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The Downton Abbey Dish Season 4 Episode 7

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 7 (aired 02/16/2014)

Talk about bad timing: The Village People visit Downton and Thomas is out sailing the seven seas. But put your mind at ease, the prodigal Lord Grantham returns to cap off the bazaar, having missed Bates as much as Cora. “If you knew how many times I’d imagined this scene”, sigh. Forget about the pigs and the sawmill and the farms: I predict that next week Robert starts a new business to save his beloved Downton — writing romance novels…

Farm Aid: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Edith?:
Former field hand Lady Edith lights up upon seeing Farmer Drew nurturing the little piggies, and it gives her an idea: Maybe he can adopt her baby. Baby? What baby?? Unfortunately she makes the mistake of running it by Aunt Rosamund who immediately shoots it down as reckless. Me, reckless? What have you heard? But is it any more reckless than taking advice from Rosamund? What do you mean?? I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout birthing babies! While Mama Cora is too distracted by the bazaar (and shiny objects), Violet Marple misses nothing. You can tell from that look: She knows. Knows what? What do you know? Edith and Rosamund are brought to the Dower House for interrogation at Nuremberg, after which they flee over the mountains to form a singing duo, Crawley and Garfunkel. For her part, Edith looked like she was making a hostage tape when Rosamund proposed the Switzerland idea to the oblivious Cora. I don’t think she likes the idea of keeping this a secret from her Mum any more than I do. Edith looked desperate to tell her. Maybe she could come up with a better solution. Is it a good idea to take such important life-altering advice from Aunt Rosamund (even if Granny is on board)? Remember, it was Rosamund who had advised Mary to put Matthew on ice in case Cora’s pregnancy produced a male heir, causing a years-long delay in their nuptials, as well as World War I and the death of Lavinia Swire. (and yes, that is historically correct, about the cause of WWI; it was Rosamund. I checked.) As Mary tells her, “we must rise to life’s challenges”, which has to be particularly galling for Edith to hear from Marcia, Marcia Marcia, who has always seemed to be handed everything Edith wants but has snatched out of her hands. And now this. She wants this baby. Will she be able to find a way to, if not keep it, at least keep it near? Is this a mountain she’ll be able to climb and is there a better solution on the other side?

You Can Ring My Bell: Free At Last?:
It’s not just sentimental bosh to say Mr. Molesley may have found a kindred spirit in Miss Baxter. Sweet. Or is she just using him for intelligence gathering? She did come right out and ask him about the Bates’es, but got nowhere. And without Thomas around to block her, she has been able to strike up what seems like the start of a beautiful friendship. Is it real or is she using him? Her encouragement even gives him the superhuman strength to beat stud Jimmy at the bazaar games. But all good things must come to an end. The beast returns looking for a report and now it’s Molesley’s turn, offering her an arm to walk away from Thomas’ insistent questions. But no problem for Thomas. That smug look never leaves his face. He’s not worried at all. Does he believe that what he has on Baxter is enough to keep her on a short leash and doing his bidding? Now that she has a protector, will she stand up to him? Or is Baxter yet another rug that will be yanked out from under fragile Molesley’s feet?

Strange Fruit: The Love You Save:
Remember that nice stuff I said about Cousin Oliver Rose last week? I take it back. She doesn’t love Jack; she’s just using him. She is still the same selfish brat. What she loves is the thought of how the news of her black fiancé will shock dear old Mummy. Forget that high-minded talk about ignoring the imperialist nonsense: This is more a low-minded temper tantrum aimed at Lord and Lady Flintshire. Jack Ross is just another toy she is tossing out of her pram. Cousin Oliver has not a care in the world as she sits down to dine in the restaurant with the hesitant Mr. Ross and strokes his cheek – she gets the whispers and scene she is looking for. We don’t know much of his story, but given that he has an American accent, one can easily assume he might be wondering if this is a lynchable offense in Thirsk. After being tipped off by Branson, Mary goes to see Jack herself, but this is a different Lady Mary than the one who chased Sybil to Gretna Green. And Mr. Ross’ announcement that he will not marry Rose, and his reasons why, are reminiscent of the biblical story of King Solomon and the two women who claimed the baby; the one willing to cut the baby in half and the other willing to give the baby away rather than to see it harmed. Cousin Oliver Rose is willing to slice and dice Mr. Ross, while Mr. Ross (the real Mother) would rather give her up than to see her be harmed by their relationship. So Lord Grantham came thisclose to having a band singer in the family.

Teacher’s Pet: I’ll Never Be Your Beast of Burden:
If Branson stands for office, his campaign slogan will be, “I don’t believe in types. I believe in people.” And people who believe in people are the luckiest people. And luckily he ran into Miss Bunting again so that his surrogate Mum, Isobel, could meet her. Is he ready to be enthralled? I don’t know. There was a time when he would have been at the barricades with Miss Bunting and her attitudes toward the lords and ladies, but he has changed. Can he shrug it off? Is this a preview of coming attractions? And speaking of shrugging it off, who has had a more precipitous fall than Jimmy? When young Chippendale first turned up, he was the flavor of the month, and now every week brings yet another incident that shows him as just an insipid bore. Even Thomas only wants to be just friends. He’s going nowhere fast, but might things be looking up in the future? Masterpiece just announced that they have cast an actress to play Lady Anstruther, Jimmy’s oft mentioned former boss, in Season 5, so maybe we’ll learn a bit more about how Jimmy came to rest at Downton. In the meantime, he’s irrelevant.

Lordy, Lordy: It’s My Party and I’ll Read Your Card If I Want Too:
Not to be outdone by the young’uns downstairs, it seems like The Dowager is quite the dark horse! She has a plan for the widowed Lord Merton: Have him to luncheon and invite Isobel along as wingman. Rookie mistake. Unfortunately Isobel doesn’t understand the concept of being a wingman, and likely had no idea that’s why she was really there in the first place (it caught me by surprise as well!). And so Violet’s girlish giggling was all for naught; to her surprise Lord Merton hits it off with commoner Isobel and escorts her home to her door while asking her about Matthew’s current career as a crash test dummy (oops, my bad), and blabs about his long, unhappy marriage to the wife he doesn’t miss. But why did Lord Merton send Isobel’s flowers to Violet’s house when he knew full well where Isobel lives? If Isobel wants my advice, I’d say run! He can’t remember who you are, or where you live, and worst of all, you could end up the step-mum to that horrible, arrogant son who drugged Branson. This guy has red flags tattooed on his forehead. Vamoose!

She Loves me, She Loves Me Not: See Ya Hubbell: 
During his last visit, Wrong Way Alfred was overly encouraged by a brief moment when Poison Ivy wasn’t just a total cow to him, and so he writes her a letter to propose marriage. But Ivy thinks she can do better and turns him down. For Daisy though, Alfred has always been a real but unrequited love, and to avoid encountering him when he visits Downton for the Bazaar, and having to watch as he throws her over for Ivy yet again, Daisy takes time off to spend the day at Yasgur’s farm to camp out on the land and try and get her soul free. Now with Mr. Mason’s sage advice she is sent on her way to confidently put closure to the object of her affection head on, causing Alfred to have an epiphany, a day late and a pound short. Yes, it’s too late for Daisy. With the help of William’s Dad, Daisy bids Alfred a fond farewell with a basket full of assorted cookies (that he’d baked in his hollow tree), and a prepared speech, “your girl is lovely Hubbell”, after which Mrs. Patmore tells Daisy she couldn’t be more proud of her if she was her own daughter. This got me to thinking: Lesley Nicol has said she’d like Mrs. Patmore to have a love interest, so what about fixing Mrs. Patmore up with Mr. Mason?? They already have something in common: Daisy. What about it?

