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The Downton Abbey Dish Season 4 Episode 4

British television maven and blogger Deborah Gilbert keeps you in the know with entertaining recaps of each Downton Abbey Season 4 episode. Count down the most memorable scenes from each episode, including the Dowager Countess' best zingers. New episodes of Downton Abbey Season 4 air Sundays at 9pm through February 23.
THE DOWNTON ABBEY DISH – Downton Abbey Season 4 Recap: Episode 4 (aired 01/26/14)

Fashion has always been well employed on Downton Abbey as a storytelling tool, helping to define both characters and undercurrents. And so it is interesting to watch as the season progresses and we move on from the deaths of Sybil and Matthew, how the clothing gradually changes, like autumn leaves, from mourning blacks to purples, and then slowly onto other colors. Whether for good or for bad, the one thing one can always count on is change…

Tracks of My Tears: The Man That Got Away:
It’s official: Lord Dreamboat is engaged to the Honorable Mabel Lane Fox and Mary’s smile looks out of place. It’s only later that we see her wiping a secret tear as she is alone and writing a letter to congratulate the happy couple. But she should take heart because everyone knows that anyone with three names has got to be a serial killer, which means that Lord Dreamboat will be back on the market sooner rather than later (as long as she is caught and Lord Gillingham isn’t one of her victims. Small details.). We need to get Sherlock on this one. And anyway, look who just popped in; it’s old possibility Evelyn Napier! He wants Mary to know he’s been thinking about her since ‘that ghastly business’. Which ghastly business? There are a few options he could be thinking about on that score. He’s out their way on a mission for the government, looking to reconnoiter and recanoodle, studying landed estates in trouble, right there in River City (but he can’t say which ones). Might one of them be the estate owned by Lord Gillingham? Will we find out Gillingham was in over his head and saw Mary as his Cora and that’s why he proposed so quickly? That’s my question. But Mary doesn’t ask that. These Crawley girls never ask the important (cynical) questions. As Mary sits with Tom and ponders how different her childhood was from that of newly rediscovered little George and Sybbie, a governess who can teach a credible class in Cynicism 101 would not go amiss here. But forget about that, with live men thin on the ground, and having already let the last one get away by hesitating a beat too long, Mary throws herself at Napier, as much as Mary does. One would think Napier would have learned his lesson the first time she threw him over for Pamuk, but like Icarus, he cannot resist flying too close to Lady Mary. One cannot imagine this ends well.

Top Chef Ripon: Cupid Draw Back Your Bow: 
Alfred’s quest to be all he can be continues as he auditions for a coveted spot in the school of famous French chef, Monsieur Auguste Escoffier. FYI: Among the real Monsieur Escoffier’s many inventions was the dessert Peach Melba, created in honor of opera star Nellie Melba who sang at Downton Abbey in that infamous episode two weeks ago, and Melba was hired to sing by Lady Cora, who is played by Elizabeth McGovern, who was in the movie She’s Having a Baby with Kevin Bacon; which makes Alfred’s Bacon Number either 4 or 6 (I’m not exactly sure), though one good full English could lower it down to one, I think (again, not sure). Unfortunately for Alfred, he flunked the oral exam, so he’s back at Downton just in time to ruin Molesley’s chance at demeaning himself with a new job. And suddenly Ivy admires him. Result! But like Molesley, is she too late? Has all of Daisy’s careful tutoring helped Alfred to see the savory?

The Spy Who Loved Me?: Papa’s Got a Brand New Hag:
New ladies maid, Miss Baxter, is a big hit in the servant’s hall with her newfangled electric sewing machine and her solicitous demeanor. Little does everyone know that she’s a Trojan Horse. After some initial confusion that had Lady Cora thinking Baxter had served her a glass of plutonium on her breakfast tray, and Daisy fearing she’d be turned into gingerbread or sewn to the table (or something like that), everyone has started to like Baxter, exactly as evil genius Thomas had planned. Yes, his plans for total world domination are moving right along at an easy clip. Baxter is grateful to spymaster Thomas for getting her the job, and he knows why – but we don’t. Who is she anyway, and how does Thomas know her? And what is with all this “I-need-to-know-every-little-detail-no-matter-how-small” business? What exactly does he think is happening upstairs that matters so much to him? Is he working for British Intelligence? Or for the tabloids? Will she comply and tell him what he wants, to know or does she have her own agenda? Is there even anything to know anyway? 

