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)

In less silly matters, Isobel is looking similar to Mary in both attire and demeanor; she also apparently shares with her daughter-in-law a neglect of seeing Master George. And while Isobel does wonder about the injustice of the division of money between Mary and her son, it's with none of her signature passion and outrage. She tonelessly goes on that it's so unlike Matthew not to have made a will, and Edith is the one who gets a little worked up as she counters that he thought death was ages away, as it should have been. Edith offers to help in any way she can, but Isobel pauses for a moment before getting to her feet: "I'm grateful. But you see, when your only child dies… then you're not a mother anymore. You're not anything, really. That's what I'm trying to get used to." As usual with this show, we're going to get through the grieving process at narrative light speed, so all the more reason to appreciate Penelope Wilton's understated, but poignant heartache while we can. Edith's voice trembles as she points out that Isobel is a grandmother, and she's going to be a wonderful one. Isobel says nothing, but a small smile does escape as she touches Edith's cheek in gratitude.

Mrs. Hughes comes in with a letter for Carson, but he gets gruff even when he sees the return address ("not this again"), and the letter's not open two seconds before it gets crumpled up and thrown in the trash. So Carson, you don't want a free electric toaster when you open an account at the Downton Savings and Loan? He then gives Mrs. Hughes a brittle lecture having to do with an upholsterer who's coming by before stomping out of the room, whereupon Mrs. Hughes takes it upon herself to see what's up his bum by fishing the letter out of the trash as the usual Strings of Secret Snoopery play.

In town, a woman catches sight of Rose's ad, which asks for a "first-rate lady's maid skilled at sewing and arranging hair." When the woman enters the building, we see it's Edna, she of Canoodling With Shirtless Branson While The Family's Away At Duneagle, and when she asks who's looking for a lady's maid, the postmistress is like, um, three guesses? She then recalls that Edna used to work there, and we get all dramatic with the push-in as Edna is like, I did. It hasn't been that long, dear; it's not like you're asking us to remember Sybil! She does announce, however, that she's been studying to become a lady's maid, so you can see where this is going. (Possibly to a place of shirtless tension, but probably not.)

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Downton Abbey

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