Sunday, October 26, 2014

Episode 3 Season 4 – Downton Abbey Episode Summary 4.3

Dame Nellie Melba sings at Downton Abbey
Episode Summary: Lady Cora throws a glamorous house party at Downton Abbey that culminates with a performance from the world famous opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba.  Nobility and aristocrats attend the house party including Lady Mary’s childhood friend, Lord Gillingham whose valet, Mr. Green, flirts with Anna Bates annoying Mr. Bates.  The last night of the house party, however, leads to a serious crime at Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey Episode 3 Season 4 Recap: Anthony Foyle, now Lord Gillingham following the death of his father, arrives at Downton Abbey along with other guests of Lady Cora’s house party.  Lady Mary remembers Lord Gillingham as a superior young man who found three little girls extremely tiresome.  It has been years since they saw each other last and she learns that Lord Gillingham no longer resides in his ancestral house after it served as a hospital during the war.  It now serves as a girls’ school.  He now resides at the Dower House, a residence Lady Mary visited once as a child.  She fondly remembers having tea with Lord Gillingham’s grandmother who spoiled her with ice cream that she got all over her dress.  Their re-acquaintance revealed that Lord Gillingham has not yet married nor sired children, but he is in the process of starting a family.Continue reading...

Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes learn that ten guests will be at Downton Abbey, but not all of them brought servants to attend to their needs as many have done so after the war.  They find that even nobility endured financial losses due to the war, one of which is Lady Raven, whom they learn is living a meager lifestyle.  So different it was years ago especially for Tom Branson, who is now part of the family and a guest at the party.  Miss Braithwaite sees him in a white tie and asks why they have not spoken since her return.  She expresses her desire to remain friends with him.  Tom agrees to maintain their acquaintance, but nothing more.  He makes his way to the party and speaks with the Duchess of Yeovil who appears to have become fond of him.  His little knowledge of the interests of nobility, however, makes him an insipid companion that the Duchess decides to converse with someone else.  Tom might have a person to converse with if Mrs. Crawley was there, but the woman decided to attend only the last night of the party in order to hear the opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba.  She finds attending the party inappropriate given her son’s recent passing.  It is, in fact, the first party the Crawleys has thrown after Matthew’s death and Mrs. Patmore is feeling out of practice and overwhelmed despite her staff’s competence.  Mrs. Hughes finds Mrs. Patmore up late at night preparing for the next day’s feast.  Meanwhile, Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson discuss where their esteemed guest shall dine given that she is not nobility.  Mr. Carson believes that entertainers cannot dine with nobility, which is why he instructs Mrs. Hughes to have Dame Nellie Melba dine in her room instead.  It is a decision Lord Grantham approved along with allowing all servants including the kitchen staff to hear Dame Nellie Melba sing.

Lady Mary goes riding with Lord Gillingham after failing to convince others to join them.  She learns that he is seeing the greatest heiress of the season, Mabel Lane Fox.  Although Lord Gillingham does not have issues with the match, he has reservations at the fact that it is a match both sides of the family approve.  Lady Mary advises that a match everyone approves of can turn out to be extremely happy as per her experience.  She confesses that she was wonderfully happy with Matthew despite everyone forcing them to fall for each other the moment he arrived at Downton Abbey.  Lord Gillingham finds her lucky to have known a great love.  Lady Mary did love Matthew.  However, she has come to realize that he had made her softer.  She wonders if she might be happier if she had been as tough as she was before.  Riding through the estate, Lord Gillingham comes to appreciate the Crawleys managing to keep it all in one piece.  Lady Mary, however, intimates that they are in danger of losing some of their land due to her father’s desire to sell land to pay for the tax bill.  With Lady Mary’s permission, Lord Gillingham recommends having Lord Grantham meet with the tax people to hear the best deal they can offer.  He is speaking out of experience for he had the same dilemma when his father died.  In the end, they were able to keep the land in exchange for their house.  Lady Mary finds it refreshing to have someone by her side.  She speaks to her father about it, but Lord Grantham remains intransigent and maintains his plan to sell land as a capital gain free of tax.  Lady Mary argues that doing so risks having an estate that cannot support the house.

