Downton Abbey Recap: “Season 4, Episode 1”

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It’s early 1922, six months after Matthew Crawley’s shocking and tragic death on Downton Abbey. Everyone is still kind of in mourning (except Robert), especially Mary and Isobel, who have been in their own universes for a while now. Let’s do this character by character, shall we?

Mary — The recent widow has gone back to her Season 1 ways, not really giving a damn about anything or anyone around her, including her baby son George. She even says that the softness that consumed her when she was with Matthew seems to have disappeared when he died. She literally sucks any life and joy out of every moment for most of the first hour. However, after a talk with Violet and having a good cry with Carson, she’s done with everything black and is ready to tackle the business of the estate on behalf of her son. Which leads us to…

Robert — This man does not want Mary anywhere near the running of the estate. He says he wants to protect her, but everyone knows that he wants to be the sole person in charge. I think he’s secretly a bit happy about the death in the family, he won’t have to work with any partner now. It’s not until Mary comes out of mourning ready to work that he begins to make excuses about why this isn’t a good idea. Later, he finds a letter from Matthew written before his death, that names Mary his sole heiress. Of course, Lord Grantham wants it deemed valid first. He’s running out of excuses now. The letter is deemed valid and Mary wastes no time to tell her father that she doesn’t like his ideas. They will surely be a fun duo this season.

Edith — Is happiness finally coming to the middle child? She sure deserves it. Her relationship with Michael Gregson continues to flourish, despite the fact that he’s still married. He has a plan though. Apparently, he can get a divorce from his lunatic wife in Germany, so he’ll be there for quite some time. Poor Edith, will she ever get her happy ending?

Cora — Lady Grantham is mourning O’Brien’s absence and begins to hunt for a new lady’s maid. She hires Edna, the maid who had eyes for Branson and then left. I think Thomas has found his new BFF.

Violet and Isobel — Violet is in a giving mood. The Dowager helps Mr. Molesley, Matthew’s valet, all throughout the episode. First, she tries to get him a job as a butler but that doesn’t work out. To make Anna happy, she really wants to help Molesley out, Bates then asks Violet for money to help him out. Isobel, on the other hand, has been living a very depressing life since her son died. Mrs. Hughes gives her something to do though. She helps….

Carson — Carson’s old theater friend is in need of assistance that Carson won’t give (their long quarrel is over a woman), so Isobel takes him in. He gets a job later on somewhere else and Carson is there to see him off.

Other things that happened:

Anna accompanies Rose (who is she again and why is she a regular on the show?) to a dance hall that is filled with “peasants”. When one of the boys starts to fall for Rose, he goes to Downton to win her heart, but she pretends to be both a maid and committed to someone else so he can go away.

Since Thomas hates it when people tell him what to do, he tells Cora that the nanny is doing wrong things with the children after the woman tells him to not touch them. It’s his lucky day because it turns out that the woman is psycho, and is discharged. The family is now forever in his debt.

Oh goodie.

Did you enjoy the season premiere?