The Beat

Downton Abbey; Season 4 Ep.1

I still haven’t watched the Christmas Special where Matthew dies because I cannot, simply CANNOT handle the heartbreak. And for now it will remain so until I am sure Lady Mary will smile and be happy and meet someone just as wonderful as Matthew again. I just can’t handle it. However episode 1 of Season 4 was sad, very sad and hard to watch because you just didn’t know what to expect and how the writers would handle the exit of such a pivotal character, much loved. Kudos where its due they did the best they could. Still, it was hard and sad not least because the mood was sombre and the house was still in mourning. The opening scene was a castle shrouded in darkness and mist to prepare us for the sombre mood within.

downton mary

O’Brien up and left in the middle of the night for pastures green or so it seems and that sets the staff excited. It was all very mysterious and dark. As her nephew says, “she may be my aunt but she is a dark horse.” A deep dark horse with a black heart more like. But I hope for her return because she makes the snivelling an conniving a tad juicier than other characters and she gives a real run for her money with such disregard for authority. She’s one of those characters you love to hate to love because just knows how to get in there. So I hope we will see her return. Also not least because she has to confess to that soap drop.

Lady Mary is in mourning and I have to say this role was meant for Michelle Dockery because she plays the hell out of a mourning wife. She has gone from particularly loveable Lady to the moody Lady we met in Season 1 Ep. 1 when she and Lady Edith were at each other’s throat. She has a certain knack for playing that whole ‘bored with life” role all too well. She won’t be told to change her wardrobe, she won’t be told to step into Matthew’s shoes and she won’t be told to stand up to her papa and claim what is right for her and her son. She put Carson in his place but dear Carson still said his piece.

Lord Grantham seems a tad pleased now that Matthew is not around to get underfoot and his nose into the estate business. Not to say he doesn’t miss his son-in-law and is not heartbroken for his daughter but he is relieved that Matthew won’t be looking over his shoulder and questioning his every move. And he seems to encourage Lady Mary to remain in a perpetual state of mourning, patronising her at every turn and trying to talk her out of becoming more involved in the estate. Its all rather patronising and sexist in a sense because it speaks to his traditionalist view of women being in a certain place and men stepping up to take charge…considering he dropped the ball when he took charge its a little wonder why he won’t accept the help.

No matter…

The Dowager and Mr Molesley Snr. have a scene by Matthew’s grave and they talk about the changing times that alludes to their own misplacement in a world becoming so far removed from the world they have known. Molesley Jnr is finding it hard to find a job so he has to move in with his father until he lands back on his feet, a rather grim prospect for a man his age. The Dowager is up to her finest meddling best, Maggie Smith in this role is everything and more to TV she nails each and every scene be it a look or her zinging lines. She wants to sort Mosley out and get Mary out of her funk so she can assume her role. She is no walk over and she knows Robert more than he knows himself hence she wants Mary to interfere in the running of the Estate.

OMG Evil Nanny Alert!! there is an evil nanny about in Dowton and she made the mistake of getting on the wrong side of Thomas… hahahahaha. Now that O’Brien’s gone there is only room for one Resident Chief Evil and Nanny “Rose” West getting it.

dowton edith

Lady Edith is still seeing Gregson her somewhat married editor. She’s much more cheerful, love will do that to one and I hope she stays that way because a sour Edith is not what one needs on top of a sour Lady Mary…that’s just too much. Her lover means to speed up the divorce process with his wife therefore he is considering moving to Germany in a bid to do so….all together now, awww. You can just feel there’s an iceberg ahead for these two because its all so perfect but around the corner is something waiting to just bite them in the behind. For now, here’s to love.

And so it is that when one sister is happy the other should be sad. Or is it so?

The second Charlie is back and bound to be a thorn in the side of Mr Carson there should be some fireworks there and I like to see Carson come undone just a little. There’s more to these two than meets the eye and with Carson alluding to a previous life of love and maybe Charlie will provide us with the answers to that.

Poor Mrs Crawley…

Several themes are in this episode; modernisation for one, with the arrival of an electric whisk, which foreshadows the earlier discussion of the Dowager and Mr Mosley as they talk of the changing times that are happening and unbeknownst to the Dowager she rather thinks the dessert is delicious, the dessert made with the electric whisk by Daisy not Mrs Padmore, who is now acknowledging that she will be left in the past if she doesn’t embrace the whims of the modern world…an electric whisk. The young and their restlessness eh.

There is talk about the law and how it overlooks the woman and favours the man, Mary is only George’s mother, it is HE who will inherit his father’s estate if the law is applied. In present day the law was only recently changed so that if the next heir to the throne would have been a girl she would have ascended it. Hmm how far have we really come into the modern age? Its hard to know really.

dowton carson mary

Carson wins the day with his departing line to Lady Mary. “You’re letting yourself be defeated my Lady.”

Winning moment; the scene between Carson and Lady Mary in a house filled with family she finds comfort in that of her old butler…