Sep 30 2013 9:43am

Downton Abbey Season 4 (Series 4), Episode 2 Recap: Proof of Documentation

Robert in Downton Abbey Series 4 episode 2Continued from the Episode 1 recap here...

The Crawley family and their devoted staff are back in Downton Abbey Series 4, now airing in the U.K. (U.S. viewers, stick with us! We'll be re-posting Naz's recaps when Season 4 airs on PBS beginning in January.) We're sure you're just as eager as we are to get to it, so without further ado...

Note for U.S. Viewers: The season premiere of Downton Abbey as aired on PBS tonight was two hours long. In the UK they were shown as Episode 1 and Episode 2, so be sure you've read Naz's recap of the first half of tonight's episode (originally posted to H&H in September) before moving on to the recap below. Plus, before you go, be sure to enter our Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Sweepstakes!


This week’s episode starts out with the news that Gwen is married. Remember Gwen from the first season? The one who went off to be a secretary? I hope she comes over for a visit! Edna’s started her job as Cora’s new maid. She’s going to be trouble. I just know it. Thomas is already trying to get on her good side. Of course he is. He probably recognized the potential for a new partner in crime. Anna warns Edna to be careful around Thomas, but I don’t think she’s going to listen. Oh yeah. This is not going to go well at all.

A box arrives from Matthew’s old office addressed to Mary. Mrs. Hughes worries that there might be something in it that could upset Mary, so she suggests that Mr. Carson have someone else see it first. Of course, that someone else is going to be Robert. It’s so sad, you guys! Robert opens the box and the first thing he pulls out is the little stuffed toy Mary gave to Matthew as a good-luck charm when he went off to war. Sniff.

There’s a letter inside one of the books and it seems that Matthew wrote it, establishing Mary as his sole heir. Robert doesn’t want to show it to Mary for fear that if it doesn’t have any legal standing, she’ll get upset. Violet is pretty upset about Robert’s decision, and tells him he has to show it to Mary. Seriously, what is up with Robert and his trying to control Mary like this? Yes, I think it’s a matter of control, even if he tries to make it look like he’s just worried about her. Violet actually calls him on it. She tells him that he’s afraid of facing the truth, which is that he wants to be in charge of the estate, and not have to share it with Mary. Aha! See? Violet always knows what’s what. Of course, Robert vehemently denies this, but I’m with Violet. I think that’s the real problem here.

Meanwhile, Charlie Grigg is still staying at Isobel’s house, and Carson still hasn’t visited him. It seems that something happened to the dancing duo and Grigg thinks that Carson’s avoidance is because of that. Hm. Curious. Isobel, in her typical enterprising way, has written tons of letters to various theaters, and the opera house in Belfast has written back that they need someone, and they offered the job to Grigg.

Downstairs, Jimmy’s figuring out another scheme to go out and have some fun. A famous acting troupe is coming to York, and he finagles his way to go there on the pretense of running an errand for Mrs. Patmore. Alfred is all put out with Jimmy’s continuous flirting with Ivy, too. Alfred’s worried that Jimmy’s going to get Ivy into all sorts of trouble, if you catch my drift. Well, Jimmy succeeds in convincing Mr. Carson (and Mrs. Patmore) to let him take Ivy to the theater. Of course, Daisy’s not too happy about the whole thing either, because she feels that this is just making Alfred like Ivy even more. Mrs. Patmore tells her to be patient and see what happens. Clearly, the love quadrangle downstairs is going strong!

Bates and Anna in Downton Abbey Season 4 episode 2Anna runs into Molesley in the village. He’s taken up some road work to make ends meet, and he’s really not doing well. He owes money, and Anna offers to give him some to help him out, and of course, he refuses. Poor Molesley! Something has to be done for him. Anna’s really upset with the whole situation and tells Bates that they have to figure out some way to help Molesley.

