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Downton Abbey Recap: Bates Learns Anna Was Raped

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Over the course of Downton Abbey’s four seasons, it’s been safe to say Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) will eventually reveal all your secrets and/or insert herself into your private business — despite being ordered not to! 

This week, it was Anna’s (Joanne Froggatt) secret about the rape, which was revealed. Bates (Brendan Coyle) saw the two conspiring. He went to Mrs. Hughes and threatened to leave Downton because his wife no longer loved him, unless she told him the truth. 

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Mrs. Hughes devastated Bates by telling him about the rape. Bates comforted and reassured his wife he still loved her no matter what.  However, both women swore the rapist was a stranger—and not Mr. Green (Nigel Harman)—to a dubious Bates. 

Not wanting to upset Anna further, he only confided to Mrs. Hughes he didn’t believe them about the rapist’s identity. Hopefully, he won't do what Anna feared, and kill Mr. Green.  If we have to spend another season with Bates in prison, I’m going to have to break up with this show, and it’s been so good this season, too!

Baxter (Raquel Cassidy), Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) new lady’s maid, befriended the staff. Thomas (Rob James-Collier) secretly helped get her the job, and expects all the gossip she overhears in return. 


The Crawleys’ tenant, Mr. Drew, who had fallen behind on his payments died. Branson (Allen Leech) and Mary (Michelle Dockery) wanted to take back the land so they could farm it themselves. After Mr. Drew’s adult son told Robert (Hugh Bonneville) he hadn’t known about the payments, he asked for an extension to keep his land. 

Robert went behind Branson and Mary’s backs, and lent money to the son so he could settle his debts. However, Branson and Mary supported the kind gesture and decided not to take the land after all. Branson was especially pleased since it made him feel like a young Socialist again. 

He later told Mary he was considering bringing baby Sybbie to America for a fresh start.  He didn’t want her to be forever known as an “uppity chauffer’s” daughter in the Crawley’s social circles. Mary talked him out of it, since the family couldn’t bear to lose the pair.

Mary didn’t have too long to be sad over Lord Gillingham’s (Tom Cullen) engagement, because her suitor from Season 1, Evelyn Napier (Brendan Patricks), returned.  He would be surveying English estates with his boss Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden) to see which were still viable.  Downton was already cleared, and Mary invited them to stay there while on business. 

Elsewhere, Isobel (Penelope Wilton) made Violet (Maggie Smith) hire a talented young gardener, named Pegg, from the village.  Edith (Laura Carmichael) was barely in the episode, aside from a scene where she visited a doctor.  Can’t imagine why…

Photo Credit: PBS