Sunday, January 26, 2014

Episode 8 Season 3 – Downton Abbey Episode Summary 3.8

Downton Abbey cricket match
Synopsis: Jimmy through Miss O’Brien’s instigation threatens to report Mr. Barrow to the police if Mr. Carson gives him a good reference.  Hearing of the injustice done to Mr. Barrow, Mr. Bates curiously comes to his rescue.  Lord Grantham becomes furious upon hearing of Matthew’s vision for Downton Abbey, and becomes even more upset to learn that all are against him.  He, however, looks forward to the cricket match against the villagers and desires to win more than anything else.

Episode Summary: The incident that exposed Mr. Barrow’s sexual orientation provided reason for Mr. Carson to ask for his resignation, solving the problem of having Mr. Bates reinstated as Lord Grantham’s valet.  Mr. Carson, who is the least liberal among the servants, frowns upon Mr. Barrow’s homosexuality.  He, however, believes that Mr. Barrow is not completely to blame and promises to provide the valet a good reference that he may find a suitable job somewhere else.  Mr. Barrow, although accepting of his fate, makes it clear to the butler that he is different, but certainly is not foul.Continue reading...

Miss O’Brien eavesdropped on the private conversation Mr. Carson had with Mr. Barrow.  She informs Jimmy that Mr. Barrow will soon be relieved of his duties and encourages the footman to report the incident to the police.  Jimmy is against reporting Mr. Barrow to the police citing his own shame as the reason, but Miss O’Brien insinuates that his tolerance may give an impression of his consent.  The footman still has not decided to follow Miss O’Brien’s advice.  Miss O’Brien continues to threaten Jimmy of the consequences of keeping his mouth shut.  She suggests that Jimmy pressure Mr. Carson into writing Mr. Barrow a bad reference to prevent him from reporting the incident to the police.  Her intimations are within the earshot of Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Bates.  Miss O’Brien’s play on fear worked on Jimmy for the footman pressures Mr. Carson into giving Mr. Barrow a bad reference.  Jimmy threatens to report the incident to the police if the butler decides to help Mr. Barrow.  Mr. Carson afraid of bringing scandal to the house urges the footman to forego his plan.  To his astonishment, Jimmy could not be persuaded.

All of Downton Abbey is abuzz about the cricket match between the house and the villagers.  Mr. Molesley, who is playing for the house, could not stop talking about the game having brought up by a father who is passionate about cricket.  Curiously, this is Mr. Molesley’s first cricket match, and he will be playing for the house.  Tom Branson, on the other hand, refuses to play for he has never played it.  Lord Grantham, who is set to win this year’s game after losing the previous year’s, urges Tom to join the team just as he had forced Matthew to play.  Although Matthew Crawley is not a fan of cricket, he looks forward to the match for he believes that the cricket match will show Lord Grantham that old traditions can coexist with change.  He looks to his wife to help him with his plan.  Lady Mary’s thoughts, however, are somewhere else.  Matthew begins to worry when his wife refuses to make love to him.

Lady Violet is looking forward to accommodating Lady Rose, the eighteen-year-old daughter of her niece and godchild, in her house.  Lady Rose ostensibly hates London, which is why she is going to Yorkshire to spend time with her great-aunt.  Mrs. Crawley could see the nuisance in this arrangement, but Lady Violet could not.  Lady Violet drops by the Crawley House with her grandniece in order to hand Mrs. Crawley the answers to the advertisement she had placed to get Ethel a new job.  Lady Rose, so far, has been fulfilling Lady Violet’s expectations.  Lady Violet’s illusion begins to crack when the teenager asks to go with Lady Edith to London feigning an excuse of arranging a surprise for her mother, Lady Flintshire.  Lady Edith, who is to meet with her editor to discuss the article she had written, agrees to bring Lady Rose to London and offers her a place to stay for the teenager does not want to spend her time in London at her parents’ house.  Matthew informs Lady Edith of joining her, which she welcomes believing that she will need his help in controlling the teenager.  All three are to stay at Lady Rosamund’s mansion.  Learning that Matthew had asked to come with Lady Edith to London, Lady Mary asks her sister to promise her not to let her husband catch an earlier train back to Downton.  Although mindful of the dubious favor, Lady Edith nevertheless agrees to Lady Mary’s request.