Robert gives Mary the letter, and she’s pretty upset that he read it before she did. He confesses that he wanted to send it to London for Murray (their lawyer) to see it first, and that Violet told him he couldn’t. Anyway, before dinner, Robert reads the letter out loud to everyone (including Violet and Isobel). It turns out that Matthew wrote the letter right before they had taken off for Scotland, and when he realized that not having a will was a bad idea. Basically, the letter says that Matthew wants Mary to “take charge” because he doesn’t know if the baby will be a boy or a girl. The letter appears to be legal since it was witnessed by two of Matthew’s clients. Robert is not convinced, and still wants Murray to check it.

The dowager countess in Downton Abbey 4x02Apparently, Robert’s also worried that the estate will have to pay the death duties twice (once for Matthew, and once for Mary, when she passes away) before little George could inherit. Violet reminds him that be that as it may, the estate will benefit from Mary’s guidance in the meantime. Tom hopes that Mary would be interested in taking charge, and she says that she wants to have her opinions counted, at the very least. Robert takes the opportunity to bombard her (at the dinner table, no less!) with all sorts of details and overwhelm her.

Mary: “I assume you’re trying to make some sort of point.”

Cora: “He’s trying to show that a woman’s place is in the home.”

Tom: “But she knows a lot about Matthew’s plans, and that has value for me. Mrs. Crawley, what do you think?”

Isobel: “I’m afraid I’m on Mary’s side, Robert, if sides there must be.”

Robert: “There are no sides, not at all. I’m pleased if you’re pleased. I’m just saying, you [i.e. Mary] have some work to do. That is, if the letter turns out to be valid.”

Violet: “Which you very much hope it is not.”

Ouch! Seems like Robert’s dug himself into a bit of a hole here with the family. Not the first time. When is he going to realize that his old ways of doing things just simply don’t work any more? I love how the ladies of the house are all standing up to him.

Anna gets a card for Gwen, and Bates offers to have the people in the village sign it in addition to the household staff. Hm…Bates has an ulterior motive here. First, he goes to see Violet and asks her to give Molesley money (I think this is the first time these two had a scene together!), and then he invites Molesley to dinner. I wonder what he’s up to. Even Molesley questions why he’s so “friendly” all of a sudden.

Bates: “Aren’t I usually friendly?”

Molesley: “No. You’re not discourteous, Mr. Bates, I’ll give you that, but you’re not friendly. Except for Anna, of course.”

We see Bates forging Molesley’s signature on some sort of note, and it turns out that he’s making something up to pay Mr. Molesley back for some loan. It’s clearly a ruse to give Molesley the money from Violet, but since Bates is doing this in front of the staff, Molesley can’t refuse it. Smart man, our Mr. Bates! Anna asks him why he did it, and he says that he did it for her:

Bates: “You have put up with so much that I couldn’t change, so if there’s ever the slightest thing that I could make better for you, then I will.”

Anna: “But how did you manage it?”

Bates: “Don’t I keep telling you? Prison was an education.”

Seriously, they are so unbelievably adorable together.

Mary decides to keep the little stuffed animal on her dressing table to “remind me that Matthew’s on my side.” She sees that Robert is happy to have the estate “back under his control.” Violet takes matters into her own hands, and decides to ask Tom (whom she’s reverted back to calling “Branson,” now that he’s the agent, LOL), to teach Mary the ropes of managing the estate. Of course, she wants to keep it from Robert, because “there can be too much truth in any relationship.”

So Tom starts taking Mary around on his rounds to show her the estate and teach her the operations. He mentions the death duties, and how Robert wants to sell off some land to pay it off in one lump sum, and he says that he wants to know what Mary thinks they ought to do.

In the meantime, Robert’s heard from Murray, and it turns out that the letter is legal enough to take the place of a will, and Mary effectively owns half of the estate. Mary immediately takes advantage of this new position and tells Robert that she doesn’t agree with his plan to sell land to pay off the taxes. Yay, Mary!

