‘Downton Abbey’ recap: Season 4, Episode 6

Credit: PBS
Credit: PBS

The racist is pro-choice, the vicar is drunken, the pigs are in danger, and Bates has crazy-eyes. Your recap below.

Mary and Napier. Mary and Blake. Mary and Gillingham. There’s something about Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery). If every man who visits falls for her, it’s probable that most men in general fall for her, so why do we never see her fend off Mr. Mosley? You know that’s a daily occurrence.

She and Blake, one of the government assessors visiting the estate, have passed the last two episodes bickering glibly and tossing erudite insults, like Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, so we knew they’d eventually fall in love and handle wild animals. Instead of a leopard, though, they worry over pigs, Downton’s latest investment and attempt at solvency, which have just arrived. But when they check on the swine, they discover the water trough kicked over and at least one of the animals almost dead from dehydration.

Blake, with alarm, fetches water, and is surprised and pleased to see Mary roll up her sleeves and grab buckets herself.  After the crisis is under control, Blake accidentally splatters mud onto an already disheveled Mary, who then smears the same across his face.

Then, back at the Abbey, Mary fixes them scrambled eggs and says, “You saved our bacon — literally.” Bravo to the show for realistically portraying the cultural injustices set upon pigs in inter-war-era England’s class structure: sleeping outside and eating in separate quarters. The war didn’t change everything.

Rowing for two

In another rom-com down the road, Rose pursues Mr. Ross, the dashing and definitely black leader of a London jazz outfit. She paddles on a lake with him, shouting, “Vive la différence!” And then he goes, “Different strokes!” And she’s all, “Oreos!” And then they both break into “Ebony and Ivory” by Stevie Wonder. They only actually shouted the French adage but my point remains: she’s unafraid. Because she lives in England, not Alabama.

Sadly, Lady Edith’s rom-com is not as cheery — and just when we were enjoying hating her for being such a racist cow last episode. But now she’s pregnant from the night she slept with Michael Gregson, who traveled to Munich in order to divorce his medically insane wife, but then went missing upon arrival; scratch rom-com, this one’s more of a soap opera.

Edith (Laura Carmichael) sees no choice but to abort the fetus. She confesses to Aunt Rosalind, who exhibits uncharacteristic restraint and support, and demands to accompany Edith. But once there — a place she found in “a magazine in the ladies’ waiting room at Kings Cross” — Edith changes her mind. She chooses to keep the baby, in spite of thereby insuring her status as an outcast and a stain upon the family. In other words, stay tuned to find out how the writers devise a way for her to lose the baby in a more convenient and socially acceptable way.

Crazy eyes

This time, when Gillingham visits, he brought his creepy valet, Mr. Green. Although Mary now also knows about Anna’s attack, Mrs. Hughes is still the only one besides Anna (Joanne Froggatt) abreast of the attacker’s identity. But Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) is hot on his heels, noting Anna’s obvious alarm upon seeing the valet at the servants’ table. That, and also Green basically admits it, saying he hadn’t liked the opera singer and so took refuge downstairs instead. It was after this piece of information that Bates’s eyes turned to slivers, suggesting he was either trying to launch a Mary-Blake style romance, or was imagining different ways to dispose of Mr. Green’s body.

What else? Maggie Smith contracted bronchitis, which nearly became pneumonia, but Mrs. Crawley came to the rescue, nursing the Dowager Countess back to health and driving her mad along the way: “I need a new nurse. This one talks too much. She’s like a drunken vicar.” And Branson (Allen Leech) wins the award for best rom-com pick-up line: When he meets a woman at a political lecture by sitting in the empty chair next to her, and she smiles flirtatiously, he announces, “I’m a socialist!” Which, little-known fact, is also how Noam Chomsky pulled birds.

Episode grade: B+

Follow Jane Borden on Twitter @JaneBorden


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.