Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Downton Abbey - Series 2, Episode 4

1918 and the convalescents are convalescing.  There's to be a concert and Mary is going to sing.  Cora has taken over because it is her house after all and Isobel is feeling incredibly left out.  She confronts Cora, even insults her a little, but Cora cannot be swayed.  Isobel does what she can to feel useful and that means quitting her work at Downton and taking a position in Paris.

Mary clears things up with Violet regarding Lavinia's scandal.  Violet is (correctly) skeptical of Lord Newsie but there's nothing to be done about it now.  Robert has had a letter from Lord Newsie about Mary's hand and he's (correctly) skeptical about him as well.  Robert still has hope that she and Matthew will work things out and advises Mary to write Matthew about her intention of marrying Lord Newsie. Matthew gets the letter but has a mission on his mind.  Good thing he's got William backing him up.

O'Brien and Thomas are busy gossiping about Bates and Lang (whom she stands up for) and Daisy catches the bit about Bates being in a pub not too far from Downton.  Daisy lets slip about Bates to Hughes and Carson who then let Thomas have it for not telling them.  Of course he doesn't report to them anymore so he really doesn't care. Carson gets word to Robert who calls Anna in to discuss it.  She admits that she's known and explains why Bates hasn't come to the house (the dirt his wife has and because things ended poorly between Robert and Bates).

Over at Crawley House, Molesley and Mrs. Byrd (the cook) are bored without Matthew and Isobel around.  Molesley decides he can offer his services to Carson and maybe even slide into the open valet position.  A hungry former soldier enters the house asking for food.  Mrs. Byrd feeds him and is soon feeding lots of wounded soldiers.  Mrs. Pattmore and Daisy find out what she's doing and offer their help.

Sybil is wandering the grounds and presumably daydreaming about Branson.  Earlier Mary had seen Sybil and Branson in a deep discussion by the car.  She asked Sybil about their relationship but she's evasive and says she's not even sure of his feelings for him. 

Daisy tells Edith that William and Matthew were due to visit and should have been home by now.  Edith tells Robert who agrees to find out what has happened to them.  We know that Matthew and William stumbled across some Germans with loaded guns and had to make a run for it.  Robert finds out that they are indeed missing but there are many explanations which don't have to include them being dead.

At dinner Violet airs her concerns that Sybil has made a possibly inappropriate war-time friendship but doesn't mention Branson by name.  Sybil's sure that Mary has ratted her out but Mary tries to convince her that she never mentioned anything to Violet.  Again Sybil says that nothing has happened with him but that he has made promises to her.

O'Brien tries to get Pattmore in trouble with Mrs. Hughes by suggesting that Pattmore is stealing food from the house.  When that doesn't accomplish anything O'Brien goes to Cora with the same story and adds that they must be selling it and splitting the profits with Mrs. Byrd.  Cora is intrigued and wants to see this for herself.  They go to the house and see Molesley, Byrd, Pattmore and Daisy feeding former soldiers.  Cora asks where the food came from and Pattmore assures her it's bought with the money the army provides for feeding the convalescing soldiers.  Cora tells her not to use the money anymore but use the house money instead.  Then she puts a sullen O'Brien to work and gets to work in the soup kitchen herself.  Awwww!

Oh! I almost forgot, Mrs. Hughes suggested to Molesley that he start dressing Robert, which is exactly what he hoped would happen.  Before he leaves Downton he mentions to her that he saw an officer near the servants quarters.  Hughes investigates and finds Ethel in flagrante with said officer.  Hughes fires Ethel on the spot and blames herself for not putting a stop to it earlier.

Robert visits Bates at the pub and they set things right because they are good and righteous men.  Bless 'em.  Bates catches Robert in on the deal with his wife but leaves out the part about Mary and Pamuk.  They talk as old friends and it warms my heart. Robert even asks Bates to return and thankfully Bates agrees.  Bates returns to the house to a much different welcome than the first time he entered the house.  Poor Molesley gets the news that he won't be needed much longer.  Dude, Bates is always getting in his way.  If there's anyone who should wish him harm it should be Molesley.  But no, O'Brien and Thomas start their nefarious planning almost immediately.  In fact Dr. Clarkson warns Thomas not to be so demanding with Daisy and he and O'Brien immediately assume it was Bates who brought this to Clarkson's attention (it was actually Mrs. Hughes).

Sybil tells Branson that Mary knows they have a relationship and instead of being concerned he's just happy she used the word "we" when referring to them.  However Sybil isn't quite ready to give up her whole world for a man she's not sure she loves.

Edith tells Mary she should know that Matthew is missing and is very kind about it.  For once Mary knows Edith isn't trying to upset her on purpose.  Mary is quite upset about it and Anna adds on that William is missing too and consoles her.  Now the only person who doesn't know is Cora but Robert soon tells her.

It's time for the concert but the Downton folks aren't up for trying to cheer up the soldiers.  Robert gives Mary a pep talk and she sings with Edith accompanying her.  Mary even makes a crack that it's the one time they do something together.  Violet hilariously whispers to Robert, "Now I've seen everything."  The room joins in on the song but the room goes quiet when Matthew and William enter.  YAY!!!  I'm desperate for him to go up front and sing with Mary and I'm given that pleasure, brief though it was.  Even Daisy seems happy to see William and I hope she's coming around about him.

The episode ends with Bates and Anna saying they want to be happy and for once they should trust it.  Sadly I think they're in for a huge disappointment in the happiness department.  Hughes is called downstairs to find Ethel there waiting to talk to her.  She's pregnant with the officer's baby and needs some help. Uh oh.

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