Sunday, October 27, 2013

SPOILERS - Downton Abbey Series Four Episode Six: Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton shine in the most light-hearted instalment of the series so far

OCTOBER 27, 2013

It’s fair to say that this series of Downton Abbey has delivered more light than shade. Though there have been some humorous segments, they’ve mostly been overshadowed by a certain event which caused some fans to stop watching all together. However, I found this week to be a lot more uplifting and I have to admit that I laughed a fair few times throughout the episode. That’s not to say that there was no drama to speak of, but with all the jazz music and Maggie Smith putdowns I hardly noticed it.

The build-up to the jazz music scenes are one of the many highlights of the Grantham family’s adventures in this episode. The musicians, led by the charming Jack Ross, are the big surprise that Lady Rose has planned for Robert’s birthday. When Baxter hears of a big surprise, she passes the information on to Thomas who as always has his suspicions. But it’s only when Carson sees Jack does he start to panic, but Jack’s charm soon starts to work its charm on the old-fashioned butler. Though the family are shocked at first, especially Edith, they are soon taken by the music and begin to dance. Later, Mary goes to find Jack in order to offer him the payment for a night’s work, only to discover that Rose is giving him payment of a different kind. It’s a busy week for Mary, who is trying her best to get into the business of running the estate and has become specifically interested in the acquisition of some pigs. Mary is also interested in what Evelyn Napier’s pal Charles Blake has to say about the running of the estate. However, she’s shocked to find that he’s someone who doesn’t particularly believe in the aristocracy and doesn’t like the fact they have a sense of entitlement. In fact, as we learn later on, Blake completely takes against Mary and feels that she doesn’t appreciate her lot and therefore doesn’t deserve to be saved. This conflict between Blake and Mary probably means that they’ll fall madly in love by the end of next episode.

As I mentioned in the introduction, I found myself laughing throughout this episode of Downton Abbey, something I never thought I’d do. Primarily, the comic interactions between Isobel and Violet were the source of much amusement and it’s a credit to Julian Fellowes that he can excel in light-hearted dialogue in the way he does. Similarly the conversations between Mrs Patmore and Mrs Hughes when Ivy returns from her date with Jimmy made me smile, especially the cook’s line about the Norman invasions. If that weren’t enough already, Carson’s expressions alone at the sight of Jack Ross had me laughing once again. That’s not to say there weren’t some dramatic moments in this episode, namely the continuation of the Anna and Bates story as our favourite couple struggle to stay together in the wake of Anna’s attack. The fact that Thomas knows that there’s something going on between the pair means that he’ll soon get involved in the story and, with the return of Green next week; I have an inkling that he may well have a hand in the slimy valet’s downfall. Elsewhere there were some intriguing twists which surely chart the course of the series’ final two episodes namely the arrival of Charles Blake, the mention of Cora’s brother Harold and the disappearance of Michael Gregson.


1 comment:

Sara said...

All this and no mention of Edith being "in a family way"?