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A Night of Secrets: Downton Abbey: Season 4, Episode 5 recap

February 3, 2014

Did you guess any of the surprises in this episode before tuning in? If you were too wired after the Seahawks win and haven't yet watched episode 5, look away to preserve the surprise and avoid spoilers! If you (like us) made it a marathon TV night, read on for Amie Simon's latest recap, and let us know what you think!


Well, compared to the last few episodes of Downton, last night’s is almost jubilant! Or at least, it starts out that way.


We begin downstairs where Daisy is so overjoyed that Alfred is staying, she forgets to serve Carson his toast first—a mistake that Carson corrects her on, immediately. Everyone get ready for stuffy, jerky Carson this episode!


Upstairs, after an awkward exchange between Lady Mary and Anna, poor Edith still hasn’t heard from her lover, but Lord Grantham receives a letter from Cora’s brother, Harold, saying he’s in financial difficulty! Oh, and there’s some talk about farming pigs, which makes Robert nervous.


Our first glimpse of Anna and Bates is a little disheartening, as she finds him brooding in the stairwell (and obviously plotting Green’s demise, even if he’s still not sure it was him who did the unthinkable), but later all is well as they plan a sweet dinner out!


The Dowager is missing yet another precious keepsake, and questions her butler about young gardener Pegg’s whereabouts when it disappeared. She promptly fires him, which sends Isobel into a tizzy, in which she just screams, “Things! Things! Things!” over and over. Even after her butler finds the missing item in a maid’s bucket, Violet insists that Pegg stay away. Classic Dowager!


Rose finally reveals her surprise for Robert’s birthday! She’s invited the jazz band to come and play at Downton, and convinces Hughes to keep the band hidden until after dinner. I can’t wait to see Carson’s reaction when the musicians show up!


Afterward, Barrow continues on his quest to unearth every piece of news about the Crawleys, and questions Mrs. Hughes about Rose’s secret, but of course she won’t budge an inch. I loved seeing them volley back and forth, especially Elsie’s snide comments: “You know me, Mr. Barrow, a woman of mystery if ever there was one. “


Cora finds her tearful—yet stylish—Edith, crying about how Gregson has “vanished into thin air.” Okay, come on. The guy signed something mysterious over to Edith, and then left for Germany with an open-ended return date! Who didn’t see this coming?


In a surprising turn of events, Alfred gets the chef’s job at The Ritz after all! Everyone is pleased, except Daisy, of course. The whole staff turns out to see him off the next morning, except … heartbroken Daisy who insists on staying in the kitchen to make biscuits. Alfred sweetly tells Daisy he’s sorry he hurt her, and after a few beats, she wishes him well. Aww! I like that ending to their story … even though we’re losing one of the bright young things and breaking up the symmetry of the four mismatched lovers.


James’ coif seems more tamed this episode, but there’s still something creepy about the way he asks Ivy to go see the new Valentino movie! And later, we find out why: he’s only interested in getting into her skirts! Bravo to Ivy for resisting! And you gotta love Patmore and Hughes’ response when Ivy spills the whole, sordid tale, and agree with Daisy’s stings about her stupidly picking Jimmy over Alfred.


After sneaking around Violet’s house under the pretense of “feeling faint,” Isobel finds the missing royal letter knife, and brings Clarkson in to confront the Dowager together about Pegg. But haha! The Dowager has won this round … by already hiring Pegg back AND apologizing to him! Whoa. Didn’t see that coming. (Aside: the look on Clarkson’s face during this battle is PRICELESS! I want a still of that to look at forever and ever.)


What’s this? Molesley is back to approach Carson and “look in to confirm a willingness to return to Downton” but cruel, jerky Carson is back and he refuses to hire him again. Hilariously, Mrs. Hughes goes behind his back and hires Molesley to assist Mrs. Patmore. Good for her! Carson finally agrees to hire him back, presumably because he can’t stand to see a man serving tea.


As Anna and Bates arrive at The Wetherby, the super snooty Maître d tells them he can’t find their reservation (B.S.!), but sweet Lady Grantham comes over and insists he seat them at once. Cora says she wishes she could join the Bates’ for dinner, and adds, “Thank god. He’s a snob!”