Mrs. Hughes catches Mr. Carson going through some old papers and finds out that back in the day, Carson had a little crush on a woman named Alice. Apparently, she didn’t treat Carson very well. I wonder if this is the thing that Grigg alluded to. Isobel approaches Carson to weed out the truth and get him to reconcile with his old partner, but he refuses to budge. Later, Mrs. Hughes urges him to see Grigg one last time before he leaves for Belfast, because it’s “an open wound,” and Carson needs to “stitch it up and let it heal.” Carson finally relents and goes to the station the next day. Aha! It is Alice! She chose Grigg over Carson, and Carson’s never forgiven that. Grigg tells Carson that even though Alice chose him over Carson, it never worked out, and she died five years ago, and told Grigg on her deathbed, that “Charlie Carson was the better man. I could’ve loved him. I did love him, really, but I was a fool and couldn’t see it.” She wanted Grigg to let Carson know, and that’s why he’d come back and had tried to get in touch with Carson. They part as friends, and Carson insists on reimbursing Isobel for any expenses she incurred while taking care of Grigg.

Oh good lord! Thomas is up to his old tricks again. Edna ruins one of Cora’s dresses, and instead of ‘fessing up, she connives with Thomas to blame Anna for it. Seriously? Cora obviously says something to Robert about it, because he confronts Bates and tells him to keep Anna in check. What? I can’t believe that both Cora and Robert are so easily swayed against Anna, who’s been with them forever. I swear, if Thomas gets Anna in trouble, I’ll write him off forever. Grrr.

Edith and Gregson in 4.02Meanwhile, Edith’s been going up to London regularly. Gregson is still set on changing his citizenship, and Edith is worried that everyone will hate him for wanting to become a German citizen at a time when even the royal family has denounced their German heritage. But he’s determined. Edith invites him to come to Downton and let the family get to know him better. They’re having a cozy little lunch together and he wants her to stay, but she tells him she can’t, even though “it’s getting harder and harder to say no.” Oh oh.

Anna and Rose go to York inDownton Abbey 4x02In the Rose corner (such as it is), she wants to go to a “thé dancon”, and asks Anna to be her chaperone. She wants Anna to keep it a secret from everyone, and Anna refuses. She talks it over with Mary, and Mary gives her permission, with the caveat for Anna to “make sure to keep [Rose] out of trouble.” Uh … that is a tall order! They go up to York, and Anna is very uncomfortable with the whole thing, and keeps trying to convince Rose to leave. They order tea, and Rose asks for “something special” in hers. The place is filled with all sorts of people, and Rose, pretending to be “Rose Smith,” starts dancing with some random guy.

Coincidentally, Jimmy, who’s seen Anna and Rose walk into the hall, follows and asks Anna to dance. Okay. You can tell that this isn’t going to end well. Rose pretends to be a maid from Downton (even tries out a “lower class” accent). Someone tries to cut in to dance with her, and a fight breaks out. Thank goodness Jimmy’s there, because he manages to hustle Anna and Rose out of there right before the cops show up.

The next night, the guy Rose was dancing with shows up at the Abbey looking for “the housemaid, Rose.” Anna gets Rose to dress up as a maid, I guess in the hopes that she would send him on his way. She tells him that she’s spoken for, that one of the local farmers is her beau, so to speak, and he starts to leave when she kisses him. I mean, a real kiss. Jimmy catches them, and Rose makes him promise not to say anything.

And that was it. A bit of a slow episode, but clearly a lot of “setup” for what’s to come.

Next week, we finally get to see the house party, and the possible love interests for Mary. Apparently, one of the valets is making a play for Anna, which obviously upsets Bates. It’s going to be an interesting episode!

Editor's note: Downton Abbey fans, take note! The book Behind the Scenes of Downton Abbey may well be relevant to your interests—it's full of Season 4 goodness.

But wait, there's more! H&H is hosting a Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Sweepstakes! Learn more here and enter while there's still time.


