Sunday, February 9, 2014

Downton Abbey recap: Season 4, Episode 6: "I know who you are, and I know what you’ve done"

Bates seeks revenge, Anna wants to crawl in a hole and hide, Edith is of two minds, Mary gets mucky, Rose goes rowing, and Thomas smells a secret like a rat does cheese.
Upon receiving a telegram from Cora’s mother urging him to come and help brother Harold with a Senate hearing, Robert grudgingly decides to head off to America. It's all worth it when his doting wife thanks him with a kiss and says "I cherish you." Awww.
Bates doesn't want to leave Anna, so he asks Mrs Hughes to intervene. She in turn goes to Lady Mary, who is cold and snooty as usual: "If you wish to enlist my help … I must know the facts." "It's not my secret to tell," protests Mrs. H, but she finally has to succumb. Oh great, now Lady Mary is going to put her well-shod foot into the proceedings! Later, Mary (who doesn't know the identity of the rapist) tries to get Anna to open up, showing gratitude for Anna's help with a delicate situation in the past (Mr Pamuck, y'all), but Anna says she can't talk about it.
Mary does convince Lord Grantham to take Thomas to America as his valet, quipping that the latter will have fun hitting up handsome stewards on the ship. Robert professes to be shocked, whereupon she tells her father, "I've been married. I know everything."
So Robert heads out with Thomas, but not before putting Cousin Rose "in charge of fun." Really, you dunderhead?! Smirking and grimacing as usual (is his underwear too tight?), Thomas tells Baxter that he expects "a full report" when he gets back—a remark that Molesley overhears and brings up to her later at the servants' tea. (BTW their teas in this episode look pretty darn scrumptious, what with layered jam cakes and assorted cheeses!!)
"I'm not aloof, am I?"—Lady Mary. (No, ducky, just a châtelaine-in-training)
Mr. Blake convinces Mary to stroll down after dinner to look at the newly acquired pigs, and they do so—in their evening clothes. Whaddya know, the trough has been knocked over, and he ascertains that the porcine cash cows are goners unless they get some water. He and Lady M form a bucket brigade, getting all muddy—and palsy—in the process. I knew this was coming. Let's just say it's Rom Com 101!! Nothing like a crisis/a little muck to bring a sparring twosome together. Mary, who gets kudos for gumption ("I'm not going. They're my pigs!") even jokes about him "saving their bacon"—and then proceeds to make him some eggs in the deserted kitchen.
"I don't want to be an outcast!"
Between poor beleaguered Anna and Scarlet Woman Lady Edith, tears abounded in this episode. A weepy Edith asks Cora if she can go up to London, telling her that Gregson checked into his hotel in Munich, went out, and never came back. She then fibs, and says the purpose of his visit was to visit the castles of King Ludwig. With a Mama this sympathetic, why can't she just tell her he was trying to find a way for them to be married? Oh, I guess nobody knows about the wife in the asylum. Never mind.
In London, Edith confides in her aunt about her Procrustean dilemma ("I'm killing the wanted child of a man I'm in love with."/"Have you met my niece and her charming bastard?") Rosamund really comes to the fore, accompanying Edith to a place that her niece found out about from a magazine in King's Station. The pregnancy is ultimately not terminated, however, when Edith hears a woman crying in the next room and they leave. Aunt R. was really in a spot here. As she asked earlier, "What will I say to your parents if it goes wrong?" Truly, if Edith had died from a botched abortion, they never would have forgiven her. How sad though, that Edith can't confide in her own sister. If Sybil was alive, she doubtless could have told her.
Rose, who has tagged along to London with Edith, convinces her mother that she's off to do errands and see friends—but she kisses Jack Ross while rowing on the Thames and insists on going to a nightclub with him. Oh Rose, you heedless scatterbrain!!
If looks could kill
Lord Gillingham pops up again, ostensibly stopping over at Downton on his way to Inverness for some fishing but patently mooning over Mary. Curses, he's brought his reprehensible valet Mr Green, who is all smirks and jokes. How can Green dare to show his face there? Anna walks in the servants’ hall and finds him entertaining the rest of the staff. She is gobsmacked, as they say. She looks at Bates, quickly asks Baxter for some thread, and leaves. Later, Mrs. Hughes confronts Green in the boot room.
Green: “What can I do for you, Mrs. Hughes?”
Hughes: “Nothing. You can do nothing for me. I know who you are, and I know what you’ve done. And while you’re here, if you value your life, I should stop playing the joker and keep to the shadows.”
Green: “I’m afraid we were a bit drunk that night, Anna and I. So you’re right. We’re both to blame.”
Hughes: “No, Mr. Green. You were to blame, and only you.”
Green: “Does Mr. Bates know?”
Hughes: “Not that it was you.”
Green: “Thank you.”
Hughes: “Don’t you dare thank me. I’ve not kept silent for your sake!”
Rah rah, Mrs Hughes!! Bates' look of dawning comprehension when Mr. Green makes an off-hand comment about being downstairs during much of the opera performance does not bode well for Green.
“Does no one care whether I live or die?”
Yes, Granny, Mrs Crawley does—despite the fact that you zing her at every opportunity. Telling Mary and Cora that the bronchitis-ridden matriarch needs a trained nurse, Isobel spends two days without eating or sleeping so that the Dowager does not develop pneumonia. Bully for her! They even end up playing cards, with the D even genuinely enjoying herself.
Next week!
Downton hosts another fancy garden party, and it's about time! Rose is hell-bent on being with jazz musician Jack Ross. Tom catches Rose with him, leading Mary to confront Rose and tell her to be careful. Does Granny suspect that Edith is pregnant? Edith is planning to use one of the tenant farmers as a cover for the baby but Rosamund thinks it's risky. And Anna worries about Bates and Green being thrown together, asking her husband to not do anything foolish.
If you've read this far, you must be a Downton devotee; in which case, why not enter our Downton Abbey Giveaway contest? And don't miss the Daedalus Books "Roaring Downton" Forum—a nexus of books, DVDs, news videos, quizzes, fan chats, and other fascinating items relating to the series.

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