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‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4, Episode 4

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‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4, Episode 4

Downton Abbey airs Sundays at 8pm on PBS.

Downton Abbey airs Sundays at 8pm on PBS.

Downton Abbey airs Sundays at 8pm on PBS.

Downton Abbey airs Sundays at 8pm on PBS.

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Caution, contains spoilers.

Another week has passed, which means another chapter of the Downton drama is ready to be dished. With the weather as cold as it is, what better way to spend a snowy day than to catch up on everything “Downton Abbey?” Grab a mug, fill it to the brim with soothing hot tea and brace yourself for this weeks recap.

For starters, the times are changing and there is nothing Downton or Mrs. Patmore can do about it. Who would have thought the idea of installing a refrigerator and operating an electrical sewing machine could have been so controversial?

Having grown up in the digital age, surrounded by electronics, I find it amusing as well as fascinating. It’s fascinating to see how the use of what was considered “modern technology” of the time was rather taboo and discouraged.

However, Mrs. Patmore does have good reasons to question the rapid advances in technology as she fears that these new appliances, such as the electrical mixer for example, can replace people’s jobs. That’s technological determinism for you.

Meanwhile, Lady Edith gets pretty cozy with Mr. Gregson as she gives her consent to stay the night with him. Yet, her oh-so-magical evening is ruined when her aunt’s maid discovers Edith returning late the next day in the same clothes she wore the night before, and informs her aunt, Lady Rosamund.

I don’t know what’s worse, having her aunt find out about her “sleepover,” or not hearing back from Mr. Gregson after many days since their intimate night together.

Based on Edith’s trip to London to visit a doctor’s office, it could get even worse. I have a feeling that Edith’s days of being the forgotten middle child are over.

In the midst of Edith’s story, Tom reveals to the Crawley family that he is considering moving to America to rebuild his life, and join some of his family that emigrated from Ireland. However, if Tom is leaving Downton then does that mean little Sibby is leaving too?

The grumbling of electronic products is not the only thing that has the downstairs staff out of sorts. Alfred applies for a prestigious cooking position, but sadly does not get it. Daisy is becoming  a more outspoken and independent woman and a lady named Baxter replaces Ms. O’Brien.

Now, this may seem ordinary and uneventful, but Daisy secretly hoped Alfred would not get the position so he would not leave Downton, while Thomas and Baxter form a secret alliance. If Thomas and O’Brien were the sly dynamic duo that ran the basement before, who is to say if Baxter becomes a new and improved version of O’Brien?

Of course I can’t forget to discuss the matter and tragedy of Anna Bates. Anna decides to move out of the cottage that she shared with her husband, and moves back into the servants’ quarters. Believing that she is “ruined” to Mr. Bates and that he will kill Mr. Green if he finds out, she continues to isolate herself from Bates.

I question why she won’t tell Bates what happened to her or report the incident to the authorities. I understand that talking about a subject as sensitive as rape is extremely difficult, but how could she say goodnight to Mr. Green so politely and sit next to him at breakfast just hours after he raped her?

What does this say about rape culture during the 1920s? Why does she feel “spoiled” to Bates? Why does she feel that she brought the attack on herself? By the very definition of the act, she could not “ask for it,” because she did not give consent.

After overhearing a conversation between Anna and Mrs. Hughes, Bates gets Mrs. Hughes to spill the beans about Anna’s attack. However, she does not give Mr. Green away. Despite this, Bates knows deep down that Mr. Green is the perpetrator. He doesn’t have any evidence to prove this, but he is determined to seek revenge.

As he said to Mrs. Hughes before the episode ended (cue dramatic music and dark lighting, followed by a gasp), “it’s never over.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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