Road Rage: Ding Dong, Green is Dead:
This week marks the first time we have seen Bates be blatantly cruel to Anna: Am I the only person who thought that he was way out of line when he asked her about Mr. Green, saying, “have you gone off him?” Why would he say that? He already suspects (or even knows, really) that Green raped her, so why ask that of her, and in that way? Wouldn’t he know that that would hurt her? Since he found out about the attack, it has seemed that much of Bates’ anger has been more about himself than about Anna; about what he had lost because she was attacked rather than what she lost (and what she needed). If there was any doubt about it, that one line confirms it, and Anna has been left running interference to prevent Mr. Bates from going all “Billy Jack” on Green and losing him to the gallows. Thankfully Anna finally confided in BFF Lady Mary who, I really do believe would do anything to help her, and now it’s just a race against time for Mary to get Tony to sack Green before turning up at Downton again. But he’s a sly one that Bates, and a simple dinner table question to obnoxious Green gives him all he needs to know about this and that – if he needs to know anything at all. Lord Gillingham turns up at the bazaar with news that Green is dead (what a coincidence!) – killed in a road accident. The sidewalk in Piccadilly was crowded so lots of people saw Green as he fell or slipped or was pushed into the road and was hit by a truck or a bus or a large husky woman in a noodle bang wig walking with a cane. So odd. Anna is relieved that there were witnesses to whatever it was that happened, but she does have her doubts. “You know me, when I do a thing, I like to have a very good reason for doing it.” That’s not exactly a no, innit? But then again, Mary and Anna were also in London on the day in question. Where were they? Come to think of it, where was potential serial killer, Miss Mabel Lane Fox? Is this the end of it? Or did Baxter overhear Mary’s conversation with Blake and will she report back to Thomas? And will he use that to get back at his archenemy Bates? On the plus side, has anyone else noticed that Bates’ limp has continued to get better? He was really trucking down that road on his way to ‘York’, wasn’t he?

It’s Raining Men: Back in the Knife Drawer Lord Sharp:
If one more potential suitor turns up at Downton to compete for Lady Mary, she is going to need a Border Collie to herd them into the drawing room after the gong (one doesn’t think Isis is up to the task). As it is, the current crop is starting to get bitchy with each other. Not poor Napier, of course; by now he must realize he’s out of the running and has settled for charming Cora and granny on the outside chance that it matters. It doesn’t. No, it’s down to the two finalists (for now) who use strategic car-pooling to keep an eye on each other. For his part, pig maven Blake knows how to work it: Few things are sexier than a man holding a baby, and when Mary sees Blake with George, he scores big (while Violet leaves skid marks on her way out the door and Napier kicks himself for not thinking of grabbing the kid first). However, despite all that, at the end of the day, Mary does give Blake the now standard talk about not wanting to add him to the list of men she’s disappointed (or killed). In the meantime, in her subtle way, it seems she’s gone off Lord Tony as well, doesn’t it? Take what you like from the fact that Tony gave Miss Mabel Lane Fox the old heave ho. Train or no train, that was a rather abrupt end to their lunch, wasn’t it? She got what she wanted; the promise he’d give Green the push (no pun intended), and then she snapped back to imperious and was off  on her way. It’s no wonder the weather forecasters leave it to a ground hog to predict the weather; me thinks they need the satellites to read Lady Mary. And it seems everyone else is trying to read her as well, as that last scene of all eyes on the menage indicated. With no TV or radio; the love life of Lady Mary Crawley and her desire of suitors is the best soap they have: Irritating and beguiling in equal measure.  No wonder they were craning their necks to see.

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

5. “I always feel that greeting betrays such a lack of self worth.”

4. “No life appears rewarding if you think too much about it.”

3. “Yes, but you’re better than nothing.”

2. “All life is a series of problems which we must try and solve. First this one, then the next, and the next, until at last we die.”

1. “He’s the most unconvincing fiancé I have ever come across.”

Your Assignment, Downtonians: The word of the week is ‘splendid’. It’s one of those words that, even though we Americans have it in our own vocabulary, is rare that we use it and even more rare that we can pull it off without looking around to see if anyone buys it. This week, we are going to take it back. Your assignment is to find a way to use ‘splendid’ in conversation at least once and report back.

Say it ain’t so!: I’m sad to say that next week is the last Downton Abbey episode of this season! It really flew by, didn’t it? And given all the stories set up for resolution this season, the last episode, which was the Christmas episode in the UK, promises to be epic. I cannot wait to watch it! How about you?

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  • Jackie4g

    You’ve done your usual excellent job and yes, I did notice (and comment upon), Bates striding away from the Abbey as if the cane were an accessory rather than a necessity, and whatever used to be wrong with his leg is all better. Would that it might happen to my arthritic knees, but hey, I’m not on TV. See you at TLO.

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      Thanks! Bates’ leg recover has happened gradually, but I think in that scene we just saw it more obviously.

      –Deborah

      • Kaycee

        And there were times when he was in prison that his stride was stronger too. I imagined he forced that so that he would not look vulnerable to the other prisoners. But maybe it was just beginning to improve and after this episode it would appear that he might be a whole lot more agile and fleet of foot than anyone

      • CatKinNY

        Living with an injury similar to his, I can tell you that it gets better very gradually over a course of many, many years, and that some days are MUCH better than others, and not always for any discernable reason.
        And of course, adrenalin is one hell of an anesthetic. Hurrying off to kill your wife’s rapist would put a spring in your step!

  • Stormy

    I don’t understand why you refer to Rose as Oliver Rose. Did I miss something? I am new to this site [last week].

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      I started calling Rose as Cousin Oliver as soon as she appeared last season, as a reference to Cousin Oliver, the very young character brought onto The Brady Bunch after the kids got older, so they could still have the youthful hijinx type of stories. It’s a story device that other shows have used as well.

      • TerryM

        I also liked your reference to The Way We Were in this one – wonder how many people will get that

      • starberry

        Splendid is ok but the real word is BRILLIANT. used regularly across the pond about anything good /better /best.

      • Stormy

        ITA Splendid has a more dignified connotation. As in grace under fire is considered splendid behaviour. [yes I know that's the Brit spelling].

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

        Yes, having watched British TV for years, I use ‘brilliant’ in the same way they do. Sometimes it gets me funny looks but I don’t care.

        –Deborah

      • Downton Dame

        I thought the same thing. We Yanks use the word brilliant mostly to compliment another person, such as, “He has a brilliant mind,” or, “Her idea is just brilliant!” The Brits use it for many more things, like we constantly say “terrific,” “great,” “awesome,” “incredible,” etc.

