Sunday, February 2, 2014

Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 5 recap

"Shouldn't the hot toast come to me first, Daisy?" (Carson)
"The Mystery of Violets's bibelots"
Oh no, a little ivory fisherman?  (Japanese netsuke) has gone missing from Violet's desk. Young Pegg is once again the prime suspect (as he was for the King of Sweden's still-missing paper knife), and she fires him. Isobel is apoplectic. She confronts Violet, and while they’re sparring, the butler brings in the item, which had fallen inside the maid’s cleaning bucket.
Isobel: “Aren’t you going to say you’re sorry?”
Violet: “Certainly not. He may not have taken this, or he may have sneaked it in to the maid’s bucket when we weren’t looking.”
Isobel: “Oh. How you hate to be wrong!”
Violet: “I wouldn’t know. I’m not familiar with the sensation.”
After fulminating a bit, Isobel hies herself to the Dower House when she knows Violet is out and fakes being dizzy, so the butler shows her to the drawing room and departs. She does a Sherlock and finds the missing letter opener in the cushions of Violet’s chair! She gives it to the butler and asks him to give it to Violet. I had a feeling Violet hadn't looked very hard for that valuable. But later it turns out that Violet apparently realized she was being a ninny and had already re-hired Pegg. As Dr. Clarkson quips, “that was game, set, and match to Lady Grantham.”
Bates to Anna: “Your husband is a brooder
At their cottage, Anna tells Bates that she wants to start making some new memories so that their recollections of happiness are not from “before.” And he tells her that he’s happy whenever he looks at her. Anna cries and tells him that he’s really not happy, and that “everything is shadowed. Every moment we share is shadowed.” The couple go on a date to a posh hotel, but it doesn't lift Anna's spirits, and she feels bad about it. "Every time I remember what you've been through, I want to murder" Bates comments. Very, very OMINOUS!
Cora happens to be at the Netherby, and gets them a table when the supercilious maitre'd pretends not to find their reservation. She later glides over with one of her goofy smiles (is she on drugs???) and gives them a ride home, ensuring they'll never be snubbed again. Go America!!
Rose = trouble
Rose's surprise for Robert's birthday turns out to be Jack Ross, the singer from the Lotus Club, and his band. She really knows how to shake up the joint! (and Mary, when she sees them kissing downstairs after it's all over). When Edith is taken aback by the sight of Ross and his band, Violet tells her that "we country-dwellers must be wary of being provincial" and that she should let her “time in London rub off a bit more.”
Evelyn: “Is this your first experience of jazz, Lady Grantham?”
Violet: “Oh, is that what it is? Do you think any of them know what the others are playing? Hm?”
Sweetest exchange ever, in the nursery
Isobel comes early to dinner and goes upstairs to visit little George. Mary and Tom are there too. Isobel asks Mary if she’s okay with Gillingham’s engagement, and Mary tells her that she’s fine with it, because she’s not ready to be happy with someone else.
Isobel: “When I got engaged, I was so in love with Reginald, I felt sick. I was sick with love. Literally. It seems so odd to think about it now, it really does.”
Tom: “It was the same for me. As if I’d gone mad or been hypnotized or something. Days. Weeks. All I could think about was her.”
Mary: “And me. I was standing outside in the snow, and I didn’t have a coat. But I wasn’t cold, because all I kept thinking was, ‘he’s going to propose. He’s going to propose’”
Isobel: “Well! Aren’t we the lucky ones!”
"Michael's vanished into thin air."
The evening post brings Edith a letter, not from Gregson, alas, but from the doctor she visited in London. Bad news: she's pregnant. Robert finds her crying in the library, and is exceptionally comforting, thinking she's upset about Gregson vanishing. He offers to help, and she tells him that a detective in Munich is working with the German police. She is in such a pickle.

The downstairs crew
"It makes you want to jig about, doesn't it?" says Mrs Patmore about the jazz music upstairs. "Certainly not" replies Carson (predictably). Alfred the footman gets into the program at the Ritz when of the candidates drops out. Am I the only one who doesn't care a jot about underlings Alfred, James, Ivy, and all of their plot points? The only one I can bear is good old Daisy.
Slimy Thomas tried to find out what Mrs Hughes was helping Rose with (putting up the jazz band), but got no joy from Mrs H! He's giving Cora's new maid the full-court press about reporting stuff she overhears, but she's not digging it at all because she likes the job and the people. He so won't let her off the hook. Yech!

Next week

His Lordship is going to America. ("Your uncle Harold is in an awful fix.") Lady Mary's still having a cutting contest with houseguest Mr Charles Blake, who thinks she's an entitled aristo. And it looks like Granny (Dame Maggie) is ill. Please, please don't tinker with our affections like that! Where would Downton be without the Dowager?? And Anna sheds tears of rage and fear because Mr Gillingham is back, with the loathsome valet who raped her. Something evil this way comes!


  1. If I'd known you were reviewing DA, I'd have come by a lot sooner. :)

    Several of my pals think Tom is sweet on Mary, but I'm not getting that at all. I was enjoying what looked to me like nothing more than a very solid friendship. Am I wrong?

    1. I agree, they have found a great way to connect (the estate, the kids). I wonder how the actress playing Mary talks in real life. Even when she's not dwelling on Matthew, her phrases mostly seem to have a flat affect and "dying fall" that gets kind of irksome after a while.

  2. I know what you mean. Her manner of speaking is damned near monotonous. What I wouldn't give to see her doing the Charleston on a table with a lampshade on her head.

    1. Very funny! moi aussi. She's so "responsible." She needs to go out and do the Charleston w/ cousin Rose.