'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: Runaway Train

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Ring ring! Who is it? Why, it’s another week of Downton Abbey of course! Spoiler alert, dear friends! Onward!

We begin with a telegram, for Lady Edith. Hughes looks on, concerned, and the telegram passes from Molesley to Carson and finally to Edith as she breakfasts with Rose. The news, of course is not good (this is Edith after all). It’s so bad that Robert "Donk" Grantham breaks his silent treatment to speak with Cora, who appears to be John Lennon-ing it for peace in bed. The news: Edith’s Editor is coming to Downton.

Downstairs, the Downstairs-ites discuss the odds that the news from the Editor is good or bad. Hughes, more an MLK Jr.-type peacemaker than Cora's John Lennon, tries to help patch up the relationship issues between her BF Carson and her BFF Patmore.

In Mary’s room, Mary the Sociopath makes jokes about her sister’s dead husband. Because her sister’s misery can only hold her interest for so long, she becomes excited about a letter that says Blake and Tony are coming to Downton for a fight to the death over Mary. Or maybe a horse race. Either way, she’s excited.


Elsewhere, the Old Ladies Club meets to play cards and talk about boyz as usual.

Downstairs, Thomas’ treatments are turning him into an evil vampire. His voice is getting lower, his skin paler, and he seems to be smoking cigarettes at every possible moment.

At some sort of lunch, Edith waits for the Editor to show while her family talks merrily about architectural drawings, the health of the common man and Rose's love interest Atticus (FREE HARPER LEE).

In the Bates’ cottage, the time has finally arrived for Mr. Bates to find and be morally outraged by Mary’s prophylactic.

In a shady alley, Violet takes her new maid on a trip to the Russians.

In a car, unceremoniously, the Editor arrives.

Downstairs, Hughes and Patmore, a.k.a. the newest chapter of the Feminist Society of Downton, decides to include a couple new recruits: Carson (so progressive to add a man!) and Daisy, who is actually too busy learning things to be in the society right now.

In a dingy room, Violet meets her Russian Prince for what is “not [their] first secret assignation.” This time, it’s, ostensibly, to tell the Prince that his wife is probably alive. Instead, as things are wont to do with a certain type of smoldering older nobleman, things get sexy. “If Irina were dead, I’d ask you to run away with me right now,” the Prince tells Violet. “I loved you more than I loved her. Even today. Even this afternoon.” Whoa, boy. Run away with him, Violet! Take Baby Marigold and just go!

Downstairs, the police are calling again. This time, they want to come interview Baxter. Geez Louise. Whose tax dollars are paying for all these trips?? Is this really where the state wants to invest money? Cold cases of jerks getting maybe-murdered?

In the library, Donk comes to tell Cora that they have another child with a dead spouse, though only not-an-official spouse so, like, no harm no foul, right? Plus, I mean, it’s Edith so who really cares? Apparently, Michael was done in by ACTUAL HITLER or else his closest, best buds. History lesson! Apparently Hitler was in jail for a while? But, never mind because Edith just inherited a publishing company! If Violet doesn’t take Marigold and run, I hope Edith does!

At the Baby Watcher’s House (obviously), it is increasingly surprising that the over-zealous English law officials haven’t been called to the scene due to Edith’s problems with stalking.

Downstairs, things are tense. Thomas is nearly dying, Bates One is onto Bates Two re: contraception device and Molesley is just being weird as usual.

At Violet’s, an interpersonal battle between her two servants that was too boring to mention before this seems to have come to a head over a disagreement regarding laundering underwear. It remains nearly too boring to mention.

At the Bates cottage, Bates One is giving Bates Two the silent treatment due to the prophylactic discovery. All the people with living spouses seem to now be not on speaking terms with each other.

In the kitchen, Molesley gives Daisy a book on history.

In Donk’s room, Donk is being his usually childish baby self and refusing to go back into Cora’s room because his lil baby ego is hurt. Hey, Donk, remember when you had actual sex with a maid? Because I remember. And I think Cora has a pretty good idea that happened too.

Donk apparently remembers the maid sex thing and gets out of bed to go join Cora.

Downstairs, the Intrepid Detectives are back for Baxter. Clearly this is Thomas-related.

In the library, Mary, Branson, Donk and Cora look at drawings of houses and Isis lies on the floor like a dog. A sick dog. Oh, Isis, don’t be sick! Don’t leave us! Even if your name is now the same name as an international terror organization! You're the heart and soul of this show!

Downstairs, Thomas the Dying Villain looks worse than usual. So bad in fact he asks Baxter for help. He has some sort of horrible thing on his body. Baxter should probably just let Thomas die because he ratted her out to just about everyone. But since she’s an Angel from Heaven, she decides to take him to the Doctor. Boooooo!

