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Downton Abbey Series 4 Episode 3 Recap

As usual, this recap contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you haven’t seen last night’s episode.

Upstairs

Tony Gillingham  (Tom Cullen) proposes to Mary. My initial reaction was that he is moving waaay too fast. Logically, he would be a good choice for her. He is handsome, titled, in love with her and they knew each other from when they were kids.  But she turns him down, using Matthew as her reason. Lord Gillingham also has an off screen pseudo-fiance. At the end of the episode, Mary tells her father and Tom that she may come to regret it. That may be true, but I have been spoiled enough to know that there will be another man vying for her affections in a future episode.

Edith and Tom do the walk of shame (cue the Pink song). While Edith disregards her aunt’s advice, Tom is kicking himself for letting Edna get him drunk and seducing him.

I feel bad for Tom, I can honestly understand why he is feeling lonely. He has married into this family, whose lifestyle is far different from the way he was raised. His wife is dead, he is a single parent and trying to navigate the social rules of his new lifestyle.

Dr. Clarkson is opening an outpatient clinic and bring Isobel into help. If this is his way to changing her status from widow to wife, he is persistent.

While visiting Rosamund in London, Rose insists that they all go to a nightclub, where she has a meet-cute with Jack Ross (Gary Carr), a black  musician. Mr. Ross comes in at the perfect time, rescuing Rose from her drunk and upchucking date. Of course Mary, Tony and Rosamund are horrified of this simple act of dancing together. And of course Tom to send to bring her back to the table My spoiling of this series also tells me that this is not the last we will see of Jack Ross. What else is a rebellious young lady from an aristocratic family to do than to start a relationship with a black musician?

Edith is clearly her father’s child. Michael Gregson asks her to sign a document taking over his affairs while he obtains his German citizenship. Of course she doesn’t read it before signing. Lack of business acumen seems to a family trait.

I just love that Rosamund brought up Sir Anthony while trying to convince Edith to end her relationship with Michael Gregson. Bringing up the ex-fiance who publicly embarrassed her by ending the relationship at the alter is really a good argument.

Downstairs

Anna is still raw from her ordeal. Everyone notices the change in her, even daft Robert, but only Mrs. Hughes knows and is still keeping her secret. John is trying to figure out what is going on with his wife, but she is pulling away from him, insisting on returning to the house instead of living with her husband in their cottage. Out of love for husband, she doesn’t tell him, afraid that he will go after Mr. Green and go to jail again.

We’ve become so accustomed to not just violence, but sexually  related violence that normally this type of story line would be just another story line.   For Julian Fellows to choose Anna represents so much more. The shame, the anger, the fear is universal. Joanne Froggatt is an incredible performer and deserves any Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG Award , etc for this past two episodes alone.

Raise your hand if you loved Mrs. Hughes during this episode. Elsie “Mama Bear” Hughes has a good heart and is a good person, but the claws come up when someone tries to hurt someone she cares about. Evil Edna was stupid enough to leave a book around telling her how to have sex without getting pregnant. Clearly Edna’s plan to seduce Tom, fake a pregnancy and force him to marry her was doomed to fail.

My favorite scene was the one between Thomas and Edna in the stairwell. Call it Bitchfest 1922. Thomas wins this round with his job intact while Edna is once more out a job.

Alfred sees an opportunity to train as a chef in London and leave the career doldrums of being a footman behind.

The Ivy/Jimmy/Daisy/Alfred love quandrangle is boring. Unless Fellows pulls something out of his hat, it will become my least favorite story line this series.

Analysis

My favorite character this episode was Mrs. Hughes. She is compassionate when she knows Anna’s secret and when she gives Carson a framed picture of his former sweetheart. She is instantly in charge and ferocious when she confronts Edna with her failed plan to force Tom to marry her.

Dowager Moment/Line Of The Week

“Another brick falls from the wall”.

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Downton Abbey Series 4 Episode 2 Recap

As usual, this recap contains spoilers.  If you have not seen the episode, read at your own risk.

Upstairs

Edith brings Michael to meet her parents and hopes to receive approval on their relationship. Robert’s lack of money and business acumen comes into play once again when he nearly loses the estate in a card game and Michael has to bail him out.

Half listening to Carson, Robert agrees that Dame Nellie Melba (Kiri Te Kanawa), who is coming to perform should dine with the servants.  Cora rightly calls him out on his error.

Robert is a nice guy, but for the rest of his life, to keep his wife and family happy he should do two things.  Every time Cora makes a suggestion, the only words he should say in response is “yes, dear”.  Any money or estate matters should be filtered by Mary and Tom, otherwise there might be nothing left for George and Sybee.

Anthony Gillingham (Tom Cullen), a childhood playmate of the Mary and Edith has come to visit and seems to be the one who might finally pull Mary out of her grief.

Isobel is still grieving for Matthew. While she doesn’t want Mary grieving for the rest of her life, Isobel is unable to move past the death of her son. My favorite performance of the entire episode was Penelope Wilton’s performance.  While the press and praise often go to Michelle Dockery or Maggie Smith, Ms. Wilton deserves the same press and praise.  If I could have walked through the screen to hug Isobel, I would have.

Tom is feeling out of place and foolish, trying to socialize with his in law’s friends.

Downstairs

I don’t want to talk about Mr. Green raping Anna, but it’s unavoidable.  Of all of the female characters, Julian Fellows chose this fate for Anna. If he was looking for a way to shake up the marital happiness of Anna and John Bates, there are other story lines. Unless he is looking to make a statement.

Mrs. Patmore has an anxiety attack and is forced to relinquish control of her kitchen.

Evil Edna is determined to lay her claws in Tom, even if it means seduction.

Analysis

The series is moving along and as happens in everyone’s life, things happen.  I am looking forward to next week’s episode.

Dowager Moment/Quote Of The Week

“If I were to search for logic, I would not look for it in the English upper class.”

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