Downton Abbey
Season 4, Episode 4

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 63 USERS: A
Bygones Not Gone
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Bates dramatically emerges from his house, alone, and then we cut to a very haunted Anna, who stares off into the space of her new room before attempting to cover what look like marks below her eyes from crying. Cut to her coming down the stairs and telling Bates he doesn't need to wait for her -- as apparently he's been doing every morning since she moved out -- but he tells her he wants to be the first to greet her. In tones of formal bickering, she replies that there's no need, but he demurs that there certainly is and will be until she tells him what's gone wrong between them. The argument is obviously going nowhere, so it's just as well when a forty-ish woman appears and Bates wishes "Mrs. Baxter" a good morning. After it's established that Baxter has a sewing machine, Bates asks Anna what she makes of her, and when Anna replies (dropping the edge in her tone) that she thinks she's nice, Bates agrees -- which makes him wonder what she sees in Thomas. Anna quotes the line that lent itself to a great UK show and a terrible American adaptation -- "there's naught so queer as folk" -- before her pained voice returns and she points out they'll miss breakfast if they don't hurry. Well, Bates doesn't seem to have much of an appetite, Anna, but I daresay you've used flimsier excuses to get away from him recently.

At breakfast, Mrs. Patmore softly asks Mrs. Hughes if she's all right with the kitchen staff training Alfred for his exam, but Mrs. Hughes obviously is like, it's Carson who needs to rubber-stamp it. You'd think this might be covered with a bit more private of a discussion, but Carson has always had a soft spot for Alfred, and he compliments him for his general work ethic before signing off on the idea. The bell then rings, and everyone gets to their feet, after which we cut to Baxter serving Cora her breakfast on her customary tray. From the way she says she thinks she's remembered everything, it seems like either this is Baxter's first day (or at least her first full day) on the job or it's the first time she's serving without Anna helping out, and Cora raises an eyebrow at the one unusual element in front of her. Baxter, however, explains that she's heard Americans often drink orange juice with their breakfast, so she took the liberty of serving some, and Cora appreciatively notes how considerate she is. Baxter smiles and heads out, passing Lord Grantham on the way, who tells Cora that Branson and Mary "have summoned me to the library" with an idea, and when Cora hopes they're not going to fight about it, Lord Grantham takes exception to his wife's warning tone: "How can I answer that when I don't know what it is?" Hard to argue, Lord Grantham, and yet you have to admit her comment isn't exactly unwarranted.

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Downton Abbey




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