‘Downton Abbey’ s4e4 – Higher & holier

3 Feb

“I don’t accept there is any shame in this.  You’re not spoiled.  You’re made higher to me, and holier because of the suffering you have been put through.” – Bates

It’s finally Bates’ turn.  This is his episode for heartbreak, detective work, and the beginning of his journey toward justice…or revenge.  The husband rises alone in his no longer cozy cottage, Anna rises alone in her attic room in the Abbey, and the two who have fought so hard to be one are now living their lives separately.  And Bates still has no idea why.  His grief drives him to eavesdrop on Anna’s conversation with Mrs. Hughes and threaten to quit and leave forever if Mrs. Hughes doesn’t tell him what’s happened.  If he didn’t care so much for Anna, he would not have gone to so much trouble.  Or have been so devastated by the truth she had to relate…and the lie.  It would have undone me completely to have to tell someone something like that.

Anna knows better — this could never stay behind her.  Green is still alive and well, and because she hasn’t accused him, he will most likely do this to someone else.  If Gillingham ever returns to visit Downton…no, let’s not even think about that.  Bates understands this: “Nothing is over.”

Can you imagine not having a “socket” in your room?  Well, I can’t.  The appalling ways that people suffered back in the Twenties.  Thomas has safely installed his hand-picked lady’s maid into Lady Cora’s service, and apparently Baxter is up on the latest technology — knowing how to use an electric sewing machine.  Baxter is all smiles and politeness and is even shy — until we find her and Thomas alone in the servant’s hall.

“Have you done America and praised Lady Sybil?” – Thomas

Nooooooooo!  Say it ain’t so.  Does Cora have a curse on her or something?  What does Thomas have on Baxter that makes her beholden to him?  Will his master plan to know everything about everyone work to his advantage or will Baxter get tired of having the bit between her teeth?

I don’t trust Mr. Drew.  Do you?  He seems a bit underhand as he does business with Lord Grantham early in the episode, or am I reading something into it that’s not there?  And more importantly, when did Lord Grantham read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin?”

Lord Grantham has loaned Mr. Drew the money to pay his arrears, but he’s lied about it to Mary and Tom, and then he makes Mary take the papers to Mr. Drew as punishment.  It’s a bit petulant, but probably best Mary gets a good reminder she’s working in a man’s world now.  At least she’s big enough to give him the benefit of the doubt in the end.  Love and loyalty counts for a lot.

Mrs. Patmore and Daisy are working hard in the kitchen to help Alfred learn the trade of cooking to apply for a special chef’s program at the Ritz in London.  Sounds awfully posh!  Both the family upstairs and the servants downstairs are doing their part to support his efforts — times have certainly changed at Downton.  Season one found Sybil sneaking around to help Gwen because she would have been out of a job if anyone had found out she was trying to better herself.  Will Alfred fall in love with Daisy over the bechamel?

Unmysterious Edith tells her family she hasn’t heard from Gregson in a strangely long amount of time.  The shock may underwhelm me.  And then she catches a taxi to the doctor.  Uh-oh.  I’m still wondering what those papers were she signed last episode…

And how ironic that Mr. Napier returns to Downton Abbey.  He was the one who brought Mary the news that Edith was the source of the rumors of Mary’s disgrace.  His temperament seems more similar to Matthew’s than Gillingham, so I’m good with him as a possible suitor.  Slow and steady wins the race.

What a beautiful nursery scene we’re treated to this week!  Tom and Sybbie make their hurricane, and Mary cradles George.  I just want to squeeze their cheeks!

“If you prefer to think yourself unloved, then nothing I say will make any difference.” – Dr. Clarkson

Dr. Clarkson hands Isobel a harsh truth.  Being the man who most likely sees the most suffering in the whole county, he’s probably not the one to express your self-pity to.

Jimmy John James has finally got his hair out of his face this episode — and Ivy is whipping him with Alfred’s ambition.  Little does she know it’s not going to do any bit of good.  At this point I think they might be made for each other.

Looks like Molesley has more white gloves in his future…or does he?

Lady Cora wants a refrigerator because it’s “more efficient.”  But Mrs. Patmore still can’t appreciate any kind of change – except possibly getting rid of her corset.

“I wonder your halo doesn’t grow heavy.  It must be like wearing a tiara ‘round the clock.” – Dowager Countess

Let’s be honest.  Granny likes having a nemesis.  That’s her “project.”  If Isobel wasn’t there to push her, Granny would never get enough exercise.

America is the answer!  You’re so right, Tom!  I’m just not sure it’s the right answer for you and baby Sybbie.  I fell off my sofa when I heard Mary say — in public, no less! — “I don’t want to lose you, Tom.”  Will wonders never cease?  How often exactly does Lord Grantham see Sybbie?  Since he “can’t lose her,” I was just wondering.

Lord Grantham’s birthday is coming up, and Lady Cora’s making secret plans…with Rose’s help.  Now there’s something to look forward to!

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