Lady Edith is taking her job as a journalist seriously.  She writes about the officers that served the war, but are now reduced to beg for alms or work on nightclubs for lack of jobs.  Mr. Barrow is in danger of suffering the same fate as he learns that Mr. Carson has decided not to give him a reference.  Mr. Carson, however, explained to him the reason for his decision.  Despite this, Mr. Barrow believes that someone must have compelled Jimmy to do this to him.  Mrs. Hughes sees a distraught Mr. Barrow outside in the rain.  Unaware of the injustice done to him, Mr. Barrow hesitates to reveal the reason for his distress afraid that his revelation will shock and disgust the governess.  To his surprise, the governess instead shows him kindness.  Mrs. Hughes having heard the whole story speaks to Mr. Carson to persuade him not to give in to Jimmy’s blackmail.  The governess has always been tolerant of people of disrepute, but not of those who are malevolent.  She believes that Jimmy may have inadvertently led on Mr. Barrow.  Mr. Carson argues that not agreeing to Jimmy’s blackmail will only put Mr. Barrow in prison for the footman is adamant about reporting the valet to the police.

Anna and Mr. Bates arrive at the cottage that is to be their home only to find it in disrepair.  Having gone through much worse, husband and wife are optimistic of turning the squalid cottage into a warm and comfortable house they can call home.  One night, Mr. Barrow comes up to Mr. Bates with malice in his eyes as the reinstated valet checks up on his new residence.  It seems as though Mr. Barrow sees him as the person persuading Jimmy to seek his ruin.  Little did he know that Mr. Bates pities his situation and is even regretful that his return came at the expense of Mr. Barrow.  The night’s encounter did make Mr. Bates ask Mrs. Hughes about Mr. Barrow, and he learns the whole story.  Meanwhile, Tom, having agreed to take Mr. Jarvis’ place as agent of Downton, plans to move to the house Mr. Jarvis used to occupy.  The assignment of Tom as the new agent proved beneficial to Matthew for his brother-in-law is in full support of his plan to take back part of the estate to allow them to farm a third of it directly.  Tom enlists the help of Lady Cora for Lord Grantham is certainly against their plan.

Mrs. Crawley finally apprises Ethel of Lady Violet’s concern of her attracting unpleasant conversation due to her sordid history.  She informs her that the Dowager has placed advertisements for her, which received a lot of interest.  Mrs. Crawley hands Ethel the responses from the ad assuring the young woman of their support in helping her attain a new lease in life.  Ethel has reviewed the replies.  She, however, informs Mrs. Crawley that she has not found one in those where she will be happier than where she is now.  Ethel, nonetheless, notes of a letter that caught her interest.  It is from a Mrs. Watson, who lives in Cheadle, a place very close to where the Bryants live.  She and Mrs. Crawley believe that living close to where her son is will only make it harder for her to forget her past.  Lady Violet is disappointed at learning that Ethel has not found anything in the replies that interested her enough to leave Downton for it.  She did hear from Mrs. Crawley that one ad caught her interest.  Mrs. Crawley believes that Ethel found interest in it due to the proximity of the job to the Bryants’ residence.  Living close by will afford her to catch a glimpse of Charlie from time to time.  Mrs. Crawley, however, believes that this might lead to more heartache as soon as the Bryants learn how close she is to them.  Soon, Lady Violet invites Mrs. Crawley and Ethel to the Dowager house.  Both are surprised at finding Mrs. Bryant there to meet them.  Lady Violet took it upon herself to reach out to the Bryants in order to ascertain their stance on Ethel working near their residence.  In fact, Mrs. Bryant is apprehensive about keeping a mother away from her son.  She has even thought of having Ethel come see Charlie.  She, nevertheless, is concerned of confusing the child.  Ethel has already given the dilemma much thought, and had figured a plausible story to help explain her presence.  She is willing to be known to Charlie as his old nanny whom the Bryants employed before.  Mrs. Crawley worries about Mr. Bryant’s response on the matter, but Mrs. Bryant assures her that she will take care of her husband.  With that, Ethel is to accept the job offer from Mrs. Watson.  Ethel is overjoyed.