Farm Aid: This Land Was Made For You and Me:
Lord Grantham is a study in shades of grey: Just when we’ve finally decided that he’s an unmitigated putz, he goes and does the decent thing and reminds us of why we liked him in the first place. No, he’s not Simon Legree. That’s Mary’s job. After the death of one of Downton’s tenant farmers, Robert responds to an appeal from the farmer’s son and allows him to come home and inherit the family tenancy. Given Robert’s track record, one would have thought the most successful appeal would have come from the farmer’s daughter, but I digress…The farmer’s son says the magic word and wins £50 to pay off his father’s debt on the books (in 2014 American money that’s about $2,200). That magic word – “partnership” – allows Lord Grantham to fancy himself more of an egalitarian than he actually is. But be that as it may, Lord Grantham and his pet Socialist, Isis, I mean Tom, are in agreement on this one, and thus a line of serfdom that has plowed the fields of Downton since George III lives to fight another day.

The Outsiders: Deliver Deletter Desooner Debetter:  
With Edith chiming in, ‘welcome to the club’, from the hallelujah chorus, suddenly both Isobel and Branson declare themselves to be not of this realm. They realize they are not Crawleys or Ladyships. Their feelings of not belonging make them wonder together if there is a place for them in the scheme of things in Greater Downtonia. With Isobel, this may mean nothing more than remembering her do-gooder roots and doing things like pressuring the Dowager to employ the son of an impoverished single mum (which, naturally, goes pear shaped). But with Branson, this could mean upping sticks completely and moving to America, where the faucets run with orange juice and Sybbie won’t be labeled the daughter of an uppity chauffeur. He and Mary have formed a real friendship and support system though; is that enough to keep him at Downton? WWSD (What Would Sybil Do)? Edith, on the other hand, has her own worries: It’s been a while since Editor Charming donned his lederhosen and took off for parts unknown and apparently there are no post offices in Germany. Has he vamoosed? We don’t know, but we do know that while Edith claims she’s going into London to visit Editor Charming’s offices, she is, in fact, visiting the Crawley gynecologist. Is this just family protocol, to always visit this doctor in secret? Or did Editor Charming leave her with a lovely parting gift? And what kind of gift would it be: One that requires penicillin or burping? Neither is a good option, especially not for Edith. To his mind, Lord Tevye has tolerated a lot from his daughters, but this could be the thing that makes him go tilt.

Reunited and It Feels So Good: Sort of: 
Am I crazy or has there been a lot of shoe polishing going on lately? But forget about that – this just in: Bean spill on aisle five! It’s a good thing the Germans never got as far as Yorkshire during the war because Mrs. Hughes does not hold up well under interrogation. As we begin, Bates emerges from the cottage alone as Anna, up in her single room, is still using make-up to cover her bruises. He’s getting nowhere in trying to find out why his marriage has disintegrated. Anna doesn’t respond to requests for explanations from Bates or Mrs. Hughes (or Mary, for that matter). As Anna tells Mrs. Hughes, she knows him and she knows what he’d do, which begs this episode’s question of the week: What happened to the guy who, just last season, she never doubted and defended so fiercely; the one who could never commit murder? Has she come to think something different? After eves dropping, Bates gets the 411 from Mrs. Hughes (or most of it anyway). She resisted, but after he played the nobility card and says he’s leaving even though he’s been happier at Downton than he had any right to be, she breaks open like a pinata. Lady Mary must have employed the same tactic to find out that Anna had returned to living in the attic. We know she’s been concerned for Anna and must have asked Mrs. Hughes if she knew what was wrong. But back to Bates and his happier-than-he-had-any-right-to-be: There he is with that self-esteem issue again. I just hope that at some point we find out what that’s about. Why would he think he doesn’t have the right to be happy? What did he do? We never found out why he went to jail for Vera; was it because he had previously gotten away with something and so felt it right and proper to volunteer for a vacation at His Majesty’s pleasure? Or was it just a vacation from Vera? I may be barking up the wrong tree here, but John Bates has always left us with more questions than answers. I say let’s get Sherlock on this one as well. Bates and Anna reconcile and while some of her fears are allayed, others are confirmed. Bates cannot get either Anna or Mrs. Hughes to admit it was Green, especially after saying that if it was, ‘he is a dead man.’ But does he know? When I get a bit angry at hearing Anna, as she relays the news to Mrs. Hughes, compliment Bates as being ‘generous of spirit’ for understanding that she was the victim of a crime and not shaming or blaming her, I have to remind myself that it’s 1923. And what about Bates’ anger: Is it selfless or selfish? Is he seeking justice for Anna or for himself? I don’t know, but for now I do know it is good to see the old PollyAnna starting to come back to life, though her tsurises haven’t disappeared completely; they’ve merely been transferred onto Mrs. Hughes, and it ain’t over. No good deed goes unpunished and so it seems that now she is the one lumbered with keeping pit bull Bates on a leash. But wait a minute: Why does Bates have to try to kill Green anyway? Why not let serial killer Mabel Lane Fox do it? Two problems solved at once (or is it three? I’m not exactly sure). You’re welcome. To (mis)quote the great philosopher Yogi Berra, ‘It ain’t over ‘til the scary Bates music stops singing.’

