Downton Abbey
Season 4 – Episode One

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

In his office, Carson looks at the photo of that woman again and appears moved; cut to the train station the next day, with Isobel, Mrs. Hughes and Dr. Clarkson come with Grigg to see him off. When the train arrives, it sends up an expected cloud of smoke -- out of which eventually steps Carson. Well, he was in the theater; I doubt he could resist that bit of flair. Grigg steps forward and the two of them take a little walk; we learn the source of the problem is that Alice chose Grigg "all those years ago," but Grigg tells him that their marriage never worked, and they separated long before her death five years earlier. He went to see her on her deathbed, from which she told Grigg that Carson was the better man. It makes for a nice story from Carson's point of view but as parting words to your estranged husband go those are pretty stone cold, no?

Grigg goes on that Alice loved Carson but was too blind to see it at the time, and he needs Carson to know that at the time, Alice chose him honestly -- he never sought to steal her away. Isobel then chimes in to tell Grigg he's going to have to board, so he opens the door, but turns back to shake Isobel's hand and thank her. He then tells Carson their paths probably won't cross again, so it'd be nice if they shook hands and put everything behind them, and Carson removes his glove and obliges. They wish each other well, and after Grigg playfully calls Carson "Charlie," he's gone. Carson insists that Isobel pass on to him any expenses she incurred on Grigg's behalf, and after protesting initially, she understands that it's important to him and acquiesces. Carson then walks right past Mrs. Hughes, which: rude, but she takes no offense and catches up with him to suggest they walk together; they head off back to Downton, and we're out. Next time: Tom Cullen shows up, and although it's a very different role from that of Weekend, I'm still pretty psyched.

John Ramos is a writer and film producer living in Los Angeles. His new film, a documentary on online privacy and the exploitation of personal data called Terms And Conditions May Apply, a New York Times Critics' Pick, is now on iTunes here. You can get news on it from the film's Twitter accountor website, or check out to learn how to protect your privacy. Also, you can email John at, follow him on Twitter at, or check out his blog, "Pull Up A Chair," which he'd just love for you to stop by.

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Downton Abbey




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