‘Downton Abbey’ season 4, episode 2 review: Allen Leech as Michelle Dockery’s mentor

Take a look -Downton Abbey” started off season 4 last week with an episode that had quite a bit going for it. Within the span of an hour and a half, the series found a way to distance itself from what transpired last year with Matthew and set the stage for the future with Mary.

Within a letter that was composed by Matthew prior to his death, we learned that he intended to give all of his estate to his wife and child. Robert questioned the formality of this composition, mostly because he loves “protection,” but by protection, what we are really talking about here is power. He likes to control what his daughter does, and believes that he is justified and right in doing so.

There were some great performances thrown in here from Michelle Dockery and particularly Allen Leech, who we have long believed to be supremely underrated in the Tom Branson role.

Rose’s sojourn – What a bizarre little story this is. It seems that Rose is really less of a character than she is a symbol for the roaring twenties. She is meant to be that sort of wild free spirit, and to add that dimension to the show. She is extremely predictable thanks to it, and is perhaps the least likable of the characters on the show.

So to see a major fight break out here? Not surprising, just as it was not surprising to see Rose get involved in it. We like this show because there is no real mess like this; if we wanted to watch people come to blows, we would take on a grittier series.

But to make matters worse, this man who fought for Rose simply would not go away. He showed up to the Abbey, and put both her and Anna in a world of hurt.  She did eventually win out here and got the man to leave, but if these antics continue, there is quite a bit of trouble ahead.

Helping hands – For Carson, the good news this week was that Mr. Grigg seems to have found himself a job in Belfast. Does that mean that this is really time to make amends? We surely hope so, since the last thing that we need to see here from this gang is even more conflict. Speaking of people who were down on their luck, Bates found a way to ensure that Mr. Moseley was taken care of when it comes to some of their debts.

Overall, this was a solid episode for the series compared to most other programming these days, but we must admit that it was a step behind of most other installments for the series. The pacing was strange, and the shocker of the night (that Carson’s love Alice was dead and that her relationship with Grigg was what caused the two to go separate ways) came almost out of left field.

Did you enjoy this episode of “Downton Abbey,” or do you think that there was way too much of Lady Rose and not enough Edith? If you want to check out a preview for next week’s episode just click here to read it!

Photo: ITV

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