Downton Abbey
Season 4 – Episode One

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

We stay with her as she pauses irresolutely on the stairs, though, and then she reverses course -- and we cut to her entering Carson's office. She immediately apologizes for her behavior, and although Carson tells her there's no need, she pushes on and tells Carson that the Dowager Countess agrees with him about how she's let her grief dominate her. Carson at least says that doesn't surprise him before asking if this means she's returning to the land of the living, and she replies that she certainly knows she's spent too long in the land of the dead. The hair-splitting only emboldens Carson as he tells her they were all very fond of Matthew, and this is too much for Mary, who breaks down in wracking sobs to which she may not have given in since Matthew died. Carson comes to her and comforts her in a way that, whether due to custom or temperament, I think her own father never could, and as he holds her in his arms and the musical cue they always played over Matthew and Mary's romantic scenes kicks up, he soothingly tells her to go on and have a good cry. "That's what's needed now. And when you're ready, you can get to work. Because you are strong enough." Aww. Again, they're pushing through Matthew's death quickly from a narrative standpoint, but the emotions depicted are affecting, and it's nice to see how it exposes that the older servants really are in a way part of the family.

Mary wonders if she's really strong enough, especially given that Lord Grantham doesn't seem to agree, but Carson kindly asks if she doesn't owe it to Matthew to protect his work and fight for his changes? "To steer Downton in the right direction?" Sounding calmer already, she thanks Carson for always being ready with a shot of self-confidence, and he smiles as big as he ever does when he assures her that will never change. They bid each other goodnight and it's quite lovely.

Less lovely is the racket that Mrs. Hughes suddenly hears, and when she goes to investigate, she finds Mrs. Patmore having broken a bowl thanks to her inability to control the eggbeater. Mrs. Hughes is like, great, first Nanny West is a psycho and now this, but Mrs. Patmore barely bats an eye at the mention of child abuse before complaining that her lack of proficiency with modern gadgets is going to leave her unable to join the future, so to calm her down Mrs. Hughes offers to help her clean up the mess. I don't know, Mrs. Patmoreā€¦ maybe you can be the first on your block to get proficient with the use of a liquefier? As they clean, the two women start gossiping about Nanny West, which shows they're getting back to normal, I guess.

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Downton Abbey

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