Sunday, November 10, 2013

Downton Abbey Season 4 Episode 8 Recap: Goodbye for Now (SPOILERS)

Mr. Molesley Plays a Game in Season 4 Episode 8

November 10, 2013 at 06:05PM EST by Elisabeth Kramer

The finale is upon us! After seven glorious episodes of Downton Abbey, we’ve arrived at the Season 4 finale — our last look at the Abbey until the Christmas special. What all happened? Well, first off somebody died. Want to know who and how? We've got the details over in another article (there was just too much to say!)

As for the rest of Season 4 Episode 8, keep reading to learn where your favorite characters stand...and if they're still breathing.

Talk About a Ménage

There's just something about Mary. Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), that is. The beautiful widow has not one but two handsome suitors interested in her hand in marriage. One, Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden), was slow to warm up to her, but after seeing Mary get down and dirty in the pigpen (literally) Charles realized what a jewel he had in front of him. 

The second suitor, of course, is old friend of the family, Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen). Tony returned to Downton in Episode 7. Of course, he came back an engaged man, having popped the question to the Hon. Mabel Lane Fox just days after being refused by Mary. Despite his plans to wed, however, Tony is still head over heels for Mary, so much so even Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) comments: "He's the most unconvincing fiancé I've ever come across." Tony knows it too and, after taking a turn around the Highlands to think, decides to call the whole thing off. He's just too in love with Mary. Her feelings, however, haven't exactly changed. "I'm not on the market, Tony. I'm not free," she tells him upon hearing he's breaking off his arrangement with Mabel. That said, Mary isn't exactly disinterested. When Tony later tells her over lunch, "I won't give up, not until you walk down the aisle with another man and perhaps not even then," Mary flirts in turn, saying she finds his persistence equal parts beguiling and annoying. 

Charles, meanwhile, arrives during the bazaar to make his own intentions known to Mary. He can't stop thinking about her, he says, and when she tries to dissuade him that she's a likely candidate for his love, Charles only seems more interested. He wants to give the whole matter a "fighting chance." And a fight it might come to. This whole predicament is shaping into quite the nice love triangle with even the often emotionally dull Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) catching on: "What kind of ménage has that turned into while I've been away?" he asks as the ladies of Downton simper in silence. Only time will tell, Robert. Only time will tell.

Edith Looks Abroad for Answers

In Episode 7, Edith (Laura Carmichael) decided to keep the baby she conceived during a night of passion with Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards). Now with just several months left before she’s due and Michael nowhere in sight, Edith is faced with what to do next. Her original idea? Give the child to a tenant farmer at the Abbey so she can stay in his or her life. The idea is immediately vetoed by her Aunt Rosamund (Samantha Bond) and we can’t say we disagree with Auntie. Having the child around would likely only keep Edith’s emotional wound open and probably result in despair for both her and the baby.

The alternative plan? Rosamund proposes an extended trip to Switzerland to "improve my French." Everyone seems to buy the lie except the savvy old Dowager Countess. Traditional Violet may be but stupid she is not. She takes her daughter and granddaughter aside to get the truth out of them. She shows no judgement (making us love her all the more) and says she supports Rosamund’s plan, so much in fact she’ll pay for Edith's journey. And if Michael does return? Start again, the Dowager says.


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