Downton Abbey
Episode Four

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A+ | 8 USERS: A+
Good Night, Sweet Princess

...while Lord Grantham is remarking how extraordinary the news Anna has just relayed is. He wonders how the police missed the connection so completely, but Anna explains that Mrs. Bartlett never spoke to them or to anyone. And despite Mrs. Bartlett's sneering initial reaction, I have to give Anna credit for going the utilitarian route of applying some cash to the situation. Not that that's what made the difference, according to Anna, as she claims that Mrs. Bartlett only came clean to her because she thought it couldn't make any difference now and was also only further proof of Bates' guilt. Boy, if Mrs. Bartlett is playing straight here, Vera certainly had the wool pulled over her eyes, no? Surprisingly, Lord Grantham sees that the situation is far from resolved, as even if she accepts that Bates didn't murder Vera, she may think that he drove her to suicide and as such will employ some frontier justice in allowing him to rot in prison. Anna suggests they should get a statement from her before she realizes its implications, and Lord Grantham says he'll telephone Murray to get the wheels in motion. He then congratulates Anna on her faith and diligence in finding the proof and Anna smiles, which is surprising, because I didn't think saintly self-sacrifice went hand in hand with taking compliments gracefully.

At breakfast, Edith has just read her post and delightedly announces that the editor of The Sketch saw her letter and wants her to write a weekly column on topics of her choosing relating to "the modern woman" and since I like Edith, I won't insult her by comparing her to Carrie Bradshaw. At least Edith won't be pretending that the column is enough to pay for her shoes. Matthew, approving as usual, asks if she'll write under her own name, but Lord Grantham sniffs that she won't have the option -- the editor is obviously only interested in her name and title. Edith deflates, as well you'd expect, and when Matthew starts to defend her, she tells him not to bother. "I'm always a failure in this family." She stomps out, to varying reactions from the men in the room.

Mrs. Byrd has apparently given her notice over the Ethel news and Isobel says she's sorry to hear it. Mrs. Byrd says in turn that she's sorry to say it, but she can't work alongside a woman "who has chosen that way of life." I think this decision is purely based on social and moral considerations rather than religious ones; still, I feel the need to point out that Isobel is behaving more according to the Golden Rule and the story of the Good Samaritan than anyone else around here. She offers Mrs. Byrd a month's wages, and I think Mrs. Byrd is rather taken aback that Isobel will let her go rather than refusing Ethel employment. Again, Isobel's strength of character and conviction is what makes her so admirable. Mrs. Byrd says she'll go back to Manchester and stay with her sister, who tells her there's plenty of work for a cook there and Isobel wishes her the best of luck. She leaves and Mrs. Byrd looks pretty stunned, but how long have you been working for the woman now?

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Downton Abbey




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