“Downton Abbey” fans will be sitting down with a hot cup of tea to enjoy the Season 5 premiere tonight. However, it’s important to remember what happened in last season’s finale. Although there is a time jump (the show will pick up in 1924), the storylines from Season 4 will play into Season 5.
The majority of the "Downton Abbey" Season 4 finale took place in London at the Grantham House. The family went down for Lady Rose’s (Lily James) ball. However, while they were mingling with royalty like the Prince of Wales (Oliver Dimsdale), Sampson (Patrick Kennedy) stole a letter the prince had written to his lover. Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and Rose believed it was up to them to find the letter before the press got their hands on it. Bates (Brendan Coyle) pickpocketed the letter off of Sampson and saved the day.
This kind act earned him some gratitude from Lady Mary, which worked in his favor after Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) discovered a train ticket in his coat pocket. If he used it, it would have put him in the same city of Mr. Green’s (Nigel Harman) murder ... meaning he may have killed his wife’s rapist. However, Lady Mary decided the best plan was to throw the ticket in the fire. She didn’t want to accuse Bates of murder.
That wasn’t the end of Lady Mary’s drama. She also had two suitors. Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden) and Tony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) were both after her affections. However, she was content to watch them fight for her. She didn’t make any final choices.
Cora’s American mother, Martha (Shirley MacLaine), and brother, Harold (Paul Giamatti), were also in town for the ball. Harold’s valet tried to convince Daisy (Sophie McShera) she should go to America and be their new cook. Daisy didn’t want to go, but Ivy (Cara Theobold) was.
Tom Branson (Allen Leech) decided to stay home while the family went to Lady Rose’s ball in London. He stayed behind and spent time with Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis), the local school teacher. He even brought her back to the Abbey to show her around. However, Thomas (Rob James-Collier) found them and told Lord Grantham upon his return from London. While he wasn’t as angry as Thomas had hoped, the patriarch wasn’t pleased with the news.
Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) returned from an eight-month trip to Switzerland. She gave her baby away to a family there, but Lady Violet (Maggie Smith) still discovered her secret from Rosamund (Samantha Bond). The Dowager Countess knew the choice to give the child up was the best option. However, Edith determined she needed to bring the baby girl back.
In “Downton Abbey” Season 5, the drama will continue. Edith’s daughter will be back in Downton with a farmer’s family, but the Crawleys won’t know she had a baby. Lady Mary will still have plenty of love interests, but she probably won’t head down the aisle any time soon. Burning the train ticket won’t stop the investigation of Mr. Green’s murder. Bates’ past could come back to haunt him. Check out more spoilers here.
“Downton Abbey” Season 5 premieres on Sunday, Jan. 4 at 9 p.m. EST on PBS.