As usual – SPOILER ALERT!
All photos courtesy of PBS Masterpiece.
Episode 4 Recap
Now that Tom is back at Downton, he must decide what he will do to occupy his time. He didn’t want to take the agent job from Mary but she was willing to be co-agents with him. He expressed some interest in cars after talking with Henry Talbot and that made some sense since his background was dealing with cars before he married Sybil. Mary said she would stand by him and support him no matter what he decided, although she did request, “No more Miss Bunting, if you have any pity.” Indeed!
As you may recall, Baxter had a checkered past having been accused of stealing jewels from her former employer. It seems she was not the only one who found themselves in such a predicament. The rogue Peter Coyle has made it his mission to prey on female servants, gain their trust (and who knows what else) and then talk them into stealing jewels from their respective ladies. Yet, he always managed to leave the scene of the crime unscathed even though he profited from them. Sergent Willis met with Baxter and told her that Coyle was on bail for theft and he wanted Baxter to be a character witness in the trial. She was adamantly opposed, not wanting to expose her past crimes or see Coyle again. The memories and emotional scars were too painful.
Moseley, knowing her background, tried to talk her into doing it even going as far as talking to Cora about it. He used Edmund Burke’s quote, “All that’s needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.” Baxter was getting frustrated with him, knowing that it was much easier to say such words than to put into practice. However, Willis pleaded with her to think of the other women that had already fallen into ruin (two were now prostitutes and another dead) and the future women that would fall into Coyle’s traps if she did nothing.
In the end Baxter reluctantly agreed and was now waiting for word on a trial date. She lamented that Coyle ruined her but Moseley tried to comfort her saying that she was not ruined and the fact that she was standing right there proved it. She responded, “Maybe. But he changed me.” (I am curious to see if we will get a look at this “devil of a man.”)
Lady Shackleton came to visit Downton and brought her nephew who was none other than the eye-catching Henry Talbot with his ability to make Mary exclaim, “Golly!” There was much innuendo and flirtation between them, which gave Granny some pause as she believed “Mary needs rather more than a handsome smile and a hand on the gear stick.” To which Robert commented, “I am surprised you know what a gear stick is.” “I know more than you think!” corrected Granny.
Whatever the outcome between the dashing car man, Mary was devilishly enjoying the flirtations. She went out to dinner with Henry and she confessed she did not share his passion for cars. He asked if her passion was for horses and she replied that it was her work that made her happy. She explained that she was the agent for Downton and shared her hopes for it’s future and as well as her son’s future. She anticipated Henry being shocked but instead he was extremely impressed. She smiled playfully and said, “I hope this means you’re boiling up to make a pass before we’re done.” Slightly taken aback, Henry cleared his throat and admitted, “Probably. But will you accept?” She replied, “No. But I shall enjoy the process enormously.”
Cheeky girl! She knows the pleasure of the chase. Whether or not she allows herself to get caught is yet to be seen.
The arguments about the hospital continued and it had all become rather tedious but it made for some of the episode’s best dialogue (as listed below.) Granny was near hysterics during the dinner conversation over the hospital but later she explained why she was opposed to losing control of the hospital. It was not a power struggle but a true concern for the future rights of the villagers. She explained, “For years, I’ve watched governments take over lives and their arguments are always the same – fewer costs and greater efficiency. But the result is the same too. Less control by the people, more control by the state until the individual’s wishes count for nothing.” The others still may not agree but at least they understood her reasoning.
Thomas was playing the role of butler while Mr. Carson was away. He managed to get under everyone’s skin and later Baxter spent a few quiet moments with him. He admitted that he envied the fact that she had friends and a man that cared about her (even though she denied Moseley cared for her more than as a friend.) She in turn wished she could be more like Thomas and not care what people think about her instead of “trembling at the mere idea of public ridicule.” Thomas kindly replied, “You are stronger than you think. And you are wrong about me. I mind what people think.” Unfortunately, he does not leave on that high note and instead gets himself in trouble later.
Lady Rosamond invited Mr and Mrs. Harding to Downton to talk to them about Hillcroft, a school for women of modest backgrounds. John Harding was the treasurer, Rosamond was a trustee and she hoped Edith would also be a trustee. Unbeknownst to them, however, Mr. Harding’s wife was Gwen, their former housemaid that left to become a secretary. Gwen just found out that morning that she was going to Downton and didn’t want to intentionally lie to them but found it awkward to bring up their past association. Anna recognized Gwen immediately and gave her a warm greeting. Thomas, however, was seething that he was a faithful servant ready to be kicked out on the streets while this former housemaid was now eating upstairs with the family. He decided to out Edith during the luncheon to the shock of everyone there.
Although it was awkward at first, the situation took a turn for the better when Gwen shared with them everything that Sybil had done to help Gwen change her circumstances. There were smiles and tears as they reminisced and recalled Sybil’s kindness. A kindness that changed Gwen’s life. In the end, to Thomas’ disappointment, they were grateful to learn the truth but Thomas received a scolding from Robert for his pettiness and lack of generosity. He later reminded him that the reason people were loyal to Carson was because he was a kind man. In a round about way he told Thomas that he would do well to learn that lesson for his next situation once he left Downton. Ouch.
