Trouble in Paradise
In one of the least surprising plotlines this week, the Bates are still having trouble coming to terms with Anna’s rape by Lord Gillingham’s valet. The two attempt to compensate for their unhappiness by going out to dinner, but it only serves to make things worse. Bates even mentions the word “murder” during the conversation, leaving audiences to roll their eyes and think, “Here we go again.”

Anna and Bates are one of the few seemingly stable relationships on the series. Their marriage has had rocky moments, but they have generally seemed happy and in love. Shaking that up with Anna’s ravaging and the aftermath of the rape will change the couple’s relationship moving forward and I only foresee rocky waters in the future.

Women in Charge
There’s a lot to like about Cora, the Countess of Grantham. During this week's episode, she showed her likeability factor at a restaurant, during which she helped Anna and Bates to secure a table. However, she’s clearly a woman of leisure and a woman that hasn’t moved forward with the times, ideas that are not shared by her daughters or Lady Rose. This week’s episode revealed Edith’s pregnancy, Mary’s desire to help the estate, and Rose’s desire to date a jazz singer. Each of the young women seem ready and willing to take charge of their own destinies, even if those destinies include scandalous romances.

All in all, this week resolved a lot of last week’s more useless plots, and makes me much more excited for the future. You can catch the rest of Season 4 when Downton Abbey airs on PBS on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET. Full episodes of the series are also available online.

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