'Downton Abbey' Season 4, Episode 4 Recap: Secrets, Lies & A Surgeon
'Downton Abbey' Season 4, Episode 4 -- Nick Briggs/Carnival Film and Television Limited
As her marriage continued to crumble, Anna refused to tell Mr. Bates about her assault. But, on Sunday night's "Downton Abbey," someone else changed things by keeping quiet no longer.
Elsewhere, Lady Mary and her father dealt with a tenant twist, Thomas planted a spy, Alfred took his cooking exam, a new suitor came to Downton and Lady Edith did something rather unexpected in London.
Here's what happened to the "Downton Abbey" characters in Sunday night's episode:
Anna, Mr. Bates & Mrs. Hughes: Not having his wife living in their cottage didn't stop Mr. Bates from performing little courtesies for her, like greeting Anna in the morning when she walked down the stairs for breakfast. Anna assured him there was no need for nice gestures. "There's every need and I will keep it up until you explain what's gone wrong between us," he told her. "My life is perfect and then, within the space of one day, it is nothing. To me that requires an explanation."
Mr. Bates got one, but it wasn't from his wife. While Anna was running an errand, Mr. Bates told Mrs. Hughes that his life at Downton had become "unbearable." "My wife no longer loves me. The sight of me is torture for her, which is torture for me," he told Mrs. Hughes, adding that he planned to quit his post and leave while Anna was out unless Mrs. Hughes told him what was wrong.
She did (mostly), and then, in an attempt to convince Mr. Bates that Anna's rapist was not Lord Gillingham's valet Green, but an unknown assailant, Mrs. Hughes went so far as to swear on her mother's grave.
The news hit Mr. Bates hard, leaving him in tears, but he regained his composure before speaking with his wife. It came as somewhat of a relief for Anna, who said, "My shame has nowhere to hide." "I don't accept that there is any shame in this," he said in the episode's tearjerker moment. "You can never be spoiled. You are made higher and holier to me because of the suffering you've been put through. You are my wife and I could never be prouder or love you more than I do at this moment," he told her as they embraced.
Running into Mrs. Hughes later, the cold side of Mr. Bates came out when he said he will not let this rest. "Be aware, nothing is over, nothing is done with," he said.
Thomas & Ms. Baxter: At the end of last week's episode, Thomas Barrow said he had a candidate for the lady's maid position left vacant when schemer Edna Braithwaite made a swift departure. Enter Ms. Baxter, a seemingly kind woman who immediately made some of the staff wonder why she was Thomas' friend.
Upstairs, she made a splash by serving Lady Cora some orange juice (she noted she heard Americans like OJ with their breakfast). She also made inroads with the downstairs staff by teaching Daisy a bit of sewing and fixing Mrs. Patmore's apron in a time of urgent need.
Later, we found out why she was so chummy with all of Downton's in habitants. Ms. Baxter is a woman with a past that Thomas knows about, and he's recruited her to spy. He wants to know everything she hears, especially about all maneuvers upstairs.