Downton Abbey
Season 4, Episode 3

Episode Report Card
admin: B | 62 USERS: B+
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The Proposal
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

As we'll soon learn, it's the morning after the terrible event of last week's episode, and as mournful woodwind music plays, Anna makes her way toward the Abbey -- alone. Later, in one of the downstairs room, Bates finds her polishing a pair of shoes and asks why she didn't wait for him. Without meeting his eyes, she tells him she wanted to finish the job before breakfast. Obviously unconvinced, he asks if he's done something, but she tells him no. "Nobody's done anything." She leaves the room, but in a moment she wishes she hadn't, as when she gets in view of the breakfast table, she sees her attacker munching away on a piece of toast without a care in the world. As if she hasn't been through enough, there's only one empty chair so she has to sit next to him (I suppose it would look odd if she balked, and as she's said and will say again, she doesn't want anyone to figure it out) as Thomas asks what happened. She curtly replies that she fell and cut her lip, and soon she can't take sitting there anymore and says she's going up, brushing aside Bates pointing out that Mary hasn't rung yet. Bates then asks Mrs. Hughes how Anna was when she lent her the dress the evening prior adding that Anna has a tendency to minimize her bad experiences, but Mrs. Hughes gives nothing away as Green watches with hooded eyes. After the bell rings and Edna heads off, Thomas asks why there's such a pall over the table, to which Carson replies, "There's something rather foreign about high spirits at breakfast." I don't follow his math there, but it still sounds funny. He goes to oversee the guests' departure and then Green, looking dark, heads out as well. I'm not a good enough writer to express what I think he deserves in words, but it's pretty bad.

Outside, Green smugly tells Carson he'll remember the visit for a long time as Mrs. Hughes privately stares daggers. Back in the foyer, Lord Grantham gives Gregson some more words of gratitude, after which the Duchess brightly remarks to Branson that it looks like he'll be glad to see the back of them. He replies that that's not true, but he suspects he wasn't much fun to be with, so the Duchess tells him she was clumsy and stupid in the period following her own spouse's death. "It was because it felt disloyal to manage anything properly without him." She's being wonderfully kind, but I'd expect the concept of being disloyal to Sybil is probably a bit painful for him to hear after the events of the night before. Branson doesn't seem to mind, though, as he somewhat hopefully notes that she could manage eventually and she tells him yes: "And so can you." The old bat was worth talking to after all!

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Downton Abbey

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