Mary meets her match in Charles Blake, Rose surprises the Crawleys with live music, and Edith receives devastating news.

By Denise Warner
February 03, 2014 at 04:01 AM EST
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Remember the early days of Matthew and Mary — how they both hated each other, taking any chance they could to insult or belittle their future spouse?

That’s just the dynamic Downton wants to create between Mary and the newly introduced Charles Blake. They don’t like each other at all, which means that through some cute happenstance, they will overcome their differences and fall madly in love.

Too bad Tony’s not in the picture anymore, because he’s much taller than Charles.

Evelyn Napier (pictured above with Mary) brings Charles to the Abbey to conduct research for the government. Mary thinks they’ve come to help save estates like Downton. Charles informs her that they are really there to study how the demise of the English aristocracy will affect the country’s food supply. Mary is not amused.

Later on at dinner and then Robert’s surprise birthday fete, it becomes more clear that Charles is not as taken with Mary as every other man on this show has been.

“I’m afraid I don’t share your enthusiasm for her,” Blake says to Napier. Give it time, Mr. Blake. Give it time.

In other upstairs news, Edith is pregnant. Poor Edith. Just when her storyline gets a little interesting and she comes out from her older sister’s shadow, the doctor sends her a note. And the illegitimate child, of course, is fathered by a man who can’t be found. Spinsterhood is much more attractive.

(If you’re interested in what the note from the doctor said, here it is: “I am writing to confirm my findings of our recent consultation, in that your signs and symptoms are consistent with those of the first trimester of pregnancy. I look forward to being of further assistance to you.”)

And let’s not forget the other romantic intrigue in the house. Rose schemes to give Robert a surprise for his birthday, by bringing Jack Ross and his band to Yorkshire to play after dinner. The band is a hit, even if the singer is a black man. At the end of the night, Mary wanders downstairs to find Jack and ask him to send the bill to Robert. Instead, she finds Jack and Rose making out. Ever the tactful lady, Mary does not verbally let on what she’s seen. Although the look on her face says it all. She does not approve.

Other thoughts:

Yay for Alfred, he got into the cooking class! Also, his speech about Carson in front of the family was incredibly sweet.

If you Google “1922 Oil Leases,’ the Teapot Dome scandal comes up. That must be what Uncle Harold, who will be played by Paul Giamatti, has gotten himself into.

I love the Dowager Countess, and usually her lines are my favorites. But this exchange between Carson and Mrs. Patmore wins the night.

Mrs. Patmore: I like that Rudolph Valentino. Ooh. He makes me shiver all over.

Carson: What a very disturbing thought.

Why must Anna and Bates be so tortured? They can’t even enjoy a night out at dinner.

More Sibi and Baby George please!

How heartbreaking was the scene in the nursery, when Mary, Tom, and Isobel all recall their lost loves?

Speaking of Isobel, I really could watch an entire show between her and Violet. Let’s start the call for the spinoff now! It would be like Golden Girls, but British.

NEXT PAGE: The weekly rankings and Violet’s best lines

The season started off with everyone doing awful things. Now everyone is just boring.

23. Thomas: Seriously, what is he up to? He keeps hounding Baxter for secrets. And what he finds out is quite useless so far.

22. Jimmy: The footman got a little too fresh with Ivy this week.

21. Lord Gillingham: Is he completely out of the picture?

20. Gregson: Where are you? You have a child on the way!

19. Bates: Why so broody?

18. Baxter: Although Thomas holds some power over her, she isn’t quite as bad as the other lady’s maids.

17. Tom: Don’t move to America, please.

16. Evelyn Napier: He is after Mary, that’s for sure.

15. Charles Blake: He just doesn’t do it for me.

14. Ivy and Daisy: These two need to stop being so petty about boys.

13. Carson: He’s great with Alfred, but not so great with Molesley.

12. Alfred: He almost cried giving his speech about Carson!

11. Molesley: He’s back in a livery!

10. Anna: She’s trying so hard to make her husband forget she was raped.

9. Mary: I like the return of the bitchy Mary.

8. Mrs. Patmore: I love how she swooned over Rudolph Valentino, and wanted to dance to the sounds of the band upstairs.

7. Edith: She has a lot on her plate.

6. Robert: For the second week in a row, Robert moves up. This time because he’s sweet to Edith and progressive enough about Jack.

5. Cora: For rescuing Anna and Bates from the snobby maître d’.

4. Rose: At least someone is doing something interesting.

3. Jack Ross: I love him.

2. Isobel: We’ll let the fact that her emotions got the better of her while defending Peg to Violet slide.

1. Violet: Even when she’s wrong — this time about Peg — she manages to come out on top. That’s our girl!

The Dowager Countess’ best quotes:

I have a feeling most things would fit into this particular pocket.

I wonder you don’t set fire to the Abbey and dance ’round it.

Isobel: How you hate to be wrong.

Violet: I wouldn’t know. I’m not familiar with the sensation.

If you wish to understand things, you must come out from behind your prejudice and listen.

Oh not, it’s not a matter of what she likes. It is her fuel. Some people run on greed, lust, even love. She runs on indignation.

My dear, we country dwellers must beware of being provincial. Try and let your time in London rub off on you a little more.

Do you think any of them know what the others are playing?

Follow @DeniseMarie13

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