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)

Downstairs, Edna is teary-eyed, as she did something to one of Cora's blouses (probably burned it with an iron, although I can't be sure), but Thomas tells her to take heart and follow his plan. You'd think Thomas might be a little more appreciative of what Bates and Anna did for him in regard to the Jimmy James scandal, but I suppose it's in character that one joke at his expense makes everything forgotten. Down the hall, Bates tells Anna he thinks it would be nice for people in the village to sign the card for Gwen (he tellingly lists Molesley among them), and he'll be happy to go make the rounds. Anna is surprised, as she doesn't think of Bates as social, and Bates replies that he doesn't need to be social when he has her. Well okay, but… that doesn't explain the errand, then?

Downstairs, Isobel has told Mrs. Hughes that she wrote to a great many places inquiring for a job on Grigg's behalf, but the manager of the opera house in Belfast got back to her saying they need a stage doorkeeper and that Grigg would fit the bill quite nicely. Mrs. Hughes then gently brings up Matthew's letter, saying she hopes it wasn't too upsetting, but Isobel tells her it was a relief, and it made her so happy that he was finally heard, although she's worried about what the ensuing developments may mean for Mary. And as much credit I and everyone else in the world give Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton is absolutely wonderful in this role and has always been right near the top of my list even if they gave her the most to do back in Season One.

Referring to the little dog from the box, Mary says she'll keep it on her dressing table to remind her that Matthew is on her side. Anna tries to tell her that everyone is on her side, which is almost literally true, but Mary -- clearly still upset -- counters that Lord Grantham gave her "such a whacking" at dinner, and he's clearly glad to have Downton back under his control. Anna points out that Lord Grantham always speaks highly both of Matthew and the changes he made, but Mary thinks that while that may be true, Lord Grantham now thinks he can manage alone. "And the question is, can he?" Is no one going to bring up what a pig's ear he made of it at the beginning of last season?

Rose is listening to Roaring Twenties music when Anna turns up with a selection of Mary's belts, as she wanted to borrow one. Rose beckons her in and shows her a flyer for a thé dansant before saying how Cora will never let her go without a chaperone, and with Edith in London and Mary "not in the mood," would Anna consider it? Anna's like, first off, this looks like something for servants and farm workers, not ladies, and when Rose counters that she really wants to try the one-step out, Anna tells her there's no way she can do it without asking Mary. Rose wheedles that it'll just be so much fun and she knows from Duneagle how Anna loves to dance, but Anna stands firm. Anna, remember how Bates was just saying you've stayed young? Here's your chance to prove him right!

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Downton Abbey

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