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Sunday, February 10, 2013
Episode 5 Season 2 – Downton Abbey Episode Summary 2.5
Episode Summary: It is 1918 William helps Captain Crawley into his battle uniform, before he addresses his men at Amiens one last time telling them that the enemy will carry a full-on assault on them. Captain Crawley leads the attack against the enemy with William by his side and the full support of his men in spite of them knowing that they may not see the light of day. Both Daisy and Lady Mary appear to have sensed the danger the men they truly care for are in for both were beside themselves with Daisy staring blankly at nothing feeling as though someone had walked over her grave, and Lady Mary getting a terrible cold feeling that she absentmindedly dropped her teacup. This they might have felt around the same time William stepped in front of Captain Crawley at the sight of an incoming bomb that exploded in front of them. The attack was a success with the enemy brought down on their knees, but Captain Crawley and William were not there to see their victory for they both lay unconscious on the ground.
Miss O’Brien wakes Lady Cora and Lord Grantham in the middle of the night. Mr. Molesley still in his sleep attire had rushed to Downton Abbey to deliver a telegram meant for Mrs. Crawley, but since she is away and fully aware of the urgency of its contents the butler thought it best to give it to the Granthams. Lord Grantham relays the message to his family and the servants who are anxious to know it as well. He informs them that Matthew is alive, but is severely wounded, and that the army is bringing him to the Downton hospital. However, the telegram did not say anything about William for news about him must have been sent to his father. Nonetheless, Lord Grantham promises to Daisy that he will phone the war office to learn of his condition, while Lady Edith offers to go see William’s father in the morning. Lady Mary like the rest of them is saddened by the news, but asks her father to tell her whatever it is that he learns about Matthew’s condition no matter how bad.
Lady Edith does as she promised, and upon her return she informs them that William was also seriously wounded, but they do not have any more information about his condition. Learning that the young man been sent to a hospital in Leeds, Lady Violet takes it upon herself to ask Dr. Clarkson to use his authority to have William stay at the Downton hospital. Her request comes from the knowledge that William’s father cannot afford to leave his farm in Downton to be with his only son that is now in a hospital in Leeds. However, Dr. Clarkson’s hands are tied for the village hospital is only meant to cater to wounded officers. Lady Edith even offers to be the young man’s nurse, but Dr. Clarkson’s answer is still a “No” for allowing their request would be unfair to families of the other wounded soldiers from Downton or nearby towns.
Lady Mary knowing that Matthew will be arriving at the village hospital soon prepares for his return, and plans on becoming his private nurse. It did not occur to her that Lavinia has already taken up this role for she is Matthew’s fiancée. In fact, Lady Cora has written to the young woman informing her of Matthew’s condition. At this realization, Lady Mary willingly extends her hospitality to Lavinia, and tells her father that the young woman must stay at their house instead of the Crawleys where she will be all alone.
Anna asks Mr. Bates to accompany her to church where she plans to pray for both Matthew and William. Walking down the aisle with Anna, Mr. Bates could not help but think about giving Anna a church wedding, but the woman could not care less about a wedding as long as she has the right man. Mr. Bates is hopeful that they will be married soon. Little did he know that O’Brien had sent a letter to Mrs. Bates, an act she now regrets knowing that the woman will be causing trouble at Downton at a time when Matthew and William are hanging for dear life. True enough, Vera has come to Downton Abbey to tell Mr. Bates that the matter about their marriage is far from settled. Vera has decided to sell the story about Lady Mary and the late Mr. Pamuk, which involves Anna as well, in spite of giving Mr. Bates her word after taking money from him.
After being turned down by Dr. Clarkson, Lady Violet uses her authority to have William transferred from Leeds to Downton. She personally phones his nephew, the Marques of Flintshire, to ask him whom he might know on the board of Leeds General infirmary. Soon Lady Violet and Lady Edith are at Leeds General speaking to the doctor if the orders of Lord Flintshire have been acted on, and are pleased to know that it has. Upon her questioning, the doctor informs Lady Violet that William will not recover for the explosion fatally injured his lungs. William is nearing the end of his days, and the only thing any hospital can provide him is comfort. The doctor, although curious as to how Lady Violet managed William’s transfer, agrees that it is better for the young man to die at home in the company of his family and friends. Mr. Mason, William’s father, however, still believes that his son will recover when they bring him home. Lady Violet stops the doctor before he could tell him the painful truth.
