Downton Abbey U.S. Season 4 Premiere is here!


Photo from Downton Abbey 2014

Photo Credit courtesy of  Downton Abbey/ITV© 2014

A year has passed with U.S. fans missing Downton Abbey. We’ve missed Lady Sybil and Matthew, but wonder what will happen to their children that they left behind.  Of course, everyone is curious of how Downton will move forward.  However, the wait was over last Sunday as Downton Abbey Season 4 premiered in the U.S.  Episode 2 is tonight and if you missed it, here are our thoughts about the first episode.


We love Downton Abbey, but have to admit that the departure of Matthew Crawley was a huge surprise in Season 3 Finale.  After three seasons of watching the love between Matthew and Mary bloom and fail several times, we finally thought that they had a long future together.  A wedding and even an heir had been born to secure the future of Downton Abbey and it’s future Earls and Countesses.

All in all, the two hour premier was good, but Lady Mary is certainly not herself.  We assume that she will rise to the occasion and be the person that everyone expects. I guess, we’ll have to watch and see.

In case you missed Episode 1 of Season 4, here is a summary with some of our thoughts!

The premiere opens up with a shot of Downton Abbey.  When the inside of the home is shown, we see someone place two notes on the mantel.  A women, whom appears to be O’Brien, is going down the stairs.  Anna retrieves the letters.  In a passing conversation with Thomas, Anna says that Miss O’Brien has “up and left”.  We find that out that Lady Susan Flintshire, has stolen O’Brien as her lady’s maid.  Apparently for the opportunity to travel.  Lady Flintshire’s daughter is currently staying at Downton Abbey.

Although O’Brien hasn’t been the nicest member of the cast, she certainly added a lot of drama to the show.  How dare Lady Flintshire!

At breakfast, Tom Branson says that he is wondering if Lady Mary would like to walk the property with him, but Lord Grantham tells him not to bother Mary.  Lady Edith says that she will be in London and can put an advertisement in “The Lady” while she is there.   Rose (Lady Flintshire’s Daughter) questions if this will take too long, which seems to be foreshadowing some action on her part.

As if it isn’t awkward enough that O’Brien has left, the fact that Rose is staying at Downton Abbey definitely adds to the tension.

In Lady Mary’s room, the Nanny asks her if she would like to take a walk with Master George. Lady Mary declines, kisses Master George on the forehead and refers to him as a poor little orphan.  Anna states that he is not an orphan because he has his mother. Mary adds that he isn’t poor either. Finally, as Anna is leaving, she asks Lady Mary if she would mind if she sees to her ladyship.  Lady Mary curtly adds, “why would I mind?  I’m not planing a trip around the world”.

It is already weighing on us by this point that Lady Mary is not herself.  

In the next scene, the Dowager Countess at the church and they are adding Matthew’s tombstone.  The Dowager Countess asks the elder Mr. Molesley about his son, whom is out of work after no longer having a position as Matthew’s valet.

Poor Mr. Molesley!

The new Nanny scolds Thomas for interacting with Lady Sybil’s baby.  Downstairs is still a bustle with everyone talking about O’Brien leaving and more questions about Lady Mary.  Thomas continues showing his unhappiness with Nanny West.

Thomas and Lord Grantham talk about options for the estate and death duties are discussed.  It is made clear that Mary only plays a small role in Downton Abbey since Matthew did not leave a will.

Everyone that knows Lady Mary, knows that she will not sit by idly and will want to preserve Matthew’s mission, right?

Mr. Mosley tells Carson that he has been looking for a job.  It is clear that he cannot continue to work at Downton Abbey.

In the Library, Edith says that she is going into town and Rose wants to go.  While in town, Rose places a card in the window of a shop for 6 pence.  She says that is is seeking an applicant, but declines to say what for.

Is this a posting for Cora’s Lady’s maid?

