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Sunday, November 16, 2014
Downton Abbey Episode 5 Season 4 Recap: Mr. Barrow expects a report from Miss Baxter and she relays the conversation she overheard between Lady Rose and Lady Cora. Lady Rose appears to have a secret she wants Mrs. Hughes to keep. Miss Baxter believes that the secret is trivial, but Mr. Barrow thinks otherwise that he persuades her to gather more information about it. Unbeknownst to him, the secret revolves around the surprise birthday party they have planned for Lord Grantham. Lady Rose had hired a band to play after dinner on the night of his birthday. She wants Mrs. Hughes to keep the band members downstairs while the family is having dinner so as not to ruin the surprise. Lord Grantham, however, learns of the dinner party his family is throwing for him through friends who could not keep a secret. Fortunately, Lady Rose has kept hiring a band to play at the party from everyone except Mrs. Hughes.
Lady Violet notices that the Netsuke ivory carving of a fisherman has gone missing from her desk and suspects young Pegg of the theft. Mrs. Crawley learns that young Pegg has been dismissed from his job as gardener without knowing the reason for it. She confronts Lady Violet about the young man’s termination and reproaches her for her penchant for materialism at the expense of justice. Mr. Spratt’s arrival with news of having found the Netsuke in the maid’s cleaning bucket confirms Mrs. Crawley’s suspicion of young Pegg’s unjust dismissal. Lady Violet, however, maintains her belief that the young gardener took the valuable letter opener. Mrs. Crawley takes it upon herself to investigate. She purposely drops by the Dower House when Lady Violet is not around and feigns dizziness that the butler, Mr. Spratt, may allow her to sit in the drawing room. Mrs. Crawley begins to snoop around the room in search of the valuable letter opener Lady Violet insisted young Pegg pilfered. Her search bore fruit for she found the letter opener stuck down the side of an armchair. Later, Mrs. Crawley returns with Dr. Clarkson keen to reproach Lady Violet for the unjust dismissal of young Pegg. She is surprised to learn that Lady Violet had already hired young Pegg back. In fact, she had explained to him of the reason for his dismissal and apologized for falsely accusing him of theft.
Alfred Nugent has lost his desire for cooking following the rejection from the Ritz Escoffier. He, however, soon receives a letter from the prestigious cooking school offering him a slot after one of the chosen candidates dropped out of the course after receiving a job offer. He is to leave Downton Abbey as soon as possible so as not to miss any more classes. Daisy Robinson could not contain her tears at the news of Alfred’s departure. She blames Ivy Stuart for driving him away. All the same, Alfred is leaving Downton and the family has been informed. He expresses his gratitude for their kindness towards him and also of Mr. Carson’s generosity in being his mentor. Everyone but Daisy bids Alfred goodbye and he knows why. Alfred makes it a point to say goodbye to Daisy. He apologizes for the hurt he has caused her, but explains that he can never be the man for her. Daisy accepts his apology and wishes him good will. Mrs. Hughes asks Mr. Carson about hiring Mr. Molesley as Alfred’s replacement now that they are short of a footman, but Mr. Carson does not intend to hire Mr. Molesley after he hesitantly accepted the job offer. Mr. Carson finds that Mr. Molesley’s hesitance to accept the job of a footman showed ingratitude. Mr. Molesley learns that Downton is in need of a footman and speaks to Mr. Carson about it only to learn that he is no longer being considered as a candidate after he had expressed his disinclination to accept a permanent inferior position. Mr. Molesley speaks with Mrs. Hughes, who is sympathetic to him. Mrs. Hughes comes up with a plan to persuade Mr. Carson to take him on as a footman. She sends for him the day of Lord Grantham’s birthday that he may serve the servants’ tea, a task that shows Mr. Carson his humility. Mrs. Hughes’ plan worked for Mr. Carson gives in and offers Mr. Molesley the position Alfred left vacant.