Back at the house, Edith finally gets a letter—but it’s not from Gregson! ON NO! It’s from the doctor she visited in London and it confirms that SHE IS PREGNANT! Of course. Because poor Edith can’t even have sex one time without tragedy befalling her. I know things are changing at Downton, but there’s no way this isn’t going to ruin her. Knocked up by her still married to someone else, and now missing, beau! * sigh*


Baxter overhears Cora telling Mary that she overhead Bates and Anna’s conversation, and is concerned because he mentioned “not being able to protect her from being hurt.” The new lady’s maid promptly reports all of this to Barrow! I swear, if he uses this knowledge to do bad things to Anna, I will NOT have anything do with him anymore. And whatever he has on Baxter must be really bad too, because even she tells him that Anna doesn’t deserve it.


Lord Grantham walks in on Edith crying alone in the library and asks his “most darling girl” what the matter is. She reveals that Gregson is missing, and his office has sent a detective to Germany to work with the police to find him. Even though Robert tries to comfort her by saying, “I’m sure he’s not dead,” you can tell he doesn’t really believe it.


Napier and his partner Charles Blake finally arrive at the house. Great news! Or is it? Charles soon reveals the reason he’s there—to analyze how the Abbey is functioning, and to provide a report on if it’s profitable or not, disregarding the aristocracy. That … wasn’t really what Napier promised last time he spoke to Mary, was it? Hmm. I’m concerned about this development.


I would like to give Rose a huge pat on the back for managing to shake up the usually unshakeable Carson by making him receive a black band leader into the house! Carson very nearly breaks his teacup when he realizes there’s no graceful way to deny the band from entering, and nearly passes out later while the trumpet player practices a few notes.


Up in the children’s room, Isobel, Branson, and Mary convene to feed the little ones and talk about romance. The way Mary lets the name “Ms. Lane Fox” roll off her tongue dripping with venom is positively hilarious! A sweet and wistful discussion of how in love all three of them were with their dearly departed partners follows, with Isobel exclaiming, “Well, aren’t we the lucky ones?” at the end. * sob *


As everyone hears the band strike up, they move to the foyer to dance. Robert is initially shocked, but quickly recovers at having an entire jazz band in his house and sweeps Cora into his arms to dance! He even uses the word “fun!” Wow. I didn’t even know Lord Grantham KNEW that word.


After listening to the jazz downstairs, the servants have a lively discussion about how odd it is, and Patmore does a quick two-step and says, “It makes you want to jib about though, doesn’t it?” Carson immediately says, “Certainly not!” Oh Carson! You might be a judgmental jerk sometimes, but you sure are funny.


As the evening winds up, Cora approaches Edith and tries to get her to tell her what’s wrong, but Edith runs from the room sobbing. Oh well, pretty soon poor Edith won’t be able to hide it!

And we end on one last shocking secret: Lady Mary arrives downstairs to “settle the bill” with Mr. Ross and finds Rose smooching him! And who even knows where Baxter and Barrow were during that make-out session! Scandal! Scandal! Scandal!!!


Next episode, will we finally meet Cora’s brother Harold? Will Rose’s indiscretion
be revealed? Will Mary realize Napier has a thing for her? Will Edith finally spill the truth about her “condition?” Will Daisy ever recover from her broken heart? And what about those pigs? SO MUCH IS HAPPENING! I can’t wait to find out where it goes.



Best zingers from the Dowager:
To Isobel: “I wonder you don’t just set fire to the Abbey and dance ‘round it, painted with woad and howling!”


Isobel: “How you hate to be wrong.”
Violet: “I wouldn’t know; I’m not familiar with the sensation.”


To Napier, re: Jazz: “Do you think any of them know what the others are playing? Hmm?”

Best line from Carson, while pointedly looking at James:
“You’re nervous because you’re intelligent, Alfred. Only stupid people are foolhardy.”


Most heartbreaking line:
Anna to Bates: “Everything is shadowed. Every moment we share is shadowed.”


Most obvious statement of the entire episode:
Dr. Clarkson, to Isobel: “I’d say that was game, set, and match to Lady Grantham.”