Love romance? For a weekly roundup of the hottest news, sneak peeks, reviews, cover reveals, TV recaps, sweepstakes, and much more, sign up for the Heroes and Heartbreakers newsletter.

Naz Keynejad is an avid reader, copy/story editor, and is currently working on her Masters degree in English literature. She’s a self-professed literary nerd and has a “thing” for period dramas. She will watch anything as long as it’s filled with British accents, suppressed sexual tension, angst, and of course, period costumes. Oh, and there has to be tea. Lots of tea.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. carmenlire
Robert is really making me angry about trying to keep Mary in her little spot. She's obviously smart and practical.
2. Murphy
How did Jimmy end at the dance? He was there cooincidently on his own accord?
Jeri Huish
3. jerilyn11
This episode was slow and I didn't love it, or the direction we seem to be going.

I know this show is a little soapy and it needs conflict to drive the plot, but I'm pretty disappointed in Cora and Robert. Both of them are pretty obvlivious, easily swayed by gossipy, manipulative people (who have proved over and over to be untrustworthy) and pretty darn childish. Cora is so completely lost without a maid that she'll snatch up the first questionable cantidate without a second thought. And Robert STILL has his knickers in a twist because he's not The Boss. He is never going to open his eyes and see that most of the family's heartache are caused by his poor judgement (from Sybil to the money in the estate and right down to his determination to keep lying/stealing/molesting Thomas over winning a cricket game) and he had best never make a decision ever again.

But for BOTH of them to belive that Anna is hassling one of the staff? Anna? Who could give you a cavity with her sweetness? PUH-lease.

Alfred and Jimmy need to take their respective aspirations (chef and kept-man-with-sugar-mama) and mercifully kill off this stupid Love Quandrangle. Maybe Daisy should end up with the cute guy that liked Rose.

Rose. Ugh. I could not be more over her. I agree that she's filling the "Progressive Female Character" hole that Sybil left behind, but she doesn't have any redeeming qualities. She's dishonest. She's trashy. She drags other people down with her. She's the Lindsey Lohan of Downton.
4. carmenlire
I like the comment about rose is the Lindsay lohan of Downton. And I really couldn't believe how annoying Cora was in regards to Anna. She's been there for years and is great while the other woman is new and sloppy. I also wanted to punch Cora when she told miss braithewaite(?) That that dress was a favorite of hers all pathetic like. Go buy a new one! I loved that Tom and Mary were working together though!
5. carmenlire
I like the comment about rose is the Lindsay lohan of Downton. And I really couldn't believe how annoying Cora was in regards to Anna. She's been there for years and is great while the other woman is new and sloppy. I also wanted to punch Cora when she told miss braithewaite(?) That that dress was a favorite of hers all pathetic like. Go buy a new one! I loved that Tom and Mary were working together though!
Naz Keynejad
6. nazkey
@Murphy - Jimmy was in York to run the errand for Mrs. Patmore and he saw Anna and Rose walk into the dance hall, so he followed them.

@carmenlire - to be honest, I'm more shocked at Cora this season than Robert. I mean, Robert's reverted back to his old ways of "I'm the boss," which is kinda predictable. He doesn't like change, and this is his opportunity to stop it from happening. But you're totally right about Cora. It's a little unrealistic for someone in her position to be so naive, and not just listen to gossip, but listen to it from Thomas, who everyone knows is not always on the up and up. I think that she believed him this time because of the incident with the nanny last week (which, by the way, Thomas totally lucked out on, in my opinion.)

