First of all, ITV has released their drama trailer which features several shows including a few short and very vague clips about Downton Abbey.
If like me, you’re a big fan of Dame Maggie Smith, then you will welcome this news. In her role as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey, she has been nothing short of sublime, but there have been times when she has been rather underused.
Last season saw her involved more, particularly in the storyline surrounding Edith’s illegitimate baby, and we also watched as she battled illness and was nursed back to health by Isobel Crawley. Now executive producer to the show, Gareth Neame, has told TV Line we can look forward to much more of our favourite cranky Granny with the witty one liners.
He didn’t reveal much, just that “She has a brilliant storyline this season. It’s Downton at its best, this storyline. It’s fantastic,” (stay vague bro) but that’s good enough for me.
While the Dowager Countess has provided us with some fantastic comedy moments, it is the drama that Smith really delivers in her role, and I look forward to seeing more of that.
- Anna wonders about going to place where no one knows her and Mr. Bates. Later, Mr. Bates promises her that nothing bad will happen to her and they'll grow old together, surrounded by their children.
-A bon mot from the Dowager Countess: "I warn you being tested does not bring out the best in me."
- Lady Edith is obviously heartsick over her daughter being with the tenant farmers, the Drews. Mr. Drew tells her to find a way to live with the truth without telling the truth.
- Lady Rose has a suitor (surprise, surprise).
-One of the wonderful exchanges between Lady Violet and cousin Isobel, in regards to Lord Merton: Isobel: "He wants something from me I cannot give," to which Violet says, "He wants what every man wants. ... Don't be ridiculous, I was referring to companionship. I hope you were."
- We will meet a man from Lady Violet's past. Woo woo.
- Charles Blake makes a great play for Lady Mary, referring to Tony Gillingham when he says, "Nothing would make me happier than seeing you happy, but please be absolutely sure before you decide. You're cleverer than he is. That might have worked in the last century, when ladies had to hide their brains behind good manners and good breeding, but not now." (Also Mary says sex, and I'm utterly scandalized)
- Tom continues to struggle with living in the aristocracy versus his more modest roots. But Sarah Bunting is still around and in fact gets invited to dinner at the estate.
On the most important matter, the trailer gives no clue whether Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) will move beyond the heartwarming scene at the end of season four when she took his hand as they waded into the water.
“I think everyone hopes they will get together,” Allen Leech, who plays Tom Branson, told television writers here. “That would be a lovely story.”
Executive producer Gareth Neame quickly moved to short-circuit that speculation by joking, “They have a huge fight and it’s all over.”
It does not seem to be over for Branson and the village schoolteacher, Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis), whose friendship has troubled Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville). The trailer gives no indication how far, if anywhere, Tom and Sarah might progress.
Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) seems to still be juggling two panting suitors, Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen) and Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden).
Dockery more or less confirmed this, saying, “Mary’s over her grief and embracing her new life.”
That includes a cryptic conversation with Blake in which she casually asks whether some unspecified preceding exchange means “love or sex.”
On the darker side, the trailer suggests that the issue of whether Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) killed Mr. Green (Nigel Harman) for raping his wife, Anna (Joanne Froggatt), was not resolved after all at the end of last season.
Lady Mary burned a piece of evidence that could have made Bates a suspect. But she clearly did not burn the storyline.
The dark story upstairs seems to swirl around Edith (Laura Carmichael). Who else?
Viewers will remember she went to Switzerland last year to have the baby fathered by Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards).
After Gregson disappeared, Edith brought the baby back to Downton to be raised by tenant farmer Tim Drewe (Andrew Scarborough). The trailer indicates that this situation brings all the complications every viewer knew it would.
And oh, by the way, Gregson is still missing. Carmichael shook her head vigorously when asked if she could reveal whether he’ll return.
No news on Thomas' sex life, sorry guys.