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

        Thanks! If only Daisy had brushed Alfred’s hair off his forehead it would have been perfect. But she would have needed a step ladder, which would have lessened the romantic effect.
        –Deborah

  • Susanna G.

    How ever did you remember that Lord Merton is the father of the scoundrel who drugged Branson? Your memory is simply splendid! So too are your recapitulations. Yes. I am aware that we readers are supposed to use the “s” word in our everyday conversation, but I could not resist.

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      Thank you! Quite splendid of you to say.
      I’m not sure how I remember odd little bits of trivia. It’s both a blessing and a curse.
      –Deborah

      • greenelent

        Oh, now I remember the drugging. At a dinner party so he would appear drunk and become an Irish Republican cartoon. One of my least favorite scenes.

      • crystal clear

        Bates may or may not have killed Green (there may be an eye witness from an overhanging window, or some such, which will create future havoc); Anna will never just quietly, gratefully accept it because she is too moral. This series is not, after all, The House of Cards.
        Edith may yet miscarry, thereby solving her very serious problem of social ostracism; the passing idea that the farmer’s family could raise the baby was laughable, but comic relief is sometimes necessary.
        Mary’s character is obviously in flux, which we did not realize until the sixth episode. Who knows what else will materialize that we will be asked to accept as credible behavior from one so previously narrowly portrayed (except for the misbehavior in season one, which was perhaps premonitory). She will not join forces with Edith, as has been suggested, because that would take away the delicious and relateable element of sibling rivalry and revenge, an enjoyable vicarious experience.
        Speaking of season one, or was it two, what ever happened to the wounded soldier who was believed for a while to be the missing dead cousin who had a claim to the estate? Remembering that he got better and exited stage left, is he out there somewhere threatening to resurface and claim the estate? It would be a shame, especially after all the work with the pigs, etc. What if he returns and wants to convert the whole thing to condos.
        Cora’s vacuity should surprise no one. Other than rare moments of true mothering after tragic circumstances, she seems to flit through the various scenes contributing little. Then again, she is, after all, Shirley Maclaine’s daughter.
        Molesley is a victim, and will remain one. Baxter’s going to do what is best for Baxter.
        The whole episode with Violet, Isobel, and the unpleasant relative seems to have been deliberately constructed to confound, but that is a necessary part of any good show. It makes us wonder, and brings us back. If Violet, as impossible as it seems, really was trying to put the make on him, then this is certainly going to deteriorate the newly formed truce between the two women. Ah jealousy. Maybe the flowers were sent to the same place to alert Violet to the fact that she has a rival. Maybe he’s playing the two of them; we really don’t know anything about him or his financial circumstances, and even then, widows were lonely and potential profitable prey.
        This is probably ass good a place as any to stop.

      • crystal clear

        I have rethought my earlier comments about the disposition of Edith’s baby. Reviewing that the farmer/pigman had been introduced a few episodes back, and placed in debt to the Granthams, and realizing that no character is introduced by happenstance, it’s probably exactly what Edith will try to do with her baby. She may go off to Switzerland in accordance with the plan to leave the infant there for adoption, but she will not do that. Particularly if she receives word of the demise of her lover, she will want to keep their child close.
        And just for the record, one “golly” would have been sufficient.

      • Kaycee

        All of our assuming and being certain about what is to unfold is part of the fun of this forum and we often revisit our first impressions after reading the ideas put forth by other fans of this program. And we all agree to disagree.

        So, I disagree with you about Anna. Yes, she is certainly a very moral person but I think she will, albeit with great difficulty, assimilate the idea of her husband having killed her attacker, process it and tuck it away never to be dwelt on again. And although all clues lead to Bates we could be wrong about that too.

        I think every one has thought about a miscarriage for Edith as a neat and easy out. I hate easy outs. They always make me think that the writer ran out of ideas. I don’t think that applies to Fellowes. At least I hope not. My thought is the farmer served as a plot device to give us something to think about…and it worked, but unless Edith is a masochist she would never want to see her child being raised near her but not with her. And the dangers inherent in that situation were pointed out to her and they made sense. To me at least and I think to Edith.

        Mary’s character seems to me to be unfolding rather than being in flux, especially this season. When you have a chance read some of CatKinNY’s comments about Mary. I think she is onto something.

        As I recall, the wounded soldier, whom Deborah refers to as The Mummy, exited stage left when It became known that he either knew or knew of Patrick and had appropriated his identity. Unfortunately I can’t remember the specifics but I recall thinking that the case was closed. But, again, who can be sure. That may just be an assumption on my part.

      • crystal clear

        Thank you for the clarification regarding the soldier. It was just one of those situations, as occurs in series, that one sometimes has to tuck away for future reference, and it seemed odd the way it was introduced and then withdrawn. Sort of a sleeper plot.
        Begging your forgiveness, I think past behaviors of Anna speak for her future: in this most recent episode she made a moue when Bates was evasive about his whereabouts. One can imagine her torment if it is confirmed that he did away with Green, and she will be eaten up by her suspicions in the nonce. I do not see her living in a gray zone as you suggest, albeit her relief at the removal of her assailant.
        And not to split verbal hairs, but flux and evolvement both denote motion of some sort; we are just using different terms, I think.

      • Kaycee

        Anna’s final position on this will be something to await with breath abated. I only hope we have some substantial clues by the end of the finale. I love the idea offered above by Susanna G. that Bates may indeed have been in York on a mission of good rather than evil.

        And I take your point on the semantics of Mary. I was looking at flux as movement of greater velocity than the gentle evolution or unfolding that I chose. Either way she is a compelling and attractive character.

        Looking forward to next week with a mix of anticipation and dismay. We will learn some thing and be left waiting for others. And we will have a long wait.

      • crystal clear

        Your obvious attentiveness to detail is splendid and impressive. Perhaps you would clarify a comment for me regarding the unfortunate Green, as made by yet another viewer who obviously has given this matter closer scrutiny than I. CatKin NY said two days ago “and it appears there were dozens of people present, none of whom thought he was pushed.” Was that information passed along in dialogue, because if so, it managed to escape my notice; or is this more surmising? As I am new to this site, I have some difficulty differentiating presented fact from mere speculation, understanding that discussion of past events and forward projection are the sport here. Review of the commentary can be bloody confusing. It would be brilliant if you could offer an assist on this.

      • Kaycee

        Hope this helps. The mind set of any onlookers to Mr. Green’s fall was not explicitly stated in dialogue, at least as I can remember. Gillingham told Mary it was a crowded area. And when Mary told Anna, Anna asked if there were witnesses and was relieved when Mary said there were. During neither exchange were the reactions of the witnesses discussed. I suppose the general assumptions were that if the fall had been witnessed and there were not immediate reports of observed foul play then no one saw anything related to the cause of the fall. Although I have been told many times that it is dangerous to assume anything, I think here it is safe, if sometimes confusing to other readers. AND BATES STILL MAY NEVER HAVE BEEN TO LONDON AT ALL THAT DAY. Less than 48 hours to wait for some answers!

      • crystal clear

        Kaycee, Thanks awfully for explaining. I thought mayhaps my hearing had gone off on that one.

