Downton Abbey’s penultimate season 4 episode centered around a church bazaar held on the estate grounds, while relationship drama seemed to unfold everywhere.

'Downton Abbey Recap

Following Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Blake’s (Julian Ovenden) rescue of the estate’s pigs, the Crawley’s determine that Tim Drewe (Andrew Scarborough) will take up caring for their livestock. When the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) suggests that Blake would think it silly that they were hiring Drewe based on his family’s history of working their land, Mary takes to Blake’s defense. By the time she watches Blake lift up a crying George, she appears to be fully smitten. The Countess is not impressed.

Later on, when Anna (Joanne Froggatt) learns that Gillingham (Tom Cullen) will be returning to Downton with Green (Nigel Harman) in tow, she tells Mary about how the valet had raped her. When Mary urges Anna to allow her to go to the police, Anna once again refuses, citing her fear of Bates’ retaliation. Mary’s backup plan is to try to stop Gillingham from coming with Green. Unfortunately, she’s too late.

Mary Fends Off Blake & Gillingham's Affections

While Gillingham is conversing with the aristocracy upstairs, Green dines with the servants downstairs. At the table, Bates (Brendan Coyle) chats with Green about his travels to London, learning that the valet lives near Piccadilly when he’s in the city. Meanwhile, up above, Blake and Gillingham are doing their best to win over Lady Mary.

The following day, Blake and Napier (Brendan Patricks) are set to depart Downton with Gillingham. Gillingham explains that he’s giving them a ride in order to not leave Blake alone with her in his absence. He also tells her that he’s called off his own engagement. Mary recoils at his forwardness. She informs him that she’s not yet looking for a new suitor. However, she does later visit him in London to suggest he fire Green. He agrees, and also adds that he’s not yet done fighting for her heart.

In Thirsk on a trip to a bookshop to revive his interest in politics, Branson (Allen Leech) catches sight of Rose (Lily James) having tea with black musician Jack Ross (Gary Carr). While he and others look on at the couple, Rose is spotted giving Jack a warm caress on his cheek. Branson reports back to Mary about what he saw. When Mary confronts Rose on her dating life, Rose reiterates everything she said to Jack Ross about it being past time for their relationship to be acceptable. She also tells Mary they’re engaged to be married.

Mary Talks To Jack Ross, Hears Of Green's Murder

In an attempt to do some damage control, Mary heads to London with Anna. When she gets there, she begins telling Jack of the perils of marriage – even under ideal circumstances. Jack then reveals that he’s had a change of heart – not because he doesn’t love Rose, but because he wants her to have a chance at a less controversial life. Of course, when Rose learns of Jack’s decision to walk away, she blames Mary.

At the church bazaar, Mary learns from Gillingham that Green died in Piccadilly after apparently stumbling into the road. Mary tells Anna, who recalls that Bates asked Carson (Jim Carter) for time off to visit York and realizes what that likely means. Having a battle of conscious, Mary asks Blake what he would do if he knew someone did something illegal, but for justifiable reasons. Blake reveals he’d let it be, before admitting he wants the opportunity to court her. Like with Gillingham, Mary urges him to give up his chase, which, of course, he refuses to do.

Edith Considers Her Pregnancy

Meanwhile, Edith (Laura Carmichael) is trying to figure out what to do about her pregnancy. Should she give the baby to Drewe? Give it up for adoption somewhere removed from Downton? Rosamund (Samantha Bond) thinks it would be best to give the baby up in a foreign country, and plants a cover story for their travel with Cora (Elizabeth McGovern). A distracted Cora doesn’t realize something is off, but nothing gets past the Dowager Countess. Like Rosamund, she believes that Edith’s best option is getting the child as far from Downton as possible.

In the love lives of those downstairs, Alfred (Matt Milne) suggests the idea of marriage to Ivy (Cara Theobold). He’s coming to town for his father’s funeral and wants to bring her back to London, where he’ll find her a job. Ivy tells Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) she’s not ready to get married, and later says the same to Alfred. When Alfred catches up with Daisy (Sophie McShera), she bids him goodbye with a hefty helping of food. Alfred leaves his visit without a girlfriend, but two good friends.

Branson’s romantic prospects appear to be looking up, unlike the rest. After meeting a politically minded woman in Thirsk named Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis), she keeps turning up. When he sees her car broken down on the side of the road, he stops to help, using his former chauffeur expertise to get the car up and running again. As he worked, he opened up to Sarah about Sybil and how he’s now a single father. At the bazaar, sparks fly between the two.

– Chelsea Regan

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