Secrets flare! Lady Edith nearly burns the house down in the fifth season US premiere of Downton Abbey 

January 5, 2015 7:20 AM

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Secrets literally flared both up and downstairs of Downton Abbey during the season five US premiere on PBS Masterpiece Sunday.

Now in the year 1924, Lady Edith Crawley (Laura Carmichael) has managed to keep her love child Marigold - with the still-missing Michael Gregson - a secret from everyone.

Edith is having an increasingly difficult time leaving her illegitimate daughter with local fireman Tim Drewe's family.

Later while reading a book belonging to Gregson, the troubled socialite casually tosses it into the fireplace.

The book causes the room to go up in flames, and Edith sleeps through the horrifying ordeal.

Luckily, scheming under-butler Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) notices the billowing smoke and valiantly comes to Edith's rescue.

The Downton Fire Brigade turns up, along with Drewe (Andrew Scarborough) who's on to Edith and asks her to come up with a more realistic arrangement for Marigold.

The fire ends up being a blessing for Barrow, who was nearly sacked by Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) for blackmailing her maid Phyllis Baxter (Raquel Cassidy).

Instead, Baxter comes clean to Cora about how she spent three years in jail for stealing jewelry at her last position.

And while her Ladyship is unsure whether to sack Baxter, the Earl (Hugh Bonneville) has no doubts about firing Jimmy the footman.

The same fire is the catalyst for Robert discovering James Kent (Ed Speleers) in bed with Lady Anstruther (Anna Chancellor) - his seductive former employer.

Meanwhile, Tony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) makes a 'scandalous suggestion' to become lovers with Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), who's finished mourning the late Matthew.

'I want us to be lovers, Mary,' declared Gillingham, who wants to marry the widowed single mother.

The stuffy morals of the Crawley household are further rocked by the reappearance of Tom Branson's (Allen Leech) would-be love interest Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis).

The outspoken school teacher's views and politics manage to deeply offend Robert during his 34th wedding anniversary dinner.

And just as Lady Rose (Lily James) played matchmaker to Branson and Bunting - the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) meddled in the love life of her best friend Lady Isobel (Penelope Wilton).

'I do like him, it's just he wants something from me that I cannot give,' Isobel lamented over Lord Merton (Douglas Reith).

The butler, Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), stressed about being selected the chairman of a WWI memorial committee over his boss, Robert.

'I feel a shaking of the ground I stand on, that everything I believe in will be tested and held up for ridicule over the next few years,' Carson remarked.

And while assistant cook Daisy Mason (Sophie McShera) studied arithmetic, John & Anna Bates's (Brendan Coyle & Joanne Froggatt) pondered the idea of children.

Many critics have questioned how the cast has remained impossibly youthful 12 years after the first season premiere in 1912.

Downton Abbey has amassed two Golden Globes, two SAG Awards, and 10 Emmy Awards since its 2010 premiere.

The British soap is now up for a SAG ensemble award (January 25 on TBS/TNT) and a Golden Globe for best drama series (January 11 on NBC).

Additionally, Dame Maggie Smith nabbed a solo SAG Award nod, and Joanne Froggatt scored her first-ever Golden Globe nod.

Guest star Richard E. Grant (Girls, Dom Hemingway) will begin his four-episode arc as art historian Simon Bricker in the January 11 episode.

The eight-episode fifth season of Downton Abbey continues Sunday nights on PBS Masterpiece.


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