      • Stormy

        My thought was that if Bates had gone to London, Greene may have seen Bates in the crowd and, in panic, stepped into the road and been hit by the bus. Death by misadventure.

      • crystal clear

        Or death by Missa Fellowes.

      • Stormy

        As I remember, Patrick couldn’t produce any proof that he was the Grantham heir, so he left.

      • Kaycee

        Yes, Stormy, that rings a bell with me too.

      • crystal clear

        Hello Stormy. Would you elaborate on the soldier’s lack of proof that he was the heir? I cannot at all remember anything about it except that he was admitted to the field hospital at Downton, there was some question of his identity, and then he left. Unfortunately, I can picture his face but do not remember a word of the dialogue. His introduction and then rather abrupt departure has ever remained in my mind as a loose end, as it were, and I must admit to anticipating his reintroduction at some inopportune juncture. You are probably correct that it was an interim threat to Matthew’s entitlement, and Mr. Fellowes in all likelihood has forgotten about him.

      • Stormy

        As I recall it, Robert had his people in London investigate and could find nothing tangible. Canadian Patrick claimed to be the heir and tried to convince Edith that they had shared childhood memories and of course desperate Edith was ready to believe him. But he had no documentation and DNA tests didn’t exist. In one scene Patrick made a hand across his lips gesture that had been a habit of legit Patrick and gave Robert a moment of doubt. In the end Patrick decided it was hopeless [whether he was a fake or real] and departed with a short note to Edith. IMO Fellowes left the option open if he ever wanted to recall the character. If Patrick came back with definitive proof it would change everything. George would no longer be the heir apparent, Mary would not be the mother of the future Earl and Edith would probably be all over Patrick like a cheap suit.

      • crystal clear

        Well, Stormy, thank you for the clarification regarding Patrick. Now that you have mentioned it, I do recall that gesture that gave Robert, and therefore us, pause. It appears that the poor chap has been sent into theatrical retirement, or at least, his character has, although that fellow Fellowes clearly has a devious mind. I had a hearty guffaw at the mental imagery you created with the thought of ensant Edith, abdomen protruding, climbing all over the startled, and possibly grateful, Patrick, who was no great looker, as I remember. What a vengeful plot petard that would be; a deposed Mary and a new queen of the hive.

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

        Yes, he couldn’t find proof he was Patrick, but we never found out who he was. If they ever do revive him and it turns out he was for realz, I don’t think it would be that simple for him. Because of Matthew’s will, leaving Mary his estate, even if Patrick was deemed the heir and get Downton, Mary would still hold the cash.

        –Deborah

      • Stormy

        Right, but Patrick would get the title. And Matthew only bought into one half of the estate. He hadn’t inherited the title or the half Robert retains.

      • Kaycee

        I am sure you do but I can’t remember who called Larry out on that evil deed at the dinner party. Who was it?

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

        It was Anthony Strallan who saw Lord Merton’s son spike Branson’s drink.

        –Deborah

  • Kaycee

    I’m afraid to check ahead to see how long the final episode will be because if it is anything less than 10 hours I don’t think we will get to see all of our questions answered.

    Can Edith really want to see her baby raised by the farmer and his wife, see the child and never let it be known that she is the birth mother? Certainly knowing your child is being loved and well cared for would be a great comfort but being unable to openly offer the love that you feel would be very difficult. I’m thinking now of the maid whose “E” name refuses to come to me. You all remember the heart breaking scene when she gave up her adorable boy to his grandparents and then, although grateful to be offered a position where she would see him regularly, was still in the painful position of not being able to mother him.

    I just realized that so far their are three characters with “E” names for whom things do not work out to their satisfaction; the aforementioned maid, then evil Edna and, of course, Edith. There probably were more and I just can’t remember them. Anyone else have any ideas? Add Evelyn Napier, that’s a given.

    So, we have to find out what Edith will do about the baby AND we have to find out what happened to Gregson, question number two..

    Deborah, I’m not buying into your suspicion of Baxter. She would be a fool to think that Molesly would be a good source of information since most often he is surprised by facts that have been beating him in the face. I see her as a sad and lonely person who is a victim, pure and simple. And pure and simple Molesly and his place in the household and in the village, where he is known and his family is respected is attractive to her since one imagines that her background was very different. She seems genuinely warm in her interest in him and good Lord does he ever glow under her approving eye. Maybe she will turn him into Mosely after all. She may be overestimating his ability to be her protector however, despite his manning up to Thomas just before he offered his arm. That look she tossed over her shoulder may not have been a good idea. So, number three, we have to find out what’s up with Baxter.

    Then, number four, will Mary choose anyone before this season ends? I doubt it but I hope Blake is in the lead. I can wait until next season on this one but numbers 1 though 3 will drive me crazy for a year.

    And then there is the little matter of question number five! Bates vs. Green. I don’t know the distance between the Abbey and London and York or the traveling times in the 1920s but how in the world could Bates have accomplished what we all wanted him to do? Did he really go to York because that is where the nearest internet cafe was located and he wanted to see what’s coming in episode 7? Or was it a coincidence of monumental proportions that he and Green were in the same crowd at the same spot in London at just the moment before a large vehicle of some sort came along for the shove and crush to have been accomplished? Yeah, that question number five is a corker. Will it be answered this year?

    Deborah, your comment about Cora being distracted by shiny objects was, perhaps, your most splendid comment of the season so far. She really is appearing more daft every week.

    Of course there are other questions left to be answered, such as the prospects for a romance for Isobel and Branson (not with one another), but these five intrigue me the most. And with Shirley’s character returning for the finale I have doubts that enough of them will be addressed. She eats the scenery and sucks the air out of even those enormous rooms so I may be disappointed on the answers front.

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      The last episode is about 90 minutes, so fasten your seatbelts!
      –Deborah

      • CatKinNY

        Great recap, Deborah – the perfect blend of humor and pathos.

        Do you really think that the Dowager has set her cap for Lord Merton? I’ll have to watch it again, but I have trouble believing that, while I have no trouble believing that she’d be annoyed that Isobel got the larger flower arrangement, even if they were from the postman. Of course, she’s been awfully supportive of her unwed, pregnant granddaughter, and that’s not terribly realistic either.

      • Kaycee

        Set her cap for Lord Merton for herself? I think I’ve stayed up too late. When Deborah referred to Isobel being called in to act as wing man I assumed she meant that Edith was supposed to be the honey that attracted the Lord of the Flies. And I also do not understand why he sent Isobel’s flowers to the Dower House. Every time I hear a ping that means a new comment has been logged I am so curious that I have to read it . It is late and I must be getting fuzzy so I will wait until later in this day to catch up, but please let me know what you meant by that setting her cap line.

      • CatKinNY

        No, that’s what Deborah meant. Her response to me “That’s what I thought. I assumed that’s why she looked peeved when he took to Isobel. I took Violet’s giggly responses to him as flirting (or at least, as flirty as she would get)” two hours ago clarifies it, though she seems less keen on the idea.