Lady Edith learns that Michael Gregson has gone missing. To add to her grief, she receives a letter from the doctor she visited in London, which confirms her pregnancy. Lord Grantham finds her in the library in tears. He correctly supposes that his daughter’s grief stems from the disappearance of Gregson and offers to send someone to look for him in Munich. Lady Edith, however, informs him that Gregson’s office already sent a detective to look for him. She just wants to know what has happened to her lover regardless of the dreadfulness of the truth.
Jimmy Kent and Ivy Stuart make their way back to Downton after seeing Rudolph Valentino’s film, The Sheik. They extend their date a little longer and sit on a bench under the moonlight. They begin to kiss passionately, but Jimmy has something else in mind. This disgusts and upsets Ivy, but Jimmy is equally upset for he expects a reward in return for his supposed generosity. Ivy leaves Jimmy after learning of his ulterior motive. Ivy reports the incident to Mrs. Hughes and Ms. Patmore in Daisy’s presence. The incident made her realize of Alfred’s decency, which upset Daisy enough to go into a tirade about how Ivy caused them grief by choosing Jimmy over Alfred.
Anna suggests that she and Mr. Bates go on a date as part of their effort to live past her horrible ordeal. Mr. Bates insists that he is happy whenever he looks at her, but Anna knows this to be a lie. She believes that her rape overshadows everything they do. Mr. Bates agrees with her and begins to understand the necessity of their date. They are to have an evening together where they vow not to think of the ghastly violation done to her. Anna and Mr. Bates arrive at the Netherby hotel where Anna booked a reservation at its restaurant. The arrogant maître‘d who had judged them with the clothes they are wearing refuses them entrance feigning not having their reservation. He adds that there are no tables available for the Countess of Grantham is at the restaurant with a large party. Lady Cora sees Anna and Mr. Bates with the maître‘d and speaks to them with familiarity embarrassing the obsequious maître‘d for behaving rudely to the friends of the Countess of Grantham. By some miracle, he has found Anna and Mr. Bates a table at the restaurant, once he originally said was unavailable. Later, Anna is once again reminded of the violation done to her despite her promise to put it behind for at least one evening. She tells her husband that she is not a victim, while her husband intimates his guilt of failing to protect her. Unfortunately, Lady Cora arrives at their table before they could discuss further. She generously offers them a lift home. The strain between husband and wife did not go amiss with Lady Cora. She conveys her observation to Lady Mary while Miss Baxter is in the room. She had heard that Anna was hurt somehow and that Mr. Bates feels guilty for failing to protect her. Miss Baxter reluctantly relays the information she gathered to Mr. Barrow despite Lady Cora’s request to keep it to herself. Soon, Mr. Barrow learns of the secret Mrs. Hughes is keeping for Lady Rose when the young mistress informs them that a London band from the nightclub, The Lotus, is coming to play after dinner as a surprise gift for Lord Grantham. She asks for their confidence in keeping it a secret so as not to ruin the surprise. Moreover, she asks that they extend hospitality to the musicians who will be staying with them. Mr. Carson assures her that they will behave as expected, but betrays his assertion when the black bandleader, Jack Ross, arrives much to everyone’s shock.
Evelyn Napier arrives with Charles Blake at Downton Abbey after accepting the Crawleys’ invitation for them to reside there for the duration of their project. Lady Mary learns that her understanding of the goal of their project is the opposite of its true objective. Mr. Blake explains that they are to analyze the situation in order to determine whether their society is shifting fundamentally. Their work is not to provide advice to landowners that will allow them to save their estates, but simply to ensure food production for the kingdom. Mr. Blake bluntly relays Mr. Lloyd George’s priority of feeding the population over rescuing the aristocracy. Mr. Blake manages to annoy Lady Mary in the few minutes he has spent at Downton.
