There some fun happenings on the latest episode of “Downton Abbey” Season 4 — but don’t keep reading if you don’t want to be spoiled.
It’s another case of the posthumously-found letter. This one is from Matthew to Mary, giving her permission to move on with Lavinia Swire.
No, wait. It’s a de facto will that names Mary the sole heiress of Matthew’s estate, which means she owns half of Downton along with her father and gets to have a say in the running of the estate. Robert isn’t quite sure how to feel about this at first — and he’s quite the jerk to Mary at dinner after the letter is found — but when the letter is proven legally binding, he comes around (sort of).
Some prodding from Lady Violet helps him, but he and Mary are already at odds over how to pay the death duties. But it’s delightful to watch Violet scheme to get Branson to help Mary figure things out.
There is much afoot downstairs, as Thomas has found his new O’Brien in Edna Braithwaite, as they immediately start working to make trouble for Bates and Anna over a shirt of Cora’s that Braithwaite ruined.
Speaking of Anna, she accompanies Rose to a dance hall in York, where Rose meets a nice man named Sam (whom she tells she is a house maid at Downton). He comes to see her and Anna helps Rose disguise herself as a maid so she can speak with him. It’s pretty adorable but also probably spells major trouble in regards to Rose.
Anna and Bates also do Molesley a solid, as he has been working on a street crew and owes a debt in the village. Bates cleverly finds a way to make it look as though he’s “paying back” the 30 pounds he “borrowed” from Molesley, money that he actually got from Lady Violet (because she is an old softie).
The meaty downstairs storyline this week is Carson and Mr. Grigg, who is still at Cousin Isobel’s. It turns out Carson once had a love, Alice. But she threw him over for Mr. Grigg and Carson has always blamed Charlie for it. The two men make amends before Charlie leaves for a new job in Belfast that Isobel found for him, with Charlie telling Carson that Alice realized before she died that she really loved Carson — but that Charlie did not steal her from him.
Thoughts & Tidbits
- Lady Violet had some good ones this week — “When you talk like that, I’m tempted to ring for nanny and have you put to bed with no supper.”
- We also can’t wait to watch Mary, Robert and Branson run the estate together.
- However, several of the storylines (the letter, the Ivy/Jimmy/Alfred/Daisy nonsense, the Edna/Thomas scheming) seem like such retreads of things we’ve seen before (or in the case of the Daisy/Ivy, never stopped seeing). We hope “Downton” hasn’t run out of ideas already.
- And in something else we’re eagerly anticipating, Edith wants to bring her married newspaper man to the estate to get to know her family better. That should be fun.
What did you think of the latest episode of “Downton Abbey”?