If you've watched Downton Abbey, you know romance has never really been Lady Mary's thing. *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT*
She's got such bad luck with dudes that Mr. Pamuk, the first man she slept with, met an unhappy end—his death followed her courtship attempts for two seasons. The departure of her late husband Matthew Crawley followed, and now Lady Mary, single mother, is back in the saddle. But is 1924 ready for all her jelly?
During the second episode of Downton's fifth season, Lady Mary decided to take the jump toward being a "modern woman" and go on a sexxx trip with her possible second husband, Lord Gillingham. Naturally, this being high British society on the heels of the Victorian age—the radio's just been introduced, guys—she had to lie about her sexxx trip. So Lady Mary packed up for her "sketching trip" (giveaway no. 1) without her lady's maid Anna (giveaway no. 2) with a controversial sex book hidden somewhere between her gowns (giveaway no. 3) and hit the road for a delightful, art-y getaway in Liverpool, where everyone goes for fun.
After the sexxx trip, Duchess Granny Grantham's gossiping, snooty butler Spratt shares the news about Mary's booty-full Liverpool trip, which he heard from a chap who saw Lady Mary staying quite close to her perspective husband without a chaperone. An appalled Granny Grantham calls Lady Mary over for tea where she and Spratt can look down their noses at the single mother in person. Granny then tells her that she better have a marriage proposal on the way if she's already out here In These Streets. Lady Mary, in turn, says she won't be rushed into anything by her family or ol' boy Gillingham—though to be fair, Mary takes ages to make any decision that doesn't include being mean or nasty to people, so…
Later, Granny visits the Abbey for luncheon with the family and some visiting Russians and her own flirtations from back in Ye Olde Days are revealed. Her Old Russian Boo is at the luncheon (who also happens to be Boris the Blade, the Russian who wouldn't die in Snatch, and seems too young to have swagged out on the Dutchess in Ye Olde Days, but it's television, right?). Old Russian Boo flirts with Granny in front of everyone, reminiscing on the time he kept her handkerchief at a party without her husband knowing, intimating that he's pined after her for decades since. Lady Mary catches all of the innuendo and sees Granny's flushed face, quickly telling Granny to that she too was In These Streets so cut the judgement.
From the first three episodes of Downton, it's clear that the changing times will reflect the strides women took in the early '20s. From Lady Mary's sexxx trip and Lady Grantham's London art trip with a man who was not her husband, to Lady Edith's secret baby Marigold, Tom's revolutionary almost-girlfriend and Daisy's education—it's all coming up ovaries. I'm curious to see where this season will leave men like Lord Grantham and Carson, who refuse change at nearly every turn—especially if it involves women.
Image via PBS.