Dowager Countessdown (Madam Dowager’s best zingers from each episode):

It’s So Nice To Have You Back Where You Belong! And just like that The Dowager Countess of Grantham is back with a vengeance; sparring with Isobel, and cracking herself up in the process – oh, how we have missed her! 

5. “The last boy went off to a frightfully grand rectory.”

4. “The one thing we don’t want is a poet in the family.”

3. “Wars have been waged with less fervor.”

2. “Nobody cares as much about anything as you do.”

1. “I wonder your halo doesn’t grow heavy. It must be like wearing a tiara around the clock.”

So what do you think Downtonians? Have you got any ideas as to what the answers to my questions might be? Or do you have questions of your own? Pour yourself a cuppa and join in the discussion! And when you’re done here, please stop over at A Sherlockian Synopsis and join in there!

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  • Emily Johnson

    We do know what Bates did for Vera, don’t we? Didn’t he go to jail b/c he took the fall for her stealing some silver or something?

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      Yes, we know he went to jail for her, for what she had stolen, but we don’t know why he took the blame for her. I’ve wondered if there is a story there about why he offered to go to jail in her place.
      –Deborah

      • Lytnn

        My question is why doesn’t Edith have a ladies maid? And are we sure she went to the doctor about herself. Plus, were there female doctors that early in the century? Remember “Call the Midwife” series. just saying

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

        Edith does have a ladies maid: Madge. You often hear Madge mentioned but she never speaks. Julian Fellowes and Gareth Naeme were joking about her at the event in December. She’s an extra and she doesn’t speak because they (apparently) don’t have the budget for another speaking part.

        –Deborah

      • praise singer

        Edith does not have a ladies’ s maid because she is not married. Madge is a housemaid that attends to her, just like Anna used to attend to the 3 girls when she was head housemaid.

      • Kaycee

        There may have been a few female physicians in the mid twenties but for the most part medicine was a male dominated profession. In fact female midwives were being actively pushed out of the baby business both by male physicians and the public who were led to believe that care provided by a man was always superior to care provided by a woman. Call the Midwife deals with the resurgence of the use of nurse/midwives during and after WWII.

      • roxy545

        midwives have been around since biblical times. Tribes around the world had midwives, as part of cultures and taboos. Men were treated by physicians and religious
        healers. Nobles and retainers had male physicians, Un-
        seemly for a male to tend to women and childbirth. French
        doctors invented forceps in the 1600s. Royal English doctors actually stole forceps from them for an impending royal birth. In the 1700s it became fashionable for upperclass women and wives of merchants/import/export of class to be attended by male doctors. Licensing medical doctors came with the 1900s. In US charlatans offered medical services to any one who had money to pay. As industry caused changes in work and in urban development, what we know of as hospitals became the new way for women to deliver babies. Male doctors registered for hospital privileges. Yes, there were women doctors, but not in huge #s; and some were barred
        from hospital privileges. A note about Lady Hamilton
        mistress of Adm. Nelson: one of her early jobs was as a
        lure for the “Celestial Bed” scam. Charlatan doctor treated
        “infertile” upper class couples. Charlatan drugged man &
        wife, moved husband to settee, then had sex with wife.
        An “angel” descended and volia! a pregnancy! .

      • Jersey Cream

        In one episode Mary or someone refers to a maid Edith and Rose share, Madge I think. Went by quickly.