Dr. Clarkson announces the arrival of Matthew at the village hospital where Lady Mary and Lady Sybil are anxious to see him. Dr. Clarkson knowing very well how distressing Matthew’s injuries are asks Lady Mary to hang back until the nurses have cleaned him, but Lady Mary is determined to be by Matthew’s side no matter how harrowing his appearance is. True enough, Matthew is covered with wounds and bruises, and according to the medic, the man has been unconscious since they received him. In fact, the tag tied to him reports that Matthew may be suffering from spinal damage. Lady Sybil tidies his uniform when the stuffed animal Lady Mary gave Matthew falls from his things. Recognizing what it is, Lady Mary confesses that she had given it to him for luck. At about the same time Matthew arrived at the village hospital, William was brought in Downton Abbey.
O’Brien is full of regret at telling Mrs. Bates that Mr. Bates has returned to Downton Abbey, this after seeing the woman declaring exposing a scandal that will bring down the House of Granthams. Thinking that the woman was only after Mr. Bates, O’Brien did not expect that Mrs. Bates plans on dragging the Granthams to the mud as well. Hearing of this, Thomas too believes that causing the woman to return to Downton was a terrible mistake. Knowing of Vera’s plan, Anna informs Lady Mary about it, and how the woman swindled Mr. Bates into giving him his inheritance in exchange for keeping the scandal to her self. It is now up to Lady Mary to fix this, and her plan is to tell Sir Richard Carlisle the truth hoping the man will help her keep her secret. She is to see Sir Richard the very next day to personally make her request. Luckily, Lavinia will be arriving that day to take care of Matthew. Meanwhile, William is resting in one of the bedrooms at Downton Abbey, and his father could not bear the thought of leaving him. Lady Edith assures Mr. Mason that she will look after him, and that there will not be a moment where William will be alone. Although William’s injuries do not appear as disturbing as Matthew’s, his condition is truly much worse.
Matthew has regained his consciousness, and Lady Mary looks on as Dr. Clarkson determines the extent of his spinal injury. Lord Grantham arrives with Lavinia whom Lady Mary welcomes with news that Matthew is conscious, but the seriousness of his injuries is yet to be determined. She also tells them that the impact of the blast from the shell that landed in front of Matthew and William threw both men off their feet. Matthew was thrown against something that wounded his back and most likely his spine. Dr. Clarkson finishes his examination, and informs them that Matthew’s spine is permanently damaged. He will never walk again. Lavinia is brought to tears upon hearing this, but Dr. Clarkson is quick to tell her that although Matthew will forever be paralyzed from the waist down, he will recover his health. This, however, means something else to Lord Grantham, which is why Dr. Clarkson pulls him aside to deliver the other news. Matthew Crawley will not have any children.
Mrs. Hughes pays a visit to Ethel to bring her and her baby a basket of food. The young woman has written again and again to Major Bryant, the child’s father, but the man refuses to see his son. Mrs. Hughes informs Ethel that the man is planning on dropping by Downton Abbey to see his old pals. This gives Ethel a window of opportunity to have the man see his child, but Mrs. Hughes would not let her return to Downton Abbey nor help her convince the man to at least drop by her house to meet his son. Mrs. Hughes returns to Downton Abbey, and meets with a candidate to replace Ethel. The woman has a child herself whom she had left in the care of her mother who lives in the village. Mrs. Hughes is in a bit of a quandary for the woman is qualified for the job, and has good references, but her concern stems from her having a child. Mrs. Hughes seems to have had a change of heart about Ethel’s request. She comes up to Major Bryant and hands him a letter from Ethel, but the man would not even take it much more read it. Just as she thought, the man tells her that the matter does not concern her. Mrs. Hughes pleads with the man to see his son, but Major Bryant is resolute on his stand.
Mrs. Patmore forces Daisy to go see William, and the question the young kitchen maid has been dreading to hear is asked of her. William asks Daisy to marry her now instead of the end of the war. Lady Edith tries to divert William’s thoughts away from marriage as though she sensed that Daisy was not prepared to accept it. Meanwhile, Matthew wakes up at the village hospital, and finds Mary by his side. He asks about William, and tells her that he was the one who saved his life. Mary honestly tells him that the young man is in a bad condition, but when Matthew starts wondering why he could not feel his legs, Mary could not bear the thought of having to tell him the truth. Matthew sees right through her, and urges Mary to tell him the truth leaving her with no other choice but to tell him that Dr. Clarkson believes that he has spinal damage, and through Mary’s evasion in answering whether or not he will regain feeling on his legs Matthew could tell that the answer is that he will never be able to walk again. Matthew thanks her for telling him the truth for he would rather know than be in the dark about his condition.
