Jazz At Downton
Lady Rose just can’t help herself. This season, she’s fraternized with the lower class on more than one occasion, even dressing as a maid to have a little fun. Then, during this week’s episode she invited a jazz band led by a black singer to perform at Downton Abbey. Downton has proven itself to be a place that is growing more and more progressive, but Lady Rose had to have known her decision would not have pleased Lord Grantham. So, why surprise him with a performance he doesn’t enjoy?

It must be tough for Lady Rose to be growing up during a time period that is equal parts freeing and inhibiting. She’s still stuck in the confines of her social class, but you can tell she wants to go out into the world as a new woman, thoroughly modernized in both fashion and opinion. Eventually, she’ll have to decide which world offers the stronger pull. As long as she’s not dressing up as a servant and fooling the local lads, I’m all for it. Although, I don’t think skulking in the servants quarters to make out with the lead singer in the band was her most graceful moment.

Changing Perceptions of the Aristocracy
Downton has been dealing with financial problems for years, but so far the Crawley family has been able to avoid any dire ramifications. Lord Grantham, Lady Mary and Tom Branson are working day and night to make changes to ensure that Downton will be able to survive in the future. However, it was only during this week’s episode that the government’s new attitude toward the upper class really hit home. The government is accomplishing a study to see which estates might falter and which might remain profitable. There will be no aid given, even in the form of advice, but apparently, making snide comments is in bounds for the government agents, despite the fact they're taking advantage of Downton's hospitality.

The best example of this comes when Lady Mary meets Mr. Blake, a socialist who only sees her as a woman who always has everything handed to her, rather than a woman who has already proven progressive by signing on to take care of the estate. The two clash horribly, making for a few nice zingers in an otherwise mostly zinger-free episode.

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