Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) loves to have the upper hand. Whether he’s in the trenches of war-torn France or the elegant halls of Downton Abbey, this scheming underbutler rarely misses a chance to make the most of another’s misfortune. So what exactly does he have on new addition to the staff, Phyllis Baxter (Raquel Cassidy)?
Since her arrival to the Abbey in the January 26 episode, Baxter has presented a bit of a mystery. She keeps mainly to herself but beneath that chilly exterior there seems to be a warm, inviting person. We have a feeling Baxter’s aloofness is simply her trying to avoid getting close to anyone. After all, she resists Thomas’ constant bullying to get her to spy on her friends and co-workers.
The relationship between these two goes further than Thomas recommending Baxter as Lady Cora’s new maid after the welcomed exit of Edna Braithwaite (MyAnna Buring).
Thomas seems to know Baxter from earlier days, which may not have been happy ones for her. At one point, she tells new friend and potential love interest Mr. Molesey (Kevin Doyle) that she envies his childhood growing up in a village where everyone knows and cares for one another. And so the plot thickens.
Although Season 4 ends with no further details on what Thomas knows about Baxter, it’s obviously nothing she wants shared with the rest of the household. Perhaps she has a few bad acquaintances she’d rather not know where she is, or maybe she once had to do some less than honorable work to make ends meet. Whatever Baxter’s secret, it’s doubtful Thomas will be forgetting it anytime soon.
What do you think Thomas knows? Is Baxter who she seems to be? Share your conspiracy theories in the comments below.