Lady Mary pays a visit to Sir Richard, and bravely tells him the secret she has been keeping. Lady Mary admits her guilt, and provides no excuses for it. She has come to personally ask his help knowingly taking the risk of him exposing her secret, and him rescinding his marriage proposal. If they marry, it is no longer he who benefits from it for in exchange for giving him status through their marriage he would have kept the Granthams away from scandal. This arrangement, in fact, pleases Sir Richard for then he feels that they now owe each other something. In reality, Lady Mary will no longer be of equal footing with him for to Sir Richard her being his wife means that she will forever be in his debt.
Mrs. Hughes informs Mr. Carson about the recent candidate for the housemaid in order for him to ask Lord Grantham’s opinion on whether or not they should hire her. The decision used to belong to Lady Cora, but since she is now preoccupied with running the convalescent home, the butler thought it best to ask Lord Grantham instead. The woman, Jane Moorsum, is a widow of a soldier who died in the Somme. She is left with a son, which is why she has no other choice but to look for work in order to provide for him. Lord Grantham’s stand on this is that they must do what they can to help the widows of their defenders, and so it has been decided, if the only reason for Mrs. Hughes’ reluctance from hiring Jane is because she has a child then she should worry no longer for widows are welcome at Downton Abbey.
Already full of guilt for leading William on, Daisy is in a serious quandary thanks to Mrs. Patmore, the woman who obliged her to accept William’s marriage proposal before he left for the war. None of them ever thought the marriage will push through, but because the young man is dying Daisy could not bear the thought of lying to him on his deathbed, but also could not find the courage to let him down. Mrs. Patmore’s argument is that William having peace and happiness before he passes on matters more than Daisy lying to him.
Fully aware that he will never walk again, Matthew asks Lavinia to move on without him, because his injury has made him incapable to father children. Lavinia promises him that it will not come between them, but Matthew is certain that it will, as it should. Matthew could not bear being responsible for preventing Lavinia from having the life she wanted to have. Lavinia refuses to leave Matthew, but the man pushes her away, and tells her to forget about him.
Lady Sybil informs Branson that he is to fetch Lady Mary, but also senses that the young man is troubled. Branson has read in the newspaper that the Tsar and all his family were shot dead. This disturbed him for he never thought the revolution would lead to this, but then he has come to believe that sometimes the future needs terrible sacrifices. This was also what Lady Sybil believed before the war. Branson tells her that a hard sacrifice must be made for a future that is worth having. His words, and his touch seem to have kindled a fire from within Lady Sybil that she almost kissed Branson, but her mind got the better of her, and she pulls away.
Sir Richard is true to his word. She meets with Mrs. Bates that very afternoon since his chat with Lady Mary. He is willing to buy the story of Lady Mary’s scandal from Mrs. Bates, but with a condition that she may not peddle different versions of it to other newspapers. She would have to sign a binding contract to ensure that the story is exclusively sold to Sir Richard, and breaking the contract would mean a lawsuit. The woman agrees to all of this.
William is at the very end of his life, and she has asked for Daisy who is still overcome with guilt. Daisy confesses to Mrs. Hughes what she has done, but just like Mrs. Patmore, the woman does not think that her refusing to see William would be good. William asks his father and Lady Edith if he could speak privately with Daisy. He is fully aware that he is dying, which is why they need to be married right away. William would want Daisy to be his wife for being a war widow means that she will have a pension and rights. William wants Daisy to have something to fall back on, and pleads with her to let him do that for her. Daisy could not accept it, and tells William that it would be dishonest to do so, but the young man believes that it would not be cheating for they love each other, and would have spent their whole lives together. Daisy could not bring herself to tell him otherwise. After their talk, Mr. Mason asks Daisy if she will agree to his son’s last wish, hoping against hope that the young woman will not disappoint William.
