Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 4

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Set in Summer 1920…

A backlog of mail arrives. Thank goodness the phone hasn’t stopped the flow of tiny envelopes to Downton Abbey. But alas, no letters for Anna…

Ethel says goodbye to Charlie

Ethel gives her son to Charlie's grandparents

Isobel brings a letter from Ethel to Mrs Hughes. Ethel and Mrs Hughes meet at Isobel’s house; Ethel wants Mrs Hughes to arrange a visit with her and Charlie’s grandparents. Isobel’s maid’s nose is out of joint with the mere presence of ‘prostitute’ Ethel – it’s not part of her duties to wait on the likes of Ethel says she. A meeting is arranged with Charlie’s moustached grandfather and grandmother, Mr and Mrs Bryant. After a bit of stern judgement upon Ethel, they offer Ethel some money. She refuses but wants them to raise Charlie. Tearful goodbyes ensue. Ethel walks off…

Lady Mary’s turning the nursery into a sitting room. Matthew wonders why she’s been at the doctor and it’s clear he’s hoping children are in the future. Mary says they’ll worry about that further down the line.

Matthew and Mary in the nursury

We'll worry about children a bit later Mary advises Matthew

Lady Edith and Violet have a chat about keeping Edith busy after being jilted at the altar. Edith writes to the paper but no one believes it will be published. Lord Grantham loses his mind when he discovers the letter in the morning paper arguing for increased women’s rights. It appears Edith has found something to distract her from romantic woes.

Lady Edith at the breakfast table

Lady Edith has finally been vindicated as useful

Bates finds out he’s been labelled a dangerous prisoner after his attack on Craig, his cellmate. That’s also reason why he no longer receives mail or visits from Anna. His friend is helping him out again because he doesn’t like Craig. Another cell search takes place, but this time the guards find contraband in Craig’s bed. We are never quite sure what exactly is in the small mysterious brown packages everyone uses to blackmail each other. Craig threatens Bates on the way out of his cell with the guards. After Craig is gone, Bates gets all his letters that were withheld when he was out of favour. Anna receives her package of overdue letters also. Both are seen joyfully reading the letters before bed.

Bates is relieved

Bates is relieved to find out he's been labelled a dangerous prisoner

Edith receives a troubling phone call from Sybil. Thomas arrives soaking wet during dinner. He’s on the run from the Irish authorities after Drumgoole castle is burnt down in Dublin and Branson is implicated in the crime. He’s distraught when Robert yells at him and sends him to bed. Robert goes to London to arrange clemency for Tom with the home secretary. Sybil finally arrives at Downton safe and sound. It’s discovered that Tom attended meetings where attack plans on the Anglo Irish were discussed. Lord Grantham works out a deal, but the two rebels aren’t allowed to return to Ireland. Tensions rise between Sybil and Tom.

Sybil and Tom reunite

Reunited and it feels so good, for now

Jimmy (James) Kent

The dashing new footman

Carson wants to bring the staff back up to snuff. He hires a footman and a maid. Jimmy Kent (James) arrives on the scene and Tommy gives him a gamey eye up and down. The girls downstairs also swoon at the dashing new footman. Mary encouraged Carson to hire a good looking footman to cheer everyone up. Even Violet is impressed with his appearance. The wheels are turning in O’Brien’s head. She can tell Thomas has the hots for him. More romantic intrigue arrives in the form of Ivy Stewart. She arrives while Daisy is in the middle of telling Alfred she’s interested in him. Alfred immediately notices Ivy, much to Daisy’s chagrin. Daisy takes it out on the new kitchen maid, even though she got a promotion to Mrs Patmore’s assistant.

Carson is immediately suspicious of another new arrival to Downton Abbey: Mrs Hughes new electric toaster. Carson almost pours a bucket of fire extinguisher on Mrs Hughes when he mistakes the burnt toast smoke for an attempt to burn down the house by Branson.

After looking over Downton’s accounts, Matthew Crawley discovers the estate of Downton is being mismanaged. He goes to see Violet for advice. Violet is quite interested in this turn of affairs, but warns that people’s noses are going to be out of joint if Matthew starts poking around. The unlikely duo of Violet and Matthew seems promising…

Quotes from Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 4

Mr and Mrs Bryant

Edith is sternly judged by the Bryants

Isobel: “She’s been working as a prostitute.”
Mrs. Hughes: “My my, that’s not a word you hear in this house everyday.”

Robert: “There’s nothing so toffee nosed as a prince of the church so make sure you put him next to your grandmother. She”ll know how to handle him.”

Violet: “A guinea, for a bottle of scent. Did he have a mask and a gun?”

Violet: “That sort of thing is so horrid.”
Edith: “Being jilted at the altar, yes it is horrid, multiplied by about ten thousand million.”

Violet: “Edith dear. You’re a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do!”

Countess Violet at dinner

Countess Violet and her famous eyebrows

Thomas: “You’re taking a lot of trouble with young Alfred. I feel quite jealous.”
Carson: “I don’t know why. He asked for help. You never did.”

Robert: “I don’t want thumbscrews or the rack, but there always seems to be something of Jonny Foreigner about the Catholics.”

Robert: “Other men have normal families with sons in law who farm or preach or serve their country in the army.”
Violet: “Maybe they do, but no family is ever what it seems from the outside.”

Branson: “Those places are different for me. I don’t look at them and see charm and gracious living. I see something horrible.”
Violet: “With Dromgoole Castle I rather agree.”

Lord Grantham

Robert exercises his righteous indignation on Branson

Robert: “Good God almighty. You abandon a pregnant woman in a land that’s not her own. You leave her to shift for herself while you run for it.”

Carson: “Is it not enough that we are sheltering a dangerous revolutionary Mrs Hughes, could you not have spared me that.”

Carson and the electric toaster

Times may be a changin', but Carson is no fan of the electric toaster

Robert: “I find your actions despicable, whatever your beliefs.”

Robert: “What a harsh world you live in.”
Branson: “We all live in a harsh world, but at least I know I do.”

Tom Branson

The revolutionary arrives at Downton

Carson: “She begged you, did she?”
Jimmy Kent: “You know what women can be like.”
Carson: “Not, as I suspect, as well as you do.”

Mr. Bryant: “We know what you are now Ethel. We know how far you’ve fallen.”

Lady Mary: “Alfred’s nice, but he does look like a puppy who’s been rescued from a puddle.”

Mrs. Hughes: “You’ve done a hard thing today Ethel. The hardest thing of all.”

Countess Violet

Countess Violet wonders why revolutionaries are so well bred

Violet: “Lady Gregory. Countess Markievicz. Why are the Irish rebels so well born.”

Violet: “What do you mean you wrote to a newspaper. No lady writes to a newspaper.”

Cora: “I think Granny’s right.”
Violet: “Can somebody write that down?”

Violet: “He looks like a footman in a musical revue”

Carson: “Hard work and diligence weigh more than beauty in the real world”
Violet: “If only that were true”