Sunday, January 19, 2014

Episode 7 Season 3 – Downton Abbey Episode Summary 3.7

Tom Branson, Keiran and the Crawleys pose for a photo at Sybil's christening
Synopsis: Mr. Bates is released from prison and returns to Downton Abbey.  His reinstatement as valet to Lord Grantham is still up in the air since Thomas still fulfills that position.  Thomas attraction towards Jimmy continues to grow and it consumes him.  Meanwhile, Tom’s brother, Kieran arrives to attend Sybil’s christening causing a stir at Downton and signaling Tom’s imminent departure.  Matthew becomes frustrated with his father-in-law’s stubbornness about the management of Downton Abbey, but finds a supporter in Tom.

Episode Summary: Anna runs to the loving arms of her husband, Mr. Bates, as he steps out of prison a free man.  Husband and wife make their return to Downton Abbey where their fellow servants await their return.  The servants rejoice at the sight of Mr. Bates, all except for Thomas.  Lord Grantham is very delighted to see Mr. Bates back at Downton.  He speaks to him about getting him and Anna a cottage in the village.  Moreover, he is to deal with the matter of reinstating him as his valet, a position Thomas now holds.Continue reading...

Ethel’s disrepute has become well known in the village prompting Lady Violet to speak to Mrs. Crawley about it.  It appears that Lady Violet’s decision not to leave the luncheon was only to support Lady Cora in her grief and not in support of Ethel of her shame.  Although Lady Violet is concerned more about avoiding scandal, she could not help but feel sorry for Ethel after seeing her sobbing in the street.  Ethel returns to the house dejected after Mrs. Bakewell refused to serve her.  She did, however, managed to get what she needed from the shop from the woman’s husband, but not without Mr. Bakewell mistreating her.  Mrs. Crawley decides to take their business elsewhere, but Ethel dissuades her stating that she has become used to the villagers’ cruelty.

Alfred finds the courage to ask Ivy out to watch the film Way Down East, one that stars Lillian Gish, an actor Ivy likes.  Ivy finds it inappropriate to go watch the film alone with Alfred and Mrs. Hughes agrees.  Lucky for Alfred, Mrs. Hughes recommends two other maids to go with them.  Hearing of this, Ivy agrees to go watch the film even without asking for Mrs. Patmore’s permission.  Fortunately, Mrs. Patmore allows the girls to see the film even though it is not their day off.  Alfred shows his knowledge of cooking after seeing Mrs. Patmore with the Béchamel.  It, however, prompted Jimmy to insult Alfred’s manhood.  The comment was made within the earshot of Mr. Carson stirring the butler to make Jimmy second footman for tonight’s dinner.  Mr. Carson leaves and Jimmy begins to question the butler’s decision believing him to be the better footman to which Ivy agrees.  Alfred is not a bit annoyed of Ivy’s support of Jimmy at his expense.  Daisy is incredulous of Alfred’s inability to be offended by Ivy.

Matthew manages to schedule a meeting with Mr. Jarvis and Lord Grantham to discuss the management of the estate.  He suggests that they invest in new machinery, new methods, and new techniques, believing that doing so will help grow the estate.  Lord Grantham and Mr. Jarvis, regrettably, are not proponents of change.  Lord Grantham argues that Downton Abbey has survived using the same management techniques that has been used for hundreds of years.  His argument aggravates Matthew, who points out that Lady Cora’s fortune was the only reason it survived.  Matthew makes it plain that the estate must be self-supporting for it to have a chance of survival.

Lady Edith speaks to her grandmother in the hope of gaining her support for her decision to accept the offer from the newspaper editor.  Much to her surprise, Lady Violet agrees with her father.  It is a surprise to her, because it was Lady Violet, who pushed her to writing, but the old woman did not consider that Lady Edith would find purpose in journalism.  Lady Edith stands her ground and declares her decision to meet with the editor in London.  She had come to her grandmother hopeful that her support of her decision would allow Lord Grantham to agree to it as well.  Seeing that her disapproval will only cause discord, Lady Violet agrees to campaign for Lady Edith, but asks a favor in return.

Lady Mary learns from Tom Branson that he had already arranged Sybil’s christening at the Catholic Church in Ripon.  Tom had no plans of telling the members of the family other than Lady Mary and Matthew, knowing how they feel about the Catholic Church.  He, however, asks Lady Mary to be Sybil’s godmother knowing that only one of the godparents must be Catholic and his brother already satisfies that requirement.  Tom’s brother is to stay in the village until the christening, but Lady Mary generously offers him a place at the mansion.

