Can “Downton Abbey” finally win the Emmy for Best Drama Series? PBS is hoping that the fifth season proves to be the charm as it was for “Breaking Bad” “24” and “The Sopranos.” While “Downton Abbey” won Best Miniseries in 2011, since then it has contended unsuccessfully as a drama series.
This year, Emmy voting for all program categories is opened up to the entire 18,300 members of the TV academy. That marks a change from the past when members had to opt in to voting and decide on just two program categories in which to cast their ballots. And in another big change, voters will be able to watch online all six episodes submitted by producers rather than getting a pair of them on DVD.
Of the nine episodes in season five of this Brit hit, the six up for Emmy consideration are: the first three, number five and the last two.
Local plans for a war memorial see Carson pitted against Robert and Mrs Hughes. Jimmy receives some female attention that causes him major problems. Baxter is issued with an ultimatum. Tom’s burgeoning friendship with Sarah Dunning causes Robert concern. Mary feels ready to try and find love again. Edith and Drewe’s special arrangement starts to crumble as she increasingly finds it hard to keep her emotions in check resulting in some disastrous consequences for everyone.
Robert is left with a difficult decision to make. Mrs Patmore has an idea which might solve everything as Daisy continues to struggle with her studies. Thomas has issues with Baxter, however will his meddling ruin her friendship with Molesley? Rose tries to convince Robert of the positives of a wireless at Downton. Lord Merton continues to pursue Isobel while Mary puts her reputation in danger when Anna is made an accomplice.
Robert is left furious when things don’t go as planned. Mary’s undercover assignment is nearly blown. Violet is quick to save the day. The events surrounding Green’s death are under scrutiny. Mrs Patmore is left devastated when old wounds are opened. Branson receives a proposition regarding the future of the Downton estate.
Simon Bricker returns to talk about the painting with Cora. His his flirting though could have crossed the line. Mary is surprised by Charles Blake in London with a cunning plan.
Episode 5.8 (90 minutes)
Rose’s wedding is just around the corner but family tensions on both sides threaten to derail proceedings. Edith’s arrangement with Marigold is working out as she continues to conceal the truth from her parents. Denker reveals another side to her personality, which causes trouble for more than one of the servants. Branson makes a heart-wrenching decision.
Episode 5.09 (94 minutes)
Lord Sinderby has rented out Brancaster Castle and invited the Crawley family for a shooting party. Stowell has an axe to grind as the rest of the family enjoy the fun. The families get better acquainted with one another. Back at Downton the servants hold the fort. Anna faces up to a uncertain future behind bars, Bates decides to take drastic action to clear her name. Carson and Mrs Hughes consider going into business together. Baxter and Molesley work together on a joint plan.
Two of the “Downton Abbey” supporting players — Jim Carter and Joanne Froggatt — were also nominated this year. Carter went with the season finale, which included several touching scenes between his character, head butler Charles Carson and housekeeper Elsie Hughes (Phyllis Logan). Froggatt went with episode seven in which her character, lady’s maid Anna Bates makes plans for the future with her husband John (Brendan Coyle) when they mistakenly believe her to be no longer a suspect in a murder.
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Photo: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5. Credit: PBS