      • Yates1234

        Lady Mary went to the gynecologist, remember, when she and Matthew had been married for several months and had not conceived? Matthew even went to the doctor, so I guess he was not a gynecologist. He asked if his wife were a client. The day she and her mother came in and asked Carson about the mail, she mentioned she had not heard from Michael for a while, and did you note the look on her face as she closed the door to the room she and Cora were going into? she had something weighty on her mind. And yes, I’ve wondered why she does not have a ladies maid? Sybil did not either. Maybe only the eldest daughter gets a ladies maid?? who knows what the customs of digs such as Downton were. Only Julian knows from reading the diaries of the past ladies of the manor.

      • Kaycee

        I see Bates as rigidly gallant and protective of women, even miserable, evil hags like Vera. Maybe some day we will learn that his early years were spent in a brothel where his mother worked and he was helpless to protect her from the abuse and degradation that were heaped upon her. Or maybe not.

      • CatKinNY

        100 years ago, a gentleman did things like that, even for women they didn’t love. A lot of very wealthy men went down with the Titanic because they gave their seats in the lifeboats up for women from steerage. It’s impossible for us to imagine today, when the rich people we’re familiar with would kick toddlers out of the way in their rush to take their rightful places, but there were some things about the past that were infinitely superior. Lord Grantham can be a bit of a jerk, but honestly, can you imagine him comparing the treatment of the 1% to Kristalnacht?!?! No you can’t, girl, and you loathe the man!

      • Kaycee

        No, Lord Grantham would never make that comparison, even with a time machine. One would have to be old and deranged to make that comparison and he is neither.

      • CatKinNY

        The man who made that comparison is old, but he’s not deranged. He’s apolologized for his choice of words but is standing by the meaning behind them – that the demonization of a small minority can have disastrous results, and he’s right. It’s the first recognition that I’ve seen from a filthy rich person that not all of the negatives of the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few can forever be born solely by the many who’ve been hurt by declining wages and benefits.

        Do you know why the British government went aggressively after the rich to recoup the expenditures of WWI, and why FDR was able to get the New Deal passed? Because the rich and powerful in both countries had recently become aware of how badly they were outnumbered, and were frightened by what had happened to their peers in Russia. Krystalnacht guy has had the epiphany.that his class as a whole desperately needs, unless they want to end up dangling from light poles. Most Americans have woken up to the fact that the game is totally rigged to protect the interests of the rich and big business; more ominous for these folks, the majority of Americans no longer believe that their children will do as well as they have. The compromise budget deal helmed by Patty Murray and Paul Ryan didn’t include the closure of a single tax loophole for special interests; instead, it went after military pensions – though they are starting to realize that maybe that wasn’t so smart.

        The old fart was right about what will happen to him and his peers if things don’t change; hopefully, the message won’t get lost just because the messenger is a buffoon.

      • Kaycee

        I will modify my comment to agree that he has “rearranged” his statement. Your observations about the concentration of wealth in the hands of so few historically and currently are salient. It seems, though, at Downton, the Lord and Lady of the Manor view events in Russia as out of the realm of possibility in Merry Old. Although we hear a lot about the times a changin’ there is nothing truly revolutionary in the creeping modernity to which they are struggling to adapt. They envision a world only slightly less grand than that to which they are accustomed. In the Downton era the concept of upward mobility was coming into the sunlight. Today, it seems, the light mayhave been snuffed out.

      • CatKinNY

        The light has indeed been snuffed out. Starting in the 70s, it was pretty clear that we were going to win the Cold War, and the rich started pushing to destroy unions, something they’d been afraid to really press for previously. The subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union and the discrediting of communism gave the rich a false sense of security. What they should be worried about now is the French Revolution, which was really driven by the frustrations and rage of the middle class struggling against a tax and legal scheme that was geared to protect the wealthy and the Church. Sound familiar?

        Lord and Lady Grantham and their ilk are not trying to get the government to change policies, merely grumbling about policies that will cause many of them to lose their estates. Robert is not standing on a sop box in the village, trying to rally people to vote in a different government. They actually were restrained by fear. Contrast that with what’s happened here, where through the arguments crafted by plutocrat created and funded think tanks like Heritage and Cato, they have persuaded a whole lot of people to vote against their own interests. Our debt and deficits come from tax cuts, pure and simple, and yet middle America thinks the problem is food stamps. They’re starting to wake up, though. Raising the minimum wage is popular across the board, and if the majority of them begin to understand how much we pay to subsidize wages at WalMart so the Walton family can control as much wealth as the bottom 42%, it’ll be a game changer.

    • Judith Sullivan

      Who did kill Vera?

