Downton Abbey - Season 4 on PBS

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

  1. tamuno

    tamuno Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    69
    :lol:

    Some events that happen later has their foundation set in that season. Some people ( not you) would understand events better and refrain from asking redundant questions if they refer to certain things from earlier in the series. For instance I read an article that was asking, 'who is this Napier'? and wondering if he's a new suitor?. I mean if that person can write an article, then so can I, I guess.
  2. tamuno

    tamuno Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    69
    Also, I too did not have ANY problems whatsoever with what Mrs Hughes said. She already had misgivings with how Edna wormed herself back into the house only to pull the same thing she did the last time, only to another level.
  3. mikemba

    mikemba Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    437
    Some of the acting that has really impressed me this season:

    Mary - Season premier. When she started to cry in Mr. Carson's office, her grief looked overpowering and real. I never saw an expression on her face anything close to this. It didn't occur to me at the time, but during last season's premier, I was thinking the same thing about her but for a very different reason. After Matthew and Mary backed away from that incredibly romantic closed-eyes kiss at Mary's bedroom door the night before their wedding, Mary's face showed so many wonderful emotions: happiness, peace, a thrill. What wonderful range from Michelle Dockery -- but so sad that last year's premier showed heights of happiness we never saw from Mary before, and this season opened with her depth of despair.

    Isobel -- has had a sad, teary-eyed look all season. Somehow Penelope Wilton has managed to make it ever so slightly less sad with each episode.

    Alfred -- He is humble and awkward, yet believes in himself and knows exactly what he wants (Ivy and to be a chef.) Matt Milne's face expresses this combination of feelings so well in situations where he has to stand up for himself and for what he wants.

    Ivy -- When she got drunk at Jimmy's urging, she (Cara Theobold) didn't over-play it. Rather, she just sat there with some of her hair slipping out of her hat, and this dumb, kind of numb, look on her face.

    Anna -- Powerful, convincing scenes of terror and loss from her. Especially poignant for the contrast to the sunny, outgoing Anna we've come to know.

    A few from earlier seasons:

    Mrs. Patmore on last season's fianle-- After Mrs. Hughes told her the truth about the man who had been courting her at the fair, her laugh of relief was hilarious and unique! One of the funniest moments I have ever seen on this show.

    Matthew at the snowy engagement -- When Mary insisted he kneel down and propose "properly," he at first had this amused "That's my Mary!" look on his face. As he knelt, he too showed an incredible of range of emotions: anticipation, happiness, and a bit of disbelief that this was finally, finally happening. Beautiful, nuanced, romantic acting.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  4. tamuno

    tamuno Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    69
    I want to hug your whole post. Instead I'll just take it one by one.

    Mary - Agree 100% with this. Michelle Dockery SHOULD earn at least one Emmy for her role on this show. At first I did not get her but the acting make her fully understandable to be - note I did not say 'sympathetic' mostly because her personality in real life I suspect will go down like bile most often. But the actress plays her without going too much one way or the other. I remember that scene after the Ethel-crashing-the afternoon lunch episode, when they were discussing what to do about her. Then Mary something like, ' we all have to suffer the consequences of our actions'. She said this while sipping tea and staring straight ahead in the flattest voice she has used. Yet that moment we knew she wasn't talking about Ethel, but she betrayed her own bitterness and helplessness about her situation- all without giving away ANY emotion you can point to.

    Isobel - All the 'energy and fire' has been knocked out of her due to the death of her only son and this actress portrays this as it should be. We remember her as bossy and intrusive in Season 1 and 2. But like you said, we see her gradually coming back to her old self, as it should be. This character's grief was very well dealt with and acted.

    Alfred - Everything you said and I will add, especially in the last few episodes of season three when he was interjected unwittingly in the Jimmy/Thomas fracas.

    Ivy - What amuses me about her is that she wants to see the world and experience things yet she is ignorant and she portrays it well with her 'what are you talking about?' facial expressions.

    Anna - Nothing to add really. When you (re)watch season 1, you will see a younger and like you said sunnier/optimistic Anna. Now she looks older and beaten (I don't mean this literally). Such a contrast. Another one that deserves the Emmy.

    Mrs. Patmore - the scene you are talking about also makes me laugh ANY time I see it. Especially when Mrs. Patmore covers her face with the apron after Mrs. Hughes had told her what she observed. I thought (like Mrs. Hughes apparently judging by the expression on her face) that she was going to collapse in humiliation. Instead we hear this giggle coming from behind the apron. It was perfect.

    Matthew - EVERY romantic scene with Mary was acted with perfection. From the first dining room scene in season one, to the train station scene and the dancing in that wonderful room with his gramophone (the best shot romantic scene of all time), the proposal, the make-up through the door etc. Just perfect. Perfect posture, perfect expression, perfect hair...............need I go on. I hope the 'new guy' whoever he is can at least try to match up. No wonder Mary can't forget.
  5. mikemba

    mikemba Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    437
    Thanks, Tamuno! I enjoyed all of your added insights as well -- particularly Ivy. I never made the connection before between how much she wants to see the world, but how inexperienced she is.

    Oh, and Matthew. Yes, I thought Dan Stevens was wonderful in this role. He really found a way to portray the emotion of Matthew despite all the formality of life at Downton. Matthew Crawley is my all-time favorite male lead on TV. They were 3 thoroughly enjoyable seasons!
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  6. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,402
    that was a good episode, so much happened

    i still think it was weird that edith wasnt the slightest bit upset when she went to london for her pregnancy test, unless she thought she was going for some symptom and it turned out to be that. but she might be the greatest actress ever, i totally believed she would hurl any moment
  7. tamuno

    tamuno Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    69
    Loved, loved this episode. I'll be back after I watch it again!
  8. mikemba

    mikemba Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    437
    Wow! When Robert and Cora went to bed after his birthday party I bet they had a lot to talk about! I think it went something like this:

    Robert: What a scandalous evening!

    Cora: I know! That jazz singer was so, you know…

    Robert: Oh, I don’t mean him. He’s Rose’s friend. I’m talking about that complete stranger who wandered around our home all evening acting like she lives here.

    Cora: Oh you mean that red-headed young woman who looked so sad? Yes, I couldn’t believe she crashed the party. I think her name is Edith. I’m sure I’ve never seen her before.

    Robert: Hmmm… Edith, Edith. The name sounds familiar. I think I vaguely recall meeting her before. Ah, yes! When Anthony Strallan asked her to the opera, I criticized her for accepting before asking what they would be seeing. Oh, and when she became engaged to Anthony, I talked him out of marrying her. Then, when she wrote an article for the newspaper, I told her they’d never publish it. When they did, I asked her editor why he printed an article by an amateur. Then when she brought him to Downton, I ignored him for a whole weekend.

    Other than that, though, I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to her. I hope she's not planning to sleep over. I don't want our darling daughter Mary exposed to someone from such inferior stock.
  9. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,247
  10. tamuno

    tamuno Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    69
    A few quick thoughts...........

    Molesely has got a job! Molesely has got a job!:cheer2:

    Watching Baxter trying to get info from Cora :rofl: O'Brien can teach you how to do this properly.

    Poor Daisy...................the way she was crying into her cake mix. Her silent tears were moving. :fragile:

    Who liked Blake?? I definitely preferred him to Gillingham aka Tony Foyle.
  11. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,360
    :lol: I hit the pause button to read it.
  12. kedrin

    kedrin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2001
    Messages:
    789
    So did I. :p
  13. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,247
  14. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,402
    was blake the douchebag who kept fighting w mary or his congenial friend? i like the congenial friend.
  15. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,734
    Blake's the Lloyd George fiery liberal douchebag and I predict a romance with Mary. They dislike each other too much, too quickly for the character to be there just to call attention to the fact that not everyone loved the aristocracy. (Actually I like his politics and hope he and Mary have a fabulous love-hate relationship. Yum.)