Lady Edith and Isobel sit at Crawley House and Isobel discusses that the baby is “rich as creases” and his mother who is almost passed over.  Lady Edith says that it is the law.  Isobel remembers that Matthew was always so meticulous.  Isobel says, “You see, when your only child dies, then your not a mother anymore.”  Edith replies that she is a grandmother, and that she knows that Isobel will be a wonderful one.

Both Mary and Isobel are struggling with Matthew’s death.  These two characters are the most impacted emotionally. However, everyone at Downton seems deeply impacted.

Mrs. Hughes finds a letter in Carson’s wastebasket.  An applicant sees Rose’s card in the window” and inquires about the job.  The clerk remembers that she once worked at Downton Abbey.

Lord Grantham continues showing his concern that he should be managing the estate as he and his grandson own 5/6th of the property.  Valentine’s Day is upon Downton Abbey.  Daisy receives a card and wonders whom it is from.  Lady Mary and Lady Edith meet on the stairway and Edith tries to avoid discussing Valentine’s Day with Mary.  Mary continues to look very solemn.

It is obvious that Mary’s heart is broken.

In the next scene, we see Mrs. Hughes at Ripon Union Workhouse at night.  It is clear that Mr. Carson knows one of the people at the workhouse.

Edith arrives in London and is seen at St. Pancras meeting Michael Gregson .  He tells Edith that it is possible to divorce for lunacy in Germany.  Edith leaves and they say they will see each other that night.

St. Pancras in London was recently restored and now houses the Eurostar.  It is a quick and easy way to travel between London and Paris under the English Channel.  Marriott also added a beautiful hotel at the station.  Consider this lovely hotel when in London.   Link to Marriott Renaissance St. Pancras Hotel.

The Dowager Countess is with Isobel when Mr. Mosely appears asking for his old job.  Isobel says that she has no need for a butler.

Isobel tells the Dowager Countess, “I’m just an old widow that eats off a tray” and the Dowager Countess replies, “Just because your an old widow, I see no reason to eat off a tray”.

At dinner, Edith and her new beau discuss the options of being together.  The Dowager Countess goes to Molesley’s father’s house and it is obvious that she is concocting a plan to find Molesley a job.  Carson and Hughes argue about her reading the letter in the wastebasket and Carson declines to help the man.

Daisy and Ivy open a new electric mixer and Mrs. Patmore is reluctant to use it.  In the library, the family discusses the applicants for Lady’s maid. Tom talks with Mary and tells her what he has been doing today on the property. Lord Grantham stops the conversation.  Mrs. Hughes approaches Isobel about bringing the man from the workhouse to her home.

Isobel is not the women that she once was and you can see that she is deeply effected by the grief over the loss of her son.  Although, her kind personality is still there. 

Tom approaches Carson to help convince Lady Mary to take an active place in the running of Downton Abbey.  Daisy is using the mixer, Ivy contemplates going to a pub and Nanny West and Thomas have a confrontation. Carson talks to Lady Mary about her role in running the estate. The scene cuts to Thomas telling her Ladyship that Nanny West is neglecting the children.

Mary responds negatively to Carson’s thoughts and she questions that Lord Grantham’s Butler is overstepping the mark.  She implies that her grief is too much and that she could not be part of the estate running.  Carson continues to be bold and says that Lady Mary is letting herself be defeated and says that someone needs to say so.

Thankfully someone is encouraging Lady Mary and we’re glad that it is Carson. You see how much these two care for each other.  They are much more than just a butler and heiress. They are more like Father and daughter.  

At dinner, it is suggested that Mary represent Master George at the tenant’s lunch. Mary rushes out of the room.  The Dowager Countess says that the mousse is delicious. Remember that it was made with the new electric mixer!  Molesley’s father encourages him to get back into service.

Mrs. Patmore better embrace the modern Kitchen tools!

The Dowager Countess has an unusually soft conversation with Mary and tells her that she loves her.  She softly encourages Mary adds that, “there is more than one type of good mother”.  She also states that Mary must chose either death or life.