The dinner party for Lord Grantham commences. Mr. Blake sits beside Lady Mary giving him another chance to exasperate her. Lady Cora notices her daughter’s annoyance and shares her observation to Evelyn Napier, who explains that Mr. Blake finds people with a sense of entitlement a challenge. Therefore, Lady Mary’s annoyance only encourages him. Evelyn, on the other hand, confesses his enthusiasm for Lady Mary, one Mr. Blake claims he does not share. Mr. Blake finds Lady Mary a person who expects to reap rewards without lifting a finger. He does not find people like her deserving. Evelyn states that the feeling between Mr. Blake and Lady Mary is mutual. Mrs. Crawley hears of Tom’s plan to immigrate to America and speaks to him about it. Tom surprises himself after coming to a realization that he has come to love the Crawleys. Nonetheless, he could not see making a life at Downton especially if he is to marry a commoner. Soon, Lady Cora concludes the dinner and leads the ladies to the drawing room, leaving the gentlemen to drink and converse. However, Lady Rose announces a deviation from the custom and instructs the band that is waiting outside to begin playing music. This surprises everyone and pleases Lord Grantham until he comes across the black bandleader. Lady Edith utters what is in everyone’s mind, but Lord Grantham decides to see past the color of Jack Ross’ skin. He takes Lady Cora for a dance as a gesture of graciously accepting his niece’s birthday present. Even Lady Violet shows progressive thinking when she advises Lady Edith to put aside her provincial mentality. The hosts and the guests dance to the jazz band at Downton Abbey, the very first one to perform at the estate. Mrs. Crawley uses the appearance of a jazz band at a formal dinner party in telling Tom that unexpected changes can come to Downton. He should know for his marriage to a woman of nobility remains the most startling change in the history of Downton Abbey. The dinner party was a success. Lord Grantham enjoyed it so much that he agrees to Lady Mary’s suggestion to cover the bill. Lady Mary goes downstairs to inform Jack Ross when she finds him and Lady Rose kissing passionately. She gives them the courtesy to become aware of her presence, allowing them to compose themselves. Lady Mary says nothing of the incident she had just witnessed.
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Watch Episode 6 of Season 4 of Downton Abbey
Sunday, November 9, 2014
In my opinion, Lady Violet is the wittiest character on Downton Abbey. Her wit excuses her impudence. Here are a few of her quotes.
Episode 6 of Season 4 - My dear, we country-dwellers must beware of being provincial.
Episode 6 of Season 4 - My dear, we country-dwellers must beware of being provincial.
Downton Abbey Episode 5 Season 4 Recap: Anna Bates now resides at the main house of Downton Abbey. Mr. Bates makes it a point to be the first one to greet her in the morning despite his wife’s insistence that there is no need for it. He argues that there is every need for he remains befuddled as to how his perfect life with his loving wife unraveled in the space of one evening.
Anna maintains her impertinence towards Mr. Bates alarming Mrs. Hughes who pities the unwitting husband. Mrs. Hughes speaks to Anna about her behavior and urges her to reconsider her decision to keep the secret to her husband. Regrettably, Anna remains resolute in her choice believing that Mr. Bates will do the unthinkable if he found out the truth. Unbeknownst to the two women, Mr. Bates overheard their conversation. Unable to persuade Anna to tell her the truth, Mr. Bates confronts Mrs. Hughes instead. He tells her that not knowing the truth will cause him to leave Downton and his wife. He believes that Anna has fallen out of love with him so much so that the sight of him tortures her. It is only noble to free her of such torment. He threatens to hand in his resignation and will depart before Anna’s return from Ripon that day. Mrs. Hughes assures Mr. Bates that Anna loves him greatly. Moreover, his abandonment will devastate her surely. It is for this reason that Mrs. Hughes will go against Anna’s wish to keep her secret from anyone especially Mr. Bates. Mrs. Hughes tells Mr. Bates of Anna’s rape that occurred on the last night of the house party. Mr. Bates immediately suspects, Mr. Green, Lord Gillingham’s valet as the rapist, but Mrs. Hughes disputes his suspicion. Mrs. Hughes swears that Mr. Green was not Anna’s attacker after Mr. Bates demanded her to do so. Nonetheless, he avows of finding Anna’s attacker. Later, Mr. Bates speaks to Anna of his discovery. He tries to verify Mrs. Hughes’ story most especially the identity of the rapist, but Anna confirms that it is a stranger, one whose identity they have no way of knowing. He learns of Anna’s reason for withholding from him the violation done to her. She feels unworthy of her husband. Mr. Bates, on the other hand, finds her higher and holier for the suffering she endured. In fact, he loves her more now than ever. Anna informs Mrs. Hughes that she has decided to return to the cottage for she and Mr. Bates have decided to try to forget her ordeal. Mrs. Hughes expresses her delight about the news to Mr. Bates only to learn that he does not intend to forget the violation done to his wife. He informs Mrs. Hughes quite portentously of his pursuit to discover the identity of the attacker.
