Downton Abbey - Season 4 on PBS

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. centerstage01

    centerstage01 Well-Known Member

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    Great start to the season. Although, I think I said "poor Molesley" so many times if it were a drinking game I'd have been smashed by the end of the show.

    Edith's wardrobe was gorgeous! Especially that green beaded dress she had on at the restaurant.
  2. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member

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    Me too. :(

    Great premiere overall. Also liked Edith's wardrobe! I don't have a good feeling about that affair with the newspaper guy though, as much as I'd like it to work out....

    ETA: my biggest ongoing complaint about the show is the constant jumping between plotlines- love Carson but found his subplot kind of pointless. And why is Cora always believing everything Thomas says?
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  3. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

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    Oh, so did I. Both of her conversations with Carson were heartbreaking.
  4. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed the premier. It was all about the Women! Mary, Edith and especially the Dowager were excellent. The zingers coming out of
    the Dowager's mouth were priceless and well warranted , especially this one to her son. "When you talk like that I am tempted to call Nanny
    and send you to bed without your supper".

    My only nit pick is the developing storyline between Cora's new ladies maid Edna who was booted
    out of Downton last season. Now that O'Brien is gone are we going to have a repeat of the evil
    maid and Thomas wrecking havoc Downstairs. I hope not.
  5. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Can someone remind me what Edna and Tom did last season? Who pursued who? Was Sybil still alive?
  6. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    yeah i dont like edna and not in a way that i enjoy. too bad mosely cant do hair.
  7. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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  8. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Edna pursued Tom. He was emotionally vulnerable after the death of Sybil. Even though she stalked him, she also kept saying things to undermine his confidence, and to cause him to question his new position and his right to it. They had one brief kiss that she initiated, but that he didn't exactly fully resist. (NOTE: he was shirtless at the time...:))

    Anyway, Mrs. Hughes had observed Edna's inappropriate behavior, gave her many side-eyed evil looks, gave Tom "the talk", and they agreed Edna had to go. But due to his own feelings of guilt, Tom insisted Mrs. Hughes give her a good reference...which has now come back to haunt them.

    I HATE Edna! :mad:
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  9. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I didn't like Lord Grantham at all.
    "Sympathy"...no.

    His behavior is all about wanting to control Mary - and Downton.
  10. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Right, thanks dardar. I must say it did seem a bit farfetched for Lady Grantham to hire a position of such intimacy and seniority without actually talking to Mrs Hughes first. For that matter even to interview her without Mrs Hughes seems odd. But I guess Barrow needs a coconspirator now that Miss OBrien is gone!

    I gotta say Mrs Hughes annoyed me this time, and I usually love her. I thought she was way out of line with Carson, even though it eventually worked out. Plus in what universe is Mrs Crawley taking in a homeless man with only female servants in her house, and one that the esteemed Carson clearly has a problem with? I could see her putting him over the garage because she's that kind of person, but it seemed a bit foolhardy to have him in the house. Even today, who among us would do that?

    Funniest for me was the Dowager Countess trying to keep up with how she's supposed to address Tom :lol:
  11. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    And yet he's the one that squandered centuries of legacy and his wife's fortune with poor investments and almost lost Downton. Wonder if as he and Mary lock horns she'll spit that out at him one day.
  12. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    He's pretty much always been a backward-looking control freak! He lost almost all their money in a bad investment, and nearly had to sell Downton; yet he always thinks he knows best when it comes to the business and management of the estate. Originally Cora's money saved him, then the late Mr. Swire's money (left to Matthew after Lavinia's death), and now he thinks Matthew's death and Mary's grief can restore the power position to him. But thanks to Tom, Violet, and Carson encouraging Mary to rise from dispair and take her rightful position as the heiress and mother of the heir, it looks like Robert will NOT have things all his own way! :kickass:
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  13. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I've always wondered why no one has confronted him with that already.
  14. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    I guess he earned extra credibility points from the whole Nanny West drama. :drama:

    I agree that Cora seemed in an awful hurry to replace O'Brien...and very trusting of everything Edna said about her background, and her interim training (studied hair, worked as a lady's maid to an old lady...really? :rolleyes:). Convenient that her supposed previous employer is dead. And obviously that whole story about her caring for her aunt is a lie.

    But I guess that "good reference" from Mrs. Hughes carries a lot of weight. And Mrs. Hughes would have a hard time explaining it away without revealing Tom's minor indiscretion.

    I don't think Edna is just evil a la O'Brien...I think she's gonna be a psycho-nutcase! :eek:

    And I also agree that even though Isobel needs a "project" to get her back to life and what she does best, it was a bit pushy for Mrs. Hughes to kind of guilt Isobel into taking in Mr. Grigg.
  15. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    eys, a happy coincidence for Barrow since he was making up stuff about her and then she went ahead and did something far worse. His expression of surprise was :lol:

    But there's Cora being stupid again. Even though Barrow had earned her trust, Anna has earned her trust 100 times more - notably the Turkish lover dramz. She should have said "well that doesn't sound like Anna, but thank you for bringing it to my attention" and then she should have gone straight to either Anna or Mrs Hughes and not left her thickheaded husband to go through Bates about it.

    Cora's always been a bit too trusting and accepting IMO. I'd like to see her stronger.
  16. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree...but Cora was always very gullible to everything O'Brien told her, too. :puppet:

    And when Robert was showing Matthew's letter/will to Violet, did anyone else briefly think he was going to toss that letter into the fireplace! The fire was roaring, and I really thought that he might destroy the letter! :wideeyes:
  17. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    That was worth waiting for!

    I had pretty good idea that O'Brien would be leaving, after the trip to the Highlands at the end of last season. Didn't foresee the return of scheming Edna though. Her + Barrow is a pretty dangerous combination!

    I found Rose somewhat less tiresome this time around. She's still silly, but also sweet and naïve, somewhat of a nice change of pace from the other drama going on around the Abbey.

    And I can't find it in me to get too mad at Robert. Yes, he's stuck in the past with his head up his butt, but although his motives are about retaining power, I also believe he was sincere in his desire to protect Mary from the "burden" of running the estate. I think "wrong but well-intentioned" sums up pretty much all of his errors in judgment. And I can't help but have sympathy for people who find the times around them changing faster than they are able to process.

    The Dowager, well, she was perfect as always. What more can we say. Yes, her quips were brilliant, but I loved her scene with Mary the best. We don't see that side of her very often.

    Loved Mrs Patmore sending the valentine to Daisy, that was sweet. And then her trying out the electric mixer, in secret: so in character for her.

    My favourite "relationship," though, is still Mrs Hughes and Mr Carson. They're such a perfect yin and yang. But I hope the writers never, ever make them into a romantic couple!
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Seriously, has no one in this family got a clue about Thomas yet? Heck, the Earl KNOWS Thomas is at best a reformed thief he wanted to fire several times. I guess since O'Brien finally showed her colors (my brother, via IM: "Julian Fellowes let O'Brien leave the show and live!") Cora needs someone else to just blindly believe everything they say no matter how far-fetched.

    I don't question Robert's motives with Mary--I think he truly wants to protect her and let her grieve as he can see she's completely, utterly shattered emotionally and unlike some of the others, I think he got that shoving the baby at her and telling her to live for her son was not going to work (not saying Mary doesn't love her child, but that doesn't mean being super-Mom is really something she'd be good at.) Unfortunately, and without Matthew there was no one to say it, he was the last person on Earth who ought to have financial control of a lemonade stand, let alone George's inheritance. Not that Mary has the slightest experience (he WAS right to point out, blunt as it was, that she has precisely no clue what goes into running a major estate) but once she got kicked out of her funk, she can learn. Heck, Tom is learning as he goes. He just wasn't seeing that she really needed to start to come out of her depression and wasn't going to without a gentle boot to the backside. I do think Robert learned a lesson when Cora nearly died of the flu, Sybil died, and then he lost his surrogate son Matthew (his conversation about losing someone) and is thinking about how he'd be destroyed in her position, but isn't realizing that Mary is probably more like Tom-she needs something to focus on that isn't her grief. She's his daughter, so it's harder for him to see that than it is with Tom.
  19. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  20. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  21. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Must-read hilariously snarky recap of Episode 1:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/os...eason-four-premiere-recap?mbid=social_twitter

    10:00 PM, JANUARY 5 2014

    Downton Abbey Season Four—Premiere Recap: Lady Mary Hosts a Horrid Pity Party in Memory of Matthew
    by Julie Miller

    Excerpt:

    :lol:

    EDIT:

    :rollin:
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  22. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    ^ "Mr Molesley: Perfect! My showing at the cricket match proves I never choke under pressure!" :lol:

    and "Mr Molesley has unfriended Mr Molesley" :rofl:
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  23. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    OMG that is hysterical! It's long but worth it folks - make yourself a pot of tea and enjoy!
  24. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

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    That was so darn funny. I was literally LOL with tears in my eyes. Thanks for posting.
  25. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Also at the bottom of the page they have a link to the episodes they documented for Season 3...too funny! :lol:
  26. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    "I'm sure we can find you someone who isn't pure evil to bring you your tea, ma'am."

