Downton Abbey Review: Admirable Mary

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There was a lot of forward movement on Downton Abbey Season 4 Episode 7 - and yet nothing felt particularly urgent, which is odd given the gravity of the situations with which some Downtown residents are dealing.

It's as if in these new times, everyone is realizing that the drama they used to approach some of life's disasters in the past is no longer necessary. They've been through a great war and lost so many and so much that a pregnancy here, and a scandalous engagement there, are hardly worth worrying over.

The new attitude is rather refreshing and it's enjoyable seeing characters through this new light.

Molesley and Baxter

Mary continues to impress. When once her reactions did tend toward the sensational, now she's pragmatic and it suits her well. For once, I'm not even shocked that suitors are piling up at he door, as she's far more of a catch now than she was when she met Matthew. He would be so proud of the woman she has become, and she wouldn't be who she is now without having loved him.

Gillingham has called off his engagement with the hope of landing Mary, and he's not giving up until she's walking down the aisle with another man -- even then he's pledged he'll likely not let go easily. Still, in the contest so far, Blake is winning in this viewer's eyes. His wit and easy banter with Mary hold up more than Gillingham's persistence.

Mary's interference was interesting in Rose's love life and came from a different angle than initially expected. She did it as much with Rose's future in mind as she did for that of Jack Ross. When Rose defiantly announced her engagement to Mary with the teenage excitement of how it would make her mother's toes curl, Mary realized Rose was probably doing it more to hurt her mum than out of love for Jack, something that would be good for neither Rose nor Jack.

Discovering that Jack truly loved Rose and had no intention of marrying her as long as their union wouldn't be accepted by social circles was as touching as was Mary's wish that times were different so that she could champion his love for her cousin. 

Mary was also heavily involved in trying to keep Anna free from the likes of Mr. Green once she learned he was the man who raped her. While she respected Anna's wishes to keep the truth from Gillingham, she didn't allow that to stop her from telling him that he must do away with Green. 

Before Gillingham had the chance to let Green go, however, he was killed in a lorry accident in London, which conveniently took place on a day when Bates requested the entire day to visit York. And so our minds wonder, did Bates kill Green making it look accidental or did fate have its way with the vile man? Will we ever know?

The older crowd was nothing short of amazing in many ways. Violet and Isobel were up to their old tricks and together entertained Mary's godfather, Mr. Merton. He appeared to take a fancy to Isobel and unless I have lost any ability to read television emotions, she fancies him back. He even made a horrible social faux pas by mentioning Matthew to her after forgetting she was his mother, but I don't think it mattered.

Violet's investigative skills pulled out of the workings of Edith and Rosamund that something bizarre was going on, and she practically sussed out Edith was pregnant. In the end, she agreed with Rosamund's idea to go to Switzerland to have the baby and give it up for adoption to start life fresh over Edith's choice to trust Downton tenant family the Drewe's to raise it so she could be involved with the baby. Shall we take bets the baby eventually ends up at Downton?

The Daisy/Alfred/Ivy saga has finally come to an end. With the support of Mr. Mason and Mrs. Patmore, Daisy was able to turn a shoulder to Alfred after he realized the horrible mistake he made by being blinded by Ivy and missing all that Daisy offered. She told him she loved him once, but what she had was gone and they'd be friends forever.

Neither she nor we believed that one bit, but she deserves to be a man's number one pick, not ever second best and she's finally come to that realization. If Julian Fellowes fails to deliver to us a beautiful Daisy romance before Downton closes its doors, he's going to have to answer to me.

Finally we had the beautiful friendship that seems to be blossoming between Molesley and Baxter. The two have felt out of sorts all their lives, and offer to each other and understanding and kindness they haven't received from others. With Baxter nearby, Molesley has no problem telling off Thomas Barrow and Baxter felt confident telling him to get his information elsewhere. 

All of this happened during one of the more beautifully shot episodes of Downton this season. From the gorgeous walk Isobel took with Mr. Merton through town with the church and graveyard in the background, the glorious hillside where Daisy picnicked with Mr. Mason and the spectacular garden full of brilliant color where Edith and Violet talked about her future -- the green, purple and red simply came alive on the screen. 

Isn't it marvelous that so much history and beauty has been maintained that a historical program can be filmed and we can then go for a visit? 

Be sure to catch up on all of your favorite episodes. You can watch Downton Abbey online right here on TV Fanatic!

