Many of us assumed going into Season 4 that a lot of romance would be on the horizon. Between Edith, Rose, Mary, Tom Branson and the downstairs staff, there are a lot of young people on Downton Abbey who are desperately in need of a partner. While Edith has shown plenty of love and affection for Mr. Gregson, this past episode gave us the opportunity to see plenty of rebuffed advances and foiled romantic plans. Without further ado, here are the biggest romantic upsets from episode 3.
If you haven't caught the most recent episode of Downton Abbey yet, there are plenty of spoilers in the coming paragraphs! Watch the episode, first. It's a good one!
Tom Branson And EdnaAt the end of last week’s episode, a drunken Tom Branson had a tryst with ladies maid Edna, who had been hoping to get her claws into him for some time. During this week's episode, Tom apologized aggressively and Edna pulled out none other than the pregnancy card. This was a doomed relationship from the start, but it was interesting to see how Edna’s eventual downfall was played out. Tom got a good talking to from Mrs. Hughes, who later uncovered the fact that Edna was using contraceptives, proving that she was only looking to move up in the world, marry Tom and conveniently get pregnant by another gentleman. It was probably the only foiled romance this week that made us feel truly gleeful.
Mary Crawley And Lord Tony GillinghamIt was only recently that we saw Mary laugh onscreen for the very first time since her husband’s untimely death. Lord Tony Gillingham may not have known that he caused Mary to smile for the first time in ages, but he has known how he felt about her, and told her about his love for her several times throughout the episode. Each time Mary rebuffed him, stating she had yet to get over her husband’s death, but when Gillingham gave an impassioned speech including the line, “You fill my brain. I see you when I close my eyes. I can’t stop thinking of you,” we thought she might cave.
Alas, a wedding was not in the cards for Mary. Although she later told Tom she might regret rebuffing Lord Gillingham that last time, he has decided to move forward and engage another, counting he and Mary’s romance as another foiled attempt at companionship.
Daisy And AlfredI don’t quite know what it is about Ivy that has a good number of the males downstairs all hot and bothered, but I do know unrequited love when I see it. The other kitchen maid, Daisy, has had a thing for Matthew since he arrived at Downton, but Alfred also has an unrequited affection for Ivy. This made any romance between the two tricky for quite some time, but it all came to a head in episode 3 when Daisy pushed Alfred to find Ivy while she was making out with Jimmy. He resolved to leave Downton and Daisy resolved to have a broken heart.
Anna And BatesLast week, Anna was ravaged by a visiting employee named Mr. Green. The event was one of the most heartbreaking that Downton Abbey has ever portrayed, and it was completely understandable that Anna would be distant and quite shaken up after the event. At least, it was understandable to the audience. It was less easy for Bates to understand his wife’s behavior, since she hadn't told him the truth about what transpired during episode 2. This week, we saw him continue to try to coax a smile out of her at every opportunity. Anna never smiled, but she did request to move out of the dwelling she shared with her husband and return to the servants quarters at Downton.
It was tough to see Anna and Bates behaving as if they couldn't get on the same page. The two have offered one of the few lasting romances on Downton Abbey, and their stability proved to be a relief much of the time when there was plenty of other drama going on. She stuck by Bates’ side when he was accused of murder, and it’s hard to believe the disconnect between the couple will last. It will not be easy for Anna to forget or forgive after being raped, but we can be hopeful it will happen eventually. Until then, we are counting the disconnect as another foiled romance.
Rose And JackIn total Titanic fashion, the Lady Rose has found another potential romance in a young man named Jack. The two met during an outing away from Downton, but Tom, Mary and the gang were quick to foil any potential romance for two reasons. The first concerned Jack's profession as a singer, making him a member of the working class. The second was Jack’s skin color, as interracial relationships in the early 1900s were very much frowned upon. In a move Lady Rose defined as “rude,” Tom extracted the young lady away from any budding romance, but a multi-episode arc says that Jack might be back to woo the young lady in the future.
This isn’t the first time this season that Rose has flirted with young men that her family might find distasteful. She’s even gone so far as to don a maid’s outfit to have some fun with a young man from a nearby village. Her family does the best they can to foil these plans and secure her a comfortable marriage, but we’ll have to wait and see how her romantic storyline pans out.
You can catch new episodes of PBS' Downton Abbey on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET.