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Oct 20, 2013

TV Review: DOWNTON ABBEY: Season 4, Episode 3 – ITV, PBS

Michelle Dockery Downton Abbey

ITV / PBS‘s Downton Abbey Season 4 Episode 3 TV Show Review. Downton Abbey: Season 4, Episode 3 contained a scene the viewer may have never thought they would witness on this show. Inter-cut with another event transpiring, the sexual assault was one of the most shocking moments in the history of the show but handled with taste and discretion.

Mr. Green (Nigel Harman) was suspect from the beginning of the episode. His interest in Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) was obvious, an eventual pass inevitable but what actually transpired was unforeseen. That was the event’s strength beyond its grotesquerie.

Though disturbing, its most shocking moments came in its aftermath. Mr. Green was so brazen that after the rape, he ventured upstairs to hear Dame Nellie Melba (Kiri Te Kanawa) sing (possibly an attempt to establish an alibi). It was the type of creative narrative seen on Sons of Anarchy. The strange frivolities apexed when the victim thanked “Mr. Gillingham” when he thanked her for “taking care of him” while he was at Downton. How did the rapist know that Ms. Bates wouldn’t tell John Bates (Brendan Coyle) the first chance she got? This part of the story arc made no sense from any standpoint. There were too many variable to be calculated either way for Mr. Green to be sure.

The smartest play would have been for Mr. Green to: a.) not to have raped anyone, b.) have worn a mask while he did it, or c.) “marginalize” Anna so she could not tell anyone (and somehow take the body with him). Mr. Green took none of these preventive measures and it was odd to witness. It was like watching a nincompoop trip over his own thoughtless feet, begging to be caught by the police or killed by Mr. Bates.

Edna Braithwaite (MyAnna Buring) was conniving, her eyes on a better life and Tom Branson (Allen Leech) as a means to it. I do not know if she honestly likes him or likes what he can do for her. That all remains to be seen. The staff was supposed to be keeping an eye on her but no one was. That lapse while the Crawley’s entertained will probably cost Mr. Bransonl.

Another shadow attraction in the episode was that of Anthony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) for Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery). He was trying to be her friend during her hour of need but something is there, or at least, Gillingham may want there to be. The natural obstacles to that are Lady Mary’s grief and Mr. Gillingham’s wife. This section of the episode was Lady Mary coming out of her mourning shell further than in previous episodes while introducing a possible contender for her future affection.

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