Jimmy continues to be riled at Alfred being assigned first footman.  Thomas sees him lose his composure and warns him against it.  He recommends a more subtle way of dealing with Alfred. Miss O’Brien catches the two and gives Thomas the impression that Jimmy is fond of him.  Jimmy takes Thomas’ advice and misinforms Alfred of the proper way to serve the dish.  The result was a disaster, which involved utensils and lobster tails falling on Lady Violet’s lap.  Alfred’s failure is Jimmy’s gain.  His antics did not go amiss as Mr. Carson reprimands him for giving unsolicited advice that proved ruinous for Alfred.

It was a doomed dinner not only because of the incident with Alfred’s service, but also with the awkward conversations around the table.  Lord Grantham learns that Matthew had asked Mr. Murray over to discuss the management of the estate.  Lady Violet informs Mrs. Crawley of seeing Ethel in tears and learns the reason for it.  Mrs. Crawley states how some people can be unforgiving, while Lord Grantham makes a statement directed at her of how some can be insensitive.  He, however, is let down when Lady Cora opposes him again with her display of support for Lady Edith’s decision to meet with the newspaper editor.  Lord Grantham turns to his mother for support.  Much to his and Mrs. Crawley’s surprise, they learn that Lady Violet does not disapprove of Lady Edith’s meeting.  She, however, manages to sneak in an insult about Lady Edith’s hopeless future of becoming someone’s wife.  The dinner ends with news of Tom’s brother, Kieran, staying at the mansion for Sybil’s christening.

In bed, Matthew begins to wonder if he should go see a specialist for Lady Mary still has not conceived.  He believes it to be his fault given the war injury he sustained, the one they thought would leave him paralyzed from the waist down all his life.  Lady Mary assures him that it could not be his fault, but Matthew knows that they cannot be certain of these things.  Thomas too has doubts.  He is uncertain of Jimmy’s feelings towards him, but Miss O’Brien has planted seeds to give him an impression that he and Jimmy share the same feelings.  There is one thing Jimmy is certain of, and that is Mr. Carson favors Alfred over him for the man has allowed the footman to go see a film with the maids in spite of the embarrassing incident at dinner.  Thomas returns to his room wondering if there is any truth to Miss O’Brien’s claims.  Meanwhile, the servants who had gone to see a film in the village had just returned.  Alfred and Ivy had a good time chatting on their way home.  Aware that Ivy fancies Jimmy, Alfred tells the kitchen maid openly that Jimmy is not interested in her.  He asks the young woman if it will make a difference if she knew that Jimmy is not interested in her.  Ivy states that it will if Jimmy tells her so.  Thomas’ longing for Jimmy consumes him so much so that he enters the young footman’s room as Jimmy sleeps.  Thomas kisses Jimmy on the lips while he sleeps.  Alfred, wanting to ask Jimmy about Ivy, enters Jimmy’s room and sees the two.  Jimmy wakes in disgust at the sight of Thomas on top of him and denies consenting to what Alfred had witnessed.  The young footman kicks Thomas out of his room.  Breakfast at the servants’ hall is conspicuously awkward with Alfred, Jimmy, and Thomas’ demeanor.  Given the embarrassing incident the previous night, Jimmy flirts with Ivy in front of everyone as a means to compensate for the assault of his manhood.  Despite his attempts to forget the events of the previous night, Jimmy continues to be haunted by it and so are Alfred and Thomas.

Lady Edith meets with the editor of the newspaper hopeful that the young woman would accept the job he is offering her.  The young woman has not made her decision, but paid a visit to meet in person the editor and see how life is at the newspaper.  Although the man desires for Lady Edith to accept the job, he was careful not to press her too much to annoy her.  He then asks her to lunch at Rules the next day regardless of what her decision will be.

Matthew discusses his plans with the estate with Lady Mary and Tom.  His brother-in-law agrees with his plan believing that his strategy will ensure proper compensation to the tenants for years to come.  His agreement was within audible range of Lord Grantham, who criticizes him for it, knowing that Tom is a socialist.  Now that his marriage troubles have been resolved, Lord Grantham resumes sharing the bed with his wife.  He, nevertheless, could not fall asleep.  He confides to his wife of his annoyance with Matthew for summoning Mr. Murray without his permission.  Lady Cora does not understand his displeasure given that Lord Grantham had been insisting that Downton now has two masters, him and Matthew.  He learns that although his wife has released him of any blame for Lady Sybil’s death, Lady Cora still will not side with him concerning the christening, Matthew’s actions, and Lady Edith’s ambition.

