Mary receives a surprising question, Anna freezes Bates out, Edna makes a play for Tom, and Rose meets a new friend
Downton Abbey Recap
Credit: PBS
Downton Abbey PS

“He’s dead and I’m alive.” If those aren’t enticing words as part of a marriage proposal, then what is?

Of course the “he” is Matthew, and the “I’m” is Lord Gillingham. And aside from Gillingham’s question, and some Edna/Tom drama, this episode lacks much in the way of plot. Most of the downstairs and upstairs characters continue on the same cycle they’ve been living in these four seasons of Downton.

On part three of Downton Abbey‘s fourth season, Lord Gillingham announces his intentions to Mary. Mary encountered her new love interest again in London after Rosamund and Cora conspired to throw them together. The dashing Lord then followed the eldest Crawley daughter back to Downton, and asked her to marry him right then and there. After a very short time of knowing each other.

“It’s not complicated,” Tony tells Mary when she asks why he’s returned to Downton.

“I’ve made a long journey to ask a short question,” he continues. Then, following a long pause: “Will you marry me?”

She demures, and he doesn’t force her to give him an answer yet.

The next day, she says no. Mary explains she’s still thinking about Matthew, and she doesn’t want to stop yet. Gillingham says he will have to marry Mabel Lane Fox. Mary understands. Later on, though, she tells her father and Tom that she just did something she feels she will regret for a very long time. Hopefully, we see Tony again.

Meanwhile, Anna won’t let Bates touch her. Bates doesn’t know what’s wrong, Anna won’t tell him, and she asks Mrs. Hughes if she can move back into the house. I suspect this will go on for a while. But, who can blame Anna?

In terrible plot-machinations, the awful Edna tries to get Tom to promise to marry her. She tells him that she might be pregnant after their drunken hook up, and he must make her an honest woman. Tom doesn’t know what to do. When Mary senses something is wrong with her brother-in-law, she counsels him to confess to someone. She says it will help. Tom goes to Mrs. Hughes, and Mrs. Hughes saves the day. The housekeeper finds a book in Edna’s room called Married Love, which counsels woman on how to have sex with their husbands without getting pregnant. Edna is defeated, and she quits. Hallelujah.

Random thoughts:

I’m definitely shipping Rose and Jack, the black jazz singer the Crawley crowd meets at the Lotus club. And not just because I love Titanic.

Look at Edith, sneaking back to Rosamund’s after spending the night with SASYB (Sir Anthony Strallen’s Younger Brother)! You do you, girl. (Or SASYB in this case.)

NEXT: The weekly rankings and the Dowager’s best lines

21. Edna: She’s gone! (Hopefully for good!)

20. Tom: He’s gross.

19. Robert: He moves up! But only because Tom and Edna are worse. (Although, he does have a nice moment where he tells Bates not to worry about his marriage to Anna.)

18. Thomas: He is his typical self. Next.

17. Mrs. Patmore: She’s just trying to keep the peace among her high school-like charges.

16. Mrs. Hughes: Okay, it’s great that she helps Tom. What’s not so great is how she threatens to tie Edna down and rip her clothes off so a doctor can examine the maid.

15. SASYB: Convincing a woman you are not married to is never a good idea. Look at what happened to Mr. Pamuk!

14. Cora: It’s kind of gross how obvious she is about wanting Gillingham and Mary together.

13. Jimmy: He continues his quest for Ivy. We’ll see where this goes.

12. Molesley: Is it bad that I barely remember him in this episode?

11. Ivy and Daisy: Daisy is really bratty when she tricks Alfred into walking in on Jimmy and Ivy kissing. Downgrade. (Sorry, Ivy. It’s not you, it’s her.)

10. Edith: As bad of an influence as SASYB is, I’m glad she’s being a little more adventurous and not a goody-two-shoes.

9. Alfred: He wants to be a chef!

8. Carson: He’s cute about his long-lost lady love.

7. Rose: She finally sort of gets a plot of her own! When she’s embarrassed on the dance floor, the jazz singer comes to her rescue, and the two have a moment.

6. Mary: It’s sad that she turns down Gillingham’s proposal. Yet, it probably is too soon, post-Matthew.

5. Lord Gillingham: No, he’s not Matthew. But he’s cute and sweet. Even if he does prematurely propose.

4. Anna and Bates: It’s hard to move them down, but it’s hard to watch this storyline, too.

3. Isobel: She’s very gracious about Lord Gillingham and Mary’s possible romance, which is clearly very hard for her.

2. Jack Ross: Dude can sing!

1. Violet: Even when she does very little, she’s still the best.

The Dowager’s best quotes:

If we only had moral thoughts, what would the poor churchman find to do?

I hope you find a way to make friends with the world again.

So another brick is pulled from the wall.

Violet, on SASYB and Edith: That’s the next thing to look forward to.

Robert: I don’t dislike him.

Violet: Oh, what a recommendation.

Episode Recaps

Downton Abbey PS
Downton Abbey

The war is over, but intrigue, crisis, romance, and change still grip the beloved estate.

  • TV Show
  • 6
stream service