Somewhere, Mary receives a horrible bob from a fake Frenchman.

At the Doctor’s, it turns out Thomas has just been injecting himself with saline using a dirty needle. So not even a fun or real drug. The Doctor, ever an anachronistic kindly old man, tells Thomas it’s best to just accept yourself for who you are and #ItGetsBetter.

In the rainy village, Baxter the Saint also tells Thomas #ItGetsBetter. Yeah, totally, you guys. It definitely #GetsBetter in roughly 100 years.

In the library, Isis is not so hot. Noooo! I can’t take the death of a character I actually care about!

The Feminist Society’s Secondary Chapter takes a field trip to Patmore’s new house.

In the drawing room, Mary debuts her unflattering haircut. Luckily, Granny’s on the case: “Oh, it is you!” she says. “I thought it was a man wearing your clothes.”

Edith, in black, points out that everyone talking about haircuts the day after her not-husband was confirmed dead is uncool. Of course everyone takes Mary’s side. Hey, Edith, ugh, stop being such a downer. Let your family go to a fun party picnic if they want to!

At the Bates cabin, Bates One calls out Bates Two for thinking he’s a murderer. It turns out that God actually pushed Anna’s Rapist and someone somewhere has the ticket Bates would have used to get to London, but it’s whole which means he never went to London. Verdict: Adnan didn’t do it!!

Downstairs, Molesley decides to become an ally of the Downton Feminist Society and encourages Daisy’s studies.

Downstairs in the hall, Anna asks Hughes if she still has the ticket that would exonerate Bates and prove, again, that he's not a murderer. Apparently Hughes doesn’t  have the ticket, but, I don’t know, that doesn’t sound like Hughes to me.

At the horse race, the Girl Who Tony Jilted is there with Blake, prepared to race herself. Mary, whose hair and hat combo make her look like Alex from Clockwork Orange, is also joining in the race with the boys. Also, Tony. So it’s going to be a swingers party later at Downton. It’s not just the hair that’s modern, right, guys??

In the library, Edith tells Branson that she’s going away. Who would have thought Edith would escape before Tom though? Wow. I'm actually proud of Edith. I get it. Do you.

At the Baby Watcher’s House, Edith prepares to abscond with her child. The Baby Watcher’s Wife is pretty pissed that the Baby Watcher lied to her about Marigold's parentage. I mean, I get that. He could have told her and it would have been totally okay. The Baby Watcher smolders harder in the distance than even a Russian Prince. Edith takes Marigold and one hopes they live happily ever after.

At the race, Mary gets ready to outshine her droogs while her family looks on. In what might be the top moment of the season, Baby Sybbie says to her grandfather: “Can I have a look, Donk?” She speaks! And when she speaks, she calls him the correct name!!

Isobel tells Violet she’s decided to marry the Fancy Suitor. What will we call him then, the Fancy Fiancee? The Fancy Husband?

The race begins and of course it isn’t just any race but is in fact a symbolic race for dominance over the droogs! After the race (who won? did it matter?), the family meets Atticus’s Jewish Parents. Violet, who seems to have forgotten her daughter-in-law is one of the Chosen People too, is not excited. Someone tell her about the Jazz Singer, quick!

Back at the house, upstairs, everyone sees that Edith is gone and they are kind of relieved. Violet slips out to go check the Baby Watcher’s Farm for clues.

Downstairs, Hughes and Carson are a little more concerned about Edith's disappearance because they are not monsters like the Crawley family. I mean, they care a little but only a little because then Carson proposes that they jointly invest in property together! OMG the romance of it all! Hughes basically giggles.

At the Baby Watcher’s Farm, the Baby Watcher continues to smolder in the general direction of Violet.

Violet walks away, potentially a bit concerned that she pretty much ran her granddaughter out of Downton.

Never fear, Violet! In London, Marigold and her Mama are at a hotel and Edith is smiling. Have we seen this any time in the last 4 years? Edith for Life! Free Edith! And credits.

Character Ranking:

5. The Fake French Hairstylist: I love the way you tricked Mary into looking like a fictional criminal from the future!

4. Baby Sybbie: You called him Donk, kiddo. That’s all you had to do.

3. Isis the Dog: What is wrong you with doggers?! Don’t leave me!!

2. The Baby Watcher: Why is it only now that I am realizing how hot you are? You’re like Marlon Brando or something. Ugh. Those eyebrows. Never change.

1. Edith: She may be a sad sack and she may be a classic middle child, but gosh darn it, Edith is OUT. She’s the new Sybil and she’s doing it without a man even!

Previous Season 5 recaps:

'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Premiere Recap: We Didn't Start the Fire

'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: I'll Make Love To You

'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: Call Me Maybe

‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5 Episode 4 Recap: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do


'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting