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Downton Abbey Recap (Season 4, Episode 2): Lively Party And A Shocking Twist

PBS/Masterpiece Theatre
Lady Mary is starting to move on following Matthew’s death – the first potential male suitor visited Downton Abbey.";s:

Did you catch Downton Abbey last weekend on KERA-13? The second episode of Season 4 has aired on PBS. Before you watch tonight's episode, catch up on the season so far:

Lady Mary is starting to move on following Matthew’s death – the first potential male suitor visited Downton Abbey.

Below is a roundup of some recaps of the second episode -- and some of the better lines from the show. (Spoiler Alert! Stop reading if you don’t want to know what happened during Episode 2.)

Some of the top lines

Dowager Countess: “If I were to search for logic, I would not look for it in the English upper class.”

Lord Grantham: "Who's the glamorous pirate?"

Lord Grantham: “Not everyone can be Oscar Wilde.” Dowager Countess responds: “That’s a relief!”

Cora: "Am I the only member of this family that lives in the 20th century?"

Lord Grantham: “This is going to be a lot less insufferable than I thought.”

Recap Roundup

Vanity Fair Recap: Lady Mary Meets Bachelor #1 (and Anna Suffers by His Butler)

We open on a procession of stately black cars arriving at Downton Abbey, not unlike the queue of limos carrying emotionally unstable suitors that rolls up during the premiere of The Bachelorette. Carson, channeling his best Chris Harrison, greets the newcomers as they exit their vehicles with a customary rose in hand grimace intact. Edith and Cousin Rose wait outside, ready to pounce on any of Widow Mary’s romantic discards, and that is when we see him: Lord Gillingham, the man who will help Lady Mary get her groove back.

Huffington Post: The Awful Shocker You Never Saw Coming

Anna (Joanne Froggatt) enjoys a mild flirtation with the valet of visiting Gillingham; and at first, Mr. Green appears charismatic, charming, the life of the party, incessantly interested. Of course, Mr. Bates isn't too keen on this Mr. Green person; he pads around the house with a forlorn look on his face, his chipmunk cheeks quivering in rage as he shouts "ANNA!" at the kitchen staff room in an effort to snap her out of it. Perhaps Anna was flattered by the male attention, or perhaps she lost herself in the thrill of playing that weirdly hysterical game of cards; either way, none of it could have prepared us for what was to come next. As opera singer Dame Nelli Melba performs for the household, Anna excuses herself to procure some headache medicine downstairs. Mr. Green, acutely aware of his opportunity, follows her, then violently attacks her and rapes her.

Vulture: Downton Abbey Recap: Violated

The fact that Anna was attacked downstairs while Nellie Melba’s soaring vocals upstairs muted the sound of her screams brutally underlined a truth that, as Maureen Dowd recently noted, sometimes can be forgotten on Downton Abbey: that there’s still a wide, ugly gulf between living above and working below. The staff may have been permitted to sit in the company of finely dressed aristocrats and enjoy the lovely concert. But beneath the surface, Julian Fellowes reminded us, things often remain grim and unforgiving.

Time: Downton Abbey Recap: Party’s Over

Downstairs, Mrs. Hughes walks into her sitting room and we finally see Anna, conscious but battered, hiding in the corner. She’s weeping, disheveled, bleeding. She tells Mrs. Hughes to make excuses for her and tell nobody, especially not her husband, who we know to be capable of more than a bit of violence. He’ll kill her rapist if he ever finds out, she’s sure, and she also knows he won’t go free when he’s tried for murder a second time. When Mr. Bates does see her injuries, she says she fainted and hit the edge of the sink on her way down — but she can’t hide that something’s the matter as she flinches from his touch and insists on walking home alone, crying in the dark.

Talking about the show

The cast and the creators discuss what happened during Episode 2.

More about Downton

Check out KERA's Tellyspotting blog to catch up on all things British TV. And, while you're there, look at how Downton got the Lego treatment.

In case you missed it

Here’s our recap of Episode 1: RECAP: 'Poor Little Orphan' -- Everyone Was So, So Sad During The 'Downton Abbey' Season Premiere

And want to watch Episode 2 over and over? Here it is:

On social media

PBS created this Storify that captures reaction on social media to Sunday’s episode:


Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.