        As to why he sent Isobel’s flowers to Violet, well, this is a man who forgot his goddaughter’s husband was dead while talking to her mother in law, after all. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that there was a breakdown in communication somewhere between Merton and the florist. He wouldn’t have called himself. Perhaps he told his valet, who told his butler, who called the florist and spoke to an assistant, who delivered the message to the florist. Or perhaps Julian Fellowes just wanted another scenario to provide some tension between Violet and Isobel.

      • Stormy

        I must be unbelievably dim. I thought Violet was matchmaking between Merton and Isobel. I realize that he was brought on scene because the actor who portrays Dr. Clarkson was dealing with the suicide/accidental? death of his wife under a tube train in London and needed to be written out for now. It never occurred to me that Violet would want him as he’s a generation younger than she is. He is in the same age group as Isobel and Robert [her son]. So, he’s too young for Violet, too old for Edith [see Sir Anthony Strallen] and just right for Isobel.

      • CatKinNY

        I don’t think it’s us who are dim, Stormy. I think Deb got the wrong end of the stick on this one. I too thought she might be playing matchmaker between Merton and Isobel, and wouldn’t put it beneath her to have been doing exactly that and then have still been annoyed when Isobel got nicer flowers than she did!

        They are a funny pair, Violet and Isobel, but a pair they are, never the less. I believe Violet started out genuinely looking FAR down her aristocratic nose at this middle class upstart, then they became antagonists, sparring over everything, but now I think Violet truly admires a great deal about Isobel. In the aftermath of Matthew’s death, Violet was wonderful with her, gently prodding her to come back to life. I think a big part of what makes life worth living for Violet is confounding Isobel, but it’s mostly good natured. The delight she took in revealing that she’d already hired the young gardener back was delicious.

        Thanks for that awful news about the actor’s wife; I’d have been puzzled if he disappeared without explanation for too long. I too have always thought that Isobel and Dr Clarkson would end up together.

      • Kaycee

        You could be onto something in that Violet intended for there to be a match that day (see Baloney comment I made in response to Deborah’s flirty comment above). And her being piqued by being the recipient of the lesser floral arrangement makes a Dowager kind of sense. I’ve always wanted to see Clarkson and Isobel together, his character is very appealing and that is tragic news about the actor’s wife. Merton doesn’t strike me as good enough for Isobel. His forgetfulness for one thing is painful but he also bred and raised that awful son, Larry. On the other hand I suppose Isobel could rehabilitate him if she felt so inclined.

      • CatKinNY

        Well this is odd! Your final sentence is missing here but appeared in my inbox. To answer your now missing question, Antony Strallan called out Larry’s spiking of Tom’s drink, and then Matthew unloaded on him, I believe.

        Yes, I agree with your baloney comment. She wanted Isobel there because Merton is not an intimate of hers and a solo luncheon would have been both improper and unpleasant. I understand why everyone is speculating about the intention being to foist Edith off on him, but it’s too late to do it without his knowledge and they don’t have any power over him, nor do they have sufficient funds to buy him off, so I don’t see it.

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

        Violet Crawley: The original cougar!

        –Deborah

      • Kaycee

        Deborah, stop that! LOL!

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

        That’s what I thought. I assumed that’s why she looked peeved when he took to Isobel. I took Violet’s giggly responses to him as flirting (or at least, as flirty as she would get).

        –Deborah

      • CatKinNY

        Stormy and I both rather thought that she might have been playing matchmaker between Isobel and Merton. Nobody’s buying your theory, kid!

      • Kaycee

        Deborah, with all due respect, balderdash! Violet wasn’t trawling for herself. She gave the impression when asking Isobel to join them for lunch that it was going to be a chore to spend time with Merton, the plan had been made a year prior, Robert and Cora and Mary were all unavailable and she wanted some company to suffer through a tedious ordeal with her. For a bit I thought she might have wanted something to blossom between Edith and Merton(give the baby a name and all that) but I’ve thought better of that. I think it was just a matter of misery liking company. Of course the Dowager can lie like a bigelow so she may have been feeding a line of baloney to Isobel when she invited her and I took a bite.

    • Stormy

      Edna is the maid that was after Branson. The maid who had the child by the officer was Ethel.

      • Kaycee

        Ethel! Thank you, now I can sleep.

      • Stormy

        Welcome. Fellowes does tend to go for similar names:
        Tom/Thomas
        Branson/Gregson/Clarkson/Carson
        Edith/Ethel/Edna/Evelyn[Napier]
        Bates/Branson/Barrow/Blake

      • Susanna G.

        I thought that Ethel and Edna were one and the same person. At one point (I suppose after Edna had taken advantage of Branson) Mrs. Hughes said that they had been wrong to take Edna back.

      • Kaycee

        No, Edna was a housemaid previously and had come on to Tom, and I think he responded to her advances. He went to Mrs. Hughes and Edna was let go without revealing the real reason for her termination. Then Ditzy Cora brings her back and Mrs. Hughes tries to prevent it but Cora stupidly relies on Rose’s “find” rather than relying on Mrs. Hughes’ reluctance.

        Ethel was a nice but naive house maid who fell prey to a recovering officer during the period when the house was turned into a hospital during the war. She became pregnant and had a little boy. Naturally she left the house and fell on hard times, turning at last to prostitution to survive and feed her child. Mrs. Hughes tried to help her with food and provisions from time to time and Ethel tried unsuccessfully to get the father to acknowledge his son. The officer was killed and she then tried to contact his parents for help and to meet and acknowledge their grandson. Long story, but eventually she gave the boy over to them to raise in one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the series. Then with some maneuvering by Isobel, and I think Violet was involved too, Ethel ended up in a position near where the boy was living and with the grandparent’s acceptance would be allowed to be a part of the boys life, in some fashion.

        Ethel was essentially good, but misguided. Edna was evil, through and through.

      • Susanna G.

        Yes, I remember the Ethel story having watched Seasons One, Two and Three ten times each. (Thank you anyway for going over it all. I can never get enough of viewers comments.) For some reason I had assumed that Ethel bettered herself because of Charlie and his grandparents, and then came back, having changed her name. My confusion must be because they look so much alike.

      • Kaycee

        Right, there is a resemblance with very similar coloring but I think Ethel had a softer look. And Edna had a bit of that wild bat nutty look about her.

    • CatKinNY

      Most of your questions will not be answered this season, though it’s possible that we may find out what’s happened with Michael, and from there may infer some of the answers. I agreed with Rosamund about putting the baby with a couple far away; there’s no way that her secret would have remained one if he or she were residing with one of the tenants – that would have been a recipe for disaster. One question that CAN be answered is that in the space-time continuum that is Downton Abbey in 1923, it is possible to make it to London, commit murder and be back in time for lights out! Both Edith and Mary have dashed down for the day this season, which brings us to another question we can answer:

      Yes, Bates killed Green, and he’s already gotten away with it. There was a crowded sidewalk full of witnesses, none of whom saw a large man with a cane do the deed. As a veteran of the sidewalks of London and a denizen of New York, trust me, this is entirely plausible. Gillingham will eventually settle on thinking it an odd coincidence, since he has no one about whom to speculate AND because he disliked Green. Only Anna and Mary know, and they both approve. In time, they’ll convince themselves that they don’t really *know* anything, anyway. They may discuss it briefly, but then they’ll put it away with Mr Pamuke, to be recalled only in the occasional meaningful glance where they both know what the other is thinking. After Mrs Hughes let Mary in on Anna’s secret, but not the identity of the assailant, I found it very touching when she said to Anna, who wouldn’t tell her either, “Not even me, Anna?”, the worry, bewliderment and hurt plain in her eyes. They really are best friends. For the record, I never believed that Bates killed his crazy, vindictive wife; I think she vowed to destroy his happiness, and when thwarted, framed him for her own murder, but I think the experience, and jail, made him the kind of man who could murder his wife’s rapist without batting an eye. Of course, I could have killed Green without batting an eye, too, and I’ve never been to jail – but I have been in the Army, where I received a certain amount of training in that sort of thing.

