TV Club: Downton Abbey: “Season Five, Episode Three”

In this episode’s opening scene, Lady Mary and Lord Gillingham sprawl amid tangled sheets, looking appropriately wanton for lovers at the end of a week-long assignation. But their conversation is dry, practical, even a bit chilly. She welcomes him to her bed and her body, but refuses to share more than a crumb of her breakfast. When Tony looks forward to being married “before you can say ‘Jack Robinson,’” Mary stiffens. “Nothing is going to happen that isn’t properly announced, organized, and executed.” Ah, pillow talk.

Kissing her goodbye, Tony says, “We’re settled now, we just have to get organized.” Maybe he’s trying to match her brisk, businesslike tone, but it’s a bloodless end to an illicit week. It’s no surprise that Mary, tepid after treading the primrose path of dalliance, chooses to strike out on a new road without him.

Having learned of …

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