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What a gripping episode. But before the most important storyline comes to a resolve, there are some interesting development.

Who’s this Baxter, new lady’s maid to Cora Grantham? Nothing is explained how she’s friends with Thomas. When Bates asks Anna’s opinion of her, and what Baxter sees in Thomas, Anna replies:

“You know the old saying: there’s nowt so queer as folk”

Layered with meaning. First for Baxter, her inexplicable (so far) relationship with Thomas; then for Anna’s own situation, the tragic and most unwanted event had turned her into a totally different person to her husband. It could also refer to Green, her attacker, although I would not venture to use that saying on him. Just too kind a comment for such an evil man.

“The world moves on and we must move with it.” Wisely says Mary. I’m glad she has finally come out of her loss and mourning and immerses in new responsibilities. But who knows moving on involves a dilemma: the tension between legal and moral rights, the rational and the heart. The Crawleys have all the legal rights to foreclose on the son of an estate where an elderly tenant just passed away, leaving debts unpaid. Robert shows his colours in letting Tim Drewe stay and farm the land. Tom waves his socialist flag and stands on the side of the farmer, leaving Mary, surprised, on her own. But she is not difficult to win over when it’s kindness that dominates.

In the mean time, upon Mr. Clarkson’s urging, Isobel tries to find a position for a village young man John Pegg. She corrects him when he calls her ‘your ladyship’, just ‘Mrs. Crawley,’ she says. Julian Fellowes can always find her the right words:

“He’s going to be so disappointed to find out how ordinary I really am.”

Edith waits in vain for news from Michael Gregson. At the mean time, she goes to London and visits a Dr. Goldman. Again, I haven’t seen any future episodes, but this doesn’t look good. I mean, we still remember Sir Anthony Strallan.

Napier is back, on business passing by. Now, why is Mary so excited to see him? She literally glows. And why does Napier look so reserved and serious? Why does he come anyway?

Iron Chef Downton version does not go well with Alfred, albeit the preparation work looks delicious. Now Daisy is grinning from ear to ear. Alfred is not going to the Ritz Hotel in London any time soon.

Bates and Anna embrace

But the pivotal story belongs to Bates and Anna. Bates goes to Mrs. Hughes after overhearing her talk with Anna. Threatening resignation, he gets the truth, but not the whole truth. Mrs. Hughes swears on her mother’s grave that the attacker is an outsider and not Green.

The scene belongs to Bates. We have seen Anna’s tragic attack in Episode 2, we now see a belated, yet vicarious reaction from Bates, just as heart-wrenching. We see him leave Mrs. Hughes’ room, stunned, holding his rage with much restraint, but soon, break down in tears.

And yet we are gratified to see, finally, the secret is out and a cathartic end to Bates and Anna’s silent ordeal. There’s no shame, he assures her:

“You are not spoiled. You’re made higher to me and holier because of the suffering you’ve been put through. You are my wife and I could never be prouder or love you more than I do at this moment.”

This will likely go down as one of the all time love quotes.

But not too soon, Bates’s last words send chills up Mrs. Hughes’s spine. You can see her nuanced reaction as she hears him utter, also with much restraint:

“Nothing is over and done with, Mrs. Hughes… Be aware, nothing is over, and nothing is done with.”

Here ignites a new storyline: The Revenge of Bates.

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Season 4 Episode 3

Season 4 Episode 2

Season 4 Opening Special

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