Downton Abbey
Season 4, Episode 3

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

Oh dear, here's Edith, who worried that her family was treating Rosamund's place like a hotel, stealing back inside in the morning light. Points for taking the precaution of walking up the wooden stairs in stocking feet, but unfortunately for her, Rosamund's trusty maid is already up, and doubly unfortunately, she's not paid to keep her mouth shut like I'd guess the staff at your finer London hotels are.

Out on the Downton grounds, in the bright sunlight you'd think from this show is par for the course for England, Lord Gillingham tells Mary he doesn't really want to go back to London, but he guesses he has to -- but after he gets her answer. She wonders what will happen if she refuses, so he tells her he must marry. "I don't need to explain to you how the system we're trapped in works." Well, it'll be too long for the show, but I'd love to hear the explanation in his own words. She asks him not to rush into anything, but he tells her that while he'll dump Mabel for her and he thinks she'll understand (do tell), if Mary doesn't want him he thinks he's "honor-bound" to go through with it. I don't really see where honor enters into it, given what they're discussing, but Mary seems to understand, and after some tortured moments she tells him it's no good: "I'm not free of him. Yesterday you said I fill your brain. Well, Matthew fills mine, still. And I don't want to be without him. Not yet." Somewhere nearby, Isobel wonders what she went through that whole rigmarole last night for. Lord Gillingham takes a moment to let his defeat sink in before asking one favor -- to kiss her. "I will never love again as I love you in this moment, and I must have something to remember." No fair! Who could resist? Not Mary, who goes for it, and although I don't believe there's any tongue, it goes on for a while and is appropriately romantic/hot. With a sincere smile, he wishes her all the best before heading off toward the house, and Mary's left to her memories of Matthew, which even now we may suspect might not be enough.

Thomas catches Lord Grantham and tells him he has a candidate for lady's maid whom he knows quite well and is more than capable. This, I think, is what he was talking about when he said Edna's departure was very much of interest, although since he didn't say anything when O'Brien left I can only guess it's either a recent acquaintance or one who was unavailable before for some reason. Lord Grantham tells him to discuss it with Cora, and when Thomas mentions his candidate is a bit older, Branson, who's just walked in, says that won't be a problem. Heh. Lord Grantham idly wonders what he means, but Mary enters at that moment and explains that Lord Gillingham had a train to catch. She then asks Branson if he's ready, and when Lord Grantham asks where they're going, Mary tells him they're heading for York to get estimates to re-equip the sawmill. Lord Grantham starts to roll his eyes, but Branson brightly asks if they'll be seeing Lord Gillingham again. Unfortunately, Mary's like sure probably at some point I guess and Lord Grantham looks stricken as Mary blithely goes on that he's getting engaged to Mabel Lane Fox. Everyone's very British about it (even the Irishman), but when Mary walks off to get her hat, her irresolute pause seems to indicate she's having regrets. CAN'T IMAGINE WHY.

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Downton Abbey

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