Downton Abbey
Season 4 – Episode One

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B | 115 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT
Choose Life (How Mary Got Her Groove Back)

"Charlie Grigg is going to stay with Mrs. Crawley." You can imagine, I'm sure, Carson's disbelieving delivery of these words to Mrs. Hughes, but she merely explains that "the authorities" have released him into Isobel's care. Mrs. Hughes is going to collect him on Friday. I've got no problem with her do-goodery, but this is the woman who's so busy she couldn't assume Cora duties for more than a day, so does she have time to go running such errands, even if they are in the realm of humanitarian mercy? Carson actually sounds less angry and more flabbergasted that Mrs. Hughes would impose on Isobel at a time like this "when she's almost broken by grief," but much as Branson and the Dowager Countess perceive the only way to shake Mary out of her darkness is via action, Mrs. Hughes tells Carson it's precisely because of her grief that she's doing this. Carson's like, I don't get it, and Mrs. Hughes is like, you wouldn't. Well… spell it out, Mrs. Hughes! How's he ever going to learn?

Lord Grantham catches his mother on her way out and is like, sorry about Mary, but we must protect her from the world and make sure her grief doesn't upset her delicate flower of a constitution any further, and the Dowager Countess is like, thanks for reminding me yet again that I raised an idiot! She then co-opts Edith into the Friday lunch, saying she'll need her there to sell Molesley to Lady Shackleton and when Cora asks if she means as a servant, the Dowager Countess replies, "No. As a Chinese laundryman!" Grandma gets sassy when she stays up too late.

Anna hears a commotion downstairs, and following Alfred outside we soon discover that Ivy cannot hold her liquor so well; she's yakking up onto the brick wall as Jimmy James warily says she got "a bit tiddly" down at the pub. Alfred carries her in so Anna can attend to her, and after Anna and Alfred both have a go at Jimmy James for getting Ivy in trouble, Anna takes her off to bed. Alfred then squawks at Jimmy James for not really liking Ivy, and honestly, she does better belong with Alfred because they're both dumb as rocks.

The next day, Carson runs into Isobel, who looks very hurt as she explains that she came to see Master George, but Nanny West didn't think it a good time. (Not clear if she looks down on Isobel or if she was just being her usual imperious self.) She starts to head out, but Carson stops her to tell her he hopes she's not taking Grigg in on Carson's behalf, as he'd hate for her to spend energy on "an unworthy recipient," especially at such a time. Isobel, however, palpably becomes far more like her old self as she tells him she'd almost forgotten she had any energy or kindness to give. She smiles: "So that's something, isn't it?" Okay, I guess there was no need for Mrs. Hughes to explain herself if Isobel was going to do it for her.

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Downton Abbey

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