Lady Edith, Matthew, and Lady Rose arrive at Lady Rosamund’s mansion in London.  Not a minute had passed and Lady Rose is already up to no good.  The teenager sneaks into one of the rooms in order to make a phone call.  Lady Edith, on the other hand, goes to meet her editor to go over the article she wrote regarding the plight of former soldiers.  Knowing the somberness of the subject, she braces for her editor’s disapproval only to learn quite the opposite.  Her editor, in fact, delights in the idea of a woman taking a position on a man’s subject.  It does seem that her editor has taken a fancy to her.  With Lady Edith at the newspaper’s office, Lady Rose is left alone without a chaperon.  She rides a taxi to Warwick Square and misses dinner.  Unlucky for her, the driver of the taxi she took becomes concerned of the teenager that he informs Lady Rosamund’s maid of what the adolescent has been doing.  The maid, troubled at what she had heard, sends the driver up to see the masters that he may relay to them Lady Rose’s activities.  The driver informs the Crawleys that Lady Rose had taken his taxi to Warwick Square where she visited a friend for two hours.  He then had to drive the two to a seedy club called The Blue Dragon.

The Crawleys rush to The Blue Dragon where Lady Rose is dancing luridly with a much older man.  The dance ends and Lady Rose and her male friend return to their table where they kiss passionately only becoming aware of the presence of her relatives moments later.  In spite of Lady Rose’s shock at having been found, the Crawleys handle their meeting with grace and so did Terence Margadale, the married man who is with the teenager.  They learn that Terence was an employee of Lady Rose’s father and the teenager tries to elude punishment by making him sound like a family friend to which Lady Edith threatens to inform the teenager’s father of his keeping her company.  Matthew takes a different approach and manages to strike a deal with the adolescent.  He tells her of persuading Lady Rosamund and Lady Edith in keeping the revelation a secret if Lady Rose will promise not to consort with Terence again while she is in their charge.  Lady Rose, truly a naïve teenager, would not let go of Terence believing his promises of marriage.  Matthew enlightens the adolescent of the empty promises of a married man whose intentions are the least noble of men.  Lady Rose accepts Matthew’s deal and the three leave The Blue Dragon.

The reason for Matthew’s trip to London finally arrives.  He meets with Dr. Ryder to see if he is the reason Lady Mary has not yet bore a child.  The doctor, however, does not believe that there is a problem with Matthew.  Aside from the doctor’s expertise, Matthew also sought to find out if Lady Mary has come to see him.  Although it is unethical to discuss a patient with another patient, the doctor assures Matthew that he has not treated a Mrs. Crawley.  Moreover, he shares in his belief that Matthew and his wife will soon have a child.  Matthew makes his way down the doctor’s office and finds his wife posing as a Mrs. Levinson at reception.  Caught red-handed, there is nothing Lady Mary could do but to divulge the truth to her husband.  Lady Mary reveals that there was something wrong with her.  In fact, it involved a small operation to ensure that she is able to bear a child.  This troubles Matthew, but also relieves him after learning that it was the reason for her refusal to copulate.  Her chance meeting, however, came with pleasant news from the doctor for Dr. Ryder believes that Lady Mary will be pregnant in less than six months.  With Lady Mary’s secret exposed to her husband, there is no reason for them to catch different trains.  They along with Lady Edith fetch Lady Rose from Lady Rosamund’s house with Matthew informing a still furious Lady Rosamund that they are to keep the teenager’s recent antics from her parents unless Lady Rose makes the same mistake again.  They return to Downton dropping off the teenager at the Dowager house.  Lady Rose is suspicious of Lady Rosamund keeping her end of the bargain, but Lady Edith assures her that she will.  Lady Violet regrettably hears part of their conversation and becomes curious.  She cunningly coaxes Lady Rose into revealing her questionable activities in London without needing it for she had already arranged for her punishment.  Her grandniece is to travel with her maid to Scotland where she is to stay at Duneagle with dreary Lady Agatha.

