I've been wondering about the mysterious Phyllis Baxter for some time, too. One must wonder how Thomas could have found out about her past. What circle of friends or other would connect the two? So the mystery, I'm left to believe, could possibly have something to do with what happened while she was in service in another house. Could she have had something happen to her along the line of Bates, meaning might she have been caught up in some grand theft, whether wrongly accused or not? Or something maybe even worse? Can't wait to see what happens with that thread. Sure hope they deal with it correctly and don't drag it out for an entire season.
I think that Baxter was, like Ethel, a prostitute or in some kind of ill-work (or she had an illegitimate child) and Thomas knows because she's a relative of his.
Whatever ultimately happens to be the root cause of Thomas Barrow's blackmail of Phyllis Baxter, I, for one, certainly hope Julian fully fleshes out for us in this next season and doesn't leave it as a teaser too long. The way that story line has been written and the outstanding acting of the woman playing Baxter's part makes me hope whatever Thomas has hanging over her head will end up being totally inoffensive. It would also be grand to see Baxter and Molesley's relationship go somewhere, too.
I agree. Whatever her secret is, I hope she isn't ruined. Baxter is the most good of Cora's maids in my opinion. Unlike O'Brien and Edna, from what's been shown, she is unhappy with hurting other people. And I definitely want to see her relationship with Molesley grow.
You get a big YES from me about O'Brien and Edna. Next to Thomas, those two are the most devious scoundrels to come down the Downton pike. Can't rightly believe anyone other than Julian could have written those parts any better.
Vera too was an awful scoundrel as well. She and Edna have absolutely no heart or conscience; at least O'Brien and Thomas have shown they have them, however small they are. I really wish Edna had been killed off or utterly destroyed/reduced to nothing so she can't harm/ruin Tom or anyone else again.
As for Baxter, I have a feeling we will find out what it is next season, since she hinted to Molesley in the last episode that she isn't afraid of living in the past anymore, so she might defy Barrow. So yeah, again I hope she and Molesley get a happy ending together, just as I hope Michael Gregson comes back to Edith and their daughter.
You are right. I forgot about Vera. She definitely belongs near the very top of the list of scoundrels.
I have to admit when the Tom/Sybil thread started I was hoping Julian might come up with a character to steer her away from the unsuitable chauffeur, but that turned out to be nearly as great of a storyline as Bates/Anna. Tom is now one of my favorite characters on the series. I'm figuring we'll see a bit more of the schoolteacher Sarah Bunting, too, don't you think?
One has to believe Michael Gregson is a goner. Edith just can't catch a break. I can't help but believe Edith's little girl now being so close to Downton will make a thread many of us will be talking about a good deal the next couple of seasons.
Our discussion sort of departed from Phyllis Baxter. There's just so much to talk about. Don't you love it? :)
It sure did. Tom's one of my favorite characters too, but his old self has been lost since Sybil's death. I'm not a fan of Miss Bunting; I don't think she's right for him. I'm clinging onto hope that Michael is alive and desperate to return to his love. Edith deserves to be happy.
As for Baxter, I cannot imagine what her secret is. Maybe she knew too much about something, like the man in the iron mask. And of course I cannot imagine how Thomas knows what it is. Hopefully we will find out next season.
My guess is that she's divorced, or had a child, now grown, out of wedlock--embarassing and inappropriate for a Lady's maid, but hardly evil.
Raquel Cassidy is in the latest season of Midsomer Murders, playing a woman attractive and in no need of being looked after. She cleans up VERY well.
What do you think?