Which of Mary's suitors do you think is most suited for her?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (26 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Oh how I WISH someone would smack that indulgent smile off Cora's face and wisen her up juuuuuuuuust a little. When she kept going on about her F*CKING church bazaar, I wanted to shake her until her jewels fell off. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law both know her daughter is pregnant and she doesn't. Her daughter and son-in-law know her niece is in a potentially scandalous relationship,and she doesn't. She's just clueless and it's irritating!!!!!!

@ MrWriteSF

Oh...and an off-screen death for Green? That was too good a fate for that bastard. I call Fellowe-nious BS.

@ MrWriteSF

Oh...and we all know about her famously bad choices in Lady's Maids.


DA was kind of slow this year but I still enjoyed it. I can't believe next week is the final epi for this season. I still don't get why every man falls in love with Mary. Three men fighting for her really? Mr. Blake is the best match for her, I think they are leaning his way since he enjoyed playing with the baby last night while Mommy finished her tea. I don't get Mary at all. Next week Mary will find out something about Mr. Blake that will make her like him more. It was funny how fast Lady G. ran out when her great grandchildren came in the room! It was also funny when she was jealous of Isabel. I liked Isabel with the Dr. but I don't care as long as the gentleman is nice. I love Daisy with her father in law and I love her with Mrs. Patmore. I am glad she let Alfred go, I bet Alfred will be back for Daisy. I don't like the Anna storyline at all. The downstairs storyline that I have enjoyed the most this season is Molesley and Baxter. They make each other stronger, I hope they continue this next season. Ok I have a list of useless characters on a show and I have Laurel from Arrow, Juliette from Grimm and now I have Rose from DA. Why is she on this show? She brings nothing to the show but a spoiled little girl hating on her mother. Everyone can see that the only reason she was interested in Mr. Ross was to shock people and to see her mother's face! Mary, Mr. Ross and Mr. Ross's mother knew Rose was full of it. Also when she got the note from him she did not seem all that upset at the garden party. I really hope she is gone in season 5. Lady G. was the only one who could tell Edith and her Aunt where up to something. I know Edith's mother really doesn't pay attention to her but I thought at least Mary would notice since they pick on each other all the time. Yes the baby will end up with the Downton. I hope they bring Edith's love back. I am sick of Edith having so many problems in her love life and Mary has three men after her--one even breaks off his engagement in the hopes Mary will be with him---Really? I don't get the Mary thing at all! Here's to next season being better.

@ Grimmfan#10

Rose was added because Sybil died and they needed a new sweet young thing to continue to appeal to the same demographic. I agree with you though...she's cartoonish. Same with Barrow this season--he's looking for trouble and drama where there is none.

@ MrWriteSF

Barrow is lost without O'Brien.


Although it is now the 20s, the class system still exists at Downton (and London). Therefore, the romances possible for Mary are wonderful, but the only two possible marriages are the two gentlemen. Mr. Blake, while possibly best suited in personality (maybe even in love), would not provide the social standing that someone like Mary would require. Mary had a terrible time coming to grips with lawyer Matthew. I believe she is still the hold-over from the old system (she is her grandmother's descendant as we see more and more), so she's going to go for what is 'acceptable' in her time and place. IMHO. The other daughters are less part of the old system. Less stern, certainly. Mary has come a long way, but remember, she wouldn't marry Matthew unless he was heir. A lowly lawyer would not do.

@ Deborah Engelke

Mr. Blake is a gentleman and more landed than Gillingham.

@ Deborah Engelke

Mary's situation has changed. As the beginning of season 1, Robert's priority was securing a male heir who wouldn't throw his wife & daughters out when he died. Now, Mary is Matthew's legal heir and she also acts on behalf of her son, who will inherit the entail. She, and her family, are more independent than they were, although there are still big bills to pay with an estate the size of DA. You may not think Blake provides the social standing. But, remember, when it came time to chose a wife, Robert did the practical thing & married Cora, an American "outsider" who came with a large dowry to shore up the estate. He didn't stay in the peerage. The Crawleys are not as tied to social standing as you describe. They do what they have to to keep their holdings. Blake may not be a peer. But, he has something more important - knowledge about how to make large estates turn a profit. Mary, God love her, has a head for business and an appreciation for someone willing to get their hands dirty. Lord Gillingham, as pretty as he is, just seems good at spending money...a lot of it.


i like it it was very good

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Downton Abbey Season 4 Episode 7 Quotes

Molesley: I thought I'd make some coffee, would you like a cup?
Baxter: No thank you.
Molesley: It's just a cup of coffee, you won't have to surrender any of your independence.

Blimey. He puts a lot in a letter does Alfred.

Mrs. Patmore