All are worried about Mr. Barrow not receiving a reference from Mr. Carson.  All except Miss O’Brien and Jimmy, who yells at Ivy for showing pity for Mr. Barrow.  Fortunately, Mr. Bates has the good mind to inform Lord Grantham of the injustice done to Mr. Barrow.  Lord Grantham, like the rest of the family, knew all along what Mr. Barrow is and could not understand Mr. Carson’s difficulty to accept it.  He is more surprised to hear that Miss O’Brien, Mr. Barrow’s friend and confidant, has turned on him and that she is the one causing his troubles.  Mr. Bates speaks with Mr. Barrow shocking the former valet at his kindness towards him.  Mr. Barrow was certain that someone had instilled malice in Jimmy, but he did not know that it was Miss O’Brien.  Mr. Bates could not bear the thought of Mr. Barrow being sent out without a reference after ten years of service at Downton all because of Miss O’Brien’s ruinous instigation.  He asks if Mr. Barrow knows of anything he can use against Miss O’Brien, but sadly finds a defeated man.  Mr. Bates offers to be his weapon.  This gave Mr. Barrow renewed vigor as he remembers something that will put a stop to Miss O’Brien.

With Matthew back from London, he and Tom divulge their plan for the estate to Lord Grantham.  As expected, he becomes furious at the idea.  Lord Grantham fails to see that without earning a profit there could not be a Downton.  He suggests of other ways to earn a profit and speaks about investing in the Ponzi scheme for it offers a huge return in just ninety days.  Matthew can smell a fraud from miles away and warns Lord Robert against it.  He becomes incensed and reminds Lord Grantham what became of his last investment.  This prompts Lady Cora to come to her husband’s defense and Lady Mary to hers.  Tom tries to reason to Lord Grantham by making it clear that they are merely giving the farmers a choice.  It will still be up to the farmers to decide whether to accept it or not.  The plan is for them to buy larger units to allow them to meet the challenges of the modern world.  Lord Grantham still could not bear the thought of betraying the tenants who had put their trust in them.  Lady Cora then makes it clear that it is their role to maintain Downton as a source of employment and the plan Matthew put forth will ensure this.  The money Matthew invested in Downton will soon dry up if they are to carry on with their obsolete management of the estate, and this will only force them to leave their home and to leave the tenants with nothing.  Lord Grantham concedes, but not peacefully.

Mr. Bates invites Miss O’Brien to their cottage to speak to her about Mr. Barrow.  Anna is not too pleased at having Miss O’Brien be the first visitor at their house.  Mr. Bates having been in a state of helplessness before finds the desire to help Mr. Barrow whom he sees is in a similar situation as he once was.  Anna begins to understand his husband’s decision and supports him.  Mr. Bates questions Miss O’Brien’s sudden longing to ruin Mr. Barrow when he knew him to be a homosexual long before the incident with Jimmy.  He inveigles Miss O’Brien to persuade Jimmy to allow Mr. Barrow have a reference so the man can move on and start a new life somewhere else.   Mr. Bates uses a secret of Miss O’Brien to force her to comply with his request.  Learning that Mr. Bates is aware of her secret and that he threatened to divulge it for her noncompliance frightened Miss O’Brien.  The lady’s maid wastes no time to persuade Jimmy to rescind his blackmail and the footman submits to her advice, since he never wanted it to go that far in the first place.

Things appear to be looking up for Mr. Barrow for Lord Grantham is having second thoughts about letting his former valet go.  Mr. Bates is not too keen about this, but Lord Grantham seems to be persuaded by his desire to win the cricket match with the help of Mr. Barrow, who is good at the game.  Mr. Bates tries to convince his master to keep Mr. Barrow only until the cricket match is over, but Lord Grantham dislikes being seen as a user of people.  Learning of Lord Grantham’s wish, Mr. Carson discusses the matter with Mrs. Hughes, Mr. Bates, and Anna.  Mrs. Hughes recommends making Mr. Barrow an under butler much to Mr. Bates’ chagrin for the man now has a title that is superior to his.  Mr. Carson, however, assures the valet that there is not much merit in Mr. Barrow’s title.  Be this as it may, Mr. Bates believes he did himself a disservice for his good deed.  Anna continues to support her husband, but becomes curious at the phrase Mr. Barrow shared with him that Mr. Bates used against Miss O’Brien.  She learns that Mr. Barrow had told him to relay the message “Her ladyship’s soap.” to Miss O’Brien.  Both are unaware of the meaning of the phrase except that it had weight for Miss O’Brien agreed to help Mr. Barrow.  Moreover, the message frightened Miss O’Brien.  Mr. Bates is not the only one displeased with Mr. Barrow staying on at Downton.  Jimmy is shocked to hear it as well despite Lord Grantham’s expression of gratitude towards him for withdrawing his plan to report Mr. Barrow to the police.  Nevertheless, Lord Grantham promotes Jimmy to first footman delighting the young man and alarming Mr. Carson.

