Downton Abbey series 5, episode 3: New pictures show Lady Mary looking pleased

Elsewhere Robert is left 'red faced and furious' when his plans go awry

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The Independent Culture

New photos have been released ahead of next Sunday’s episode of hit period drama, Downton Abbey.

Last night’s show saw Anna Bates buy contraception for Lady Mary ahead of her saucy weekend of pre-marital sex with suitor Lord Gillingham.

While no hints are dropped in the latest images, Mary is seen smiling (a rare event) as she hops into a carriage looking glamourous in a blue fur-lined coat.

Her antics are supposed to remain a secret, but Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess steps in to save the day when her cover comes close to being blown. Violet clearly has buried secrets of her own, too, as a face from her past makes a reappearance.

Meanwhile, after Richard E Grant’s arrival as art historian Simon Bricker in episode two, he is back charming the well-laundered hosiery off Cora, Countess of Grantham. Robert had better watch out, or “lock up his etchings” as Hugh Bonneville joked at the press launch.


Then there’s Bates, who finds himself in hot water when the case of rapist valet Green’s death “comes under scrutiny” once more.

Elsewhere, the official ITV synopsis promises a “red faced and furious” Robert, Earl of Grantham, who becomes enraged when things do not go as planned.

Mrs Patmore will be left “devastated when old wounds are repoened” but Carson remains unsympathetic, while Branson receives an “interesting proposition concerning the future of the Downton estate”.

The times they are a changin’ at the Abbey and, despite some rehashing of old, somewhat worn storylines, new injections of drama are keeping viewers in their armchairs.