Downton Abbey – Recap: Let It Go

January 26, 2015 4:49 AM

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Yet, even with the layers of separation between all the characters, I liked this episode quite a bit. There were several charming moments to anchor the narrative, such as Lord Merton proposing to Isobel (Penelope Wilton), making this arguably the biggest storyline she’s had since Season 2. On the one hand, I was somewhat annoyed by Isobel agreeing to Merton’s suggestion to “think about it,” since it feels like a somewhat arbitrary way to extend the storyline. On the other hand, it was actually in keeping Isobel’s fairly reticent character. She wouldn’t be certain about this sort of thing, because it’s been so long since she’s had to entertain this kind of proposal. Never mind that she could still be dealing with the lingering emotional effects of Matthew’s death. On top of all that, she has a friend/confidante relationship with the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) that would essentially be upended by this union, since Isobel would presumably leave to go live with Merton. In short, Isobel would be leaving the comfort of what she knows for something less certain. And that internal conflict is an interesting one, particularly since it has echoes in Violet’s storyline. In short, Violet reveals that she’d had a brief relationship with Prince Kuragin (Rade Sherbedgia), nearly running off with him decades earlier before ultimately deciding against it after the late Lord Grantham gave her a framed photo of their children. Both women are being confronted with the notion of something new through the promise of possible romance, and it’s enough to shake both to their core. In a way, that ends up being the theme of the episode, the complications of romance, and the difficulty of moving on.

It’s harder for no one more than Edith (Laura Carmichael), who is faced with the possibility that Gregson has been killed while in Germany after news arrives that a German gang leader has been put to trial. However, Edith refuses to learn conclusively whether Gregson has been killed or not, since ho...

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