Charlie Grigg is to be released to Mrs. Crawley and Carson is not happy about this.  The Dowager Countess tells Robert that it is their job to bring Mary back to the world.

Ivy returns to Downton Abbey drunk.  Rose and her Ladyship meet Edna Braithwaite at a restaurant in Ripon. Those downstairs wonder why they are meeting this applicant outside of Downton Abbey.  It is clear that Edna is not completely forthright with Cora when she fails to remember that she used her Aunt as an excuse not to interview at Downton.

Molesley fails to impress at the luncheon and does not get a job.  Mr. Grigg arrives at Crawley House.  Edith meets Michael Gregson at the Criterion and he tells her that he can divorce if he becomes a German citizen.

Poor Edith! She is certainly unlucky in love.

Mrs. Hughes finds out from Cora that Mrs. Braithwaite is returning.  She can’t explain why, but it is evident that Mrs. Hughes does not want her to return.  Daisy continues to wonder whom sent her Valentine’s card.  She later finds out that it was Mrs. Patmore because she didn’t want Daisy to be upset or feel left out.  Tom comes downstairs because Mrs. Hughes has requested to talk to him.  Mrs. Hughes talks to Tom about Edna.  Along with Carson, they plan to watch over her, but Mrs. Hughes thinks that it sounds like a ticking bomb.

Cora wanders past the nursery and hears Nanny West telling Master George not to let the chauffeur’s daughter disturb him any more.  Nanny West is also mean to Sybil’s child.  Cora terminates Nanny West’s employment immediately and instructs that Nanny West not be alone with the children.

Mary and Robert talk about Edith’s new love interest.  Mary asks her father if he would like her at the Tenant lunch and he tells her no. Mary tells him that she has ideas.  As she goes upstairs, she stops and goes to Carson. She apologizes to him and Mary says that she has spent too long in the land of the dead. Carson embraces her in a fatherly manner as Mary cries and tells her to have a good cry and that she can then fight for Matthew’s visions.

Although she does not necessarily say that she is returning to the land of the living, we are glad to see a semblance of the old Mary!

Mrs. Patmore fails to work the electric mixer and Mrs. Hughes helps clean up the mess.  Mrs. Patmore is worried that Daisy’s ability to work new electronics will leave her in the past.  Cora tells Robert that they owe a huge debt to Thomas and that Nanny West will no longer be working at Downton Abbey.

Mary joins the Tenant’s lunch.  It appears that she is beginning to come back to the land of the living, or at least that she is pushing forward to do her duty.

Yay Mary!

Gwen, the former housemaid turned secretary, writes that she has married.  Mrs. Hughes says that she hopes to introduce him to them sometime soon.

A box of Matthew’s office possessions arrive and it is given to Robert first.  He discusses a letter that he finds with the Dowager Countess which may give Mary more of a stake in Downton.  The Dowager Countess questions Robert about whether he would like to “share the crown” with Mary as she suspects that he would like to be in full control.

Lord Grantham has defiantly had issues running Downton Abbey. He should welcome Mary’s help and embrace change so that Downton can continue to run for years to come!

The doctor says that all Mr. Griggs needs is some paid work to put him right.  Mr. Griggs continues to ask about Charlie (Mr. Carson).  He realizes that there is an issue and we see that there is more to the story between he and Carson.

What happened between Griggs and Carson?

Anna finds Mr. Molesley working on the road spreading hot tar, a job which he is obviously not suited. She learns that he is in debt in the amount of 15-20 pounds.  Anna offers to loan or give him the money, but he declines.

Robert requests to see Mary before dinner.  He tells her of the letter from Matthew’s office.  He is honest that he wanted to send it to Murray, his attorney, but that granny urged him to let Mary see it first.

Yay Robert!!  Unfortunately, they didn’t have photocopiers then or he could have sent a copy to Murray and shared the news with Mary.

