The Beat

Downton Abbey S.4 ep. 4

downton s4 e5

Ahhh so we meet our black character in Downton and therein lies the race and class debates. It seems a little predictable but I’d like to see how they work with this. “Jack Ross, at your service.” The Galant Band Leader as Aunt Rosmund calls him.

“Things have come to a pretty pass when you have to be rescued by a black band leader.” Rosmund says. I suppose it was okay that she was dancing with a drunk but being saved from embarrassment by a black man? Heavens what has the world come to? (*S)

Anna would rather spend her days in penance than tell her husband the truth about what happened and I can tell this will be Anna all season long, sour faced and sad because she insists on keeping this ordeal to herself instead of heeding Mrs Hughes’ advise and telling the police. Honesty really is the best policy Anna. And Bates the poor man is bound to spend the rest of the season trying to find out what happened to make his wife so miserable and then he’ll find out from other sources and then all hell will break loose…Ugh.

Well, well, well, Tom is having a case of the morning after the night before when Edna charmed her way into his pants. Of course he blames it on the a a a a a alcohol. Hmmm. Edna is a maid with a plan, she has no intentions of being a Lady’s maid forever, that is if Tom will make a promise to marry her should she be with child, following from their brief thing. Slow down cowgirl, you can’t know that you are knocked up so soon. Tom is filled with deep regret at his actions and if he can he would take everything back but he can’t. He wishes Edna would leave him alone. History is often a result of repetition; didn’t you learn something the first time round Tom? No matter Mrs Hughes to the rescue she sets Edna straight, lays down the law and saves Tom’s behind. But who knows? Edna might be knocked up because as she says, its just as easy to be. I’m sad to see her go because she gave a wicked dimension to the season so far.

Tony Gillingham came a long way to ask of Lady a short question. I can’t help but find it romantic that he boards the same train as her, without her knowing it, to ask for her hand in marriage. How chivalrous. I like Mr Gillingham and I want to like him a lot for Lady Mary but is he up to something? After he fortune perhaps? He did lose his lot during the war…He’s all so charming and proper and dashing but if history serves us well Mr Fellowes might be having us on to sucker punch us like he did with Matthew whom Lady Mary is still in mourning for. Poor Mary, she cannot allow herself move on because she is not yet ready to let Matthew go.

Mr Gillingham’s dynamic also throws the situation of his valet and Anna into play. What’ll he do when he finds out how much of an asshat he’s man has been.

The lot downstairs are caught in a crossfire of romance and broken hearts aside from Anna and Mr Bates, Daisy is pining after Alfred who is pining after Ivy who is in lust with Jimmy. Daisy tries to stir things up but they backfire in her face and Mrs Padmore convinces her to help Alfred study for some cookery exam or other…does this mean that we are getting rid of Alfred? I’m way over his sour face and stiffness. I really don’t see the point of his character. For a moment it was alright but right now he doesn’t fit in.

Mrs Crawley is a fine woman and I like her new friendship with the Dowager who has not lost her touch. She casts aside whatever feelings she has against Mrs Crawley to help her through the tough time of losing her son, she knows a thing or two about life of a loved one cut so tragically short. However, its the warmth Mrs Crawley displays towards Tony Gillingham that really shows the strength of her character. Not least because he is clearly smitten with Lady Mary who was married to her son, seeing them together can’t have been easy for her but she is noble in her affection towards him. Well played Mrs Crawley.

Oh Edith didn’t you mama tell you to read everything before signing it? He’s up to something SHADY!!! GAWD!! We can see it al now…I knew never to trust a smooth operator like him. Aunt Rosmund’s words cannot hit home hard enough but its too little too late I feel.

I like the scene with Bates and Lord Grantham. Bates is a graceful and lovely man and Lord Grantham imparts wisdom on love that takes even him by surprise but I suppose he is speaking from his past ahem…

This was a rather predictive episode that somewhat alluded to how the season could pan out. We are still feeling the effects of the characters that have left; O’Brien and her bangs and of course Matthew but what’s more glaring and troubling is that a few characters look misplaced now, as if the writers don’t know what to do with them so their storyline is repetitious a la Tom and Rose. Before we meet Jack Ross, I wasn’t certain about Rose’s character, her storyline flatlined, she’s young and loves to have a good time… but what else? Tom likes to scheme and sneak about and that’s all there is to him I suppose it’ll be more of the same for this season or has he got something planned? Either way I’m worried that Downton runs the risk of stagnating and its even more obvious that the programme is suffering from the absence of its two key characters.

I suppose next week we see what Tom has been up to….