Lady Cora has a new lady’s maid, Miss Baxter, the candidate Mr. Barrow recommended for the position. The woman appears to be pleasant and diametric to Mr. Barrow, which makes Mr. Bates wonder about her affiliation with the devious under butler. Lady Cora is pleased with Miss Baxter thus far for the new lady’s maid is not only affable, but considerate as well. The only one who has reservations with her is Mrs. Patmore, but her qualms are directed to the maid’s electric sewing machine that she had set up in the servants’ hall. As it turns out, Mr. Barrow has been helping Miss Baxter win over Lady Cora for personal gain. Moreover, he warns her about making enemies of her colleagues and notes that it was a mistake Miss O’Brien made that led to her ostracism. With Mr. Barrow’s help, Miss Baxter wins the approval of Mrs. Patmore after she fixes her torn apron in time for Lady Cora’s visit of the kitchen. Miss Baxter finds herself indebted to Mr. Barrow for procuring for her the job at Downton, but she is now only learning the reason for his generosity. Mr. Barrow would like her to spy for him, believing that the information she gathers from the masters will be to his benefit. Miss Baxter wonders why he has not sought the help of Anna if he does not see her as an enemy. She learns that Mr. Barrow has tried, but Anna just proved to be incorruptible.
Newspapers announce the engagement of Lord Gillingham and Mabel Lane Fox. Although she was forewarned, Lady Mary could not help but feel a tinge of disappointment upon hearing the news. She tries her best not to reveal her true feelings about Lord Gillingham’s engagement. Lady Mary finds distraction from the disheartening news when another man from her past pays an unexpected visit, Evelyn Napier. Mr. Napier is doing government research in Yorkshire. The department he is working for is assessing the damage of the war years on the landed estates undergoing difficulties with the goal of determining the likelihood of their survival. Although he could not divulge the names of the estates that are in serious trouble, Mr. Napier conveys that Downton Abbey is not in danger. Lady Mary, however, would like to get his opinion on the management of Downton. She and Lady Cora invite Mr. Napier and his boss, Charles Blake, to reside at Downton while they are in Yorkshire.
Dr. Clarkson seeks the help of Mrs. Crawley to aid the cause of the son of a villager looking for work. Dr. Clarkson believes that Mrs. Crawley will be able to persuade one of the Crawleys to employ the young man, but Mrs. Crawley sees herself an outsider especially with the passing of her son, Matthew. Although she appreciates the kindness Lord and Lady Grantham had shown her, she maintains the belief that she is not truly part of the family. Nevertheless, Mrs. Crawley speaks to Lady Violet about taking on young Pegg as a gardener. With some persuasion, Lady Violet agrees to hire young Pegg as one of her gardeners. However, she begins to suspect him of theft after she finds him in her study watering the plants and notices that the paper knife given to the late Lord Grantham by the King of Sweden had gone missing. She speaks to Mrs. Crawley and Dr. Clarkson of her suspicion, but they ask her not to inform the head gardener of her distrust until they have done their investigation.