  • Gaspar Marino

    I hope the newspaper editor doesn’t turn out to be a fink like all of Edith’s other suitors, if so, then Downton Abbey just entered into afternoon soap opera territory, rather than classy costume drama with soap elements.

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      Julian Fellowes has said that he thinks there are some people who are just unlucky, and he think Edith is one of those people.

      –Deborah

      • CatKinNY

        Well, if poor Edith has a dose of the clap, she really IS out of luck, since penicillin doesn’t exist yet! They had some awful treatments involving poisons that sometimes seem to have worked, but didn’t have a good track record. She can have an abortion in that nice Harley Street office, or go away for a while and have a child that she can ‘adopt’, but if she’s got a disease, she’s stuck with it.

      • Yates1234

        I was definitely under the impression they used no protection the night she stayed over with him and now she’s missed a period and is worried….and no word from Michael. Not a good position to be in . But she seemed less burdened upon her return the evening after visiting the doctor!

      • CatKinNY

        Well, Michael was planning that tryst for a while, so there’s no reason he wouldn’t have had some condoms waiting in the wings. I wonder how long it’s been since she heard from him? I do think he loves her, not that it will help if his ferry went down in the Channel or his train to Berlin derailed in the Ruhr Valley. As Deb keeps reminding us, Julian Fellows believes that some people are unlucky (so do I), and he’s said Edith is one such person.

        it’s funny. The first season, I despised Edith, outing Mary’s indiscretion with Pamuk and launching an affair with a married farmer under the nose of his wife. I sat here grinning like the Cheshire cat when Mary paid her back by driving old fuddy duddy away (and hey – she turned out to be right!). Then she redeemed herself by being such a marvelous help to the soldiers recovering at the Abbey, and we watched her get her hopes up over the dead cousin she loved, only to to see her suffer terribly when she had to face that he truly was lost. Now, I want to reach through the screen and poke Robert in the eye when he treats her with such disrespect and I worry about her. I really want her to be happy, and I don’t think it would take much to let her achieve it, if only Sir Julian will allow it!

      • Yates1234

        I believe Gregson was headed for Munich. He had a lot of dealing to do with a lawyer when he got there…let’s hope that has kept him so busy and he’s in such a rush to ‘live in sin’ that he’ll be in touch soon. It must have taken a while for mail to get from Munich to York in the twenties? And I do believe he loved Edith…it seems as if he wanted her to meet his literary friends and as if he has made it obvious to his friends that she is important to him. But, maybe the legal battle is going to be trickier than he thought. Maybe he has already left Munich and is headed to Greece or France. I would so think France would have been a better first choice. I couldn’t understand why he chose Germany over France. Any ideas?

      • CatKinNY

        I imagine it would have routinely taken up to a week to get a piece of mail from Munich to York in those days, and easily longer if there was bad weather – the Channel is treacherous.

        I assumed he picked Germany over France on his lawyer’s advice, though other factors may have been at play. Someone like Michael would probably have been “fluent” in both German and French, but frankly, German is an easier language for native English speakers to master.. The financial situation in the Weimar Republic would have been very advantageous to someone who had hard money (pounds sterling) at his disposal. And then of course, he’s a newspaper man. Were I him (or even me), I think I’d have found it an interesting prospect to spend a few months observing life in the defeated instigator of the most horrific conflict in human history.

      • LordJeff

        If the story line puts Gregson in Munich in 1923, maybe he will witness Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch on November 8-9 of that year.

      • CatKinNY

        Excellent point, Jeff.

  • Isisfan

    Bates has always harbored some secret. Remember the fight with his inmate, when he told him not to forget he shares space with a murderer? No denial there. It would make some sense for Mary and Tom to find each other, but that will never happen. And I didn’t buy Cora’s agreeable reaction to Tom going to America — she would never be okay with her granddaughter going away forever.

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      That’s a great name Isisfan!

      –Deborah

    • Kaycee

      I think Bates used the “murderer” line to further intimidate his cell mate. While he was convicted of murder he always denied it. And I believed him.

  • Victoria Ficco-Panzer

    Is it only me,or does Lord Gillingham bear a frightful resemblance to the ill-fated Mr.Pamuk?

