Monday, February 10, 2014

This Little Piggie: Downton Abbey, Season 4, Episode 6

Last night was another very good episode of Downton Abbey.   The show started with Lord Grantham leaving for the United States to help Cora's brother out of his financial and legal woes.  Thomas travelled with him as valet after Mary learned (from Mrs. Hughes) about Anna's rape and her need to keep Bates at home for support.

In the absence of Lord Grantham, a lot happened.   Evelyn Napier confessed to a sort of crush on Mary, which she seemed to brush off.   

When pigs for the farm appeared, Charles Blake and Mary went to see them.  It turns out that Blake is from a farm family and realized the pigs desperately needed water.  Blake and Mary worked late into the night with the pigs, getting very muddy, and finally sat down for a rest in the barn.  They had a laugh or two and even threw mud at each other.  Blake was charming and had a Colin Firth quality (very high praise indeed!).  Mary was likable.  They went back to Downton Abbey and she scrambled eggs, which they sat eating in the kitchen, still in their muddy clothes.  I loved the Mary and Blake storyline!
Meanwhile, Edith went to London and Rose tagged along.  Rose's motive was to see Jack Ross.  Their romance blossomed as they kissed in a row boat.

Did you know that Jack Ross's character is said to be inspired by real life jazz singer Leslie ("Hutch") Hutchinson?    He performed in New York and London, and was rumored to have had affairs with Edwina Mountbatten, Tallulah Bankhead, Merle Oberon, and Cole Porter.

Edith confessed her secret pregnancy to her Aunt Rosamond, and went to an abortion clinic.  At the very last minute she changed her mind, and went back to Rosamond's house to pack to go home.  I think from the trailers for next week that we will see that Edith has a plan.   Does it involve marrying a local farmer?

Tom went to a political rally and met cute with a pretty woman in the audience.   They talked for a bit after the rally and he said:  "I don't know what I am, except a man in search of a better world."   Will she reappear again, or is this just a sign that Tom is moving on with his life?

The Dowager Countess fell ill, and Isobel nursed her back to health, with help from Dr. Clarkson.  When she felt better, the Dowager seemed surprised that she developed more of a bond with Isobel.  There is a great exchange:

Dr. Clarkson: You’ll be rewarded in heaven.  
Violet: The sooner the better.

Lord Gillingham returned to the Abbey with his evil valet, Green.  Mrs. Hughes cornered Green and said, "If you value your life I should stop playing the joker and keep to the shadows."   Green is such a scary character that I was afraid for Mrs. Hughes.  He seemed to think everything was all a great joke.  I believe that Bates has figured out the truth. Look at the stink eye he is giving to Green in this screen shot:

Overall, I found this a very interesting and satisfying episode.  What did you think?  Should Mary choose Blake, Napier, or Gillingham?   What do you think Edith will do about her baby?   Do you think that Bates will extract revenge?   I hope you'll leave a comment below.


Ree said...

I was afraid for Mrs. Hughes as well. I am enjoying her character development in this series. I thought maybe there was a little too much going on in this episode overall. Also, so many edgy topics might be changing the tone of the series. I agree that these are issues that were relevant to the time, but so many at once are a bit overwhelming to process and start to border on the sensational.

Birdhouse Books said...

Hi Ree, I agree with you about Mrs. Hughes. She has had a larger part this season, and I also like her character development. You make a good point about the edgy topics. Julian Fellow certainly likes his social commentary.

Deb said...

Oh yeah, Bates put 2 and 2 together and came up with the evil Mr. Green. I expect them to have a little "discussion", with Green getting the worst of it.

I loved seeing Violet and Isabelle playing cards together. After this, they may not turn out to be BFF, but the ice seems to have thawed, at least a little.

It was good to see Mary loosen up and dive in to take care of the pigs. Watching her and Blake throw mud at each other was a treat!

Mrs. Hughes can be formidable when the occasion calls for it, but she's no match for Green.

It's too bad they didn't send Mr. Mosely to America instead of Thomas with Robert. Thomas is a weasel.

Edith's dilemma is bad enough and then we have Rose. She's a scheming little baggage, but for all that, she's still very naive. She's going to keep playing with fire until she gets burned.

Can't wait for next week!

Birdhouse Books said...

Deb, I agree completely about Bates and Green. I just hope Bates is able to "discuss" matters with Green without having legal trouble.

Also agree completely about Mary and Blake. That was a fun scene, and they have great chemistry.

Rose seems so young and naive. I wonder what is going to happen with her the next couple of weeks?

Looking forward to next week's show ... and can't believe there are only 2 left this season!

Luciana said...

I was so happy to see Edith leave the abortion clinic. I was so afraid she was going to go thru with it. Bates has totally figured it out. I just hope he doesn't do something to land him back in prison - like kill that loser. Rose is definitely playing with fire and will likely get burned. Only 2 left????? Bummmmmmer! How come the boring shows go forever and the quality ones are so short?

Birdhouse Books said...

Dianne, I agree with all your comments. ESPECIALLY agree that it is too bad that Downton Abbey doesn't have a longer season. I wish we had new episodes for the next few months! :-)