    The scene with Mary, Isabel and Tom talking about how they felt when they were in love with their late spouses made me weepy. It was the single best scene in Downton Abbey ever as far as I'm concerned and Isabel nailed it when she talked about how lucky they were. The affection and warmth in the room was so moving.
  16. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,247
    Yep, Mary and Charles hate each other too much for that not to morph into passion! :lol:

    I agree about the nursery scene...very touching and tender...two widows and a widower fondly remembering their lost loves. :fragile:

    Edith is facing a massive challenge! :skandal And where the heck is Michael Gregson?? :confused:

    Happy that Alfred got accepted into the Ritz cooking class, and that he and Daisy made peace.

    Jimmy needs to get his act together...he's acting like a Bieber-esque little jerk! :rolleyes:

    Molesley FINALLY seems settled into a job...hoorah! :cheer:

    I liked Isobel playing sleuth to solve the mystery of the missing letter knife and netsuke...very Miss Marple! :D

    Rose is really shaking up some cultural and racial customs...you GO, girl!! ;)

    Tom lamenting about finding a new love who would be acceptable at Downton tells me he's about to meet a potential candidate...I just feel it. :cool:
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  17. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,402
    that was fabulous. and mary never looked more beautiful than when she was talking about her engagement.

    blake is too short.
  18. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,745
    Yes, that was a wonderfully moving scene.

    ITA. :lol: Although I think he would be suitable for some verbal sparring with Mary. I will have to admit being a bit :confused: by the following blurb about next week's episode in my local PBS station's program guide. WARNING: Cryptic spoiler follows.
    Mary and Blake come together over pigs.
    WTF? :lol:
  19. tamuno

    tamuno Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    69
    I predict some romantic sizzle coming up.
  20. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,402
    when do we get to follow edith around while she cries and eats soda crackers
  21. rudi

    rudi New Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,043
    This was my favorite episode so far this season.

    I always love the story lines with Daisy/Alfred/Ivy/Jimmy. Was sad that Alfred left myself. :(
  22. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,591
    I thought this episode was fabulous. So many touching scenes, Mary, Isabelle and Tom in the
    nursery has got to be my favorite and also Daisy cussing out and blaming a clueless Ivy for
    Alfred leaving Downton.

    Mary's control of her tongue when she came upon Rose and the band leader (forget his name)
    kissing in the servants area was brilliant. Carson's interaction with the band leader was telling.

    The mea culpa from Isabelle to LG was priceless.

    Jimmy is getting more annoying than ever. I wish he had left instead of Alfred.

    I like Cora's new maid even though she seems obsessed with that darn sewing machine. I wonder
    what her connection to Thomas is.

    I still miss Matthew. I keep hoping we will have a "Dallas moment" and he will come back. lol
  23. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,734
    Isabel and Violet are the best couple on Downton, face it. I give the actress who plays Isabel a thousand props, holding up your end with Maggie Smith has got to be hard!

    Mary really is an aristocrat. Me, if I found my clueless young cousin kissing the wrong man by many, many miles, I would have yelled, what the fcuk do you think you're doing? :lol:

    I'm beginning to think Baxter is Thomas' mother. ;)
  24. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,461
    Rofl...well, she is "Harriet Jones, Former Prime Minister!" ("WE KNOW!") And she also has a nice turn (again with Maggie Smith!) in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", where you can throw in holding your own with Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, and Judi Dench as well.

    I loved Alfred's good-bye speech in the drawing room and especially how he singled out how well Carson's treated him. Carson is willing to reach out to the young staff, provided they're willing to work hard. (Jimmy...not so much on the hard work. And whatever his reasons, Thomas clearly started out ASSUMING he'd had to do everything underhandedly. I understand life hasn't been kind but he goes out of his way not to help his case.)
  25. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,745
    Perhaps she'll be nibbling on zwieback. :shuffle:
  26. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,402
    i said sister earlier, i still think sister.

    nice
  27. Latte

    Latte Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,138
    He speaks more kindly(for him) to her than he does to anyone else. Sister, cousin, related somehow.
    Also, he seems to be holding something over her head. A crime in the past?
  28. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,247
  29. znachki

    znachki Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    713
  30. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    12,400
    I swear, it is worth watching this show just for the FB recaps.
  31. mikemba

    mikemba Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    437
    I really liked your whole post. Just a few thoughts:

    I'm drawing a blank about any mea culpa moment with Isobel. By "LG" do you mean Violet? (At first I though you meant Robert.)

