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)

Upstairs, Edith comes in for breakfast and is like, "So… Lady Flintshire nicked Mom's maid while her daughter's living with us, huh?" She pronounces it "absolutely disgraceful" just as a sheepish Rose enters; upon being questioned, she reluctantly admits that her mother thought O'Brien was great with hair. Edith says she'll be in London the next day and offers to put an ad in The Lady, after which Lord Grantham and Branson exchange some quick words regarding Downton's management and Branson suggests they invite Mary to tour the grounds. Lord Grantham replies that he shouldn't bother Mary as she's "got enough on her plate." If that's a joke about the fact that Michelle Dockery probably weighs ninety pounds soaking wet, I'll take it. When Lord Grantham is gone, Edith is like, Rose, seriously, so Rose admits that she never thought her mother would go through with it, and Edith looks at Branson, who politely makes it seem like he could ever care about this.

Upstairs, Anna offers Mary a nice lavender shawl in case she'd like to go walking, and Mary's like thanks, but the chances of me wearing anything other than black are even smaller than the minute possibility of me venturing outside Downton's walls. The nanny we briefly saw earlier enters with "Master George" in her arms; she brightly tells Mary she's taking him for some air and thought she might like to join, but Mary's like no thanks before kissing the "poor little orphan." When nanny and child are gone, Anna sharply reminds Mary that George doesn't meet the dictionary definition of "orphan," at least, but Mary's like, he's not actually poor either… so what's your point? Well, it's nice to know she's still witty even with her senses dulled by grief.

Speaking of black-clad women who can turn a phrase, the Dowager Countess exits the town church and chats with Molesley the Elder (someone uses the title later; it works for me) before dolefully observing Matthew's headstone, which is just being put in six months after death, deferring, as Molesley the Elder explains, to the custom of allowing the grave to settle for that period of time. Possibly then looking to lighten the mood, the Dowager Countess asks after Molesley the Younger, but Molesley the Elder tells her he hasn't found another position yet, and while they've let him stay at Downton for the moment, it can't go on forever and they're not paying him to boot. The Dowager Countess points out that he's a properly trained valet and guesses he could even be a butler, and it speaks well of her that she's taking such an interest, but if Carson heard that opinion he might break something in stopping himself from rolling his entire body. Molesley the Elder says he hopes she's right, but points out that it's a changing world and the Dowager Countess sighs that he doesn't have to tell her. I bet she even knows what a weekend is now!

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Downton Abbey

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