Downton Abbey series 5 episode 4 predictions: rejections, crossroads and third wheels

A look ahead to the fourth episode of series five, accompanied by Ellie Walker-Arnott's patented guessing game...

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Last week’s Downton Abbey started with Lady Mary rolling around in her pre-martial bed with dashing Tony Gillingham. 

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But all wasn’t well in their adjoining hotel room. A week away with Gillingham hadn’t assured Mary that he was the one for her. In fact, it had done the opposite. Mary was back to square one, with a little less of her reputation intact. 

Talking of her reputation, it was almost left in tatters when the Dowager Countess’s butler Spratt spotted the amorous pair cavorting in Liverpool, until quick-thinking Violet saved the day. And imparted Mary with more words of wisdom about what a young lady should do once she’s been “seduced.”

In London Cora spent a day looking at art and flirting with Simon Bricker – a fact Robert wasn’t too pleased with when he arrived to surprise his wife, only to find her out dining with another man.

Back at the Abbey, Lady Edith’s visits were taking their toll on Margie Drewe, Bates was questioned by the police and Lady Rose’s Russians came for tea and to peruse the Crawley’s royal relics. While there it transpired that one of the Russians once knew the Dowager Countess – and it would seem their relationship was a little more than platonic…

But what’s going to happen next week? Time to make some spurious suggestions… 

Looks like Robert’s outrage last week hasn’t dampened the simmering passion between Lady Cora and her art historian fancy man Simon Bricker. In fact, unperturbed by her marital troubles, Cora is seeing Bricker again – and at the Abbey no less. 

Here they are probably playing footsie under the dinner table. We can just picture Robert, Isis’ head on his lap, seething into Mrs Patmore’s creamed asparagus soup. 

This relationship looks a little chillier than it did last week. They are wearing clothes (coats and hats no less) for a start. It looks as though Lady Mary, on her merry way to shatter Gillingham’s dreams, might have been taken by surprise. Tony was awfully understanding while she struggled to make her mind up all that time, but it seems he hasn’t taken quite so well to her last minute change of heart.

It’s all fine and well secretly taking your knickers off for a potential husband, but if he’s not obliged to keep it a secret anymore scandal could once again be on the horizon for the Crawleys. Thank God sexting wasn’t a thing back in 1924… 

Lady Mary has gone to stay with Aunt Rosamund. Which means she’s gone to do something secret, and potentially steamy, in the big city. Our guess? Now Gillingham’s a no-go, she’s decided it’s time to try out Charles Blake’s bedroom skills. Why stop now, eh?

Awkwardly, though, Blake seems to have come along with another woman. Well, you didn’t think he’d just sit around waiting for you, did you, Mary?

So much for not seeing her Russian prince again, the Dowager Countess appears to have agreed to meet her former flame at some seedy pub, which is terribly out of character. She doesn’t look that impressed though – perhaps his attraction has worn off somewhat now he’s no longer in possession of gold, riches, power and a couple of Russian palaces. Poor Isobel’s even been talked into playing third wheel. Awks. 

Branson is getting well and truly fed up. Not only is his new flat cap far too big for his head, but he has to work with silly old Robert on a daily basis. There Branson is trying to secure the future of the Downton estate and all Lord Grantham will do is stomp around his land grumbling about things being ruined by those outspoken upstarts in the working classes…

Here’s Thomas standing at the literal and hypothetical crossroads. Last week saw him telling a big ol’ fib about where he was going, heading off to visit a mysterious organisation called Choose Your Own Path, rather than his dad’s deathbed. Now it seems it is time for Thomas to put his new found skills to good use. Ripon or Thirsk, Barrow. What will it be? 

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Downton Abbey continues on Sunday at 9:15pm on ITV