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      Lol, they were definitely casting for the same type (but I think Pamuk was prettier:)

      –Deborah

  • Yates1234

    Well, where to start. Poor Edith…she’s either deeply in love now or deeply in trouble. Time will tell, though she does not seem to be carrying a burden on her mind or in her lady parts. Ooops. Did I say that? Grigsen has to be a good person.. Edith can not screw up twice. It’s time for her to spring the nest and experience some happiness. And Bates….well, I know something happens to Greene. Are you implying Miss Mabel Lane Fox does him in? Maybe she has been wronged the same way as Anna and she takes the situation into her own hands??? Hmmm……can’t wait for the next deeply disturbing tale of Downton Abbey!

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      I have no idea what happens in the future. I never watch ahead because I don’t want to know spoilers when I’m writing the Dish because I don’t want to accidentally include any. Any guesses I make are pure speculation.

      I have no idea if we even get to meet Mabel Lane Fox. I was just joking that she is referred to by the 3 names, and so are serial killers, so maybe *she* can kill Green for the Bates.

      –Deborah

    • Joanne

      Gregsen was a card shark, and actually stated something to the effect that he’s lived a checkered life….this is NOT a good sign for Edith….and why has she NOT heard from him? Mmmmm……please don’t let this guy turn out to be a creep…..and what exactly DID she sign? They are not married nor engaged…. and I thought he was an editor…then why when he was leaving for Germany, she asked him what he would be doing? Like isn’t he still working and editing from afar? What does he live on if he is no longer working?
      I can’t believe this guy would fling himself at this aristocratic family in every way, shape and form, trying desperately to get them to give him an ounce of attention..and then turn out to do them dirty….?!

      • CatKinNY

        It wouldn’t have been possible to edit a paper from afar in 1923. I assume he’s taken a leave of absence to get his divorce and write his novel. He may have quite a bit of money, and Lord knows, someone sporting pounds sterling could have lived like a king for nothing in the Weimar Republic. I do think he loves Edith.

  • Ginger

    Season 4 Episode 4- What’s the “old saying” Anna shares with Bates after he wonders about Barrow’s interest in Cora’s new ladies maid. Can’t understand what she’s saying…kids say I need a hearing aid!

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      I had a really hard time understanding that as well. But after rewinding a few times I *think* she said, ‘You know what they say, there’s nothing queer as folks.’

      –Deborah

      • slope74

        Yes, Anna says “there’s naught so queer as folk”.

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

        Thank you!

        –Deborah

      • CatKinNY

        Thank you from me too.

      • Yates1234

        I couldn’t tell either. So does she mean it is hard to know why Baxter would befriend Tom, because all of us are weird??

      • Deborah T

        I believe the Yorkshire expression is “There’s nowt so queer as folk”, meaning roughly “There’s nothing as crazy as people!”

    • Gail Slevin

      I think Baxter is related to Thomas, perhaps his sister.

  • Jamie Alford

    favorite Dowager Countess quote, “I wish I could say that I was wrong, but I must admit that I am not familiar with that sensation”

  • http://helenspin.com Helen Spingola

    I am anxious to learn what Edith signed – without even glancing at the papers!! She
    is sooooo trusting!! Or perhaps it is the Editor’s will, leaving her everything – “in the
    event….” Waiting to see!!

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      Me too!

      –Deborah

    • Kaycee

      She wouldn’t have to sign HIS Will or even witness it if she were a beneficiary. I just couldn’t be something so innocuous.

      • http://helenspin.com Helen Spingola

        He’s got something up his sleve beside his arm!!

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

        I think she might have to sign if she was named the executor, but one wouldn’t do that without witnesses. I think that, considering it’s Edith, it’s more likely something bad than something good:)

        –Deborah

    • Yates1234

      I thought he mentioned to her at one point he was insuring she would still be writing her column in his absence. He did not mention it when he said..”I have a paper for you to sign” but it was mentioned at some point.

      • CatKinNY

        True. If there’s been a trainwreck in the Ruhr, perhaps Edith will find herself running the paper!

    • Vickey B

      I thought she was signing a Power of Attorney, so she could handle his affairs while he was out of the country. Didn’t he or she say that at some point?

  • melissa

    Has anyone noticed that Thomas has BOTH hands now—I thought he lost one during his stint in the war.

    • Kaycee

      As I recall he didn’t lose a hand, just full use of it.

      • Jersey Cream

        Lost a finger.

        And Deborah, it’s “eavesdropping,” not “eves dropping” as you wrote. The poor eves being dropped!

      • Tina Kramer

        No, it’s just really ugly and scarred up. He has full use of it and all of his fingers. He wears the glove to hide the scarring.

