'Downton Abbey' Season 4 episode 6 spoilers: Lady Mary finds a worth adversary

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lady-mary-charles-blake-downton-abbey.jpgLord Grantham's birthday party goes off without a hitch -- well, almost, on the latest episode of "Downton Abbey." Don't keep reading if you don't want to be spoiled.

Upstairs

Evelyn Napier and Charles Blake arrive. They're studying landed estates and whether or not they can continue in the current climate. Blake is of the opinion that they have no place anymore and Lady Mary bristles at his attitude, being delightfully sharp with him.

This is a romance we can perhaps get behind, as long as they don't rush it. Lady Mary is always at her best when she's being smart and biting (she's much like Granny Violet that way), so their tension is fun. It's reminiscent of her and Matthew, without being a retread of that plot.

Meanwhile, Cousin Isobel is running around like a combination of Sarah Bernhardt and Miss Marple, solving the case of the missing letter opener for Lady Violet. But Violet beats her at her own game, hiring Pegg back with her full apologies once she realizes he was not the thief. Those two are a lot of fun together.

And Robert's birthday goes off mostly without a hitch. Everyone is of course a little taken aback at the black bandleader being in the house, but everyone rolls with it and is very nice to him.

Carson was particularly funny this episode -- it reminded us of how old people think they are being progressive sometimes when they're actually being just a little bit racist. Baby steps. It should be interesting to see what comes of Lady Rose kissing Jack Ross in the servants' hall, which Lady Mary happened to spy.

Finally, it sounds as though Cora's brother Harold is embroiled in the Teapot Dome Scandal with Secretary Albert B. Fall and that Robert will end up going to America to help him out. That should be fun to watch.

Downstairs

Thomas has gotten wind of Anna's attack, though he doesn't quite know what exactly happened. Lady Cora overheard Bates and Anna talking about their troubles and she relayed that to Lady Mary, but Baxter was in the room and she reports everything to Thomas (though to her credit, she's not enjoying it so much anymore).

The love triangle may finally be dead and buried (thankfully) because Alfred is off to the Ritz school after someone dropped out and Ivy is put off Jimmy because he thinks she should put out for him after he has taken her to the movies. And nobody loves poor Daisy.

Molesley is also back, after Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes conspire to "hire" him to pour tea for the servants, thereby forcing an exasperated Carson to hire him on as a footman.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • We've wondered all season -- they surely won't have Bates go after Mr. Green, it would be too much of a retread of his past murder plotline (even though he did not do that one). But we've thought that if Thomas got wind of Anna's rape, he'd go after Mr. Green. Thomas may be a snake, but he was very upset when Sybil died. He liked her and he likes Anna, as much as he can like anybody. But we also feel that rape is something he will be extremely angry about. Can't you see him taking up for her and going after Green?
  • Lady Edith is pregnant. We actually thought that might be it. Poor Edith. Hopefully Gregson is found, it would be so horrible if he's dead.
  • Lady Violet was at her best this episode, almost all the best lines come from her.
  • Best Lines:

    Bates: "Your husband is a brooder. And brooders brood."

    Cousin Isobel: "How you hate to be wrong."
    Lady Violet: "I wouldn't know. I'm not familiar with the sensation."

    Lady Violet: "If you wish to understand things, you must come out from behind your prejudice and listen."

    Lady Violet, in re: jazz: "Do you think any of them know what the others are playing?"

What did you think of episode 6, "Downton" fans?

Photo/Video credit: ITV