Downton Abbey’s fifth episode ramps up the drama downstairs with the addition of a new lady’s maid for Cora (Elizabeth McGovern). The Countess has had a particularly hard time keeping help around this season; perhaps things will improve now that the reserved Phyllis Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) has started.
Unfortunately for Baxter, however, rumor has it the manipulative underbutler Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) holds some kind of sway over Baxter. He does look particularly happy in the preview; as long-time Downton fans know, Thomas smiling rarely means something good for anyone but Thomas.
Episode 5 also continues the horrible storyline currently unfolding for Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) and his beloved wife, Anna (Joanne Froggatt). The once high-spirited lady’s maid was sexually assaulted during Episode 3, a brutal trauma she’s only disclosed — and then only vaguely — to Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan).
The secret has driven a wedge between the formerly blissfully happy Bates couple with Anna leaving their cozy cottage for a single room at Downton. Understandably, Mr. Bates is worried and confused but, as he vowed at the end of Episode 4, he will find answers. This latest installment looks to mark the start of his fact-finding mission. Let’s hope justice for Anna and no prison time for Bates waits at the end.
Also featured: the Dowager (Maggie Smith) and the woman she’s taken under her wing, Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton) in a lovely English garden and Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) trying on her estate runnin’ boots.
What do you make of the Season 4 Episode 5 promo? Are your questions answered or were you hoping for more action? Sound off in the comments below.