'Downton Abbey' Season 4 episode 3: A proposal, a firing and Lady Edith's wild night
Most of the Crawley family sets off for London to meet with some tax attorneys because Lord Grantham still stubbornly wants to sell off part of the estate to pay Matthew's death tax, while Lady Mary thinks they can figure out a payment plan and keep the estate intact.
While there, Sir John Bullock takes everyone out to a jazz club and makes a scene with Lady Rose after having too much to drink. When bandleader Jack Ross rides to her rescue, Lady Rose is smitten -- much to the consternation of everyone else (especially Aunt Rosamund) because Ross is black. Something tells us, however, that this is not the last we've seen of Jack Ross.
Meanwhile, Lady Mary receives a proposal from Lord Gillingham. He doesn't care about Mabel (his intended), he wants Mary -- "you fill my brain," is his oh-so-romantic way of putting it. However, Mary isn't ready to move on and says she might not ever be. Tony says he'll wait as long as it takes as long as she'll give him a yes now, but Mary can't and they part. She later wonders to Tom if she'll come to regret that decision.
Back in London, Lady Edith is gettin' crazy. She spends the night with Michael Gregson before he leave for Munich in order to divorce his wife. All would be well except that Aunt Rosamund's maid sees Edith sneaking in in the wee hours of the morning and rats her out. Aunt Rosamund is ... less than pleased.
The aftermath of Anna's rape is heartbreaking. She doesn't want Mr. Bates to touch her and even thinks she should move out of their cottage and back into the great house (and she later gets a perfect excuse to do so). She thinks she's spoiled for him now and blames herself for what happened, which is so, so sad to watch but (also sadly) not a huge surprise, especially given the time period.
Naturally, Bates knows something is wrong and even confides to Lord Grantham about his heartache, with most of the Crawleys having already noticed something is wrong with Anna.
Meanwhile, Tom is having major regrets about his drunken night spent with Edna Braithwaite and apologizes to her. She uses it to try to make him promise he'll marry her if it turns out that she's pregnant, which at least has the good sense to set off some alarm bells for Tom and he confesses to Mrs. Hughes about what happened.
Good ol' Mrs. Hughes is right where we were -- Edna probably plans to make Tom swear he'll marry her and then go out and get pregnant and claim it's his baby. Mrs. Hughes promptly fires Edna and when Edna threatens to tell Cora what happened, Hughes says if she does, she'll never work again.
Don't let the door hit ya, Edna. On the other hand, now that Lady Grantham is without a lady's maid, Anna has the perfect excuse to move back into the great house for a while.
In two other nice little storylines, Mr. Carson confides in Mrs. Hughes about Alice, his one-time love, and she has his picture of Alice framed for his desk. Awww. And Alfred hears of a cooking competition at the Ritz in London where if you pass, you'll be trained for free by a famous chef.
We're excited for Alfred to take part not only because that's great for him, but also because it will help break up the love quadrilateral we have had to endure in the kitchen for so many episodes. Daisy loves Alfred, Alfred loves Ivy, Ivy loves Jimmy, Jimmy's a lout -- lather, rinse, repeat. Get on with it already, show.
Thoughts & Tidbits
- Right at the start of the episode, as the guests of the weekend party are leaving, the Duchess is so sweet to Tom about grief and the loss of Lady Sybil. A small moment, but so lovely and very unexpected.
- There wasn't enough Maggie Smith in the episode, but we love seeing her try to help Isobel work through the grief and come out into the world again.
- It was also nice to see Isobel shake hands with Lord Gillingham, hard as it is for her to watch Lady Mary entertain new gentlemen.
Violet: "Why are you in your rompers?"
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."
Mrs. Hughes: " We were mad as hatters to let her back in the house."
[ 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 virtue 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 3?