Lord Gillingham’s valet, Mr. Green, flirts with Anna Bates.  Unfortunately, Anna is naïve of the man’s flirtation, but not Mr. Bates, who treats him with rudeness.  Anna speaks to her husband about it and Mr. Bates confesses that he has behaved rudely for the simple fact of disliking the valet for no clear reason.  Meanwhile, the kitchen maids are having trouble opening a jar.  Alfred and Jimmy try to prove their manhood by opening the jar.  Jimmy, with some effort, manages to open the jar.  He shows off his achievement by throwing the jar up in the air to catch it, but ends up on the floor with a broken jar.  Later he learns that he has sprained his wrist from his display of bravado preventing him from serving at dinner.

It appears that Mr. Sampson thrashed all his opponents at a game of poker and everyone is abuzz of his achievement.  He sets up another game that evening and Lord Grantham decides to join them.  Michael Gregson joins the game as well seizing an opportunity to spend time with Lord Grantham having proven that the man has been avoiding him.  Lord Grantham fails to listen to Lord Gillingham’s warning about Mr. Sampson’s card skills that he loses a large amount to him, one he asks the men to keep secret from Lady Cora.  Meanwhile, Lady Rose brings out the gramophone and invites people to dance.  Tom regrettably ends up dancing with the Duchess of Yeovil and Lady Mary ends up with Lord Gillingham.  Lady Mary, however, recognized the gramophone as the gift Matthew received as a present for his engagement with Lavinia, the same one they danced to that rekindled their passion for each other.  She excuses herself and runs up to her room.  She intimates to Anna of wondering for whom she truly mourns, Matthew or the person she was when they were together.  Anna assures her that she is a fine and strong person despite her self-doubt.  Later, Tom leaves the party for bed.  Miss Braithwaite sees him and asks about his evening.  Tom conveys feeling like a fool and out of place.  This seems to delight Miss Braithwaite.

The following day, Lady Violet sees Mrs. Crawley in town and urges her to attend the party that night.  Mrs. Crawley remains undecided about hearing Melba and confesses of avoiding happiness in her fear that it makes her forget about her deceased son.  Lady Violet quotes the poet Christina Rossetti in an attempt to help Mrs. Crawley realize that she can allow herself to be happy.  Meanwhile, Mr. Carson learns that Mr. Molesley has been delivering groceries for Bakewell’s.  In need of a footman, he offers Mr. Molesley a temporary job as a footman believing that the man will be grateful of the opportunity.  Mr. Molesley, however, could not hide his disappointment at the job offer; he accepts it nonetheless.  While others are busy attending to the guests at dinner, Mr. Green organizes a game of Racing Demon for the rest of the servants causing laughter and fun at the servant’s hall.

Mrs. Crawley’s presence at the last night of the house party shows that Lady Violet was successful at her persuasion.  Meanwhile, Lady Cora has noticed Dame Nellie Melba’s absence at the drawing room.  She learns from Mr. Carson that Lord Grantham has agreed for the world-renowned opera singer to have dinner served in her room believing it inappropriate that she mingle with the aristocrats.  Lady Cora seats Lord Grantham beside the opera singer at dinner as punishment.  Lord Grantham learns that Dame Nellie Melba is quite a wine connoisseur and finds a talking point for conversation.  Tom seats beside Mrs. Crawley and observes a look of disapproval at seeing Lady Mary enjoying a conversation with Lord Gillingham.  Tom points out that it is the first time she has laughed since Matthew died.  Although Mrs. Crawley wishes Lady Mary happiness, she finds that she could not allow herself to be merry given her loss.  Downstairs, Mrs. Patmore frenetically instructs her staff with the presentation of the meals and causes more trouble than help when she suffers from what appears to be a heart attack.  Fortunately, Alfred steps in and makes the sauces for the dinner that the guests thoroughly enjoyed.  Oblivious to the commotion are the servants enjoying the game Racing Demon including Anna.  Mr. Bates puts an end to their enjoyment with reproach for their insensitivity at not knowing that Mrs. Patmore has taken ill.  Anna, however, rebukes her husband in private for his cantankerous attitude and thanks Mr. Green for providing entertainment for the servants.  As it turns out, Mrs. Patmore merely had a panic attack due to the stress of the house party.

