A Familiar Face Returns and Has Us In Tears ‘Downton Abbey, The Final Season’ Episode 4 Recap

“It never does good to hate anyone.” – Mrs. Patmore

Episode 4 of Downton Abbey theme = kindness. Spoilers start here. Haven’t seen episode 4? Stream it here.

There are lots of things happening at Downton Abbey, both upstairs and downstairs, and emotions are getting the best of some people—ahem—Daisy, Thomas—but more on that later.

It’s so exciting having Tom back in the house (does he look super buff to anyone else?). Edith asks Mary what she will do now that’s back. “What I’ve been doing,” Mary tells her (like, duh). Tom wants what’s best for everyone. “Don’t please us, please yourself,” Mary says to Tom (but don’t take my job or I’ll cut you).

Meanwhile, Edith is in search of a new editor. Why doesn’t she just do it, Tom asks her. She wants to have a co-editor situation, preferably with another woman editor because a man wouldn’t like having a woman boss.

Things are still heated as ever with the hospital debacle. Lady Schackleton joins the family for dinner with Granny pushing her to join her side of the debate. Things get rough at the dinner table, but we’re totally distracted. Lady S brought her hottie nephew (surprise! It’s Henry Talbot the car racer man!) to dinner and we’re all like, “hospital schmospital.” The more important matter at hand—is he a potential suitor for Mary?

“Mary needs more than a handsome face and a hand on the gear stick.” – Dowager Countess

Well, we know how Granny feels about that.

Mr. Talbot gives Mary his card after dinner and says, “Telephone me. We’ll have lunch. Or a drink. Or something.” OR SOMETHING?! WHAT YEAR IS IT?! Oh right, it’s 1925. Mr. Talbot, you have us…intrigued. Will Lady Mary be needing another Dutch thingamajig in the near future? Ba-ha-ha.

Downstairs, Thomas is leading the crew as interim butler what with “The Carsons” on their honeymoon and whatnot. He’s still in a sad state, wondering what it is he is doing with his life, and shows his worst-self when a former housemaid (Gwen! Remember Gwen?!) returns to Downton as a professional woman’s education advocate. When she arrives, she doesn’t tell the Crawleys of her time working for them, even though Lady Mary recognizes her. Never fear! Thomas opens his mouth at luncheon and while we were all shouting “Thomas JUST STOP! SHUT UP!” We were also so glad her past was revealed. Everyone was reminded of Sybil’s kindness in hearing Gwen’s story. The look on Tom’s face is priceless and we all cried a little bit.

“Her kindness changed my life.” – Gwen Harding


Thomas gets scolded by Lord Grantham for calling-out Gwen. He tells Thomas that Carson is a kind man and that THAT is why he is respected. Just a friendly reminder that being kind gets you farther in life, Mr. Barrow. Might not hurt to try it out with your future seeming so bleak.

Lady Mary continues thinking about Sybil’s kindness and as she is telling Anna about how much better Sybil was than she is, Anna nearly falls over in pain. The baby. Mary acts quickly, coming up with a plan to keep Anna’s situation on the DL. Tom plays driver and gets them to the train station. They get to London for an emergency visit with the doc and the baby is saved. Mr. Bates is no fool and questions Anna when she returns. She finally tells him and we all breathe normally again. Lady Mary, you ain’t so bad after all.

While in London, Lady Mary meets up with Mr. Talbot (aka hunky race car driver). Over dinner, she tells him she doesn’t understand his fondness of cars (I mean, her husband was killed in one). He asks her what her “enthusiasm” is. She tells him she likes her work. He seems surprised and impressed. Mary asks if he’s going to make a pass before they are done.

“Probably, but will you accept?” he asks.

“No, but I should enjoy the process enormously.” *wink, wink*


There’s a party in the servants hall when “The Carsons” return from the their honeymoon. As they head down, the Dowager Countess says, “I haven’t been into the kitchens for at least 20 years.” “Have you got your passport?” replies Cousin Isobel. Classic Isobel-Granny banter. At the party, Mr. Carson informs everyone that they do not need to refer to “Mrs. Hughes” as “Mrs. Carson”—everyone is relieved.

The Mr. Mason farm situation resolves after Daisy ALMOST had ANOTHER freak-out on Cora. We all shouted (again) at the screen as no one could talk any sense into her. Once the good news is shared, Daisy tells Mrs. Patmore how she pretty much hated Cora for a second.

“It never does good to hate anyone,” Mrs. P tells her. Wise lady, that one. Had it been me, I can’t say I would have been able to restrain myself from giving Daisy a smack on the head. Andrew comes by to congratulate Daisy tells her how he wants to live in the country too. They hold eye contact a little longer than normal and we all notice. Rumors start flying.

Also happening downstairs: Baxter asked to testify against the man who ruined her. At first, she doesn’t want to but when she learns of the other women he’s ruined (and with a little encouragement from Moseley), she agrees. This can’t be good.

Also not good: Lord Grantham is still  experiencing bouts of pain, but he’s not preggo sooooo maybe he should go get that checked out. We all yelled that at the screen again.

And the final scene of the episode, we see Mr. Carson return to his room, looking rather sad. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

As we approach the midpoint of The Final Season, we wonder:

Does Mr. Carson have regrets?

Is Lord Grantham seriously ill?

Will Mary and car-loving Mr. T become a “thing”?

What’s in store for Edith’s love life?

Will Thomas leave Downton?

Will Anna and Bates have their baby? Will it be healthy?

Do Andrew and Daisy have a future?

What will happen to the hospital?

What’s Tom’s future look like? Cars?

Will Moseley and Baxter EVER become an item? What’s in store for Baxter?

Stream episode 4 of Downton Abbey, The Final Season here.

Maribel Lopez

Maribel is a lifelong public media fan and as director of Rewire, oversees the site’s strategy and operations. When she isn’t catching up on the latest digital publishing trends, she enjoys traveling, flamenco dancing and going on adventures with her doggos.