When we last left our “Downton Abbey” gang, Lady Mary had caught the eye of handsome Lord Gillingham, Tom had made a huge drunken mistake and Anna had been attacked by Gillingham’s valet. Spoiler warning — don’t keep reading if you don’t want to be spoiled.
In the aftermath of the party, it’s time to face the music about the tax man, with Lady Mary wanting to find out about a payment plan and Lord Grantham still wanting to sell off pieces of their land.
On the trip to London to see the tax people, Lady Rose tags along and Sir John Bullock takes them all out to a jazz club. When he makes a scene with Rose after drinking too much, the handsome (and black) bandleader Jack Ross comes to her rescue. Everyone gets their nose out of joint because he’s black, particularly Aunt Rosamund, but Lady Rose doesn’t much mind and we suspect this is not the last we’ve seen of Jack Ross.
Lord Gillingham continues his pursuit of Lady Mary, culminating in a proposal (she fills his brain?!), despite him being intended to that Mabel woman. Mary says, however, that she’s not ready to move on romantically and may not be ready for years.
He says she can take as long as she needs to actually be with him, as long as she says yes now. But Mary can’t bear to let Matthew go yet and says no. Gillingham asks for one kiss before he leaves her be and she obliges. Then she confesses later to Tom that she fears she’ll regret later, perhaps for years to come (without specifying to him exactly what happened between her and Lord Gillingham).
Will Lady Mary reconsider the proposal? We’re intrigued to see who else comes knocking on her door this season.
Meanwhile, Tom apologizes to Edna for what transpired and, of course, Lurking Thomas overhears. But Edna won’t take his apology, wondering (threatening?) that she might be pregnant. She wants him to promise he’ll marry her if she’s pregnant. Lord.
Based on what we’ve seen of Edna’s character so far, we would not at all put it past her that this is a trap. That she gets Tom to swear he’ll marry her if she’s pregnant and then she runs off and gets pregnant. Ugh, she is the worst. Thank god Tom won’t swear to such a thing, but we’re still waiting for the other shoe to drop with nasty Braithwaite.
Overcome with guilt, he confesses what he did to Mrs. Hughes — it’s adorable that Mrs. Hughes is his confidant — and she brings Edna into her office. Edna suspects they want to pay her off, but Mrs. Hughes tells her off, having suspected Edna’s plot just as we were.
Edna then threatens to go to Cora, but Mrs. Hughes says she’ll never work again if she does. Edna hands in her notice, thank God. Good riddance. As Mrs. Hughes says, “We were mad as hatters to let her back in the house.” Thomas’ suggestion
Finally, Lady Edith has quite the London dalliance. Gregson is headed for Munich, so he gives Edith some control over his affairs while he’s gone. He doesn’t know how long he’ll be there before he can divorce his wife. The kissing starts and … did Lady Edith just lose her virtue? Woo woo. But Aunt Rosamund’s maid rats her out to Rosamund, saying she came in at 6 a.m. and Rosamund gives Edith a stern dressing down.
Please don’t let this end poorly again for Edith. Girlfriend deserves a little happiness.
Anna is lying to everyone about what really happened — we said “attack” and not “rape” in the first paragraph of this piece so as not to spoil — but she’s clearly not going to report her rape to anyone. And she can’t stand to have Bates touch her, which is very, very sad. She even wants to move back into the house, thinking she’s not good enough for him and blaming herself for what happened.
Mrs. Hughes urges her to go to the police, while Bates keeps at her to find out what is making her so cold towards him. He confides in Lord Grantham about how confused and hurting he is — and for that matter, all the Crawleys are noticing that something is going on with Anna.
We are very interested in seeing how this plays out. We don’t find the rape storyline sensationalist or disgusting — rape happens and just because Downton seems safe and cozy doesn’t mean that bad things can’t happen there. We agree with the creator’s comments that if they’d wanted to be sensational about it, more of the actual attack would have been shown on screen.
We also trust the show to not let us down in this storyline — between the Crawleys and Mr. Bates, we feel like that horrid valet will get his comeuppence (without Bates going to prison, because they won’t do that again).
In the love quadrilateral that is the kitchen staff, Ivy and James grow closer and Alfred is jealous and Daisy is then jealous of that. Lather, rinse, repeat. But there is a cooking competition in London where if you pass, you’ll be trained at the Ritz by a famous chef for free and Alfred wants to enter.
Carson confides in Mrs. Hughes about his love, Alice. She has his picture of Alice framed for his desk. Awww.
Thoughts & Tidbits
- As the guests were leaving, the Duchess was quite kind to Tom about his grief
and the loss of Lady Sybil — that was unexpected, but such a sweet,
- We love that Dr. Clarkson asked Cousin Isobel to help him setting up an out-patient clinic in the village. Firstly, it’ll help her get back into the world, as Lady Violet is enouraging her to do. Secondly, we hope the romance Dr. Clarkson was hoping for last season is revisited.
- Definitely not enough Maggie Smith in this episode, though Violet did have a few gems — “Why are you in your rompers?” Hee.
- Best Lines:
- Edna: “Do you ever wonder why people dislike you so much? It’s because you are sly and oily and smug and I’m really pleased I got the chance to tell you before I go.”
Thomas: “Well, if we’re playing the truth game, then you’re a manipulative little witch and if your schemes have come to nothing, I’m delighted.”
- [about Cousin Isobel shaking hands with Lord Gillingham]
Robert: “That was nobly done.”
Violet: “She is a good woman. And while the phrase is enough to set anyone’s teeth on edge, there are moments when her virtu demands admiration.
Robert: “I agree, although I’m rather surprised to hear you say it.”
Violet: “Not as surprised as I am. [giggles]”
What did you think of episode four?