Downton Abbey
Season 4 – Episode One

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

Edith arrives in London to find Gregson waiting for her at the station. She's delighted, as she thought he'd be at the office, but he wastes no time in telling her about his "idea" -- he's learned that in certain other countries like Portugal, Greece and "even Germany" -- lunacy is legal grounds for divorce. Edith is like, that's nice, but it would involve moving, no? Gregson asks if Edith would come with him were he to decide to move to Germany, and Edith looks overwhelmed, so it's just as well that at that moment she spots "Burns," Rosamund's chauffeur, and bids Gregson goodbye until that night. Much less good: Rosamund isn't actually in the episode.

Nanny West comes waddling into the sitting room, both kids in tow, to find the family and asks if she's early, but Mary explains that tea was actually served a bit late. Seeing that Thomas is clearing up, she asks if she can give him a hand; whether she's being sincere or not, he acidly replies that he can manage. Young Sybil goes running into Branson's arms as Nanny West gives George to Mary (in retrospect, it's easy to notice how demonstrative she is with George and how very much not she is with Sybil). Mary doesn't look particularly cheered, but does at least let us get out of the scene without handing the baby back.

In other mourner news, the Dowager Countess is now on Isobel duty, and she echoes Edith's point that Isobel has George to live for. Isobel agrees that she's interested, but tells the Dowager Countess she doesn't want to drive Mary mad by interfering. The Dowager Countess: "It's the job of grandmothers to interfere." Whether or not you agree, I like the Dowager Countess regarding Isobel as a co-conspirator in that way. The bell rings, and Isobel supposes it'll be Molesley, as he requested an audience with her, and the Dowager Countess asks if she might stay, "or is it a secret assignation?" Humor of the line aside, the Dowager Countess framing it as if those are the only two choices pretty much guarantees she's getting her way. Love. Molesley is thrown by the Dowager Countess's presence, but that doesn't stop Isobel from asking what he wants, so he plucks up his courage and asks if she'd consider giving him his old job back. Despite her interest in Molesley, the Dowager Countess immediately regrets forcing her presence and rises to go, but Molesley tells her there's no reason for him to keep it a secret -- he's lost his job, "for obvious reasons," and he needs a new situation. Isobel, however, regretfully tells him that she's now "an old widow who eats off a tray," and as such doesn't need a butler. The Dowager Countess gives it one last shot, whispering that just because she's an old widow is no reason to eat off a tray, but hilarity of the delivery notwithstanding, Isobel is unmoved. Molesley makes to go, but the Dowager Countess asks where they might find him should they hear of anything suitable, so he tells her he's staying with his father for the time being. She nods, whereupon he withdraws, and we don't hear it but I wouldn't be surprised if the Dowager Countess isn't quite finished discussing the horrors of eating off a tray.

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Downton Abbey




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