Downton Abbey Recap: In Recent Proposals

Downton Abbey Season 4This week’s Downton Abbey is so full of romance that not one but two proposals are left to occur off screen! (And it isn’t even a Valentine’s Day special!) Who pops the question, and who gets their bubble burst? Read on.

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IN A PIG’S EYE | No sooner have Mary and Tom hired Drew to be their “pig man” than Edith has decided that this virtual stranger can be trusted to raise her baby in secret. (M’kay.) Thankfully, Rosamund swoops in with at least a slightly better plan: She announces that she’s going away for a few months to improve her French, and she’s taking her niece with her. (While they are off doing the aristocracy’s version of the Rosetta Stone, she tells Edith, she will have the child and put it up for adoption, and that will be that.) Of course, since Rosamund and Edith aren’t exactly masters of either subtlety or subterfuge, Violet sees through the lie at once. (For starters, “Rosamund has no interest in French,” the Dowager Countess points out. “If she wishes to be understood by a foreigner, she shouts.”)

LOVE COMES QUICKLY | When not encouraging Tom to run for office, Isobel tickles the fancy of Mary’s godfather, Lord Merton. (If you ask me, he’s rather a chilly substitute for that nice Dr. Clarkson. But at least he sends flowers after their luncheon at Violet’s.) Meanwhile, over and over again, Tom runs into Sarah — the schoolteacher next to whom he sat at that political lecture. And, though at first she gives him a hard time about his highfalutin status as a Crawley, the more she gets to know him, the more she is forced to respect him. (And hey, what’s not to like about a handsome blueblood-by-marriage who knows how to jump-start your stalled car?) Finally, Mrs. Baxter and Molesley strike up such a warm friendship that he defends her when Barrow returns from America with Robert and begins using his usual menace.

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MARRY-GO-ROUND | After Alfred proposes to Ivy in a letter, she rejects him the same way. (Lord, even the show doesn’t seem interested in these two.) But at least the downstairs love quadrangle is brought to a satisfying conclusion when, on the advice of her father-in-law, Mr. Mason, Daisy bids her crush a sincere, fond and, most of all, final farewell. (She’s so grownup about it, in fact, that Mrs. Patmore tells her she couldn’t have been prouder if Daisy was her own daughter.) Meanwhile, in rapid succession, Tom blabs to Mary that he saw Rose on a date with Jack, Rose informs Mary that she’s going to marry Jack to piss off her mother (and, what seems like minutes later, adds that, since the last scene, he’s proposed), and Mary pays Jack a visit, during which he reveals that he intends to break off the engagement to spare his fiancée a lifetime of being stared at and ostracized.

GOOD RIDDANCE | After learning from a reluctant Anna that Green was her attacker, Mary — without going into the details — asks Tony to give his valet the axe. However, it turns out that it isn’t necessary for the villain to be fired: The same day that Bates is in York doing “this and that,” the rapist falls into the road and is struck by a bus. (Well, THAT’S not suspicious at all.) Mind you, Mary shouldn’t be troubled for too long by her knowledge of what may or may not have happened to the devil: On one hand, she has Tony, who’s given Mabel the heave-ho so that he may resume his pursuit of her, and on the other, she has Charles, who’s now so smitten that he laughs off her preemptive rejection.

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Are you liking any of the new couples that seem to be pairing off? Hit the comments!