Away from the limiting grasp of her father, Lady Edith has lunch with the editor.  The man becomes forthright with his declaration that he is delighted to know that the young woman is unmarried, but becomes apologetic after learning that Lady Edith was jilted at the altar.  The man is pleased to hear that Lady Edith has decided to accept the job.  Meanwhile, Matthew, Lord Grantham, and Mr. Jarvis meet with Mr. Murray at Downton Abbey.  Lord Grantham is displeased to hear that Mr. Murray supports Matthew’s plan to make the estate self-sufficient.  The lawyer even goes as much as to criticize the prevailing model used to manage the estate.  Matthew adds to the critique remarking bluntly of the wasteful management of Downton.  Mr. Jarvis, the current property manager, could no longer stand the appraisal that he feels is a direct attack on him.  He tenders his resignation with aversion towards Matthew.

Tom’s brother has arrived and is causing a stir among the servants not only for his choice to be around them instead of the masters of the house, but also for his humor.  Tom arrives with Lady Mary to receive Kieran, who refuses to come upstairs to meet his brother’s family.  Kieran accuses Tom for seeming to act too grand for the servants.  Tom assures him that even the servants do not see him in such way.  He orders his brother to come with them for he will not allow him to snub the generosity of his mother-in-law who kindly opened her house to him.  Lady Edith arrives in time for dinner with Kieran.  The rest of the family meets Tom’s brother who they learn works as a car repair man.  Tom extends the invitation to everyone including Lord Grantham, who continues to make fun of the Catholic rituals.  Lord Grantham had no desire to be at the christening until Tom had expressed how Lady Sybil would have wanted him to be present at her child’s baptism.  It seems that everything is going against Lord Grantham’s wishes, and Lady Edith’s announcement of having accepted the job with the newspaper only added to his displeasure.

After dinner, Mrs. Crawley learns that Lady Violet had sent Lady Edith to put an ad on The Lady for her housekeeper.  Lady Edith defends her grandmother’s underhanded decision citing that Lady Violet felt that Ethel would have a better life outside of Downton.  In order to help her cause, Lady Violet summons Mrs. Hughes to ask her opinion about the matter.  To the surprise of Mrs. Crawley, Mrs. Hughes agrees with Lady Violet.  The governess believes that with Ethel’s history known to everyone in the village, the fallen young woman can no longer be happy at Downton.  Lady Edith tries to appease Mrs. Crawley’s worry of Ethel returning to prostitution with her reassurance that the young woman will be able to find a good job with her improved cooking skills and Mrs. Crawley’s reference.  Although Mrs. Crawley resents the manner by which Lady Violet went about her plan, she agrees to speak to Ethel about it after hearing Mrs. Hughes belief that Ethel cannot be happy at a place where she is maltreated for her shame.  She believes that Ethel can only find happiness when she can start anew.

Alfred, haunted by what he saw last night, confides to his aunt.  Miss O’Brien urges her nephew to report what he saw to Mr. Carson for his own good.  Unlike Alfred, she does not believe that Jimmy did not consent to Thomas’ actions.  Miss O’Brien instills fear in Alfred; fear that he will be punished for knowing, but not saying anything.  Alfred decides to accept his aunt’s advice.  He informs Mr. Carson of what he had witnessed.  He, however, stands with his belief that Jimmy did not consent to any of it.  In fact, Alfred informs Mr. Carson that Jimmy was asleep and became incensed the moment he realized what Thomas has done to him.  He even goes on to share his aunt’s view, which he assures Mr. Carson he disagrees with.  Mr. Carson asks Alfred not to speak a word to anyone of their conversation.  Mr. Carson confronts Thomas about the incident and reminds the valet that the act that would have followed had Alfred not walked in is a criminal offense.  Thomas does not deny his actions only that he was mistaken that Jimmy is attracted to him.  Like Alfred, Thomas assures Mr. Carson that Jimmy is innocent of the misconduct.  Thomas had not considered that Jimmy could report him to the police, but Mr. Carson does not believe that the footman would do so.  Thomas reassures Mr. Carson that nothing had happened between him and Jimmy, and the butler is relieved to hear it.

Lady Violet hears of Mr. Jarvis’ resignation, but unlike Lord Grantham, she does not see his departure that much of a loss.  Moreover, she finds a solution to their problems.  Lady Violet nominates Tom as Mr. Jarvis’ replacement, having heard of his knowledge and experience in farming, one he learned from his grandfather.  Moreover, she could not bear the thought of her granddaughter living on top of Kieran’s garage.  Naming Tom as the new agent will keep both father and daughter in Downton.  Lady Cora finds it a marvelous solution to their problems, and believes that Matthew will agree.  Lord Grantham initially refuses to this suggestion, but changes his mind upon hearing the prospect of his granddaughter growing up in a garage in the company of his brute uncle, Kieran.  Lord Grantham offers Tom the job with Matthew’s blessing.  In fact, Matthew’s only regret is that the idea was not his.  The day of the christening arrived, and all of the Crawleys are in attendance.  They pose for a photograph that would have made Lady Sybil so proud and so happy.

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