Downton Abbey S4 Ep2 Review

Week two of our trip to the big house, and creator Julian Fellowes is starting to develop some storylines that will probably run throughout this series. Robert was still banging on about overseeing Baby George’s share of the Estate. Everyone was pretty much ignoring him, apart from his mother who had the line of the week with ‘I’m tempted to ring Nanny and put you to bed with no supper’ to her son who’s well into his 50s.

Then a letter from Matthew to his lady love was found revealing Mystic Matt wanted Mary to be his sole heiress. After a quick conflab with solicitor Murray (who didn’t even warrant any screentime), it was revealed that Mary gets half of Downton. So, the last three series weren’t really needed and we could have got here much quicker if Matt and Mary had got it on in the first series. Thanks, Julian.

While Mary was busying finding out how much say she gets in the running of the Estate, poor old Baby George was rather conspicuous in his absence. No glimpse or even mention of him. Maybe Nanny was too busy dealing with Robert.

Downton Abbey Gwen Rose LeslieThis week also saw a return for former housemaid Gwen. Well, I say return; her one and only function was to serve as a plot point in the on-going saga of Mr Molesley’s fall from grace. Poor old Molesley has fallen so low he’s now reduced to tarring roads – well, being a Valet, he should be good at mending. But happily Mr Bates had a plan, which for once didn’t mean lots of meaningful looks with the missus. Instead, he managed to forge Molesley’s signature on an IOU and pretend he owed him £30! Bet that comes back to bite you on the bum, Bates. Meanwhile, Mrs Bates (who NEVER ages) looks to be heading for a fall thanks to dastardly Thomas who, with every episode, is rapidly becoming a pantomime villain.

Lady Rose finally got a storyline all of her own when she pretended to be a maid in order to drag Anna to a tea dance in York (they called it some fancy French name; surely everyone there would know she was ‘upstairs’ just from that phrase). After she flirted with the dishy Sam Thorley at the dance, he then turned up at Downton wanting to ask her out. Cue Lady Rose donning a housemaid’s uniform in order to continue her white lie and let him down gently. Good job Branson didn’t see her in the get-up or we’d have had another Lady Sybil incident on our hands.

Talking of Branson, he got his wish for Mary to be involved with the Estate thanks to Mystic Matt’s letter. Cut to the two of them driving around and looking over some farms, all very romantic until Branson announced to Robert: ‘You won’t keep her quiet now the bit’s between her teeth.’ I know she goes on a bit, Branson, but there’s no need to call her an old nag.