Robert reads the letter aloud at Mary’s request. We find that Matthew’s letter states his intention that Mary be his sole heir.  He also says that he will prepare a Will as soon as he returns from Donegal.  They discuss the letter more at dinner and Mary states that she would like an opinion. Robert tells her that she already has an opinion and Robert is a bit pushy with Mary.  Everyone questions Robert and it is implied that Robert firmly believe that a lady’s place is in the home.

Edna ruins a garment and Thomas helps her. Isobel finds a job for Mr. Grigg.  Mary keeps the tiny stuffed animal that she gave Matthew when he went away to war on her dressing table.  Rose tells Anna about an event in London for servants and asks Anna to be her chaperone.  Anna declines.  Her ladyship is disappointed with Edna that she ruined the garment.

What is Thomas up to now?

Carson finds a picture of a women called Alice and Mrs. Hughes asks about her.  Mr. Bates visits the Dowager Countess and asks her to give Molesley some money. Although, he suggests that they can find a way to give it to Molesley without him knowing from where it came.

Anna and Bates are awesome!

Thomas suggests that Anna ruined the garment because of jealousy.  Anna drops a bottle of fragrance and tells Lady Mary about Rose’s request for her to take her to Thé dansant.

We see trouble brewing with Rose!

The Dowager Countess says that she wants Tom to be Mary’s instructor, without telling Robert, of course.  Isobel requests that Carson come to see Mr. Grigg off as he departs. She says that this is a chance to end a quarrel and Carson continues to decline.

Lady Edith talks more with Michael Gregson and asks him if he would like him to see Downton Abbey.  She suggest that he come to a house party.  Tom shows Lady Mary around the estate.

Rose dresses simply and requests that Anna does not call her m’lady at the dance.  Rose is asked to dance and Jimmy later arrives.  Rose pretends to be a servant.  Tom discusses the death duties with Mary.  He says that Robert believes that they should sell land to pay the duties in one lump sum.

Mary seems to have her own ideas about paying the duties.  We think that Mary may emerge as a great leader!

We see Bates with a pen and ink copying Molesley’s name.  Trouble ensues at the dance and a fight breaks out over rose.  Mr. Molesley arrives at Downton and has a cup of tea downstairs.  Mr. Bates says that he found a note from Mr. Mosely that he owes him 30 pounds.  In front of everyone, he says that you can’t deny that is your (Molesley’s) signature.  He gives him 30 pounds.

Jimmy asks to go to the theater with Ivy.  Mrs. Hughes reminds Carson one last time that Mr. Griggs is leaving for Belfast in the morning.

Robert talks to Bates about Anna and suggests that he ask Anna to go easy on Edna.  Ivy gets ready to go out and Daisy seems disappointed.  Mrs. Patmore tells Daisy that there is nothing “as changeable as a young man’s heart”.  A man arrives asking about the housemaid, Rose. Anna gets Rose and she dresses as a housemaid.  She seems charmed and he asks if he can call on her again.  She is flattered, but says that she has given her word to a local farmer.  They part with him telling her that he is a lucky bloke.

This is a side of Rose that we have not seen before. Perhaps she is growing up.

She redresses and rushes to the drawing room. Robert explains that Murray has examined the document and has found that the letter is valid. Mary now owns half of the estate.  They discuss tax and Mary suggests there might be another way to pay the tax other than selling land.

Mr. Bates tells Anna that Edna has taken offense to something that she has done and Anna says that she wasn’t having a go at her. Edna and Thomas are talking and Edna is laughing. She says that it is nothing.

It appears that O’Brien has quickly been replaced by Edna as Thomas’ new “partner in crime”. 

Carson decides to meet Mr. Griggs at the train station. They talk about Alice and Mr. Griggs explains that Alice has passed away.  He tells Carson that they had separated many years before and says that she admitted loving Carson.  Mr. Carson asks to know any expense that Isobel has been out for Mr. Griggs implying that he would like to pay it.  The show closes with Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes leaving the station together.

Tune in to see what happens tonight in Episode 2!

Meandering Road

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