Downton Abbey: Poor Edith, Destined to Spinsterhood

by Jessica
Originally Published: 

Given the magnitude of her loss, Edith makes the ultimate decision to snatch her child from the Drewe household, much to their shock and dismay, and absconds with Marigold to London. Perhaps this is a well-needed break from Downton? Perhaps the perpetually sullen Edith will blossom into her newfound independence? Perhaps motherhood will be a welcome challenge, even a delight? (Though I’m betting it’s more of the former, given Marigold’s distant, ambivalent stare at her mother’s promise of ice cream.) There are a wealth of positive directions this storyline could take, all of which would be welcome developments considering the continuous sob-show that Edith’s plots typically are. At least she inherited a publishing company.

Speaking of compassion (or lack thereof), how about Thomas and the awful medical treatments he’s been subjecting himself to? Between the electroshock therapy and saline injections with unsterilized needles, he’s in all sorts of pain, and that’s to say nothing of the secret burden he’s hoping to eradicate. I was a little surprised at Dr. Clarkson’s forthrightness, but his assessment is correct. Nothing can be done to change Thomas’s sexuality. He offers this advice: “Accept the burden that chance has seen fit to lay upon you, and to fashion as good a life as you are able.” While hardly progressive, it’s probably the best Thomas could hope to hear in 1920s England. Baxter at least admires his bravery and determination. “Think what you could do in this world if you just set your mind to it,” she says. She sees his behavior as laudable, commending him when he most expects contempt.

The never-ending murder investigation of Mr. Green is still unfolding, but this week we learn some startling, nearly implausible information. Mr. Green died before Bates even had a chance to kill him! Bates makes this confession only because he discovers what he thinks is Anna’s birth control device. Believing she doesn’t want to have children with a murderer, he professes his innocence. It feels more anticlimactic than revelatory, given how ridiculous a conceit it is. Here’s hoping that’s the last we hear of Mr. Green.

Meanwhile, Mosley offers to tutor Daisy, and Mrs. Patmore looks to buy a house. Mary races horses with old lovers, and the Russian prince declares his love for Violet. It seems everyone has suitors chomping at the bit. Except Edith, of course, who’s doomed to spinsterhood forever.

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