What's love got to do with it?
The love lives of the parents are as messy as the children’s. Things might not be as bad between Lady Cora and Lord Grantham as they were following Lady Sybil’s untimely demise (which the former blamed partly on the latter's dithering and stupidity). But their long relationship has taken yet another shift, with Cora making more demands and displaying her irritation with Robert as the pair attempt to steer Mary out of her grief.
Elizabeth McGovern, who plays her, says: “Cora’s more willing to take another side of the argument to Robert…she’s much more impatient with his flaws…when he is being obstinate about moving on with the times and things like that.”
Penelope Wilton, who plays Isobel Crawley, is left bereft after her son Matthew and finds herself unable to engage in the charity work that once gave her purpose. Her only comfort? The attentions of Doctor Clarkson. But things don’t look likely to turn romantic for the pair. “Isobel has decided she’s not going to have that sort of life anymore. She likes independence, she’s much freer [without a husband].”
Downton Abbey is on ITV1 Sunday nights at 9pm from 22 September 2013