The conversation with Mrs. Crawley and the feelings that surfaced during the house party brought Tom to speak to Lord Grantham of having come to a realization that he does not belong in Downton Abbey.  Lord Grantham disregards Tom’s revelation and leaves to hear Dame Nellie Melba sing.  Masters and servants alike watch the world-renowned opera singer, Nellie Melba.  A few of the male guests led by Mr. Sampson sneak off the performance to play cards.  Mr. Gregson surprises Mr. Sampson with a winning hand, a feat he found impossible but did not dare challenge.  The other men take their leave after losing their money leaving Mr. Gregson alone with Mr. Sampson who uncharacteristically loses to him.  Mr. Gregson uncovered Mr. Sampson’s chicanery on the card table.  He threatens him with exposure that will leave Mr. Sampson banned from the clubs he frequents.  This allowed him to blackmail the card sharp into surrendering all the IOUs he accumulated from the unsuspecting aristocrats in exchange for his silence.  Anna, on the other hand, develops a bit of a headache and makes her way downstairs to take something to relieve the pain.  Mr. Green follows her to the deserted kitchen and rapes her while Mr. Bates and the other servants are upstairs listening to Dame Nellie Melba sing Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro from the opera Gianni Schicchi, a song she dedicated to love and lovers.  The opera singer’s rendition of “Done lieta usci”, Mimi’s aria in Puccini’s La Boheme, left Anna’s screams unheard.  Mrs. Hughes notices Mr. Green return upstairs, but still no sight of Anna.

Dame Nellie Melba’s performance concludes the house party and the guests leave Downton Abbey including Mrs. Crawley who for the first time since her son’s death allowed herself to feel happy.  Mr. Gregson, on the other hand, wins the card players favor including Lord Grantham when he returns the IOUs they owe to Mr. Sampson.  Meanwhile, Tom Branson sulks in a corner.  The disappointment in his conversation with Lord Grantham earlier that evening still weighs in his head.  Miss Braithwaite plays the role of savior and brings him a glass of whiskey, while the other servants return downstairs.  She later enters the room of Tom Branson.

The sight of a distraught and badly beaten Anna Bates hiding in the dark corner of her office shocks Mrs. Hughes, but she knew immediately from the poor lady’s maid’s appearance what had happened to her.  Anna pleads Mrs. Hughes to keep her violation a secret especially from her husband, Mr. Bates, for she fears that he will kill the man who wronged her.  Anna could not risk her husband committing a crime given his prior criminal conviction.  Mrs. Hughes reluctantly agrees to Anna’s wish going against her better judgment of reporting a serious crime and having a doctor examine the violated woman.  Mr. Bates finally sees his wife and is alarmed at the sight of her bruised face.  Anna feigns having hit the sink when she fainted from her dizziness and explains the change of clothes after severely soiling her previous ones.  Anna’s obvious fear and refrainment from being touched tells Mr. Bates that something awful has happened to his wife.  Anna avoids Mr. Bates and walks home alone.

Watch Episode 3 of Season 4 of Downton Abbey
Next Downton Abbey Episode Summary: Episode 4 of Season 4
Previous Downton Abbey Episode Summary: Episode 2 of Season 4
More Downton Abbey Episode Guides

0 Pennies for your thoughts: