Sunday, January 26, 2014

Downton Abbey, Series 4, Episode 5 Recap

Bust out the sad entrance music, lords and ladies. Mr. Bates is walking all by his lonesome up to the big house from the cottage. This can only mean one thing! Anna has successfully moved back into the house. Join me in a collective, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” will you?

Not a whole lot happened this week, so we’ll recap the episode character by character:

Cora’s Lady’s Maid Struggles
After ho-bag Edna got the heave-ho last week, Cora’s got a new lady’s maid in town, Miss Baxter. She’s mysterious. She knows how to use a sewing machine. She smiled at Daisy. She might be normal. How in the world did she get hired? I was beginning to think that Lady Grantham had finally shaken her magpie-like quality for collecting sociopaths to make her breakfast, when it is revealed that Baxter is in the clutches of Thomas! Her praising of America and poor dead Lady Sybil were all part of a plot to win her ladyship’s trust. Why? Because everyone downstairs has figured out that being in the company of hordes of demons is more tolerable than two seconds with Thomas, no one tells him anything anymore, and so he has no leverage for his evil schemes. Enter Miss Baxter, Thomas’s new eyes and ears in the house. Yikes.

The mail has arrived and recently de-flowered but no less pathetic Edith is anxiously awaiting the arrival of correspondence from Michael Gregson, who has departed for Germany. Alas, nothing has arrived for her. Cora suggests that maybe he is busy. Yeah he’s busy! Busy HEIL-ing! Edith also goes up to London under the guise of “visiting Michael’s office,” but pulls up to a doctor’s office instead. I can’t imagine what that’s about.

Mary is relaxing in the library, when in walks Mr. Evelyn Napier, who, if we all remember, introduced Mary to Mr. Pamuk (a.k.a. the one who died mid-coitus) during season 1. He apologizes for the “whole ghastly business” about Matthew (I wish Dan Stevens would), and tells her that he’s in Yorkshire doing research on whether or not estates like Downton are doing well after the war. Mary volunteers to house Mr. Napier and his boss, Charles Blake, while they are visiting. Geez, Mary, you just turned down a proposal last week, and now you’re welcoming in two new guys? Daisy is going to give you the “Ivy’s Easy” badge any day now.

Bates and Anna
 Anna is continuing to hold Bates at arms’ length, and Bates is visibly shaken. He continues to try to find out what is troubling his wife, but Anna, a master at avoidance behavior, won’t say a word. Naturally, Bates decides that it is time to take desperate measures and, because he knows Mrs. Hughes is a BAMF and everyone tells her everything (and also because he heard she and Anna talking), decides to ask Mrs. Hughes what happened. Mrs. Hughes bristles at the idea at first, but when Mr. Bates threatens to quit because Anna no longer loves him, the truth is revealed. Anna was raped. Mr. Green did it. Mr. Bates tells Anna he knows, and although Anna is upset, they are both grateful that it is out in the open. Mr. Bates continues to be the most unconventionally attractive man on television when he tells Anna that despite her suffering, he has “never loved her more than he does in this moment.” AUGH! Mr. Bates, you slay me. Oh, and also, he’s going to hunt the man down and kill him. Or at least, that’s what was implied when he told Mrs. Hughes this “wasn’t over.”

Other Storylines
 - All of the Grantham women discuss plans for Robert’s birthday. Mary suggests a party to cheer themselves up (from what? Rejecting proposals from decent and attractive men? Having sex with someone dumb enough to become a German citizen? Dancing with a black guy?). Rose has volunteered to plan the party, which probably means that all members of the Crawley family should dust off their togas. The party is apparently happening in next week’s episode, so I guess we have that to look forward to.

 - (Eeyore) Molesly was offered a footman job by Carson, who was looking to replace Alfred if Alfred got accepted to cooking school. Molesly, who is apparently still operating under the misapprehension that he could mope around somewhere better, doesn’t want the job (much to the hilarious dismay of Carson) until it’s too late. Alfred didn’t get in to cooking school, so I guess it’s back to mending roads for you Eeyore. 

 - Mrs. Patmore doesn’t want to get a refrigerator, but she does fancy being able to get rid of her corset in these newfangled times.

S@#% the Dowager Countess Said:

“I wonder your halo doesn’t grow heavy. You must feel you’re wearing a tiara round the clock” – Violet on Isobel’s do-gooder activities

“The last thing we need is a poet in the family. The only poet peer I am familiar with is Lord Byron, and I presume we all know how that ended” – Violet on Robert’s too-eloquent speech

“Wars have been waged with less fervor. Nobody cares about anything as much as you do.” – Violet on Isobel’s never-say-die attitude

Until next week! 

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