All Hail Mary, Downton Abbey, Season 4, Episode 3

WARNING: Spoilers follow..

Where  Downton Abbey is concerned, its all about Mary, all the time. This week yet another man, falls for her icy charms. There was Pamuk, Matthew of course, Carlisle, even Anthony Strallan found her irresistible when she briefly flirted with him to get even with Edith back in Season One. Now it is Lord Gillingham’s turn to fall at her feet.  Gillingham was one of the invitees in last episode’s house party. A party organized especially for who else, but Mary.

Some of this week’s action took place in London.  A new character was also introduced, a handsome black Jazz singer named Jack Ross.  Any guesses on who is sweet on him after he rescues her from an awkward situation on the dance floor, of course it has to be Rose. Aren’t you glad that the Titanic has already sunk about twelve years ago? Also in London but not at the club is  Edith, she is with Gregson.  She got caught sneaking up the stairs next morning by her aunt’s servant and was given a stern talking to by her aunt.  Poor Edith, damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. Gregson also had her sign some papers. Fishy! This is headed for disaster.

Anyway coming back to our Lady of Downton, after only two meetings, Lord Gillingham is so taken with Mary that he behaves like a lovesick school boy, following Mary all the way to Downton after their evening of dancing and merriment to propose marriage. I fail to see what makes icicle Mary so irresistible. Can someone please explain?  In case you were wondering she refuses since she is not over Matthew yet, but is  later shown having  some second thoughts.

In other non-Mary centric happenings, Anna is pushing Bates away because of the incident last week. I hope that Anna’s assault story does not become all about Bates reaction.  I am not a huge fan of this storyline but Joanne Froggatt is killing it with her haunted and devastated look.  Trouble maker Edna is gone too.  We last saw Edna slipping into Tom Branson’s room after spiking his drink.  Come morning and she has resorted to blackmailing Tom about the night before. The entire episode had Branson going around with a hang dog expression till he took Mary’s advice and bared his soul to Mrs. Hughes, who handled the matter with great aplomb and fired Edna.   On her way out Edna snarled at Thomas, the under butler .  Thomas, and Edna were thick as thieves, just a week ago and now they are trading insults on the stairs. What gives? Mrs. Hughes also did something nice for  Mr. Carson that made him crack a smile. I wish I had a Mrs. Hughes in my corner.

The upstairs Mrs. Hughes, the sensible if snarky Dowager Countess is softening towards  Isobel and her earnestness. Isobel is also trying to cope with her grief by volunteering at Dr Clarkson’s infirmary.  Despite its flaws I think this has been the best episode so far, this season.

Grade: B

Note:  You can find my reviews of episodes one and two, here and  here

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Posted on January 21, 2014, in Movies, TV shows and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. I think the answer to why Lord Gillingham is so attracted to Mary revolves around her money. He rode the train in third class because he didn’t want to bother the Crowleys. Yeah, right. His visit to Downton was in the company of a card sharp who was broke and, since Gillingham made the introduction (IIRC), was probably planning on cutting in Gillingham on his take. He’s been pretty frank about his lack of money with Mary, but she isn’t listening because she can’t grasp the notion of being without money. Now he knows her for a week and is desperate for her to agree to an engagement. The minute she agreed, he’d have a story to tell his bank manager. That’s the answer to the riddle of why anyone would be sweet on the biggest narcissist / ice princess of this series.

  2. Dowager Countess. Just saying. The Downton family is at the earl and countess level, duke and duchess are a couple of rungs higher.

  3. I guess I think Mary is more attractive than other people do. Oh well. But to add to his suspicious qualities, there’s that valet . . . . I’m just waiting for Foyle’s son (Julian Ovenden) to show up and sweep her off her feet. He’ll make everyone forget Dan Stevens quick enough.

  4. Also too, I agree that this was the best episode, and I’m loving the fact that Edna has gone and Mrs. Hughes is getting more air time. Now if the boring stuff with the kitchen maids could just go away. They had a promising storyline with Daisy and her father-in-law, but that seems to have disappeared. Maybe he has the same agent as Dan Stevens.

  5. Foyle is a character from another soap opera — “Foyle’s War.” His RAF hero son was played by Julian Ovenden, who I saw is going to be on Downton this season, I assume as a suitor for Mary but I’m not sure. He’s great. He’s also a musical-comedy star.

  6. This is Julian Ovenden: http://julianovenden.com/

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