(Series 4, ep.4) After last week’s nasty rape left viewers feeling a bit grubby and upset, this week Downton was mostly back to romance, glamour and froth.
Mary, in particular, wore some absolutely gorgeous dresses. It’s no wonder Lord Gillingham was smitten. Not just smitten – Mary is all he can think about and he wants to spend the rest of his life with her and her wonderfully expressive eyebrows.
Mary’s mind, however, is still full of Matthew and that’s how she wants it to stay for now, so she turned him down. Since Gillingham already had a Miss Lane-Fox lined up as a fiancee, Mary is now wondering whether she’s made a rash decision.
Having Gillingham around meant that his valet, Evil Mr Green, was also lurking for part of the episode. This wasn’t pleasant for Anna, since Mr Green is, of course, the man who raped her. Everyone kept asking if Anna was alright – Lord and Lady Grantham, Carson, and particularly her husband Mr Bates. Anna couldn’t bear Mr Bates to touch her, so she’s asked if she can move back into the house for now so she doesn’t have to risk “wifely duties.” Joanne Froggatt’s portrayal of Anna’s pain, fear and dignity was understated and convincing.
Mrs Hughes is the only person who knows Anna’s secret. Mrs Hughes is the secret-keeper for a lot of people on Downton, because she’s kind and trustworthy, if a tiny bit scary. The way she sorted out Edna when she tried to blackmail Tom Branson into marrying her this week was a case in point. If only Mrs Hughes could find a way to scare Mr Green the way she scared Edna, Anna’s life would be slightly easier.
Meanwhile, Rose met a handsome, if slightly camp, jazz singer, but she wasn’t the most shockingly-behaved person of the week. We have to award that accolade to Lady Edith, who was seen by her aunt’s maid tiptoeing up the stairs barefoot in the wee small hours, having presumably been with her soon-to-be-German boyfriend. Lady Rosamund was not amused.