Lady Mary finds Lavinia weeping in her bedroom. The young woman informs Lady Mary that Matthew had asked her to go home in spite of her constant assurance that she does not care about the fact that they cannot have children. It is a consequence of Matthew’s injury that neither Lavinia nor Lady Mary realized until then, and the guilt of having a wife with the knowledge that he could not give her is something that Matthew could not bear no matter how much he loves the woman and vice versa.
At breakfast, Lord Grantham has a shock of his own as he reads on the newspaper the public announcement of Lady Mary’s engagement to Sir Richard Carlisle. More outrageous is Lady Mary’s admission that she herself did not know that their engagement will be announced for Sir Richard did not speak to her about it. There is, however, another wedding that is more pressing than the one between Lady Mary and Sir Richard, and that is the marriage of William and Daisy. Lord Grantham informs Mr. Carson that they are unsure if Mr. Travis will agree to the marriage, but the vicar has to decide soon for William is nearing his end. Lady Violet personally speaks to Mr. Travis who expresses his doubts about the unusual proposal to wed a dying man. He suspects that Daisy is taking advantage of William with her receiving a widow’s dole for a man who served his country, but Lady Violet gives the vicar her word that there is nothing dishonorable about the request. Lady Violet makes it clear that William Mason who served the Granthams well before serving his country not to mention saving the life of the future Earl of Grantham only wants to marry the love of his life before he dies. She makes her authority clear; Lady Violet will see to it that William and Daisy are wed.
Mrs. Hughes pays a visit to Ethel’s house to inform her the unfortunate yet expected news of Major Bryant’s refusal to see his son. Ethel is finding it difficult to support his son for there are not a lot of places that would allow her to bring her baby to work. There will even be less people who would hire her if they knew that her child was born out of wedlock, which is why she has come up with the lie that she is a widow of a man who died in the war. Mrs. Hughes is reminded of Jane, the new maid they hired to replace Ethel. Unlike Ethel, servants and masters alike have found respect for the war widow who was forced to look for a job to support her child. In fact, Jane has had an opportunity to personally receive the kindness of Lord Grantham after she had mistakenly barged inside the library instead of the drawing room. Jane expresses her gratitude to Lord and Lady Grantham for taking her in, but Lord Grantham informs her that it is them who should be grateful for the sacrifice her late husband made for the country, which makes them indebted to him and consequently to the family he left behind.
Vera reads on the newspapers Sir Richard’s engagement with Lady Mary, and furiously barges in the man’s office who bluntly informs her that he tricked her into signing a contract with him to protect his fiancée. Mrs. Bates withdraws her agreement with Sir Richard, but it is too late, and the man warns her that it will be her ruin if she in any way breaks the contract she signed with him. Lady Mary’s good name is now safe, but Vera vows that her fight against John Bates is not yet over. Sir Richard could not care less about her dispute with Mr. Bates.
The time has come for Daisy to wed William, and still she is troubled by the fact that she is not marrying him for the right reasons for she knows very well that she is not in love with William. Mr. Travis officiates the marriage of William and Daisy with the servants, Lady Edith, and Lady Violet attending the wedding, and consequently being the witnesses to their marriage. Although all the servants know that Daisy is only marrying William out of pity, not one contested the marriage for no one would want to be preclude a dying man’s wish.
Meanwhile, Lady Mary sits by Matthew’s side to show her understanding for the seemingly cruel wish he had asked of Lavinia. Matthew informs her that given his condition, he cannot marry any woman no matter how much one just wants to be with him even with the full knowledge of his incapacity to father children. The thought of having lost his manhood and admitting it to the woman whom he once turned down made Matthew retch. His current state is extremely humbling. Luckily, Lady Mary has grown mature, and could now see past the pompousness of keeping up appearances as she too humbly cares for the sick. Mrs. Crawley sees all of this, and admits having noticed the transformation in Lady Mary.
Lady Mary bumps into Mr. Bates who informs her that William is nearing the end. She, however, delivers to him a bit of good news about Mrs. Bates risking prison if she breaks the contract she had signed with Sir Richard. She, however, informs him that her being tricked has caused her to make threats against Mr. Bates. In spite of the renewed fury Vera has against him, Mr. Bates hopes that his worries are gone or at least he makes it seem so for Anna’s sake. Daisy, on the other hand, has not left William’s side, and vows to stay with him until the end. She could not bear to leave him at the time of his great need. William, however, has finally succumbed to death just as Daisy is telling Mrs. Patmore of her promise to be with him.
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