Downton Abbey

Series 2 - Episode 4

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Review

Your heart might be made of flint, but you will still find yourself sniffling at a scene that delivers an emotional punch with all the delicacy of a brick to the temple.

It comes as both upstairs and downstairs at Downton Abbey are in ferment. The servants are thrown by the arrival of an old friend, while those toxic twins O’Brien and Thomas stand on the sidelines like spectres at the feast, wishing ill on everyone. O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran) in particular is back to her wheedling ways, trying to turn her mistress’s head with snide and unpleasant tales.

There are some good ‘‘aw, bless’’ moments, but there’s nothing so cosy or comfortable for one member of the household who is caught in a compromising position. Meanwhile, the honourable Robert (Hugh Bonneville) does a decent thing, even though he is worried about scurrilous stories appearing in the papers. And his
wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) unexpectedly finds some backbone when she goes head to head with the interfering though well-meaning Isobel (Penelope Wilton).

Summary

Ethel's flirting with Major Bryant lands her in trouble as preparations get under way for a concert at Downton. Tensions flare between Isobel and Cora, Edith receives worrying news about Matthew and William, while Branson declares his feelings for Sybil. Mrs Bird's soup kitchen receives a helping hand from Daisy and Mrs Patmore. Costume drama, starring Penelope Wilton and Elizabeth McGovern.

Cast & Crew

Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham Maggie Smith
Robert, Earl of Grantham Hugh Bonneville
Lady Sybil Crawley Jessica Brown Findlay
Lady Edith Crawley Laura Carmichael
Mr Carson Jim Carter
John Bates Brendan Coyle
Lady Mary Crawley Michelle Dockery
O'Brien Siobhan Finneran
Anna Joanne Froggatt
William Thomas Howes
Thomas Rob James-Collier
Mrs Hughes Phyllis Logan
Cora, Countess of Grantham Elizabeth McGovern
Daisy Sophie McShera
Mrs Patmore Lesley Nicol
Ethel Amy Nuttall
Matthew Crawley Dan Stevens
Isobel Crawley Penelope Wilton
Molesley Kevin Doyle
Tom Branson Allen Leech
Dr Clarkson David Robb
Veteran Howard Gossington
Mrs Bird Christine Lohr
Maj Bryant Daniel Pirrie
Director Brian Kelly
Executive Producer Gareth Neame
Executive Producer Julian Fellowes
Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton
Producer Liz Trubridge
Writer Julian Fellowes
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Drama