!


  3. The full length version wouldn't load for me at all. The two part version worked fine but I couldn't get it to play full screen. Is there a way to get it to show full screen? Thank you again for posting it!

  4. As always, thank you so much for posting!!!!! It was a great first episode!

  5. Did I miss something about Mr. Bates when Mrs. Bates refers to him being upset to Lady Mary? It felt like some parts felt chopped musically, so wondering if there was something that got accidentally missed?

  6. I think I speak for all of us when I say thank you for making it so we don't have to wait until January!! I love Downton and I love you for posting it! ;)

  7. Thank you again, June, for posting this so promptly. You have given us a real treat.

  8. Is there a trick to getting it to play? Full length and parts 1 and 2 aren't working for me :(

  9. Thank you! So glad I was able to watch the episode.

  10. Oh - that's a good point about the baby photo under Lady Edith's pillow! I didn't think about that! I wonder if Mrs Hughes will find it in the next episode when they try to clean up the bedroom after the fire - and especially since she saw Edith talking to Mr Drewe beside the fire engine.

    Thank you also for posting the links to the new episode - loved it! :)

  11. Thank you so so much!!!! The two part link worked for me. And I loved and enjoyed watching it. Bless you for uploading!

  12. Thank you so much for what you do for us Downton addicts!

  13. Thank you again and again for making these episodes available. You are indeed Saint June. Thank you also for including a couple of ways to get in. I could not open the first but was able to open the two part set. Hooray!!

  14. Words can not tell you how utterly over joyed I was to click on my computer monday evening to be greeted by the first of many installments of Downton Abbey! I have watched it 3 times already. I have never been so happy for Sunday. I can't wait to see what happens to the wonderful characters.

    I wanted to thank you also, for the new way you are loading them. I was able to watch them, download them....but not burn them for my mother who is unable to see them. The sound would not download. I hope this is fixed soon. Thank you.

  15. I've been fighting a nasty cold/flu these last two days and feeling quite sorry for myself until I saw THIS! I literally let out a squeal of delight (because my throat is full of the cold too!). THANK YOU for making my day a whole lot brighter girl!!!!!!!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing! I love Downton Abby and could not wait until January when it comes out here. Thanks again you're so sweet for doing this!

  17. All the links just go to a white page with the blue bloglovin' banner. Anyone else having this issue? Will there be new links posted?

  18. THank you for posting! I like the new format too!

  19. is there a trick to getting it to play? I am overly anxious!! thanks for all you do!!

  20. I was able to watch episodes part 1 and 2. But when I wanted to see them again I had to request permission. I am unable to get the full length episode to work.
    Thank you so much for doing this- I really appreciate all the hard work that goes into having us watch these episodes.

  21. Bummer. Loved watching it with you last year but everything is going to ads or linked to other sites. Didn't even try the first couple days, knowing you have lots of followers.Is there something I'm not doing. I noticed someone liking the new format. Thanks for posting. I hope you or someone has some insight if they experienced the same issues.

  22. It won't load it just keeps saying loading and nothing happens? Any ideas?

  23. Thank you! Thank you!

  24. THANK YOU! I love Downton Abby and appreciate your uploading it so that I can see it before January! Thanks again and again.

  25. I just watched both halves of episode 1, and both worked great using Safari. Thank you! Thank you!

  26. No matter what I click, at different times of the day/night, I only get advertisements! WHAT am I doing wrong? Thanks

  27. Help! Same for me. Came here to catch up and it looks like you've been hijacked by ads? What am I doing wrong?

  28. Granny Annie sent me here - hello! For some reason I can;t get anything but ads. Help!

  29. Yes it looks like you were hacked! :-( I guess I will watch it on PBS. Thank you June! Your blog is so awesome!

  30. I was hoping to catch up ... But it seems like episode one is missing or am I missing something?