Sunday, January 5, 2014

Episode 4 Season 3 – Downton Abbey Episode Summary 3.4

Tom Branson and Lady Sybil reunited at Downton Abbey
Synopsis: A soaking wet Tom Branson arrives unexpectedly at Downton Abbey without Lady Sybil by his side.  Mrs. Crawley and Mrs. Hughes learn at last what Ethel Parks wants from them.  Anna becomes concerned after Mr. Bates stopped receiving visitors and ceased sending her letters.

Episode Summary: The servants receive their mail except for Anna, who begins to wonder why Mr. Bates has stopped writing to her; little did she know that her husband is wondering the same thing.  Anna has not heard a word from her husband ever since the prison prohibited him from seeing visitors.  She becomes concerned that Mr. Bates has decided to push her away that she may live her life without him.  Mrs. Hughes notices Anna’s despondent behavior and learns of Anna’s worries.  She reassures Anna that there must be good reason for Mr. Bates’ silence, and that she knows that he would not purposefully put her through misery.Continue reading...

Mrs. Crawley explains to Mrs. Hughes of her seeking out Ethel Parks.  Her visit proved successful in a way, since Ethel had given her a letter to hand to Mrs. Hughes.  Mrs. Crawley informs Mrs. Hughes that Ethel has turned to prostitution, an occupation the young woman did not dream of having, but had fallen into given her circumstances.  She asks Mrs. Hughes to find out from the letter the young woman wrote how she could be of any help.  In the letter, Ethel asks Mrs. Hughes to meet with her, but not in the mansion.  She, however, agrees to meet with her and Mrs. Crawley at the Crawley house.  Ethel has come to ask Mrs. Hughes to write to the Bryants to plead them to take her son, Charlie.  She has come to a realization that her refusal to let the Bryants take her son believing that a mother’s love was worth more than all they had to give was a mistake.  She had only thought of the pain of losing Charlie at that time, but had not considered the life her son could have had.  Mrs. Crawley tries to convince Ethel that they can work together to give Charlie a better life, and asks Mrs. Hughes to only inform the Bryants that Ethel had decided to allow them to keep in contact with their grandson.  Ethel, however, has already made up her mind; she would like the Bryants to take Charlie.  Nevertheless, Mrs. Hughes follows Mrs. Crawley’s instructions until they receive a response from the Bryants.  Mrs. Bird learns of Ethel becoming a prostitute and mistreats her in front of Mrs. Crawley.  Mrs. Crawley points out Mrs. Bird’s lack of manners, but the woman showed remorse and justifies her actions as just fitting for women such as Ethel.

Lady Mary asks her husband to become more involved in the management of Downton given that Matthew is now a co-owner of the estate.  Although reluctant to the task, Matthew has no reservations about voicing his concerns when Mr. Carson informs him and Lord Grantham of hiring more servants.  Nonetheless, he consents to the request after Lord Grantham allows Mr. Carson to begin hiring.

Being the only unmarried daughter of Lord Grantham, Lady Edith is expected to have breakfast at the dining hall instead of in bed.  Although this rule can be waived, Lady Edith does not mind abiding it.  She learns from her father that all American women will soon have the right to vote, a privilege British women including her do not have.  Lady Edith voices out her opinion about the matter prompting Matthew to suggest that she write to the newspaper about it.  Her father, however, belongs to the class that find women’s role is to manage the household so much so that he sends Lady Edith to help Lady Cora with the dinner for the Archbishop of York.  She then goes to deliver perfume to her grandmother who urges her to find something to do.  Lady Mary, on the other hand, is busy turning the day nursery into a sitting room.  Matthew, having heard from Lady Cora that his wife has seen the doctor, expected to hear news that Lady Mary is with child.  He finds it disappointing when his wife makes no mention of it.

Mr. Bates learns from his friend that the prison guard, Mr. Durrant, is a drug dealer working for Craig, which is why he was set up when he attacked his cellmate.  However, thanks to the vital information he received from his friend, Mr. Bates managed to find the illegal drugs planted in his mattress before the guards arrived.  For this reason, Mr. Bates is being punished.  Mr. Durrant has reported Mr. Bates to the Governor for violence, which explains why he has not received any letters or visitors.  Hearing of this, Mr. Bates becomes relieved for he was worried that Anna had forsaken him.  Mr. Bates and his friend put together a plan to get back at Craig and Mr. Durrant.  Prison guards headed by Mr. Turner arrive at his cell for an inspection.  A surprised Mr. Durrant follows and becomes even more surprised when they find the illegal drugs he planted in Mr. Bates’ mattress in Craig’s instead.