Recalling Gwen’s words about Sybil, Mary later confided in Anna that she felt ashamed of her own pettiness and how she thought Sybil was a better person. Whatever Mary’s faults, she makes up for it in her care of Anna and her unborn child. Anna had been having pains and she feared that she was miscarrying the baby once again. Mary wasted no time and made arrangements to go to see the doctor in London. Anna feared it would be too late but Mary reassured her she would go to Rosamond’s Belgrave Square and get the doctor to come to see them whatever the time. Tom agreed to drive them and they are able to make the last train in York to London. Thankfully, the doctor saw Anna in time, performed the needed procedure on her and was cautiously optimistic that she wouldn’t lose her baby.
In the meantime Bates was suspicious of Anna, especially after their last minute trip. Despite Anna’s claim that he’ll think she was getting larger because she ate all the pies, he assumed that Anna was afraid to tell him that she was pregnant but lost the baby. When he finally confronted her she admitted that she had been hiding something but it was something good… something really, really happy. He realized what she meant and exclaimed, “Oh God! Are you sure?” With a nod of her head they smiled through tears and has a brief moment of bliss before they were interrupted. I can’t wait for her to start knitting little booties. 🙂
I am reluctant to recap Daisy’s story line because all I want to say is “Daisy acts like a spoiled brat and pouts and throws tantrums. The end.” Thankfully, she calmed herself down enough to speak rationally to Tom about their obligation to Mr. Mason. She should have left well enough alone but instead she later went on a downstairs rampage against Cora accusing her of cheating and breaking her word. She stomped upstairs to have it out with Cora despite everyone’s protests and reasonings. Baxter decided s to accompany her in hopes of stopping her from doing irreparable damage.
Meanwhile, Cora was in the drawing room speaking to the family about Mr. Mason and how she hoped they would let him farm Yew Tree. She asked them what would Sybil do and they all agreed that while it wasn’t as financially beneficial, it was the right thing to do. Mary was not present but Tom said he would handle telling her of their decision.
Cora left the room in smiles only to be accosted by Daisy. Luckily, Robert joined them moment later and told Daisy the good news that they were letting Mr. Mason move in. Daisy was speechless (for once) and Baxter thanked them and hurried Daisy back downstairs. Cora remarked that she felt like she just dodged something. Keen observance. Robert got more stomach pains but made nothing of it.
Finally, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes returned from their honeymoon where they learned all about the “mysteries of life.” They were given a welcome home party in the servant hall and even the upstairs folks joined them. Although Granny remarked that she hadn’t been in the kitchens for over 20 years, to which Isobel asked, “Did you bring your passport?”
Edith shared about her desire to find a female editor that she could work with as a co-editor. Granny was a little exasperated wondering if they’d next have women field marshals and a women Pope. In a rare moment, Mary defended Edith’s decision. But before we could start to think that Mary was taking her Sybil lesson to heart, she returned to her usual coldness with a rude remark about Edith saying, “A monkey will type out the Bible is you leave it long enough.” Sigh.
Finally, they all made a toast to the happy couple and were ridiculously relieved that they didn’t have to use the name “Mrs. Carson” but could continue to say “Mrs. Hughes.” Mr. Carson excused himself and in the closing scene he looked over his old room and removed the card with his name on the door. It was a bittersweet moment. His old life, as were ways of the past, was ending and a new life was ahead of him.
- Robert continued to get his stomach pains. I can’t help but wonder if a darker story line is ahead, especially with this little piece of dialogue between Robert and his sister. Rosamond: “I’m afraid she won’t give up about the hospital.” Robert: “I shan’t think that at her funeral.” Rosamond: “Who says she won’t be at yours?”
- Edith looked so jaunty driving her car and chatting with Rosamond about Hillcrest, which was actually a real school.
- We don’t see much of Andy, expect when he is putting Thomas aside. However, tonight he revealed that he’s not a city boy. Instead he was jealous of Mr. Mason’s farm life since that is where his heart wanted to be. Before leaving the room he gave Daisy a longing look. Perhaps that is not all his heart wants.
Robert: “Mama is an old intriguer. She will use tears or terror with equal facility.”
Violet: “Really, Robert. You paint me as such a schemer.”
Robert: “No one has a sharper eyes than a loving son.”
Violet: “You read that somewhere.”
Robert: “Why do you never think I can make anything up?”
Violet ( to Lady Shackleton): “Are you here to help or irritate?”
Lady Shackleton: “How can I present myself as an expert when I don’t know all the facts?”
Violet: “It has never stopped me.”
Edith: “I suppose cousin Isobel is entitled to put up an argument.”
Violet: “Of course she is. She’s just not entitled to win it!”
Gwen: “I never had any higher education.”
Mary: “Who did? All we were taught was French, prejudice and dance steps.”
Mrs. Patmore (to Daisy in response to her complaining): “I wonder if Karl Marx might finish the liver pate.”
Robert: “You missed a jolly good dinner.”
Tom: “I bought some sandwiches at the station and ate them in the car.”
Robert: “You are a braver man than I am, Gunga Din.”
What did you think of the episode? What was your favorite scene?
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