RECAP: Tragedy Strikes on DOWNTON ABBEY
There were some light notes during the episode. Firstly, Lady Edith is offered a regular column in The Sketch. Though her father and grandmother still disapprove, perhaps this can provide her with the sense of self-worth she has been seeking since being left at the altar.
Probably the best news is the fact that Anna and Bates discover a way to overturn his case. Anna's persistent interviews have unearthed evidence, which if handled correctly, incontrovertibly prove Bates' innocence. In Anna's discussion with Mrs. Bartlett it was revealed that the last time she saw the late Mrs. Bates was just after her husband had left her. Vera seemed frantic and was scraping pastry from underneath her fingernails. This queer bit of information could secure Bates' freedom. He explains to Anna that the police had determined that the poison that killed Vera was in the pie she ate and that everything else in her kitchen had been tested and cleared. Since Vera had not begun to make the pie until after he left, Bates could not have poisoned his wife. With this information in hand Anna and Bates consult with the Crawley's lawyer, Murray, who urges extreme discretion until they get a statement confirming the evidence from Mrs. Bartlett. For if she were to find out her story could set Bates free, she would be less than compliant. But keeping the news hush-hush might prove difficult as the sinister Craig and his corrupt guard accomplice continue to plot against Bates, and the appearance of good news spurs them on.
Murray, while at Downton to see Anna, also gets Matthew into a bit of trouble. He had set out to discuss the management of the estate with the lawyer after Sybil's baby was born, but the unfortunate circumstances should have changed his mind. Still, he goes ahead as planned and though Murray is pleased that there will be changes in the future for Downton, Mary is appalled to discover the two men talking business at such a fragile moment.
Trouble is brewing downstairs as well. It seems a Midsummer Night's Dream-esque unrequited love pentagon is developing. While Daisy still pines after Alfred, he is preoccupied with his feelings for Ivy. Meanwhile, Ivy is actually keen on Jimmy, as is Thomas. I'm not quite sure whom Jimmy is after, but it doesn't appear he or she lives at Downton Abbey. All the while, O'Brien is plotting something devious to bring down Thomas, pushing a more than reluctant Jimmy at him at every possible turn.
Molesley also delivers a bit of disturbing news to Carson. Mrs. Bird, the cook at Crawley House has resigned due to the fact that Isobel has hired Ethel in order to give her a chance at bettering her life. Carson is concerned that this decision will ruin the reputation of the house and forbids the maids and footmen from visiting. Mrs. Hughes, on the other hand, thinks the issue might resolve itself, as Ethel is not a trained cook and may not be entirely up for the job. It seems her suspicions may prove correct, as already Ethel has burnt a dinner and incorrectly prepared Isobel's tea.
What will go down at Downton Abbey next week? How will the Crawleys coexist with Tom and his daughter without Sybil? Will Cora forgive Robert for his poor judgment? Will Anna and Murray be able to negotiate Bates' release? Tune in Sunday, February 3 at 9 PM ET/CT on PBS to find out.