Lady Sybil phones Lady Edith with a message that she is out of the flat and that nobody had stopped her.  Lady Edith finds the message both peculiar and menacing that she relays it to Lady Mary and Lady Cora.  Their anxiety surrounding Lady Sybil must be set aside for they have the Archbishop of York as a dinner guest.  A feverish knock at the door interrupts dinner; behind the door stands a soaking wet, Tom Branson.  Lady Mary is surprised to see her brother-in-law, and even more surprised that Lady Sybil is not with him.  Tom explains that he had to get away and leave his pregnant wife to follow.  Moreover, he asks Lady Mary and Matthew, who had come to see who is at the door, not to tell anyone of his presence.  He, however, promises Lady Mary to explain the exigency of his coming to Downton when their guest is gone.

Lady Mary returns to the dining hall and makes up a story of who was at the door, but nonetheless informs her father of who truly came knocking.  Masters and servants alike are anxious to know why Tom has come running to Downton like a fugitive.  At last, the Archbishop of York leaves Downton, and Tom meets with the Crawleys to impart his story.  He informs them that the Irish rebels burned down the Drumgoole Castle and that he is thought of as one of the instigators of the arson.  Afraid of being taken away without a fair trial, Tom flees Ireland leaving Lady Sybil on her own, an act that disgusts the Crawleys.  Tom justifies his decision with the belief that the authorities will not harm Lady Sybil.  His confession to having been at the scene of the crime as it happened does not help alleviate their antipathy.  His remorse at the sight of the Drumgoole’s in tears as they watch their house burn, however, did help.  Tom desires a free state for Ireland, but dislikes the wrong done to the Drumgooles.  He, however, gets the wrath of Lord Grantham after confessing to abandoning his pregnant wife in a land that is not her own where her husband is believed to be a fugitive.  Moreover, he did so to save his own life.  Lord Grantham despises Tom for his actions and his beliefs, but he agrees to help him evade imprisonment for Lady Sybil’s sake.

Jimmy Kent arrives at Downton and catches everyone’s eye.  He has come to see Mr. Carson about the footman ad.  Mr. Carson learns that the young man had worked for Dowager Lady Anstruther, but had to look for other work since the Dowager had left England for France.  Although he finds Jimmy’s experience notable, he does find the young man’s arrogance concerning, this after Jimmy informs Mr. Carson that he turned the Dowager’s pleas to go with her to France.  Lady Mary asks about the interviews and she learns that two candidates have risen to the top.  Mr. Carson imparts his concern surrounding Jimmy, and shares how the female servants want Jimmy to get the job because they find him handsome.  Lady Mary asks Mr. Carson to hire the handsome one so the maids would at least have something to be happy about, since Alfred is not much of a looker.  Mr. Carson comes in defense of Alfred, informing Lady Mary and Matthew that the young man shows initiative to do become better at his job.  He knows this given that Alfred has swallowed his pride and has sought Mr. Carson’s help to learn the things a footman should know.

The Bryants more than answered Mrs. Hughes’ letter in behalf of Ethel; they have come to Downton to meet with Ethel and their grandson.  Mr. Bryant remains a brute and he informs Ethel that he knows of her turning to prostitution for he had kept a check on his grandson.  Despite his hostile behavior, Mr. Bryant displays genuine love towards his grandson.  Mrs. Bryant is unlike her husband and tries to convince Ethel that she has not come to judge her, but to offer her money that she can turn away from prostitution.  Mrs. Crawley tries to talk Ethel out of giving away her child to the Bryants, but Ethel wants the best for Charlie and she knows that the Bryants can give him that.  Much to the Bryants’ surprise, Ethel turns down their money and instead asks them to take Charlie.  Ethel says a final goodbye to the son she believes she will never see again.  Mrs. Hughes tries to appease Ethel’s heartache by telling her that she did what is best for Charlie, and Mrs. Crawley though she disagrees does not oppose her.  Ethel leaves Downton without her son.

