Posted: 8:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013
By Elisabeth Kramer
Downton Abbey shows no signs of slowing down in its fourth season. After the bombshell dropped in Episode 3, we didn’t know what to expect come Episode 4. Julian Fellowes didn’t disappoint, though, serving up secret after secret.
If you’re interested in what happens between Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) and Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen), we’ve got the answer. In fact, so much happens between these two that we’ve written a separate article about it. Once you’re done catching up on their romance, continue reading below for the latest on the other secrets running rampant in the halls of Downton.How Is Anna Bates Doing?
The horror of what happened to Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) at the end of Episode 3 is still fresh. Not only is Anna still carrying the wounds of her attack, but to keep her secret, she is forced to act normally around her attacker, Mr. Green (Nigel Harman), before he finally departs. Despite the brave face she tries to put on, however, Anna’s reserve has her husband, Mr. John Bates (Brendan Coyle), convinced he’s done something horribly wrong.
When asked repeatedly by her husband to know what he’s done, Anna blames her new quiet and cold to them spending too much time together. The pain this verbal blow causes Bates...let's just say we needed a moment or two to regroup.
To make matters worse, Anna feels “so dirty” and so unworthy of her husband, she decides to move out of their adorable cottage together and back into the main house. The move has Bates so distraught he reaches out to the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) for advice. The typically aloof English lord does what he can to help but Bates is still at a loss.
Part of us so wants Anna to listen to Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) and tell someone what happened so justice can be sought. But then again, we understand Anna’s point when she says to tell would only lead to her husband’s ruin — “Better a broken heart than a broken neck,” as she puts it. At the end of the day, the sexual assault happened to Anna and it is up to Anna to decide how she wants to process and deal with what happened. Still, as Lady Mary says in the episode, when a secret is too hard to hold inside, “Find someone you can tell. It will help more than you know.”Let's Listen to Some Jazz
Headed to London on business for the Abbey, Lady Mary brings along her cousin, Rose MacClare (Lily James), who, of course, gets up to some trouble. This time, however, it’s not all her fault. While out enjoying jazz at London’s Lotus Club, Rose’s dance partner and recent visitor to Downton, Sir John Bullock (Andrew Alexander), makes a drunken fool of himself. After Sir John rushes off to un-whiskey himself in the nearest toilet and/or potted plant, a flustered Rose is left alone in the middle of the dance floor. In swoops, jazz singer Jack Ross (Gary Carr).
We’ve been long awaiting the arrival of Downton’s first black character and Jack doesn’t disappoint. He’s as smooth as you’d expect London’s hottest jazz singer to be and his confident ways sweep Rose off her feet — literally. They also draw the disapproving gaze of Rose’s family. Remember, it’s 1922. A young white woman dancing with a young black man just isn’t done and so Rose is promptly “fetched” by her family. Despite the obvious taboo, however, we don’t see Jack disappearing from Rose’s life anytime soon.Tom Branson’s Unfortunate Drunken Mistake
In other secrets springing up at Downton, a heavily intoxicated Tom Branson (Allen Leech) made the unfortunate mistake of sleeping with lady’s maid/stalker, Edna Braithwaite (MyAnna Buring) after the recent house party. The day after, she tries to convince Tom to pledge himself to her in case she’s pregnant. Seem fishy? It is and once again Mrs. Hughes comes to the rescue.
After Tom confesses the whole “sordid tale” to the head housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes takes it upon herself to go through Edna’s things. There she finds a book on how to avoid pregnancy (they had those?). She trots Edna in front of Tom and has her confess her whole evil plot. You see, Edna wanted to trap the lonely, up-and-coming widower into marriage by convincing him she was pregnant although she wasn’t. Then, once the ring was firmly on her finger, she’d get knocked up by some other man. Perhaps that’s why she was always so friendly with Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier)...
Her plan exposed, the seemingly not pregnant Edna rushes into the night just like another equally twisted lady’s maid before her.
So are we convinced Edna’s gone for good? No. Are we convinced she’s not pregnant? No, though we sure as heck hope so. Are we convinced Mrs. Hughes is a badass? You bet your britches.Lady Edith Makes Her Own Gamble
Speaking of one-night stands and unexpected pregnancies, how about that Edith (Laura Carmichael)? We know we’ve said that same thing before about the middle Crawley daughter, but boy oh boy is Lady Edith pushing the envelope this season.
With her beloved, Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards), leaving for Munich in less than a week to begin the process of divorcing his wife, Edith goes to visit him in London. In an interesting move on his part, Michael sends his help away for the night, meaning it’s just him and Edith alone at his flat. He has her sign a legal document that gives her more control over his assets, and then the two, well, it looks like the two spend the rest of the evening in, if you get our drift.
Later, Lady Edith sneaks home at 6 a.m. only to be spotted by one of her Aunt Rosamund’s (Samantha Bond) maids (as her sister Mary so rightly points out, Edith is “about as mysterious as a bucket”). Clued in by the maid, Auntie Roseamund promptly dresses Edith down about her actions. “You’re trusting this man with your name and your reputation,” she points out as Edith attempts to hold her head up high and defend her breaking of the rules.
We love us a good love story but we have to side with Rosey on this one. If Edith’s night of passion does indeed lead to an unexpected arrival, it’s unlikely her family, let alone society, will continue to accept her. As much as things have changed since the war, an out-of-wedlock pregnancy in 1922 England would cast Edith into the shadows for the rest of her days. Plus, despite how great Michael appears to be and how much we like to think he wants the best for Edith, he will be far away in Germany if anything untoward were to occur.Random Notes
The quote of the night goes to that underbutler we love to hate, Thomas Barrow, and his chat in the stairwell with the "manipulative little witch" Edna right before her rushed departure. Good riddance.
Could our dreams finally be coming true? Could a romantic connection be forming between Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs. Hughes? As unlikely as romantic passion may seem between the two pillars of the household staff, both showed a softer side during Episode 4 as they bonded over old romances. Plus, Mrs. Hughes did give her counterpart a framed photo of his former love to remind him “he has a heart.” Perhaps it’s a heart you’d like to win, Elsie?
In the latest update of downstairs drama, Alfred Nugent (Matt Milne) walks in on fun-lovin', dream big Jimmy Kent (Ed Speleers) kissing kitchen maid Ivy (Cara Theobold). Seeing his crush in the arms of another man seems to inspired Alfred to shift his attentions to making his dreams of becoming a chef a reality. Sadly, this means Alfred may leave the Abbey and so Daisy Lewis (Sophie McShera) will have yet another failed romance to add to her list. She’s pretty much Edith of the downstairs staff.