Life Goes On, Downton Abbey, Episode 4, Season 4 Review

Spoilers follow…

This week, we seem to have finally moved beyond mourning Matthew’s accidental death.  Since this show has always been all about Mary, let us start with her first. She seems to have gotten over Matthew’s death, and was having pangs of regret about declining Lord Gillingham’s proposal after finding about his engagement. Frankly, I am a bit worried about Lord Gillingham.   Every man Mary has kissed so far has ended up dead. The show began with her fiancé’s death on the Titanic, Pamuk died after a tryst with Mary and her husband is dead.  Are Gillingham’s days numbered since he has kissed the ice princess?  Evelyn Napier, who brought Pamuk to Downton Abbey in the first season is back and Mary’s is glad to have another man hanging around her.  It has taken her less than a year to get over her supposed once in life-time love. I don’t want Mary to be in mourning forever but seven months does seem awfully quick to get over what was supposed to be an undying love.

Middle child aka  Chopped Liver Edith is most probably pregnant, we saw her visiting a doctor in London. As expected, Gregson seems to have vanished without a trace.  Also visiting London was Alfred, hoping to gain a cooking apprenticeship at the Ritz.  It was Top Chef, Downton Style. Unfortunately, he did not make the cut.  Jimmy intercepted the letter from Ritz, so I am still not sure whether Alfred really got rejected or if Jimmy changed the letters. We will see.  In other staff related news, Mrs. Patmore ever the traditionalist does not want a fridge.  Daisy and Ivy are were there too, but as far as I can see Ivy hardly serves any purpose.  If they got rid of Ivy and Rose, I bet no one would even notice.

Now focusing on people who actually run Downton, Mr. Carson was pretty rude to clueless Mr. Moseley.  At first he offered Mr. Moseley Alfred’s job, which Moseley was reluctant to take, since that would mean a step down for him.  When he finally deigned to accept the job, it was no longer available, as Alfred is not going anywhere after all.  Is this supposed to be funny? Am I the only one who sees no humor in poor Moseley’s situation, even though I must say that he is plenty annoying himself.  Or is the subtle message that pride and stupidity is a luxury only the entitled and the rich can afford?

Mrs. Hughes, figured prominently in the continuing saga of Bates and Anna. As expected series creator Julian Fellowes has made Anna’s rape all about Mr. Bates, who found out this week what really happened to Anna from Mrs. Hughes. Except for the tiny detail of the identity of the perpetrator.  Since Mr. Bates was not born yesterday, he has a good idea of the identity of the suspect.   Both Anna and Mrs. Hughes keep insisting that they did not know who it was, since Anna is afraid that Mr. Bates might fly into a murderous rage and kill the rapist.  For now Bates and Anna have reconciled.

In the other downstairs stories, Thomas has found a substitute O’ Brien, the lady’s maid now that Edna is gone, her name is Baxter. Somehow she doesn’t seem as evil and conniving as O’Brien, I wonder what dirt Thomas has on her.  Cora, that is Mrs. Gullible was won over by Baxter with a glass of orange juice, why is she so trusting, I wonder.  Lord Grantham took a break from being pompous and was gracious to a tenant farmer on the estate.  However, since gracious in this case meant being unwise about money, I am betting that this graciousness is going come back to bite his Cluelessness  in the ass, later.  Tom Branson, who is stuck in the nowhere land between upstairs and downstairs is contemplating going to America where he and his daughter can make a new beginning.  Can’t say I blame him.

Saving the best for the last, Isobel is back to being a benevolent busybody.  She  and the Dowager Countess were back to trading snarky and intelligent insults.  I love those two and I could watch them for the entire hour.

Full IMDB credits here

Grade : B

Links to reviews of previous episodes;  episode 1 and  episode 2 and episode 3.

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Posted on January 31, 2014, in TV shows and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Great point about The Black Widow. I’ve been thinking Lady Mary is such a fool, pining after those inbred, milk-blooded peers when she’s got a gorgeous, hunky Irishman right under her nose! But now I hope she gives him a wide berth — she might finish him off!

    As for Chopped Liver, I suspected Gregson might get drawn into Hitler’s sphere in Germany, but the timeline’s not right. He probably HAS taken a powder.

    Prediction on the Bates thing: Mrs. Hughes and Anna will deeply regret their lie about the phantom rapist. That townie Rose was dancing with, whom she later greeted at the Abbey in servant’s clothes, will show up on the sly to catch another glimpse, and Bates will conclude he’s the rapist and kill the poor, innocent bastid.

  2. “Taking a powder” means taking off. I also liked the townie. I think that fast guy after Mary only wanted the money. Pretty creepy how he would propose to her when he was days from marrying someone else. Of course Mary thinks it’s because she’s awesome.

    And don’t get me started on the day wear. Ugh! I think Edith does the best in the daytime clothing.

  3. Penelope Wilton (Isobel) is really coming into her own this season.

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