Downton Abbey
12:27 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Downton Abbey Recap (Season 4, Episode 3): Love Blooms For Edith, But What Will Mary Do?

Did you catch Downton Abbey last weekend on KERA-13? The third episode of Season 4 has aired on PBS.

Below is a roundup of some recaps of the third episode -- and some of the better lines from the show. (Spoiler Alert! Stop reading if you don’t want to know what happened during Episode 3.)

Anna struggles in the aftermath of her violent attack. Mary and Anna and others head to London. Also in London, things heat up between Edith and Gregson. Gillingham can’t get over Mary. Oh, and don’t mess with Mrs. Hughes.

Some of the top lines:

Lord Gillingham to Mary: "I've made a long journey to ask a short question: Will you marry me?"

Mary: "Edith is about as mysterious as a bucket."

Dowager Countess to Robert Crawley regarding Isobel Crawley: “She is a good woman. And while the phrase is enough to set anyone's teeth on edge, there are moments when her virtue demands admiration."

Thomas to Edna: "You're a manipulative little witch, and if your schemes have come to nothing, I'm delighted."

Recap Roundup

Vanity Fair: Downton Abbey—Season 4, Episode 3: Even a Marriage Proposal Can’t Save the Worst Episode in Downton History

After four seasons, Downton Abbey has finally done it—given us an episode in which every single plot line, both upstairs and down, is both disappointing in concept and clunky in construction. This statement should not be read as a complete criticism—it’s no small feat to take characters who have enjoyed three full seasons’ worth of our sympathy and vested interest, douse them in gasoline, and use the dull spark produced by Mary and her glamorous pirate, Lord Gillingham, to light it all on fire. …

On to Lady Mary: it's only been a hot minute since she and Gillingham started kinda dating, and now Gillingham claims he is in love. …  We are pretty sure we saw Lord Gillingham have more chemistry with a tea cup last week than he has had with Mary. It's also hugely disappointing, because Gillingham’s actual proposal involves this pitch: “Matthew is dead, and I am alive.”

Huffington Post: 'Downton Abbey' Recap, Season 4, Episode 3: Gillingham Is the Suitor Lady Mary Never Dreamed Of

Mr. Bates just can't seem to get through to Anna -- a mere touch on her shoulder is enough to send her scurrying away. Anna delivers a blow to Mr. Bates as a way to avoid further questioning: "We live together, we work together. Sometimes, I think it's just too much." She moves upstairs because she can't let Mr. Bates touch her, though Mr. Bates avows to her that he will find out what is at the root of Anna's sudden turn. …

As for Edith, we're pretty sure Aunt Rosamund has said everything we could ever want to say to a young naive girl who signs a contract with a married man without even reading it ... "You're trusting this man with your name and your reputation ... You're a grown woman, and I'm not a spy. But you're gambling with your future, my dear. Be under no illusions, a lot may be changing, but some things will stay the same. No, you don't look sorry. But you may find yourself feeling very sorry later."

Time: Downton Abbey Recap: The Baby Blues

Edna is obviously wishing for a baby from her one night with Tom. … Branson goes to confess what’s happened to Mrs. Hughes, taking Mary’s advice that if there’s something bothering him he should talk it over with someone he trusts. Mrs. Hughes summons Edna — who had recently told Thomas that one day he’d be glad to have stayed on her good side — for a confrontation. Edna assumes they’re trying to pay her off, to which she says she’d rather her baby have a father, but Mrs. Hughes says she knows she’s not actually pregnant — she found a copy of Marie Stopes’ Married Love in Edna’s room, so she knows Edna knows how to prevent a pregnancy, and she knows that if Tom had stepped up Edna would have just gone and gotten pregnant by someone else, and she knows that if Edna tells Her Ladyship then there will no job reference. Mrs. Hughes! So smart! So tricky!

L.A. Times: Downton Abbey' recap: Masters and sex

One of the constants on this show is social change, and virtually every story this week is concerned with intimate matters and the loosening of interaction between the sexes in the heady days following the Great War. Carson, talking to Mrs. Hughes about his chaste courtship with long-lost love Alice, says it was "not like it is today. You’re lucky if you got to walk them to the corner.” 

But it's Violet who, as she so often does, delivers the line that sums up the hour: "If we only had moral thoughts, what would the poor churchman find to do?”

Can’t get enough of Downton?

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In case you missed it

Here’s our recap of Episode 1

Here’s our recap of Episode 2

Watch Season 4, Episode 3 here:

On social media

PBS created this Storify that captures reaction on social media to Sunday’s episode:

[View the story "Social Media Reactions to MASTERPIECE Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 3" on Storify]