    "Many Fists have checked into Many Faces."

    :rofl:

    And little George is already a master of snark!
  27. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Twitter:

  28. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

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  29. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    It was beyond stupid and trusting for Cora. It was stupid writing It was beyond the realm of believability. There's no way Cora would have trusted the new maid that Hughes was at least expressed reservations about ahead of Cora who has been trusted by the family for years. And Barrow should have gotten the boot a long time ago. There's no way anyone in that household could find him trustworthy. It didn't even make sense for them to be covering for Tom because he really didn't do anything.
  30. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Well-Known Member

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    Lady Mary reminded me of Wednesday Addams at the beginning of the program.
  31. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    OMG! The episode! The Vanity Fair recap! The Faux Facebook recap! So much fun! Wheeeeeeeeee!!! :rofl:
  32. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    Let's talk about the real travesty that took place in this premiere : No canine butt shot in the opening credits!

    Isis must have pooped on Julian Fellow's rug.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  33. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    My problem with the hiring of Edna is that all Mrs. Hughes had to say was a version of the truth to settle the matter: Edna made an inappropriate advance towards Tom. He was uncomfortable but didn't want to see her tossed out with a bad reference, so Mrs. Hughes obliged with Tom's wishes to give her a good recommendation. I wish they would have just added a new character altogether for the ladies maid.
  34. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Small scene spoiler...

    Twitter:

  35. tamuno

    tamuno Member

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    I wish they would have just added a new character altogether for the ladies maid.


    Keep hope alive! Yes Cora's negligence I attempted to explain as she needed a maid promptly and since Edna had already worked at the Abbey and Mrs Hughes wrote a good reference, and she did say Edna is a good worker.............I see her character as the type of mistress that generally tries to be benevolent with her servants and does not care much about what they are up to beyond their loyal service. If you are used to having servants, you will know what I mean. Such mistresses are very easy to manipulate.
  36. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    My question is shouldn't Isis (who appears to be full-grown in the premiere) be at LEAST 11 and therefore very elderly by now? For a lab, she should be a senior citizen. Oh, no, are we going to get a "the Earl loses his beloved dog" episode?
  37. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Though never called by name, the original Grantham dog was Pharaoh. He died at the end of Season 1, and Season 2 saw the arrival of Isis. If Isis was a big puppy at that time (mid-WWI) then she'd be approximately 6-8 years old by now.

    EDIT: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbi...e-star-hounded-castles-unwelcoming-rival.html

    Downton's war of the labradors: Show's canine star is hounded out by castle's very unwelcoming rival
    By CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS and PETER ROBERTSON
    UPDATED: 16:15 EST, 30 July 2011

    :dog:

    EDIT2:

    Check this out...too cute! :)

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20772570,00.html

    Man Creates Adorable Downton Abbey Lego Set for His Girlfriend
    By ALEX HEIGL
    01/06/2014 at 12:00 PM EST
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  38. zee703

    zee703 New Member

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    Two things from the premier episode really bothered me: the ridiculous return of Edna thanks to Cora once again being so gullible (listening to the immature Rose!), and the character of Rose constantly looking over her shoulders which she has done since we first saw her last season. Other than those two irritations, I loved the two hour show Sunday night. I'll be interested to see how Fellowes treats the next American to appear at the Abbey, Cora's brother. He certainly didn't write good lines for Cora's mother and he's made Cora so OTT trusting of folks she's been warned about (e.g., O'Brien, Thomas).

    Does anyone else have difficulty understanding some of the actors playing the servants? In many of the "downstairs" scenes, usually in the kitchen amongst the younger staff, I can't figure out what they're saying (don't have any problems with Carson, Mrs. Hughes, Anna and Mr. Bates).
  39. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes with the characters that have the stronger, working-class accents, I do lose a few words...particularly if they are said in a clipped or sotto voce manner. :huh:

    Also the kitchen scenes are usually noisy and crowded, so it's easier to miss words or lines.
  40. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    I think Cora impulsively hiring Edna is totally within her character. Where I fault the writers is Cora trusting Barrows against Anna without even asking Anna about it. Other servants, yes, I can see Cora taking Barrows' word at face value, but not Anna. Cora I think would at least have had a word with Mary about it. It was sloppy writing.

    Rose annoys me. Maybe she'll get eaten by sharks.