Downton Abbey Episode 05.01 is the premiere episode of the Fifth season of the UK-US period drama Downton Abbey. This episode focuses on the advent of a new prime minister, Ramsey MacDonald, and a fire which nearly kills Lady Edith Crawley.
The first scene shows Edith going on her bicycle to Yew Tree Farm, where the Drewe family lives. It was there that her daughter, Marigold Gregson is living with Tim, a farmer who would become the head of the Downton Fire Brigade; his wife, Margie, who dotes on Marigold; and their children.
However, usually after the visits, Edith is left in tears, as she misses her daughter. Meanwhile, in the Abbey, the family is enjoying tea time. As Robert Crawley reads the paper, he bemoans the new liberal government. He complains about the children being down there, and he won't say anything to them until they can answer back. Rose MacClare says that Sybbie, who is now a very charming four year old little girl, can answer back.
He continues to bemoan about Sybbie calling her "donk", a name he had applied to him when he played a game of "Pin the tail on the Donkey." He does not want her younger cousin George Crawley, whom she is close to, to begin to call him that. He leaves, but he tells them bye-bye, while Sybbie, grinning, says "Goodbye, Donk!"
Meanwhile, downstairs, Daisy Mason is wanting to learn more about things. She wants to begin classes to prepare herself for eventual living on her father in-law's farm. Mrs. Beryl Patmore, however, feels that she would not need something like that. The butler, Charles Carson is in agreement, but Elsie Hughes thinks that Daisy is doing what she thinks is best.
However, Joseph Molesley, of whom she considers a friend, advises her to tell Cora herself. This she does. Her job is imperiled, because nobody had told Cora about Baxter's past.
Meanwhile, John Bates and his wife, Anna have to deal with Inspector Willis, the Downton constable, coming around asking about the death of Alex Green, the valet who had raped Anna in the previous season.
Robert has Carson join them for a meeting with a town delegation, led by Mrs. Wigan, the postmistress, who wants to set up a monument to the war dead. The idea is good, and the deputation want to take a look at various places in Downton for a good place.
Meanwhile, Cora catches Thomas and berates him for trying to use Baxter's criminal past against her. She threatens his job. An infuriated Barrow storms downstairs. When he sees Baxter, he hisses, "You think you're so clever, don't you?!"
Meanwhile, Jimmy Kent, the footman, receives a letter from his former employer, a conniving woman named Lady Anstruther. She wangles a stay at Downton and totally throws things into a lather. Later on, Thomas keeps a guard out while Jimmy goes in to talk with her, which turns out to be more.
Still later, Thomas senses smoke coming out of Lady Edith's bedroom. She had been upset about her missing lover, Michael Gregson. She had thrown a book she received from him and it hits the fireplace, catching fire. By the time Thomas gets there, the room is ablaze. He yells fire, and everyone is called into action.
Upon hearing the news of a fire, Lady Mary Crawley, who was talking with Charles Blake, is worried about her son, George. However, his uncle, Tom Branson, has rescued him and Sybbie. Mary and Charles take the scared children downstairs. Tom and Robert are doing their best to put out the fire, with sand and water.
Earlier, Tom and Robert had a strained conversation about a woman named Sarah Bunting. It turns out that Tom and Sarah were not lovers. The visit she had at the Abbey was purely innocent. Robert realizes that Tom wasn't at fault. The two work together wonderfully.
Meanwhile, Robert runs down the corridor rousing the guests because of the fire. He is stunned to see Jimmy with lady Anstruther in bed. She leaves the abbey the next morning, and Jimmy is sacked, but he receives a good reference in spite of it.
After all the excitement, Cora praises Barrow for his quick thinking. She confesses that she had planned on sacking him, but she changed her mind when he rescued Edith. She sleeps in her father's dressing room in the interim.
Fortunately, the only damage was in Lady Edith's room, and everything's back to normal.