Lord Grantham attends the funeral of the father of Mr. Drewe, the tenant of the Yew Tree Farm, and learns that Mr. Drewe desires to take on the tenancy his father left. Unfortunately, Lady Mary and Tom Branson already foreclosed the lease of the farm the Drewe family has tilled since the reign of George the Third due to the family’s failure to pay rent. The Crawleys are to farm the land themselves. Mr. Drewe pleads Lord Grantham to allow him to keep the tenancy and repay the debt his father kept from him. Lord Grantham agrees to see him to discuss the matter, but becomes disappointed at the offer Mr. Drewe presented. The man would like the foreclosure rescinded that he may take on the lease despite his inability to pay the arrears in full. Mr. Drewe’s only argument is the century long partnership he and his family have with the Crawleys. This, however, is enough cause for Lord Grantham to allow Mr. Drewe to take on the tenancy. Aware that Lady Mary will reject the offer with an outstanding debt, Lord Grantham offers to lend the difference in the arrears that Mr. Drewe may pay his father’s debt in full. Lord Grantham informs his family of the meeting he had with Mr. Drewe. Lady Mary initially did not receive it well for it seemed as though her father already made the decision without asking for her approval and she did not find it legal given that the foreclosure papers have been served. Her family, however, including Tom agrees with Lord Grantham who had insisted that Mr. Drewe would pay the arrears. Moreover, he notes the moral right the Drewe family has on the land given their history and partnership with the Crawleys. Lady Mary is surprised that Tom is in agreement with Lord Grantham forgetting his socialist ideals that make him decide in favor of the farmers. Adding to her surprise is her father’s demand that she inform Mr. Drewe of their acceptance of his offer. She does so and Mr. Drewe is very grateful for rescinding the foreclosure of his tenancy. Lady Mary gives the credit to Lord Grantham and learns that his father had not only persuaded them to allow Mr. Drewe to keep his tenancy he had also lent him the last fifty pounds of the debt the Drewes owed. Lady Mary thinks more highly of her father after learning of his good deed that he tried to hide from them. Talk of his political beliefs reminded Tom of the last night of the house party where he felt like an intruder among his late wife’s family and friends. He speaks to the Crawleys of moving to America where he has family. Tom would like a fresh start for his daughter. He is afraid of Sybbie being known as the daughter of an uppity chauffeur. Although the Crawleys did not dismiss his plan, they ask him to reconsider for they do not want to lose him.
With Mr. Carson’s permission, the kitchen staffs assist Alfred in his training for the exam at the Ritz Escoffier. Notwithstanding her conflicted desire to help the footman and her dislike to see him leave Downton Abbey, Daisy accepts the job of mentor. Soon, Alfred receives a letter from the Ritz Escoffier informing him that his application has been accepted. He is to be in London for the exam the day after tomorrow. All but Jimmy are happy for him and the masters of the house commend the Bouchees de Fromage he prepared for dinner with Daisy’s supervision. Alfred makes his way to London for the exam. The exam at the Ritz Escoffier commences and Alfred finds himself unable to answer the questions from the Sous Chef of the Ritz, Arsene Avignon. He, however, did well in the practical exam. The sous chef wonders why Alfred had not chosen to make a living in the kitchen and had instead chosen to become a footman. He learns that Alfred did so in order to fulfill his mother’s wish. Although he is not unhappy working for the Earl of Grantham as a footman, he believes that he can improve his life with a culinary training. Mr. Carson learns that the footman truly has a chance of being accepted at the respected cooking school. In danger of losing a footman, he decides to offer the job to Mr. Molesley. Much to Mr. Carson’s surprise and annoyance, Mr. Molesley asks for time to consider the offer, because he could not bear to accept a permanent position that is inferior to his qualifications. He returns the following day to inform Mr. Carson that he has decided to accept the job after much deliberation only to learn that the position is no longer open, because Alfred will not be leaving Downton Abbey. Alfred had just recently received a letter informing him that he did not make it to the top four although he was near. Daisy sympathizes for the disappointing news Alfred received, but is delighted to learn that the footman will be staying at Downton.
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Watch Episode 5 of Season 4 of Downton Abbey