Matthew is displeased at his father-in-law’s lack of desire to support his vision.  Tom senses the frustration in his brother-in-law and takes it upon himself to enlighten Lord Grantham.  He tells his father-in-law his understanding that every member of the family must use their talent for the good of the estate.  Tom’s contribution is his diligence and knowledge of the land, while Matthew’s is the law and the nature of business.  Tom sees Lord Grantham as the one who has the best understanding of the responsibilities they owe to the people of Downton Abbey.  He believes that with all their talents, Downton has a genuine chance of surviving or even flourishing.  Tom is successful in enlightening his father-in-law to the things he is too upset to notice.  Lord Grantham agrees to provide his support if Tom agrees to join the house team at the upcoming cricket match.  Seeing how important winning the cricket match is to Lord Grantham, Tom agrees.  Matthew grateful for Tom’s success in gaining their father-in-law’s support offers to teach his brother-in-law the game of cricket.

Lady Edith feeling that her editor, Michael Gregson of The Sketch, has been showing interest in her becomes curious about him so much so that she phones The Daily Telegraph in order to gather some professional and personal information about him.  She schedules a meeting with him the moment she learns the truth about his editor.  Lady Edith confronts the editor about the impression she got from him.  Mr. Gregson confirms that he has been wooing her.  Moreover, he does not deny that he is a married man.  Lady Edith finds the idea of a married man courting another woman repugnant that she tenders her resignation.  Mr. Gregson, however, persuades her against it with an explanation that his wife is in an asylum.  He desires to divorce her, but the law prevents him from doing so for it finds a lunatic not responsible for the failure of a marriage.  Mr. Gregson conveys the delight he gets at reading Lady Edith’s column and at meeting with her.  He asks her to reconsider her resignation.

The much anticipated cricket match begins and the house team is performing quite well.  Mr. Barrow proved to be an excellent player, while Mr. Molesley proved to be inadequate at cricket despite his claims of talent.  All are shocked at Mr. Molesley’s poor performance after hearing him talk incessantly about cricket, all except his father who knew all along that his son could not play the game.  Fortunately, the other house team members especially Mr. Barrow had already accumulated enough points to ensure triumph.  The women delights in watching the men play, but Lady Violet has her own game.  Lady Violet uses her Machiavellian ways to coax Lady Rosamund into divulging Lady Rose’s secret.  The furious adolescent confronts Lady Edith and Lady Rosamund after hearing of her being sent the next day to Duneagle where she will stay with her most boring aunt.  Lady Cora, on the other hand, uses kindness to get her way.  Her display of compassion, patience, and generosity proved effective to Tom as he decides to reside at the Downton mansion while Sybbie is little.  The arrival of the police at the cricket match alarms Lord Grantham.  Luckily, the police arrived during the break avoiding unnecessary anxiety from players and spectators.  Lord Grantham and Mr. Carson learn that Alfred ended up reporting Mr. Barrow.  Lord Grantham speaks with Alfred to persuade him to withdraw his claims against the recently appointed under butler.  He returns with Alfred and speaks to the police with an apology that the young footman misinterpreted a roughhousing between two of the staff.  Therefore, it seems that Lord Grantham is beginning to get his way again, and Downton is becoming peaceful once again as Matthew mends fences with his father-in-law after hearing of his support for his vision.  Moreover, Tom, who has agreed to play for the house, wins them the game after catching the ball hit by Dr. Clarkson.

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