Your comment about Rose being the Lindsey Lohan of DA cracked me up. I just can't get excited about her. We know she's a trouble maker, so when she makes trouble, there's no surprise. I can't wait to see if she does anything truly outrageous during the house party. And, yes. Tom and Mary working together is totally awesome!
7. LeeLee
So I just want to say, Naz has been doing her recaps longer than a lot of others, and this season seems to be when everyone is offering recaps. I was itching for information Sunday night, and checked out several of these. Absolutely none provided the depth, coverage, and frankly spot on humor that Naz does in her recaps. So from now on I will behave and patiently wait until Monday morning for Naz to work her magic. Thanks Naz! We really appreciate you!
Naz Keynejad
8. nazkey
@LeeLee Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoy my ramblings!
9. Canucks
It seems like it is Déjà vu in DA all over again!

The train station at the Abbey with Carson and Charlie Grigg seemed as if Mary was saying Goodbye to Matthew all over again,

If one was not paying attention, one would also not have been faulted for seeing yet another (badly acted) bar/dance seen where/when Rose got into trouble once again,

I swear I just saw Thomas scheming with O’Brien—Oh sorry it was the new person Edna!—Oh sorry no, not the new person Edna, the old Edna now the new Lady’s Maid—getting Anna or Bates or both in trouble again, or was it Alfred? I always get confused when an article of clothing is soiled, torn or burned, and Thomas helps out again,

Bates with his terribly sour face when he was first sacked by Robert (S01), or when he sacked himself to go with his old wife Vera (S02), or when he was sacked by the courts (S03), or when he was told of his new wife’s “alleged” misgivings (S04), again, again, again, and again,

Jimmy jimmying his way to something or someone downstairs, or downtown, again, and of course with Ivy, again,

An unexpected letter arriving to announce new riches and/or redistribution of wealth and income from one lawyer to another again, or for a huge change, from one lawyer to a spouse—who though can be lawyerly if need be once again,

Robert being lectured on the level of his intelligence, manners, and business acumen by his mother, and his wife, again and again and again,

Mary breaking up at the dinner table, thinking about Matthew, once when she was about to marry him and another thinking about the end of her marriage with him, again, slapping her napkin forcefully on the dinner table from left to right (or was it her right to her left) again,

Edith starting to kiss people again, uncontrollably, and in public, at the farms (John Drake), during and after house parties (Sir Anthony Strallan), and in restaurants (Michael Gregson),

Alfred Nugent (a.k.a. William Mason) and Daisy , working to hook-up eventually, first him to her, then her to him … well you just need to work on your memory a bit here, again and again,

Wills, entails, inheritances, taxes, lawyers … and Mary once again getting or not getting it, or Mary getting it but not keeping it, or perhaps keeping it but then giving it away …

Did I say again, again?

I think S04 will be a true test of DA viewers’ patience and memories of DAs past in the future, as the future of DA unfolds as it was in the past.

I wasn’t sure if I should watch DA or Breaking Bad first this weekend. BReaking BAd won.

Luckily for DA, Breaking Bad also ended this week.

Nice to “hear” your words once again Naz!

Happy Seasons 04, 05, 06, 07 …
10. Canucks
After the previous "commercial" break, let's now turn to some really exciting news on DA.

According to The Guardian :

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes once called the hit ITV costume drama "a posh soap opera." So it was perhaps only a matter of time before the show's producers launched a "signature soap collection" as part of a Downton Abbey beauty range.

The launch of the fourth series of the show will be followed later this month by the launch of a Marks & Spencer beauty range featuring scented candles and lip gloss, "all with a nod to Downton Abbey style", according to the retailer

. . . . . .

Folks you can't make these things up even if you tried!
11. Maloyo
Thanks for the recaps, Naz. I really don't want to wait until January (and who knows how many membership drives) to find out what happens next.

I found this site part-way through the US broadcast last season and couldn't stop myself from reading all the entires. Knowing what happened didn't spoil it as I feared it would, so I kept the link for season 04.
Naz Keynejad
12. nazkey
@Canucks - I've missed you! Well, you are 100% right. The series is a bit of a regurgitation of past happenings, but then again, that's been the modus operandi for a while. One of the things I didn't like last season (and so far, don't like this season), is the complete remove from what's happening in the world. We had more of a connection with historical events in S1, and I miss that. This is a particularly interesting time in world history, and I don't like Julian Fellowes' "bubble" too much.

