Marriage, Debts, and Forgery….Oh My!
Minor character alert–Gwen (the maid who wanted to be a secretary, remember her from waaaay back in season 1?) is getting married! I couldn’t figure out why they were updating us on a minor character’s life until they started to weave this detail into the Mosely/Anna/Bates story line.
Mosley is in debt. Anna offers him some money to keep his head above water, but Mosely feels the need to hang onto his pride. (Like he has any after dancing around drunk in Scotland?)
When Bates sees how upset Anna is over Mosely’s refusal of her offer to help, you can see the gears turning in his head. Using Gwen’s wedding card as an excuse, he gets Moseley’s signature and forges it onto an IOU. When Anna asks him why, he tells her that she had to put up with so much he couldn’t control, that if there’s the slightest thing he can make better for her, he’ll do it.
And with how cute the two of them have been in these first two episodes (e.g. Bates to Anna: “Why should I be social if I have you?”), does anyone else worry that something else horrible is on the horizon for our favorite couple downstairs?
Thomas and Edna Stir Up Trouble
Thomas and Edna (the new Thomas and O’Brien?) are starting to create chaos. They’ve begun small, blaming Anna for ruining some scarf of Cora’s, but you can see that this is probably just the beginning for them, if they can continue to get along. (In case you don’t remember, Thomas can’t always keep his friends.)
Could you imagine the awkward position Bates is in as this situation erupts? Having your boss tell you to get your wife in line? (I love historical novels/shows, but I think I would have been jailed had I lived in one of these societies.)
Lady Rose Wants to Play Downstairs and Jimmy Finally Wants to Play At All
Rose is aching to go to a servants’ party, and she appeals to Anna’s love of dancing to get her to chaperon. Because apparently a love for jazz means you don’t mind hanging out with the help, no matter that it would horrify all of your relations.
Meanwhile, Jimmy is showing interest in Ivy. As Mrs. Patmore says to Daisy: ” “Nothing’s as changeable as a young man’s heart. Take hope–and a warning–from that.”
On his day off, Jimmy spies Rose and Anna going into the dance hall and follows. As he’s confessing to Anna that he might be falling for Ivy at last, two boys get into a
fight over Rose and they all have to run out of the dance hall before someone gets arrested. But Jimmy manages to persuade Carson to let him and Ivy off for the same half day to go to the theater.
Sam (one of the poor boys enamored with Rose form the dance hall) shows up to make sure she is all right. Anna goes into salvage-the-situation mode. Rose dresses up in a maid’s uniform to go out to meet him. When Sam asks to call on her, she makes up a fiance, but complements and kisses him–and tells Jimmy she’ll be his friend forever if he keeps it to himself when he catches her at it.
Various Other Plot Points
Mr. Grigg hints to Mrs. Hughes of the great romance of Mr. Carson’s early years. And then Mrs. Hughes catches Carson looking at an old picture of her. Of course, we learn that she regretted not choosing Carson, because who wouldn’t? Grigg and Carson part friends…and I hope Mr. Grigg is right that we won’t meet him again. (As you may remember from my last Downton recap, this story line bores me.)
Michael and Edith eat at his house, Alone! And he can make coffee! And she is going to invite him to Downton! And he asks her to stay! And although she refuses, she all but tells him it’s a matter of time before she gives in a becomes a mistress. The scandal!
Matthew Left a Will, Lord Grantham Continues to be an Idiot, and Lady Violet Schemes
A box arrives from Matthew’s office–because of course it take well over six months for a law office to go through a dead colleague’s things. After a short debate downstairs, Mrs. Hughes and Carson suggest giving Lord Grantham the box in case it makes Mary cry. (Why do the British seem to think crying is so horrible? Their abhorrence of all things demonstrative is one of the few ways in which I am NOT an anglophile.)
In the box is the letter-meant-to-be-a-will that Matthew left. Surprise! (Ok, not really.) Mary is his sole heiress.
Lord Grantham hems and haws about showing the letter to Mary, which cues Lady Violet zinger #1: “When you talk like that, I’m tempted to ring for nanny and send you to bed with no supper.”
And so that night, he shares the letter with the whole Crawley family. Guess what, Mary? There’s a letter from your dead husband. I already read it. And no matter his intentions, this is NOT a will.
It couldn’t be more obvious that now that Matthew’s dead, Lord Grantham wants to be Lord of the Downton Universe and Fortune. So he sends the letter off to Murray, their estate lawyer.
Within a few days, Murray tells Lord Grantham, much to his disappointment, that the letter proved testamentary intention. Which means that, as a will, it stands.
Lord Grantham: “You already have the right to an opinion.”
Mary: “Do I?”
And he proceed to list this and that problem on the estate that needs attention.
Mary: “I assume you are trying to make some sort of point.”
Cora: “He’s trying to show that a woman’s place is in the home.”
Which gets Lady Violet scheming. Branson (oh, darn-it-all, he’s still my grandson-in-law), fine TOM, should teach Mary about the estate, and not let her father know what she’s about. (Zinger #2: “There can be too much truth in any relationship.”) Mary and Tom take her advice, and Mary immediately sets Lord Grantham’s teeth one edge by disagreeing with him, abd taking Tom’s side, about how to pay the death duties.
The little dog that Mary sent Matthew off to war with is now back in Mary’s possession. It’s her mascot to remind her that Matthew was always on her side.
Okay recaps of Episode #1 and #2 are over: What did you think of the beginning of Downton Abbey Season 4 overall?