      I share your assessment of Baxter and am beginning to like her. I think she’s a kind person, and would love to see her and poor Mr Molesley make one another happy. I don’t trust her a bit though; it’s nothing personal, it’s only because she’s being blackmailed by Thomas. I cannot bear the thought that we’ll have to wait a whole year to find out why!

      • Kaycee

        Oh I agree that Bates killed Green, it is just as I said, a rare confluence of circumstance that put the two of them in just the right place at just the right time. If Bates somehow orchestrated that then I have great respect for his cunning and resourcefulness.

        I’m with you on your prediction of how Mary and Anna will deal with this awareness and put it away. When Mrs. Hughes hears of Green’s death she will probably follow suit since she looked like she would have done the deed herself if she were able.

        The Baxter question will haunt me too if it is not addressed next week. We can hope.

        In this episode, more than in any previous one, I see Mary as everything I hoped she could be. To my ears, at least, every word she uttered was exactly what I would have wanted her to say. Now if she could manage a little kindness for Edith she would be a candidate for canonization.

      • CatKinNY

        There was nothing coincidental about Bates ending up in Piccadilly when he was meant to be admiring gargoyles in York Minster, Kaycee (still my favorite of England’s gothic cathedrals, I think). He lied to Carson about where he was going and then lied to Anna about where he’d been. London is 200 miles south of York; he didn’t hop on the wrong subway and end up there. And Mrs Hughes will be delighted when she hears that Mr Green has gotten his just deserts.

        Mary is exactly who she’s always been, though naturally, she’s more grown up, a process that makes most of us put a larger emphasis on kindness than snarkiness. Edith and Mary have probably been rubbing one another the wrong way since childhood, largely for all the reasons you spelled out so well about Edith’s jealousy of the older, lovelier, wittier, more popular first born. Normally, that sort of thing can be and often is outgrown, but what Edith did when she wrote that letter to the Turkish Embassy was nothing short of an assassination attempt. Had that become widely circulated knowledge, Mary would have been utterly destroyed, socially. Mary has already shown a degree of forbearance about the letter that should get the Vatican’s attention. Neither Robert nor Cora knows what Edith did because Mary hasn’t told on her. Ironically, if Edith wants to put it all behind them, she has the opportunity to do so now. If she let Mary in on her deepest secret, making her as vulnerable as Mary had been over Pamuke, I think all would be forgiven, but without something like that, Mary is never going to trust or like her again.

        I’m hoping that Edith will tell her. I think they’d both be happier if they could confide in and lean on one another. Mary doesn’t need her (she’s got Anna, and more and more, Tom) to share her worries, but Edith has no one, which is why she broke down and told Rosamund about the pregnancy. Rosamund has been just terrific, IMO. No doubt a London sophisticate like herself has seen this all before. Violet’s tolerant and supportive behavior is somewhat more surprising.

      • Downton Downtown

        I don’t see Edith sharing her secret with Mary. I think there’s a lot of mistrust that she (Edith) will probably never get over. She did ask Mary at Sybil’s funeral if they could somehow become closer as sisters, only to be rebuffed by Mary. While Mary, due to her own recent tragedy and her assuming responsibility for running the estate, has gotten past that, I don’t think the self absorbed Edith has. She’d probably expect Mary to turn around and throw the “slut” insult in her face, just as she did when Mary confronted her about the Turkish Ambassador letter.

        As Deborah has pointed out, Mary’s come a long way from the older sister who confronted Sybil and Tom in Gretna Green. That was nowhere better shown than in the similar situation with Jack Ross.

        That brings me to Jack Ross himself. I wonder if he would have broken off the “engagement”, such as it was, with Rose had Mary not been to see him. He did say he hadn’t intended the fling to go as far as it had, but I wonder if Mary brought him to see the hopelessness of the relationship in that time and place. He seems to be a rather different sort than the real “Hutch” who was Fellowes’s model for the character. That guy apparently left quite a swath of conquered (white) ladies in his wake. I hadn’t heard of him, so thanks to “Downton Abbey” and Deborah for bringing that slice of history to my attention. By the way, I’ve never seen Jack playing an instrument, and he seems to be struggling with notes of a new song he’s learning, picking out notes on the keyboard, when Mary arrives. As a singer myself, I do much the same thing at times, and I do wish I had learned the piano better in my youth. When we first meet Jack Ross, someone, possibly Rosamund, refers to him as a “black bandleader”. The Big Bands I remember, of a later period of course, were all led by instrumentalists: Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, Benny Goodman etc. Since that episode, Jack Ross has been scrupulously referred to as a “band singer”. The other half of the description “black bandleader” seems like an anachronism. In this country at least, in the 1920s, Jack would have been described as “colored” or “negro” (or the other “n” word among openly racist Americans).. I don’t think “black” came into general use until the ’60s. Anyway, I hope that we haven’t seen the last of Jack Ross. I enjoy his character, and his 1920s music and early style crooning. I don’t know how Fellowes can keep him in the series, but he (Fellowes) keeps bringing back characters i’d forgotten about.

        Lord Merton: I had no idea what that little gathering was supposed to be about, but I’ve come to believe that it was attempt to provide Edith with a way out of her situation, short of a trip to Switzerland with Rosamund. After Lord Merton left with Isobel, Lady Violet had Edith stay behind so she could put in a word of support for Rosamund’s plan. Maybe she saw that the luncheon, or whatever it was, hadn’t worked out as she had hoped. It would be ironic if that was her intent, given that she applauded Edith’s earlier older suitor when he backed out of the wedding right at the altar (sorry I’ve forgotten his name). Lord Merton didn’t rise to the bait, however, and if that was Violet’s plan, it backfired, unusually for Violet.

        Incidentally, I thought Lady Violet’s “Switzerland has everything, except for conversation” deserved at least honorable mention in Deborah’s list of zingers.

      • CatKinNY

        Standing at Sybil’s bedside, Edith asked Mary if they might get along better in the future, to which Mary replied “Probably not” – an acknowledgement that they rub one another the wrong way, but it was Mary who said they should love one another as sisters and put her arms around Edith. Edith has zero legitimate reason to ‘mistrust’ Mary. Being born first, being prettier and having a better personality are not things one can be either blamed or mistrusted for, in fairness. One can be resented for them, but not distrusted. Mary, on the other hand, has ample reason to distrust Edith, and I very much doubt that she’s either forgotten or really forgiven. Edith needs to apologize to Mary before there can be any improvement in their relationship. If she were smart, she’d realize that being friendly with the popular girl is a time tested way for a loser to become popular herself. Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of sympathy for Edith and truly wish her well, but that letter has not been dealt with, and I don’t think most modern people can appreciate it’s significance, how truly vicious an act it was.