When it comes to Rose and Jimmy, I'm not excited about either of these characters. There is nothing appealing about them to me, at least not yet. And Edna is just a ploy to replace O'Brien, so you're definitely right there. I think it is completely OOC for Cora to just hire someone that quickly, and I still don't understand why Rose was such an advocate of this hire. We'll see what happens, I guess!

Thanks again for stopping by and commenting!
Naz Keynejad
13. nazkey
@Maloyo you are most welcome! I'm glad you're enjoying reading them, and thanks for stopping by to comment!
14. Friederike H. Keck
Does anyone think there will be a marriage or/and a birth in this season ? Hopefully not another death, Fellowes himself said in an interview, he did not want to turn DA in "midsummer murder".
I am still hopeing for an child for Anna and Bates. But I think we will not get it this season. But I think we will have Ediths wedding in this years CS with grandmother Martha and uncle Harold coming from the Staates. I do not think Mary will marry again this season, even if there are love interests for her.
We will have to wait and see and drink a lot of tea.
Naz, thank you again. I am looking forward to next Monday.
Friederike form Munich
Naz Keynejad
15. nazkey
I hope they don't try to cram a wedding or a baby in there just to have it, you know? Hopefully, they'll stick to a more cohesive plot!

Thanks for stopping by Friederike! *hands you some tea*
16. DarthFaeder
Hello I was thumbing through Hero's and Heartbreakers and saw you guys talking Downton Abbey. I normally post comments in the Lost Girl thread but couldn't resist saying how much I love Downton Abbey. I am here in the States and won't be able to watch season 4 till I think Jan 5 2014. I just adore this wonderful show and I don't think that I will read any comments here cuz I don't want to know ahead of time what happens. The crazy thing is my most favorite show in the world is Lost Girl which is a Canadian show, and one of the other of my favorite shows is Downton Abbey a British tv show. I guess that says alot about how aweful American television has become. I have to wait till January to watch both shows sigh!! :(. The only problem I have with Downton Abbey is that they only seem to shoot 7 or 8 episodes what a shame. Just when you start really getting into the show it ends for another year and I have to wait about 10 months before it comes back
17. Marten
Is it really true that season 4 is the last for DA?
And will Tom Branson leave downton abbey in the end?

If you know about somthing,please,let me know.
Naz Keynejad
18. nazkey
I believe there will be a season 5, yes. At least, there were rumors of that earlier this year. I don't know about Tom leaving DA (I hope he doesn't), but rumors of him and Mary getting together are false. If you don't mind being spoiled, you can read about what's been happening in my recaps for this season.
19. Marten
Thank you for your answer and posting recaps.
It's a pleasure to read your recaps after watching DA.
And I know exactly Mary and Tom will not get together,
but I'm confused his stance and afraid of his leaving Downton in the end of series 4,which is the reason I questioned.
If I would do something wrong,I'm sorry seriously.
Naz Keynejad
20. nazkey
You're not doing anything wrong! It's a pleasure to have you not only read my recaps, but take the time to comment!
21. Joseph
Loves these recaps. By the way, it's "un thé dansant," or literally a "dancing tea," not to nitpick. :)
Ann Carey
One question I have is about how Mary can inherit half of the estate from Matthew. In the first episode we learned that the Downton estate was entailed on the next "male" heir and therefore a female (Mary) couldn't inherit (that's how the whole thing started). Was there a change in British law in the intervening 12 years so that Mary could now inherit?
Naz Keynejad
23. nazkey
I"m going to assume that the entail didn't extend beyond Matthew (which sometimes did happen). If that's the case, then Matthew could "will" his portion to anyone he chose. If not, then technically, George would inherit, and Mary would be in charge until George was of age.

Those of you who are better versed in this particular period's laws, please step in and let me know if I'm right or wrong.
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