'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season 4 American Episode 3

By Chris Baggiano,
Edith is as mysterious as a bucket

Downton Abbey's third episode very much dealt with the fallout from the weekend party. Anna is still trying to deal with her rape on her own terms, Robert and Cora continue to play the behind the scenes matchmaking for Gilliam and Mary, and the audience finds out exactly what happened after Edna disappeared into Branson’s room.

However, episode three also came with some very shocking, and perhaps somewhat confusing, moments that will, most likely, pop back up later in the season. This episode of Downton felt like the most cohesive episode of the young season and, perhaps, the most fun as the zingers flew freely and the comeuppance was doled out justly.

The episode began the morning of the weekend guests’ departure, so very little time had passed for Anna to process what had happened to her the night before. Mary put Gilliam off for a date in London, and Branson had let Edna know what a mistake he had made by not refusing her the night before after she had got him drunk. However, in what would become a theme for the episode, everything began moving incredibly quickly.

As Branson is trying to be a gentleman in regards to letting Edna know that the previous night was a mistake, Edna insisted that when she became pregnant, he would have to become her husband. Clearly, this was her plan all along to move up in the social strata.

Branson was at a complete loss by this tactic and was gloomy the entire episode, as multiple people – including Mary – noticed. If things weren’t bad enough for Branson he, again, was called into duty as Aunt Rosamund’s date to the dancing club in London, having to entertain the odd woman out once more.

The whole dancing club idea was Rose’s, who shoehorned herself into the London trip with Mary and Branson. Cora and Rosamund had plotted a “chance” meeting for Gilliam and Mary – despite her refusal for a date earlier in the episode. Since Gilliam brought Sir John along with him, Rose couldn’t help but offer up the suggestion of the dance club.

Once there, not everything came out Rosy (ahem). While Mary and Gilliam were discussing the possibility of a relationship, Mary every so slightly warming up Gilliam’s persistence, a too-far-into-his-cups Sir John was making a fool out of both himself and Rose on the dance floor. Once Sir John disappeared for the night, Rose was left stranded and humiliated on the dance floor. That is until Jack Ross, the band’s black singer, swooped in from the stage to save her.

Jack, the first black character on the show, gets enough time to have Rose become interested before Rosamund sends Branson to break up this interracial dance pair. Although don’t be surprised if Jack and Rose meet up again later in the season.

Gilliam follows Mary back to Downton the next day as everything comes to a head. Branson tells Mrs. Hughes about the Edna debacle while Gilliam tells Mary, yet again, how much he loves her. Mrs. Hughes completely calls Edna out on her conniving plot to entrap Branson.

She reveals knowing all about Edna's birth control book and gets her to admit that she is not pregnant – although everyone knows that no one would know for certain until a few weeks had passed. Edna leaves in a huff, much to Thomas’s liking because he has a perfect candidate for the new lady’s maid.

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