From friendships to romantic entanglements to inevitable family bonding, here are six relationships we hope get the chance to develop this upcoming Downton Abbey season.
Mary and Tom
Mary and Tom’s friendship has been one of the most fully developed in the series because it seemed to happen so organically. While they started off as relative antagonists, each fighting for what they believed was best for their beloved Sybil, over time they found that their opinionated, outspoken personalities actually got along really well. Once married to Sybil, Mary was the biggest proponent of embracing Tom as a family member, and their practical but differing world views meant that they could each provide the advice that the other needed to hear.
Once their spouses died, they obviously became much closer due to their shared tragedy. Mary encouraged Tom to find his place at Downton after Sybil’s death, and when Matthew died, Tom became the catalyst for finally getting Mary out of her depression. Both underdogs of sorts when handling estate affairs, they respect each other’s mind and spirit and have proven what a great and innovative business match they can be.
When Mary’s suitors became the focus of the second half of the season 4, unfortunately her blossoming friendship with Tom got set aside, but here’s hoping that their playful chemistry (which out-sparks Gilly’s even on his best day) gets a chance to shine in season 5.
Anna and Thomas
Thomas and Anna started off the series guns-a-blazin’ as Thomas had his eyes set on ruining Bates’ career at Downton. But Lady Sybil’s death showed Anna a softer, more genuine side to the presumed soulless Thomas, and in return Thomas found himself endeared to one of the few other people who could share in his loss.
In season 4, their bickering wore on, but Thomas finally seems to respect Anna, and although she still finds him petty, in many ways she now recognizes his behavior as that of an angry child acting out. After a spectacular third season, Thomas really got the short end of the stick in season 4, so we can only hope that as he continues his scheming, season 5 brings him some more of Anna’s good influence.
Jimmy and Rose
The two self-absorbed darlings of Downton, Jimmy and Rose just want to have fun. It was a treat to see them wiggle their way out of the whole dancing hall mess of season 4, and with any luck season 5 will bring us more of their accidental shenanigans.
As the youngest member of the upstairs family, Rose rarely gets the chance to let her hair down and interact with some of the roaring ’20s kids her own age, and as a progressive-minded young woman, it would be a real treat to see her stick her nose in the downstairs social affairs. As for Jimmy, always the player, we rarely get to see him interact genuinely with the ladies, so it was a delight to see him drop his guard with Rose and stand in confusion over her behavior. A true Downton innovator, we think our Rose has it in her to pluck some sincerity out of this jealous, petty footman.
Thomas and Daisy.
Once upon a time, Daisy was so naïve and in love… but four seasons later she’s got her groove back and she ain’t got time for Thomas’ nonsense. Once smitten with the former footman, she’s since learned not to trust a word he says. This has in turn made for some amusing moments, as Thomas’ endearment to Downton has grown, and Daisy has become one of only a handful of people he seems genuinely fond of.
He has a funny way of showing his fondness though, which is why we can’t really blame Daisy for dismissing him as toying with her when he tries to inquire after her well being. As friends, a person like Daisy could teach Thomas a thing or two about caring for others, and he would be an ideal candidate to bump up her ego and encourage her to chase after what she wants, so we hope we get to see more of this pair come next season.
Edith and Mary
Mary and Edith have never had it easy. From the start of the series, Mary teased Edith mercilessly, and mounting jealousies eventually led Edith to take it upon herself to destroy her sister’s moral reputation. After some time, the two have learned to make amends; Mary still teases Edith, but keeps the humiliation to a minimum, and Edith has learned to find her own way in the world, having confidence in herself as her own person outside of Mary’s shadow. After Sybil’s death, they learned to appreciate each other a little bit more, but they’ve still never been the best of friends, and though they love each other as family does, as far as companionship goes, they only tolerate each other at best.
Still, as this upcoming season unfolds, Edith will surely have mounting grief at the loss of her baby, and we can’t help but feel that as chastising as Mary can be, she might be one of the few people who could empathize with Edith. We hope that in a series that so wonderfully explores the complex relationships between women, this upcoming season finally brings us some closure between the two Crawley sisters.
Violet and Isobel
The Dowager has never been one to contend with, but if there was ever anyone at Downton who could ruffle Violet’s feathers, it’s been Isobel with her confounding middle-class, social activist ways. When she initially arrived, Violet and Cora often teamed up to shut down Isobel’s newfangled ideas, but as the years have gone on and the children have died, the Dowager has finally seemed to accept Isobel as a member of the family.
This pair is always delightful to watch because they open each other up to new ideas and force each other out of their comfort zones. And though Violet has always found Isobel to be a little grating, her immense kindness in caring for Violet while she was sick really showed a new side to their inevitable friendship. With any luck, season 5 will continue to bring the two classiest ladies at Downton even closer.