Sunday, January 26, 2014

Watching Downton Abbey With Downtown Abby - Season 4, Episode 4 (U.S.)

After all the drama of last week's show, tonight was a quieter hour - meaning not quite as compelling.

We meet Baxter, the new maid.  She seems nice, but she is in cahoots with Thomas.  What is their connection?  I wonder if he is blackmailing her or holding something over her in order to get her to spy on the family?

Mr. Bates finds out from Mrs. Hughes that Anna was raped.  He does not know the identity of the rapist, although he suspects Gillingham's valet.  There is a scene where Mr. Bates and Anna connect again, and she is moving back to the cottage.  He has, however, vowed revenge:  "Nothing is over.  Nothing is done with."

Mary learns that Gillingham is engaged, and sheds a tear.  Edith does not hear from Gregson, and she worries.  Meanwhile, she visits Dr. T. Goldman, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.S. (Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons). Could she be pregnant?!

Mr. Napier, who was a friend of the late Mr. Pamuk, visits.  He is working in the area, and will be visiting again, with his boss, Charles Blake.

Alfred takes a test for cooking school at the Ritz, but he is not accepted.  Carson actually encourages him in his ambition.

Carson offers a job to Molesley, and Molesley thinks it over. (Carson offers the footman position when he thinks Alfred will be leaving.)   Molesley tells Carson he supposes he can accept after "mature deliberation."  Carson then rescinds the job offer.

There are some good scenes between Isabel and the Dowager Countess.  Isabel places a young gardener in need of work at the Countess's estate, and a paper knife goes missing.  This leads to a deliberation about the gardener's honesty between Isabel, the Dowager Countess, and Dr. Clarkson.

Tom Branson considers moving to the United States with baby Sybie. This is not resolved, so we will probably hear more in future episodes.

Grantham loans money to a local farmer who is in dire financial straits after his father's death.  When Mary and Tom discover this, they seem to have a sort of grudging admiration for Grantham and his decency.

There is a fun little scene when Cora tells Mrs. Padmore they will be ordering a refrigerator.  Mrs. Padmore, who always holds to the old ways, resists.  Cora asks if there is anything old that she would like to move on from, and Mrs. Padmore replies that she would like to move past corsets.

The trailer for next week shows Mary meeting Charles Blake.  Sparks seem to fly - although more estate related rather than romantic.  The conflict between the Dowager Countess and Isabel Crawley seems to continue.

What did you think of tonight's episode?   What was your favorite scene?  Do you think that Mr. Bates will discover the truth about Anna's rapist?  Why is Edith not hearing from Michael Gregson?   Did you have a favorite line from tonight's show?  I hope you'll comment with your thoughts!