Downton Abbey
Season 4 – Episode 2

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B | 84 USERS: B+
House Paaaaaarty!

Upstairs, Sampson is killing his opponents -- particularly Lord Grantham -- and it's probably not fair on Lord Grantham given that Sampson is cheating, but I wonder if he wouldn't be doing as badly even if everyone were playing straight. He's also in for enough that he hopes no one will tell Cora, but that doesn't stop him from playing another hand.

Passing him in the hall, Edna asks Branson how he enjoyed the party, and Branson is dejected enough that he confesses he looked and talked like a fool, and that's what he is. Edna smiles that she heard he was dancing, but Branson replies, "With an old bat who could be my granny and thinks I grew up in a cave." In her defense, I never heard her say "cave," but in her non-defense, it's entirely possible she's never even heard the word. Edna gives him some placating words, but when she walks away she's got a "mwa ha ha" look on her face. Can't blame her for this one, though; it practically fell into her lap.

Having retired, Lord Grantham confesses to Bates that he "took a walloping" from Sampson, and he at least admits that he should have heeded Lord Gillingham's warning. Bates, having some common sense, wonders how well Lord Grantham knows Sampson, and Lord Grantham tells him they only met once or twice at the club, but Sampson heard about the party and hinted a bit. Lord Grantham then suggests Bates keep the news to himself, and I think Bates is trustworthy on this point, but what might help word not get back to Cora is NOT TELLING EVERYONE ELSE ABOUT IT.

Mary's lying on her Sad Side of the Bed when Anna comes in and Mary asks if she knew about Rose and the gramophone. Anna says she did, but she told Rose to ask Mary, and when Mary admits that she's very sad this evening, Anna is indignant that Rose didn't get permission. Mary, however, says she's in mourning not just for Matthew, but for the person she was when she was with him, so Anna assures her that she's fine and strong, and she'll realize it as time goes by. Mary, already looking like she's recovering, sits up and sighs that she supposes she made herself the idiot in front of Lord Gillingham, but Anna thinks he won't mind, and Mary agrees: "No, I don't think he will." And God love him for it.

In her car, the Dowager Countess sees Isobel in town and has her driver stop so she can disembark and ask Isobel to come to the house that evening. Isobel tries to say she has a lot to do, but the Dowager Countess -- after prefacing that she doesn't want to be unkind or unsympathetic -- points out that her isolation won't bring Matthew back. Isobel says she knows, but goes on that she thinks that when she laughs or reads a book, "it means that I've forgotten him, just for a moment, and it's that that I can't bear." The Dowager Countess, however, thinks it's better for her to forget and smile than remember and be sad, and when Isobel points out that the Rossetti quote was referring to her own future death, the Dowager Countess is undeterred: "Will you come?" If these two didn't see each other all the time already, I'd root for them to move in together. Think of the petty arguments over when tea should be served!

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Downton Abbey




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