  • pattipink

    why has there been no follow up from the meeting in London with the tax authorities? they make a big deal about going in the day before since the appointment has been moved up– Tom, Mary and Rose — Rosamund has the ‘ party’ and they go to the nightclub and then they are all back at the Abbey with no further mention of this huge issue of the death duties ! how could Julian forget that part of the plot for two episodes ??

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      Good question!

      –Deborah

    • CatKinNY

      They may not have the answer yet. This was all new, the crippling death duties to pay for WWI, but by 1923, the Exchequer was aware that they might have gone too far, so negotiation, with offers and counter offers, were possibly becoming the norm. I’m just speculating!

    • Yates1234

      They don’t mention it directly, but Mary and Tom drive off into the sunset heading to York to buy new equipment to get the sawmill up and running; and there were plans to start pig farming at the farm they were taking over after Mr. Drew passed away until his son expressed interest. I think they are just subtly going about the business they discussed with the tax man in London. I imagine they are just going to try to make the acreage more productive so there will be more income than previously and that new income will be enough to pay off Matthew’s death and probate taxes over time. Mary as much as told her father she would pay it off over time before they even went.

  • Buck

    I agree with Ginger. I rewound my TV three times before giving up–and even Closed Captioning had no clue what Anna said.
    MY big concern is Rose’s idea for Robert’s party. It MUST include that awful singer from the nightclub. PLEASE tell me he won’t sing again—or maybe he’ll bring his pitchpipe!

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      I posted what I think is the answer below (under Ginger’s post). But maybe there is someone out there who heard it better. If there is, please let us know!

      –Deborah

    • Yates1234

      I thought the band leader and singer, Jack Ross, was quite enchanting. We’re talking jazz from the 20′s here…it was a little dreamy and mellow but they’re attempting to portray the time period. The fellow playing Jack Ross is quite the handsome singer and actor…I saw an interview of him…Gary Carr. Quite charming indeed. He’ll be back…Rosamund or Rose will arrange that I’m sure. Can’t leave Rose with such a dashing young man for just a moment…they must bring him back and raise the intrigue!

  • Kaycee

    Did Edith’s visit to the gynecologist provide a clue to what it was that she signed? As Deborah noted, is it something that needs penicillin or burping? Perhaps, then, she signed an agreement to hold Editor Charming harmless if she developed something requiring medicine or mothering BECAUSE he no longer has the ability to father a child thanks to his long standing and incurable STD. Insanity can be a symptom of tertiary syphilis. Hear that Mrs. Greggson?

    Speaking of incurable, I may have that type of naivete because I am less suspicious of Bates than many other viewers. I think Anna knows he would kill anyone who hurt her because he is so very protective of her, not because he has a penchant for offing people. I also saw his anger when he was told of the rape as more of a rage against the person who caused so much pain to the object of his love and devotion. I didn’t get any vibe of his feeling that his woman/property had been interfered with. Of course I could be dead wrong and will have to wait to see what develops there. However, it would be ridiculous to go through another Bates trial so I just can’t see it going that way. Been there, done that.

    Has Mary bounced back with a little too much velocity? She practically leaps on Napier when he shows up. There has to be a romantic interest in her life so he may just be Bachelor Number Two. Can’t wait to see where this goes!

    • CatKinNY

      That’s my take on Bates, too, Kaycee. As to why he went to prison for Vera, he’d have done it before 1910. Shocking as it might seem to us 100 years later, many men would have done the same thing for their wives, even if they did not love them. I seem to have the impression, probably from the first season, that Bates hinted that he did some things in prison of which he is ashamed, hence the ‘more happiness than I deserve’ meme, which makes sense. Do you remember anything like that?

      Mary was genuinely surprised by Napier’s unannounced visit and was delighted to have the welcome distraction of company to take her mind off of Gillingham. I’m glad she had the sense to know that it would be a few years before she’d be ready to fall in love again, even if she found Tony terribly attractive and his attention flattering. Isobel, and the audience, would never have forgiven her!

      • Kaycee

        I do remember that about Bates, always an air of regret for events of the past but no real malice or evil in the man. I see him as a man of honor coupled with great intensity and that can be a difficult combination. Anna is correct, he would sacrifice himself for her if needed. Killing Green wouldn’t be a sacrifice. It would only bring her greater pain. I hope Fellows is thinking along these lines too.

        And yes, we will see more of Mary’s wistful longings before anything gels because it really is too soon. We haven’t gotten to George’s first birthday yet so she must cool her jets for both propriety sake and for the audience’s sensibilities.

