“Downton Abbey” season 4 has by and large been a mixed bag. Over the course of the first four episodes, we can really describe what happened (with a spoiler warning for Americans) with a number of brief phrases: Anna was raped and struggling to get over it, Mary is starting to move forward from Matthew and even received a marriage proposal, and Edith and Gregson are pondering a move to Germany to be together. You could really watch this episode without knowing hardly anything else about the story and still end up being just fine.
But while we could open with a discussion of Lady Mary and new potential suitors, we want to address the major event that took place when it comes to Mr. Bates: The revelation of what really happened to Anna. This came out courtesy of Mrs. Hughes, who was basically threatened into revealing the news. Had she not decided to reveal to Bates just what was going on, he would have in turn made the move to depart the Abbey and leave Anna here alone. She only made one little change in the story: The identity of who it was that actually raped her, thinking it would keep him from murdering Mr. Green.
Anna basically was very lucky that she did not spill the beans on Mr. Green the moment that Bates told her that he knew, since it almost caused it all to unravel. But for now, it seems as though this lie has cooled the situation. But, Bates still has a mission, and that is where the drama could come from here on out.
Putting on a Ritz – What was particularly entertaining this week was an opportunity to actually see something different from Alfred, as he tried to prove himself as a cook by going to the Ritz and taking part in a very rigorous cooking challenge. This was almost the Edwardian version of “MasterChef,” but he failed to make it. Thanks to this, Mr. Carson ended up rejecting Mr. Moseley after he tried to interview him earlier for the footman position.
Life upstairs – For most of this episode, the upper class of Downton spent their time sitting around and debating what could be coming next for them. There was a plan for Robert’s birthday party, and Evelyn Napier returned in an effort to lead up to the meeting of Charles Blake, another potential suitor for Lady Mary. At the moment, Anthony Gillingham has proposed to another woman, and Mary is no longer in the running for his heart… for now.
All in all, this was a pivotal episode of the series, but also one that felt more like it was the set up for the final three episodes before the finale arrived. It was not a revelation more than a means to an end. Therefore, it falls in the category of being good, but not necessarily great. Grade: B.
If you want to read some more news pertaining to “Downton Abbey,” including our preview for next week’s new episode, we suggest paying a visit over to the link here.