Downton Abbey recap: A Short Question

Mary receives a surprising question, Anna freezes Bates out, Edna makes a play for Tom, and Rose meets a new friend
Ep. 03 | Aired Jan 19, 2014

WILL YOU 'MARY' ME? I like Tony and Mary together. Sorry, Matthew.

PBS

"He's dead and I'm alive." If those aren't enticing words as part of a marriage proposal, then what is?

Of course the "he" is Matthew, and the "I'm" is Lord Gillingham. And aside from Gillingham's question, and some Edna/Tom drama, this episode lacks much in the way of plot. Most of the downstairs and upstairs characters continue on the same cycle they've been living in these four seasons of Downton.

On part three of Downton Abbey's fourth season, Lord Gillingham announces his intentions to Mary. Mary encountered her new love interest again in London after Rosamund and Cora conspired to throw them together. The dashing Lord then followed the eldest Crawley daughter back to Downton, and asked her to marry him right then and there. After a very short time of knowing each other.

"It's not complicated," Tony tells Mary when she asks why he's returned to Downton.

"I've made a long journey to ask a short question," he continues. Then, following a long pause: "Will you marry me?"

She demures, and he doesn't force her to give him an answer yet.

The next day, she says no. Mary explains she's still thinking about Matthew, and she doesn't want to stop yet. Gillingham says he will have to marry Mabel Lane Fox. Mary understands. Later on, though, she tells her father and Tom that she just did something she feels she will regret for a very long time. Hopefully, we see Tony again.

Meanwhile, Anna won't let Bates touch her. Bates doesn't know what's wrong, Anna won't tell him, and she asks Mrs. Hughes if she can move back into the house. I suspect this will go on for a while. But, who can blame Anna?

In terrible plot-machinations, the awful Edna tries to get Tom to promise to marry her. She tells him that she might be pregnant after their drunken hook up, and he must make her an honest woman. Tom doesn't know what to do. When Mary senses something is wrong with her brother-in-law, she counsels him to confess to someone. She says it will help. Tom goes to Mrs. Hughes, and Mrs. Hughes saves the day. The housekeeper finds a book in Edna's room called Married Love, which counsels woman on how to have sex with their husbands without getting pregnant. Edna is defeated, and she quits. Hallelujah.

Random thoughts:

I'm definitely shipping Rose and Jack, the black jazz singer the Crawley crowd meets at the Lotus club. And not just because I love Titanic.

Look at Edith, sneaking back to Rosamund's after spending the night with SASYB (Sir Anthony Strallen's Younger Brother)! You do you, girl. (Or SASYB in this case.)

NEXT: The weekly rankings and the Dowager's best lines

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