Downton Abbey
Season 4 – Episode One

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

Downstairs, Jimmy James is impressed about Phyllis Dare coming to perform in a musical in York, and Ivy's the only one who's never heard of her, as she's never been to the theater. I mean, not that I expect any culture requirements in her job, but if even Daisy knows about the Dare sisters maybe Ivy really is kind of a rube.

Lord Grantham has taken the letter to the Dowager Countess, who tells him that of course he has to share it with Mary, but he wonders if it's wise given that it might turn out to have no legal status. The Dowager Countess, however, lets us in on the secret when she replies that Matthew intended Mary to be his sole heiress, and that will mean a great deal to her emotionally even if it comes to nothing financially. Lord Grantham says he'll send it to Murray for an opinion, but the Dowager Countess is firm that Mary should read it before that happens -- or is Lord Grantham trying to hide from the idea that he would prefer to be in sole charge of the estate? Lord Grantham well-I-nevers that Mary won't want to get involved regardless of the dispensation of Matthew's estate, and I'd ask if he came down with amnesia and as such doesn't remember the end of Part One, but that would just get in the Dowager Countess's way: "When you talk like that, I'm tempted to ring for Nanny and have you put to bed with no supper." Oh, did you also employ Nanny West? Also, HA!

Dr. Clarkson comes down from examining Grigg and tells Mrs. Hughes that there's nothing wrong with him that a little hard work and exercise wouldn't cure. Mrs. Hughes thinks finding him a job at his age is the issue, of course, but Clarkson tells her Isobel has things well in hand before appreciatively adding that Mrs. Hughes obviously knew what she was doing when she brought him there. Isobel then calls for Mrs. Hughes to join them, and we cut to her complying, with Grigg looking much better for his stay with Isobel, although he still has at least a remnant of that cough. His spirits sag, though, when Mrs. Hughes has nothing to tell him about Carson visiting, and he even calls her on making up a story about Carson having sent him his best wishes. He cryptically adds that Carson "thinks it were all my fault, but it weren't," and if you want anything less vague, you're going to have to wait until a lot farther than the five-minute mark.

After Daisy announces that they're going to have a full table upstairs that night, Alfred starts in about Ivy and Jimmy James YET AGAIN and I really Can't With This, so let's skip ahead to Mrs. Patmore having a crisis about having to pick up some fish from York, whereupon Jimmy James -- his eye presumably on theater tickets -- offers to go for her if she'll make the request to Carson. Meanwhile, in town, Anna catches sight of Molesley working as part of a tar-laying team, and he's obviously embarrassed to be seen doing menial work and looking no cleaner than a chimney sweep, but she accosts him anyway, whereupon he tells her he owes money all over the village and is desperate for work. Anna tries to bright-side it, but he's disconsolate, so she asks how much he owes, and the answer is probably north of twenty pounds. Anna, looking rather upset and moved, gingerly asks if she and Bates might lend or even give him some money, but he tells her he couldn't accept it, although he does appreciate the offer. The foreman then barks at Molesley to get back to work, which frankly I'm surprised took this long.

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Downton Abbey




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