      • CatKinNY

        He knows it was Green, but with both Mrs Hughes and Anna swearing that it wasn’t, there’s a grain of doubt that will hopefully stop him from acting. I still wish Mary was in on it; she could ruin Green, discreetly. Perhaps Green will rape another maid at another house party who won’t be married to a man she has to protect, and the next we’ll hear is that he’s in jail.

      • Kaycee

        This evil deed simply cannot go unpunished. Can’t wait to see what path we will be led down to witness the retribution.

  • Linda F.

    Debbie, your blog is a welcome respite from any of the plot lines that leave me feeling depressed (e.g., Anna and Bates). I laughed out loud at this: “Bean spill on aisle five! It’s a good thing the Germans never got as far as Yorkshire during the war because Mrs. Hughes does not hold up well under interrogation.”

    They’re definitely making Lord Grantham more likable this season. This week we witness his compassion for the farmer, and last week his uncharacteristically sage advice to Bates. I’m glad, since that actor is normally so appealing and it was hard watching him, as you so aptly put it, being an “unmitigated putz” week after week!

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy it.

      –Deborah

  • Madtown gal

    I still think that Thomas poisoned Pamuk out of fear that he would out him.
    And can’t Cora EVER hold her head up straight? Every scene she has the same dang look on her face with her neck at a 45 degree angle.

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      That poisoning theory is something I’ve never heard before.

      –Deborah

    • Yates1234

      I always thought Pamuk just had a bad heart and his night with Mary did him in. Looked like the typical heart attack in the midst of passion to me.

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

        That’s what I’ve always assumed as well.

        –Deborah

    • Bridgie

      I so agree! She is permanently reproachful.

  • Doris Fenske

    How utterly delightful! Deborah, your “Dish” is as much fun as watching the series. Now I have to go back and read your take on the previous episodes. Thanks, and keep them coming!

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

      –Deborah

  • Yates1234

    You mention there’s been a lot of shoe polishing, which stymies me. Isn’t the boot room where Green dragged Anna after he slugged her? I’d think that would be the one place she definitely would not want to return to. So am I incorrect? Did he drag her into a different room?

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      Green did drag her into a different room and I *think* it was the boot room. I’d have to watch it again to be sure. I mentioned the shoe polishing because I can’t recall this going on in past seasons. If it was the boot room, maybe Fellowes is trying to make a point about Anna’s circumstances.

      –Deborah

      • Yates1234

        I don’t think they’ve ever shown it before…except this season it seems to be in use a lot. Either for shoe polishing or for makeout sessions. Hmmm….curious. But, it seems the boot room is the second door from the hall, after watching Ivy and Jimmy going in. I almost think Green dragged Anna into the first room, but there was a table in the room he took her into. I”d have to rewatch too, I guess. I don’t know if I can stand to watch that again though. It was tough to see her get slugged and dragged.

  • Susanna G.

    Since Bates was Lord Grantham’s batman in the Boer War, perhaps he now suffers from PTSD which could account for the murderous look on his face when he found who had raped his beloved Anna. Only Anna would know about his condition because they share everything and likely he has bad dreams etc. Alternately, he could have developed it in jail where he came close to being killed by another inmate
    I think he is a good, kind and innocent man.
    Julian Fellows likes to expose issues that need to be addressed, and PTSD/shell shock could be one of those.
    Then there is the question of Vera’s death. Bates probably married her because she was so manipulative and made herself look good. I don’t think that she poisoned herself. Perhaps she made two pies, one for herself and one that she intended to serve Bates. Somehow the pies were switched. There again, perhaps Sir Richard had something to do with Vera’s death.

    • Kaycee

      Sir Richard Carlisle? Why?

    • Susanna G

      Because of the way in which Carlisle outsmarted Vera and how furious she was. Perhaps something else went on between the two of them that we don’t yet know about. I would have to find the DVD with the scene in Carlile’s office before being able to speculate any more. Even though I have the first three seasons and have watched all the episodes ten times each, I don’t remember absolutely every detail.

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

        I have often wondered if Carlisle was involved. I have also wondered if O’Brien was involved in some way – and if not involved, I was wondering if her letters to Vera would be discovered one day – but now that she’s left, it doesn’t look like that will happen.

        –Deborah

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-2/ Gotham Tomato

      That is a GREAT point (about the PTSD)!

      –Deborah

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