Lady Sybil arrives at last in Downton Abbey to the tearful and remorseful relief of her husband, Tom.  She tells her mother and sisters that the authorities did not stop her from leaving Dublin, but she believes that they will come after them unless Lord Grantham persuades them not to do so.  Lady Cora is still in disbelief that Tom had left Lady Sybil to fend for herself, but Lady Sybil assures her mother that it was a decision they both made.  Lady Mary, nonetheless, could not fathom how Tom could have consented to the injustice done towards the Drumgooles when they are not too different from the Crawleys.  Lady Sybil, once again, comes in defense of her husband.  Lady Cora tells Lady Sybil that she is to stay in Downton until the baby is born in spite of Tom’s desire for the baby to be born in Dublin.  Given the events in Dublin, there is no way the baby will be born there, and more importantly, Lord Grantham has sent a telegram to inform them that he has spoken with Mr. Shortt.  Lord Grantham sends word that Tom and Lady Sybil must stay in Downton.

Thomas returns to Downton after accompanying Lord Grantham in London.  He is delighted to learn that Jimmy got the job as footman.  Meanwhile, Lord Grantham apprises the family of the conditions of Tom’s pardon.  Tom may no longer return to Ireland for his return will lead to his imprisonment.  The family including Lady Sybil finds it a harsh punishment for a crime he did not commit.  Lord Grantham, however, informs the family that Tom attended the Dublin meetings that planned the Anglo-Irish attacks.  Tom vows to be against personal violence, but admits not being against the destruction of property.  Lord Grantham managed to strike a deal with the Home Secretary, because they did not want to make a martyr of Tom or risk having Lady Sybil turning into an Irish rebel much like Countess Markievicz.  Tom could not bear the thought of not being in Ireland at the moment it comes of age, but he is grateful to Lord Grantham for his freedom.  Lord Grantham doubts that Tom is truly grateful, but he does not mind for he only saved him for Sybil’s sake.  In bed, Lady Sybil questions Tom for his involvement in the Anglo-Irish meetings and becomes concerned of their peace and safety.  Her concerns might just convince Tom to stay at Downton despite his urge to return to Ireland.

Lady Edith announces at dinner that she has written to a newspaper much to Lady Grantham’s dismay believing her act as unladylike.  She defends her action using the war journalist, Lady Sarah Wilson, as an example.  To Lady Grantham’s surprise, Lady Cora agrees with her.  Nevertheless, Lady Edith already sent her view to the newspaper.  Lord Grantham is not worried believing that the newspaper will not publish her article.  They turn their attention to the new footman who the ladies acknowledge is quite handsome.  Lady Edith, supporter of the underdog, states that they must not let him overshadow Alfred to which Mr. Carson agrees citing that diligence and hard work weigh more than beauty in the real world.  Lady Grantham, however, does not agree with this notion.  It is clear that Mr. Carson is not a fan of Jimmy and likewise after the butler has everyone calling the footman James instead.  After dinner, Lord Grantham brings up the matter of the estate books and Matthew takes the opportunity to convey his concerns on the management of Downton Abbey.  Learning that Matthew has issues with the management of the estate, Lord Grantham no longer wants to talk about the issue.  Sensing that Lord Grantham will continue to avoid the issue, Matthew turns to Lady Grantham for help.  He apprises her of the mismanagement of Downton and his dilemma of fixing the problem without upsetting those involved.  Lady Grantham agrees that Matthew must do what needs done in spite of its unfavorable consequences.

The following morning, Lord Grantham is shocked to find Lady Edith’s article about women’s rights published on the newspaper.  Unlike Lord Grantham, Matthew is proud of his sister-in-law’s achievement and is not afraid to tell his father-in-law that he must too.  Lady Edith sent a letter to the newspaper condemning the limitations of the women’s suffrage bill and denouncing the government’s aims to return women to their pre-war existence.

Daisy gets her wish, but at the most inopportune time for she was about to express her true feelings for Alfred.  Mrs. Patmore interrupts the assistant cook and the footman’s conversation to introduce the new kitchen maid, Miss Ivy Stuart.  She finds that it is too late to inform Alfred of her feelings towards him for the footman has openly expressed her admiration of Miss Stuart’s beauty.  Regrettably, for Miss Stuart, Daisy’s jealousy does not bode well for her.

Mr. Bates’ plan worked.  Mr. Turner gives him a stack of mail Anna has been sending him when he was out of favor.  Moreover, the prison guard warns Mr. Bates about Mr. Durrant knowing that it was he who campaigned for his punishment.  Anna’s happiness appears to be symbiotic with Mr. Bates’ situation for she too has received a stack of mail from him.  Miles away from each other, Mr. Bates and Anna read their letters as if they are in the same room.


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