        I didn’t agree with Deborah that Mary has been altered much by what she’s lived through since then, as I explained to Kaycee. Rose is not her sister, so she’s a bit more detached about what’s going on than she was with Sybil, but she wasn’t unpleasant to Tom in that hotel room. She was calm and reasonable with both of them, and she quickly became their ally, and has remained in Tom’s corner. It’s true that Mary is not the proud snob we thought she was in the very beginning, but if that wasn’t a misimpression (or a mistake on Fellowes part, quickly altered because he’d decided that she was going to be the lead character), then she was changed by the Pamuke affair. That rings true, actually; in my experience, there’s nothing like screwing up and having it blow up in their faces to make people reevaluate their core assumptions. Those with high IQs, like Mary, will retain the lesson learned. Stupid people will not, which is why the GOP is still a quasi national party.

        You’re right about ‘black’ dating from the late 60s in American usage. I have no idea what common English usage was in the 20s, though they may have used black far earlier than we due to colonialism. They had peoples of every race and hue within the Empire to describe, after all.

      • Kaycee

        Oh I get it that Bates went to London and not York. The coincidence I was thinking of is that he would actually run into Green in a situation and in a place where he could exact his revenge. I do recall that he asked Green where he stayed in London and so, yes, he could have waited in hiding until he saw him leave the residence, etc. But that still would have required a certain amount of lucky timing. Wouldn’t it be a laugh if we are all jumping on the Bates killed Green bandwagon and he DIDN’T do it: Green just slipped and fell? Doubt it but Providence could have played a part here.

        It would be lovely if Mary and Edith could somehow come together and be real sisters to one another and your idea that Edith sharing her situation with Mary could provide the impetus for that is an interesting one. I don’t see it happening. Friction makes for better fiction that smooth sailing and I think their relationship will continue as it is…unless in the finale Edith returns with a babe in her arms. With the nursery getting more densely populated we might see a shift in how the aunties relate to one another.

      • CatKinNY

        That would be funny, wouldn’t it? However, that shot of Bates hustling down the drive, sinister music playing in the backround, becomes utterly inexplicable if he didn’t.

        Yes, friction does make better fiction, so I agree, we’re unlikely to see a rapproachment between the Crawley girls.

      • Susanna G.

        It seems to me that The scene of Bates hustling down the drive and the sinister music were red herrings to make the audience THINK that Bates had killed Green. Maybe Green was so angry about loosing his position that he wasn’t being careful when he was waiting to cross the road and he fell by accident.
        I think it was before Bates and Anna married that he talked of starting a family and how good it would be if they could have a business where their children could be with them. Bates could have gone to York to look at a suitable place that he could buy.
        The one thing that concerns me is why was Anna (I think it was she) so interested to have it confirmed that it REALLY WAS a busy road with lots of people around when Green fell.

      • Kaycee

        Such good points! Love the red herring idea. And perhaps Anna found comfort in the confirmation that there was a crowd and no one reported anything untoward, beside the obvious. This helping her to push the idea of her husband killing Green a little further out of her mind. Hopefully there will enough time next week to have some of this story line resolved.

      • CatKinNY

        Or, she found comfort in the news that no one had noticed him give Green a fatal shove!

      • CatKinNY

        Let’s hope you’re right. But if so, why was Bates so evasive with Anna about what he’d done that day? You can surprise your wife with a new car and MAYBE get away with it, but only an idiot would surprise his wife with an entirely new life, and Bates is no fool.

        Were the Bateses to decamp for a tea shop in York, who would Mary confide in? What about Robert, for that matter? Bates seems to be his closest male friend. Actually, having them run a business in the village could be hilarious. I can just see Mary washing dishes in a pinch when she absolutely MUST talk to Anna and it’s very busy out front!

      • Kaycee

        I think Anna cares about there being a crowd because, as far as she knows, no one has reported any foul play, Green’s death seems to be accepted as an accident. Perhaps knowing that helps her to either believe that her husband was not involved or that if he was there no one witnessed him in any contact with Green.

      • Louis Muñoz

        Love your comments, but I disagree with you a little bit on Bates vs. Gillingham. I don’t know if Bates did kill Green or not, but… if Bates was indeed in London, it sure wasn’t because of a “rare confluence of circumstance” putting them together. But it could have been “Potential Serial Killer, Miss Mabel Lane Fox,” or, OR, “Elise Hughes, Woman of Mystery”!!

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

        I felt the same way about Mary’s “Not even me, Anna?”

        –Deborah

      • CatKinNY

        Glad to see you’ve finally come round to my view of Mary and Anna; you didn’t agree with me last year when I said they were best friends!

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

        LOL, I’ve always thought they were best friends – or as best of friends as they can be given the inequality of their circumstances.

        –Deborah

      • CatKinNY

        Really? I had a different impression for some reason. My apologies!

    • Downton Dame

      “Ethel.” Hers was a great story line while it lasted.

      • Kaycee

        It was. Great writing and acting. She broke my heart.

  • Roz

    I would have loved seeing Edith working at the paper. Apparently she isn’t writing articles any longer. What about the paper she signed? Hanging questions.

    • Kaycee

      Oh dear, that’s question number six for me. What did she sign? Next week had better be chock full of answers!

  • vegnut

    One of my favorite of Violet’s zingers: upon seeing a sumptuous table setting – “nothing succeeds like excess.”

    • Marialivia

      Yes, she did a masterful job of quoting Oscar Wilde!

      • vegnut

        Thanks for the attribution!

      • Louis Muñoz

        But would the Dowager really have been able to quote the ‘SPLENDID’ Oscar Wilde? And would she have done so? After all, she would have remembered the scandal and trial, etc.

      • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

        I believe the Dowager was quite the party girl in her youth, (remember her reminiscence last season about the father of Rosamund’s fortune hunting beau?), so who knows?

        –Deborah

  • Buck

    Oh, P.S. Jack even HUMS off-pitch!

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      It seems that quite a few people don’t like Jack’s singing, but I think it was just a certain cabaret-style – like Bobby Short.

      –Deborah

  • TJK

    OK–Did Bates do it? Should we break out the Free Bates Tee Shirts again? Profound questions.

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      Maybe Mrs. Hughes did it. Bates does need to do something that lets us get more wear out of those shirts, doesn’t he?

      –Deborah

    • Bayou

      Keep in mind that Julian Fellowes wrote Gosford Park, a murder mystery. Seems like he is setting us up for something unexpected. If Bates really did it, and Anna suspects it, it will destroy their marriage.

      • CatKinNY

        Why would it destroy their marriage? Anna and Mary both think he did it, and Mary has explicitly said she thinks he was justified. I doubt the victim would feel differently, so long as he doesn’t get caught – and it appears there were dozens of people present, none of whom thought he was pushed.

  • Melinda

    I need help with the time frame. When this season started I believe it was 1922. I just read that the final episode will take place eight months from Ep. 7 and it will be summer. Are we in 1923 for the final episode?