    Although I thought the Daisy telling off Ivy scene really expressed Daisy's perspective very well, I did not agree with her. Daisy, perhaps more than anyone else on the show, should understand that you simply can not make yourself like someone romantically just because they like you. And just because Ivy now realizes how right Alfred was about Jimmy's motives and she respects Alfred for being a gentleman, doesn't mean she suddenly is in love with him. So, while I really feel for Daisy, Ivy did nothing wrong.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  32. mikemba

    mikemba Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    437
    Very well stated!

    A few other favorite moments: Mrs. Patmore unable to stand still while the band was playing, and saying something like "It really makes you want to jig about!" Also, her earlier saying that Valentino made her shiver, or something to that effect.

    I like that Miss Baxter seems to have a nice side, and seems quite reluctant to spy. I also like the suspense about who she is and what Thomas has on her.

    I loved the nursery scene with the three widows. Although I consider all three of them rather unlucky in that each has already faced (Isobel) or will face (Tom and Mary) a long, long time without their beloved spouses, they are all indeed lucky to have each had a great love. I hope that thought helps each of them to heal, even though I'm sure the pain of their loss will never fully go away.

    When darling Evelyn and Cora were discussing Mary and Mr. Blake's bickering, I loved how Evelyn said something like "Well I wouldn't mind Mary bossing me around." I hope he doesn't still have a flame for her, though. Nine or so years (since the Season One fox hunt) is a long time to hold unrequited feelings for someone.

    One quick statement from Ivy was very telling: She said that Jimmy wanted to do things that a man shouldn't want to do unless he was married. Although expressed quite innocently, it was a statement that she has no double standard for pre-marital sex. Throughout this series, several people have expressed the idea that it's worse for a woman to have premarital sex than for a man (or even for a woman to kiss a man she hardly knows than for the man to kiss a woman he hardly knows.) Good for Ivy to be one of the few Downton characters not to have a sexual double standard (I think Matthew didn't have one, either). She seems to think women should wait for marriage, but also that men should too.

    I'll miss Alfred. If any one from the romance quadrangle should go, I wish it had been Jimmy.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  33. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,247
    I got my Downton 4 DVDs this week, and, being without willpower, have watched all remaining episodes except the Christmas episode (will try to watch that one today).

    NO SPOILERS...but we have some good, juicy plot twists, sweet moments, and some new faces before we're done with this season...ENJOY! :D
  34. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,891
    Yes, that was my immediate thought too. I hope they'll throw someone "suitable" in his path -- and by suitable I mean intelligent, feisty, and perhaps political. It would be nice for Tom to get back to politics in some form or another -- not his radical socialism, that wouldn't fit who he is any more, but something that's still humanistic-centric.

    And maybe the love interest will even be an aspiring politician herself, à la To Serve Them All My Days.

    BTW (and I don't think this counts as a spoiler), I spotted that the final "special" episode of the season is called "The London Season." I'm assuming it will focus on Rose's coming out (good grief, is she not out yet!?), but I'm also hoping it means we'll finally see the family's London home, Grantham House or whatever it's called. It always struck me as odd that, in all the various family members' trips to London, we never see their London house. Although I guess that omission is for practical reasons: they'd have to have a suitable building, and it would be odd without London servants. Plus it doesn't give the excuse to bring in Rosamund.

    I'm also hoping that, given the London party scene of the mid-20s, there will be an appearance by a certain infamous royal party-boy ...
  35. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,247
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  36. mikemba

    mikemba Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    437
    Thanks for the update! I'm so excited.
  37. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    7,639
    I bought mine at Walmart last week, but there is no Christmas Special on mine... :confused:
  38. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,247
    It's the coming out episode #9 in London...it's not about Christmas, but was aired on Christmas Day in the UK; sorry for any confusion. :shuffle:
  39. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,591
    Yes I did mean Violet. It was a typo I meant to say DG (Dowager Grantham).

    Agree about Ivy but for me her character is not the brightest bulb in the room.
  40. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,247
    I've just finished the final episode...and now I have to wait a year for Season 5...but I want to know what happens next and I want to know NOW...ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :wall: