Downton Abbey
Season 4, Episode 3

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B | 62 USERS: B+
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The Proposal

After an exterior shot of Edna marching away from Downton at twilight, Cora, already being attended to by Anna, tells Lord Grantham that Edna resigned due to family troubles, "or so she says." Hmm, maybe even Cora woke up to the fact that Edna's a liar. I'm guessing Rose won't be asked to participate in finding a replacement. Lord Grantham wonders if they're living under a curse that dooms them to lose their lady's maids at regular intervals, which would be hilarious if I weren't really worried about Anna here. Speaking of, Lord Grantham asks her if she knew about this, but she only shakes her head in response, so Lord Grantham asks if anything's the matter and when LORD GRANTHAM notices that you're out of sorts, the situation has gotten dire indeed. Anna does manage to fake a smile about Bates before hightailing it out of there, whereupon Lord Grantham asks if Cora heard about Lord Gillingham and she replies in the affirmative with a playful smile, although she does add that they mustn't read too much into it. The fact that she says it out loud is a good cover for the fact that she's speaking like ninety percent to herself.

Downstairs, the Dowager Countess asks why the tuxedo-clad Lord Grantham is in his "rompers," and Lord Grantham explains that Lord Gillingham only brought black tie, thinking they wouldn't be changing if there were no one staying. After bemoaning the slow unraveling of yet another tradition, the Dowager Countess suspiciously asks why Lord Gillingham is back so soon, and when she gets the hint that he's after Mary, she supposes not everyone is happy about it. The object of her concern, Isobel, then asks if she's ready to go, as the car's ready, so Lord Grantham gets up and tells Lord Gillingham it's too bad Edith went off on a mysterious trip to London. Mary, however, announces that mystery didn't enter into it -- she went to see Gregson, and after Lord Grantham announces that he doesn't dislike him, the Dowager Countess snarks that that's quite the recommendation. I take my life in my hands in disagreeing with the Dowager Countess, I know, but when it comes to Edith's suitors that's actually not bad. The Dowager Countess and Isobel take off, but not before Isobel makes a point of telling Lord Gillingham that she hopes they'll see him again soon. Well, Mary if Isobel can give her public blessing, you've got less social reason to worry than I thought. Lord Grantham remarks to his mother that that was "nobly done," which means more than it might coming from him, and the Dowager Countess replies that Isobel's a good woman, "and while the phrase is enough to set one's teeth on edge, there are moments when her virtue demands admiration." It's a lovely sentiment, even if it's followed by them both then having a good laugh about what a surprise it is to hear it come out of the Dowager Countess's mouth.

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Downton Abbey

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