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      I do believe it runs to 1923, but I’d need to check.

      –Deborah

    • Rosalyn

      It starts in 1912 after the sinking of the Titanic in which cousin Patrick died. He was supposed to inherit Downton instead of Matthew. See how big those kids are getting?

    • Kaycee

      I think it will be the summer of 1923, or whenever the “:London Season” gets underway in 1923. Violet says Rose will be coming out “next summer” while chatting about the timing for a visit from Harold who will be there for that event.

      • Melinda

        Thanks for he clarification. Edith will have had her baby and Mary will be well beyond the mourning period for Matthew. It will be interesting to see which characters show up for the “coming out”. I know they will be in London for this extended episode and I hope they return to Downton Abbey before the end or it.

  • Julie Moussot

    Did anyone catch that both Mary and Cora used the word, “golly” (and both quite awkwardly) in this episode? Was “golly” popular slang of the time?

    • Melinda

      How about when Lady Violet said “goody, goody” to Isobel? Did they use that phrase then?

      • Marialivia

        Maggie Smith also said “goody-goody” in “Gosford Park” when she was about to consume mass quantities of breakfast in bed.

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      According to Merriam-Webster the first known use of ‘golly’ was 1775.

      –Deborah

    • CatKinNY

      Yes. Golly has been around since the 18th century.

  • rinconx6

    Thank god that Mary has her mojo back.
    Yes Bates was unkind but even the almost perfect occasionally misbehave, especially if they are off to kill someone. (Although his lighting is wrong for the guilty party. I don’t think he did it.)
    I know WW1 was an exceptionally deadly war but based on the bazaar, it didn’t only kill all the men of the village it took out most of the women.
    That young woman chasing Branson has spunk. I hate spunk.

    • Kaycee

      We know you do, Mr. Grant. ;-)

  • Devonlad

    Another GREAT commentary, Deborah. No grinches this week, happily, just devoted fans–or new! I did catch the comment John made to Anna. I thought it curious. Not in his usual personality. I’m certain he knew it was Green who attacked Anna. Also, Mary’s question about someone doing something–without going into detail–to punish a savage wrong doer, if called for, was interesting in its own right. She got the response she wanted. Justification, in her mind, perhaps, as there was no way Green was going to pay for his heinous crime in any other way. We DON’T know for certain it was John who helped it happen. We surmise. I also noticed his walk has improved–as it had while he was falsely imprisoned. Of course we’ve seen John Watson–in Sherlock–abandon HIS cane–though for other reasons, perhaps, than John Bates. Since Downton began in 1912 and John was wounded in the war as Robert’s batman and it is now mid-to-late 1922–it’s possible he HAS been healing. His gait leaving Downton was certainly splendid! It’s been an interesting season–and am anxiously looking forward to next week’s finale. I have assiduously avoided asking family who are big fans in England how the episodes have unfolded. Being a romantic, I hope Anna and John’s relationship returns to its former romantic state. We’ll have to wait and see how all the other dangling questions play out. Happily, Season 5 is currently in production; so there will certainly be carry-overs. I AM curious, as one final comment, about Molesley and Baxter’s relationship. I hope it bodes well for them both. I’m done, Deborah. Looking forward to your final Dispatch prior to the Downton Diaspora columns!! Cheers to you and all the fans!!

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      Thanks! After just watching the final episode, I can say that yes there are questions that carry over – as we always knew they would (there have to be cliff hangers). But I will say the final scene is one that creates a new kind-of cliff hanger, and is going to make Downtonians everywhere do a little happy dance. That’s all I’ll say:)

      –Deborah

  • Kaycee

    A note unrelated to any comments thus far: Does Baxter do an awful lot of sewing? Who did all this sewing before she came? Is she just sewing Cora’s things or is she sewing for the entire household? If it’s just Cora’s stuff then Cora must be punching out her seams left and right. Her machine never seems to have time to cool down! And what she accomplishes in an hour would have taken another maid an entire day to complete doing hand stitching. I just realized that she is never idle, just sewing, sewing, sewing.

    • Susanna G.

      Don’t forget that a real Downton Abbey would have at least a hundred servants between the house, stables, garden etc. Julian Fellows can’t portray all of them so he just chose to use a few and sometimes gives a quick shot of others. I, also, have wondered who did all the sewing. My mother, a very good sewer, made nearly all my clothes (not that I ever had many) until I was in my 20′s. She sewed fast, but it still took about a week for her to make me something like a dress, or two weeks for a coat or dressing gown. Of course she rarely sewed ALL day. There must have been a fleet of seemstresses at a large house like Downton Abbey.

      • Kaycee

        Looks like Baxter was the first to bring along one of those newfangled machines!

  • OBH

    I don’t Bates was being deliberately cruel. I think he was seeking confirmation for what had been suspicions about Green and were now full beliefs. He wanted to gauge Anna’s reaction. I don’t think he took killing a man lightly enough that he wasn’t going to be sure before he did it (if he did it).

  • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

    Hey, we hit 100 comments! Thank you, Downtonians!
    Cheers,
    Deborah

  • Louis Muñoz

    As always, a simply ‘SPLENDID’ recap from our Gotham Tomato!

    - Lord Robert, Romance Novelist? OK, I’ll take the bait. He should write about the affairs of the heart in the large English country houses; certainly has enough material to draw from! And I think his pen name should be “Lady Jane Tamworth.” (Note: For those who don’t remember, Jane was the name of the maid he kissed. By the way, I couldn’t remember her name, so I started a Google search. All I did was type “maid that” and Google figured out I wanted to know “maid that Lord Grantham kisses.” Google, you are SCARY! Or else Google has some serious Lord Grantham – Maid Jane fans!!)

    - So you only NOW figured out that Rosamund was responsible for WWI? And I always thought you were so sharp!

    - “Potential serial killer, Miss Mabel Lane Fox”!!! Y E S !!! I think EVERY mishap from now on needs to be blamed on “Potential serial killer, Miss Mabel Lane Fox”! And while we’re at it, we should start a (tea) drinking game every time Mary has a suitor come by. When else, y’all?

    - Wonder if we’ll find out in the Series 4 Finale what the deal is between Thomas and Miss Baxter? And I wonder if I’ll even still care by then? And I wonder if Molesley has been hitting some yet-unshown early 20th century gym at the Abbey?

    - I totally did not get the whole Lord Merton connection to Branson, I mean, Tom, I mean, Branson, I mean, whatever. Anyway, just one of the many, MANY reasons why I love these recaps; I would never have made the connection without our Debbie!!

    - Wonder how many people understood the “Yasgur’s Farm” reference? I DID!!

    -

    • http://www.thirteen.org/program-content/the-downton-abbey-dish-season-4-episode-5/ Gotham Tomato

      You’re welcome, and thank YOU! And yes, anyone who got the Yasgur’s Farm reference is like me: Showing your age:)

      And you know, Miss Mabel Lane Fox just might be Jack the Ripper. We need to get the Bletchley Circle girls on the case.

      –Deborah

  • culprit

    Who is writing this dreck? God, I hope (s)he’s not getting paid!

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