‘Downton Abbey’ season 4, episode 4 (PBS) review: Joanne Froggatt tears out more hearts

The latest -There are some people out there who can understandably feel like this season of “Downton Abbey” has been too dark, and we agree with them to a certain extent. There has been all sorts of stuff in here that has taken the show down a very different road than the one that we were hoping for it to go down, mostly because we want to imagine everyone happy, and not in some sort of state of constant depression and sadness.

But alas, that is not life. You can read our full review for this episode here from the British airing last year, since we want to cast the focus on something else here in this article: How Joanne Froggatt is completely stealing this whole season. Her performance as Anna is simply heartbreaking, as this is a woman so torn and unsure of what to do.

Obviously, her heart wants to tell Bates that Mr. Green was the one who raped her earlier this season, and she hates hiding this from him. We also don’t necessarily feel like she is hiding the news from him because she wants to see Green spared of his wrath; instead, she is afraid of what the police could do to him if it was ever found out. So for him to learn anything about the incident in this episode was terrible for her, even if he was told that it was someone that no one in the Abbey knows. Is he going to buy that? This is a question for the remainder of the season.

Should Froggatt be an Emmy contender for this later in the year? We feel like she has made her case more so than any other actor all season long, but the critical reception to the season, along with the tendency for voters to ignore seasons a few years into their run, could give it some trouble. But it’s hard to not feel for Anna deeply during this time, as she was so afraid of losing him forever that she was even willing at one point to let him go.

We gave the episode originally a B, and we will stick with that … even if the Alfred and the stories planning Robert’s party felt more like placeholders for something coming later.

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Photo: ITV

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