Catch up on our series three Downton Abbey blog.
Sorry, what’s that? It’s season four of Downton? What, they’re carrying on without Matthew? In 1922 and the Dowager’s still alive? How on earth is that going to work?
Well, it worked fairly well, if a little uneventfully. Having said that, avid readers (of whom I’m sure I have at least 4) will know how much I appreciate the appearance of new-fangled technology at the abbey, so what better way to start the series than with a wind-up whisk (or is that a mixer, I’m not much of a baker). What Daisy, in what is now ten years of being downtrodden and overlooked has failed to learn, is that skill with a whisk is not necessarily a footman’s favourite trait when choosing a wife. They much prefer a rosy cheek and a bit of one-upmanship. At least she’ll always have Mrs Patmore.
Elsewhere, Mr Molesley, our perennial underdog, is out on his limb thanks to the demise of Matthew. Mrs Crawley can’t be bothered to give him a job though she can help a well-known petty thief and blackmailer out of the workhouse. What Mr Molesley hasn’t quite cottoned on to (in fact this is turning into life lessons for Downton characters) is that all he needs is a smidgeon of charisma and a soupcon of magnetism, and job security is his. After all, Thomas broke laws of the time and challenged the morals of a conservative family yet they fought to keep him on and slapped Jimmy on the wrists last series.
What about Nanny West, then? It’s like Downton’s fond farewell to the silliness of the previous series, though amusing to have had Thomas inadvertently turned charitable.
While essentially pleased that Mary has successfully shrugged off her blues (and how conveniently within the framework of one ninety minute episode), I’m more than a little bit sad that we only got a couple of scenes of intimidating, imposing and cold Mary reminiscent of the first series. Ah well. And while we’re on the subject of daughterly transformations, a little freedom has gone to Edith’s head. Publicly snogging a married man in a bare shouldered, thigh-exposing frock? I mean go girl, it’s definitely time you got some action, but you might be out a few decades in your behaviour.
On a final note (I’ll leave the Earl and the hussy maid for another time), I’ve read today in another blog praise for the increased presence of Isis. Now I’ve been to a lot of Crufts in my time, and I would vouch that we saw a different Labrador … has Fellowes skimmed over the tragic loss of another core character?