‘Downton Abbey’ s4e5 – The jazz age comes to Downton

5 Feb

“When you fall off a horse, you need a bit of time to get back up on the saddle.” – Mrs. Patmore

Maybe she did her culinary learning in the wild west, but Mrs. Patmore certainly knows to give Alfred some space after his first failed attempt at becoming a chef.  He’s going to regret not letting Daisy show him how to make the anchovy sauce when he arrives at the Ritz in a few days.

He’s also makes it clear to Daisy that he would have never fallen for her.  She’s come a long way from season one Daisy, and she makes us proud wishing him the best in spite of a broken heart.

Alfred makes a production of his goodbyes upstairs — after thanking his lordship, Alfred appalls Carson with his public compliments of the esteemed butler.  It’s one of the most touchingly comic scenes of the series.

“Eureka!” – Isobel Crawley

Spratt is just as confused as ever with life in the Dowager’s household.  And there’s just so much to be confused about these days.  At least Molesley’s not getting his hands burned this time.  But there is a red-handed thief in their midst…or at least, so the Dowager believes.  Granny jumps to conclusions about two missing objects in her drawing room, and Isobel slightly loses her mind in jumping to her own critical conclusions about the Dowager.  Isobel goes on a covert mission to expose the Dowager to her white knight, the ever-exasperated Dr. Clarkson, only to find the Dowager has apologized and made the whole situation right before Isobel finds the time to crow.  Dr. Clarkson may find himself dreaming of retirement tonight — in Bermuda.

What???  The Earl of Grantham is going into the pig business?  Did I miss an episode?  “You must speculate to accummulate,” says the “American half” of Mary.

Michael Gregson has completely vanished at this point.  It’s been weeks since he “said goodbye” to Edith in London.  The newspaper has hired a detective to find him, but to no avail.  And Edith is definitely with child.  Let that be a lesson to us, ladies: it only takes one time.  How long will she be able to hide the morning sickness from the family?

“Willing” does not convey the “enthusiasm” Carson is looking for, apparently.  Or maybe Carson’s letting his own injured ego get in the way of assisting Molesley and hiring a new footman.  He’s got Thomas’ nose out of joint, and it takes both Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore to create a plan that gets Molesley back in the door of Downton for good.

Bates and Anna decide to take a much-needed night off and go to dinner at the Netherby Hotel.  The maitre’d is a total jerk, and it’s Lady Cora to the rescue.  Her ladyship clearly finds a great deal of joy in unmasking snobs.  But this time it’s creepy…the lighting on her face is pretty scary and made me feel a little more Bates’ Motel-ish than romantic.  She also overhears Bates’ confession after Anna tells him she is not a victim:  “I see you as the woman I should have protected.  I’m the failure here, not you.”  And Cora is smart enough to tell Mary.  Enter Baxter.

Baxter reports to Thomas that Rose and Lady Cora have a secret, and Thomas’ wheels start spinning…in the wrong direction.  By the end of the episode, Baxter is already trying to get out of their arrangement (to her credit):  “I don’t really like telling tales…she doesn’t deserve it.”  But I can feel it in my bones that Lady Cora is going to find out Baxter revealed her discovery downstairs, and it’s going to mean the sack for Baxter, rather than Thomas.  Of course.

When are Mary and Lord Grantham going to find out about Anna already?  This blogger needs action!  Justice!  Let’s get this show on the road!

Jimmy John James is in the mother of all doghouses this week.  By now enough people have shown him what it is like to be a bigger person, but he just keeps letting his lack of sense get the best of him in every situation.

Ivy: “I thought he was so nice.”
Mrs. Patmore: “Wonder how many women have said that since the Norman Conquest.”
Mrs. Hughes: “You had it coming.”

I love that the women downstairs care about what happened to Ivy.  I also love that they are too smart to let her get away with it.  What Jimmy did was wrong, but if Ivy would like to avoid similar situations in the future, a good, healthy look at her own behavior toward Jimmy may be helpful.

Isobel arrives at Downton early for dinner so she can visit George in the nursery.  She finds Tom and Mary already there to feed their babies dinner, and the three of them open up to share how much in love they were with their former spouses.  It’s a precious character moment — group therapy comes to Downton!

“Aren’t we the lucky ones?” – Isobel Crawley

The irony of Isobel trying to talk Tom into staying at Downton is so much fun.  I can’t help but suspect she is desperate for a fellow revolutionary to keep her from drowning in all the “materialism” about.  “Things can happen at Downton that no one imagined, even a few years ago.”

“I’m not often called sentimental.” – Mary Crawley

Anybody else love Foyle’s War as much as I do?  Then I’m sure you were just as glad to see Julian Ovenden arrive at Downton as Mr. Blake.  Of course, I wanted to stab his eyeballs out as much as Mary did.  And if she starts to fall for him, I will be supremely irritated.  The War of the Roses is so 1989.

But I still find Evelyn Napier interesting.  He doesn’t seem afraid of Mary.  Or of telling her mother at the dinner table, “Well, she’s welcome to take charge of me.”  Fresh!

What did I say about giving a character a name?  Mr. Ross from the London nightclub Lotus is back and crooning for Lord Grantham’s birthday surprise.  Happy birthday, cousin Robert…I think.  Mr. Ross’ discussion downstairs with Carson and Mrs. Hughes is the highlight of the evening.  That and the way Lord Grantham recovers his composure enough to dance the night away.

She’s a character — “Rose? That’s one word for her.”  Mr. Ross seems to be quite the ladies man, and I’m sure once again Rose has no idea what she’s getting herself in for.  She would be in trouble with Mary for getting caught smooching a guy no matter what color he was.  But don’t worry, kids — that’s just how they say “goodbye” at Downton Abbey!  Probably the very best thing that could happen for Downton where Rose is concerned is for them to get her married off as quickly as possible.  Mrs. Rose Ross?

The jazz music also has Mrs. Patmore wanting to “jig about.”  But the thought of making a “modern” out of Carson is completely hilarious.  Poor guy’s had a tough night.  I hope he got some sandwiches and got his tuxedo to bed early.

Well, next week I’m sure we’ll find out more about Cora’s brother Harold.  He appears to be in some sort of trouble across the Pond.  Must be something big to merit three mentions in one episode.

Don’t miss Elizabeth and I live-tweeting over at @PSPetticoats during the broadcast of each episode.  It’s jolly good fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: