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Episode 4.02 is the second episode of the fourth season of Downton Abbey, and the twenty-seventh episode overall.

It first aired on the 29th September, 2013 on ITV in the UK and received on average 9.6 million viewers.[1] In the USA it aired on January 5th 2014 on PBS as the second part of the opening episode and attracted at least 10.2 million viewers [2].


Mary is beginning to emerge from her grief and starts to take an interest in the running of the estate. A letter from the late Matthew Crawley is found, stating that his last wish was for Mary to be his sole heiress. She begins to take an interest in running the estate but she meets resistance from her father, Robert Crawley so she turns to Tom Branson for help.

As Joseph Molesley's fortunes worsen, John Bates comes up with a plan to help him. Lady Rose MacClare, is out for some fun but finds herself in a sticky situation at a tea dance in York. Mrs Hughes does her best to urge Mr Carson to allow an old wound to heal.[3]


Mrs. Hughes receives a letter from Gwen, a former housemaid, saying that she got married. Anna finds the news lovely and suggests to send her a card that all would sign. Edna and Thomas bump into each other downstairs, and they have a brief discussion suggesting that they have some things in common. Anna sees them talking and, with only good intentions, warns Edna of Thomas. A package is delivered downstairs addressed to Lady Mary. Mrs. Hughes remarks to Mr. Carson that it comes from Matthew's office. She suggests that someone else should see the content of it before Mary in case something in it might make her cry. Robert is given the box and, as he looks through a book found in it, a folded piece of paper falls out of the book.

Jimmy reads an article in the paper to the kitchen staff about a play coming in the Theatre Royal in York. Ivy tells Jimmy that she's never been to the theatre. Robert shows Violet the letter he found. It was written by Matthew who wished Mary to be his sole heiress, which changes everything in the legacy of the estate's management and ownership. Robert wonders if he should show it to Mary, as he is unsure the letter is a legal status and wouldn't want to raise Mary's hopes. He wants to send it to Murray to have it looked into, but Violet insists he gives it to Mary before anyone else.

Doctor Clarkson is leaving the Crawley House after examining Mr. Grigg. Mrs. Hughes accompanies him to the door before Isobel calls her upstairs. Mr. Grigg asks if Mr. Carson has said anything about him. Mrs. Hughes tries a white lie, but to his disappointment, he guesses that he didn't say anything.

Alfred and Daisy are talking in the kitchen while working. He tells her how he would very much like Jimmy to tell Ivy that he isn't truly interested in her. Alfred tells Daisy that he only does it because it annoys him. Mrs. Patmore has trouble getting some fish, which means she'll have to go to Tuttles, York. Jimmy hears this and proposes to go for her. As Anna is walking in the village, she comes across Mr. Molesley working on the road. He seems ashamed of his situation, as he lost his job since Matthew died and hasn't earned a penny since. He owes money to people in the village and has trouble settling his debts. Anna is very sympathetic, and offers to help him and give him money, but he politely refuses and thanks her.

Before going down, Robert calls Mary to his dressing room and gives her Matthew's letter. Anna talks to Mr. Bates about Mr. Molesley and how seeing him in that situation upsets her dearly. In the drawing room, right before dinner, Robert announces the discovery of Matthew's letter and reads it to everybody. The content reveals that it was written before the family went to Duneagle and while Mary was pregnant. Matthew addressed directly to Mary telling her his wishes, as he hadn't written a will yet. The end of the letter makes Mary sob, as it gets more personal.

Mrs. Patmore tells Jimmy he's allowed to go to York and get the fish for her. Alfred is suspicious that he's got another motive for going. Over dinner, the family talk about the letter. Robert tells Mary all she will have to do and the load of work she will get if she inherits Matthew's part in the estate. He is quite harsh about it and ambushes her by throwing all the matters to be considered at her. Tom and Isobel try to defend Mary who was caught off guard. Violet remarks to Robert that she thinks he wishes the letter to be invalid, as he would like to run the estate on his own.

Thomas notices that something is wrong with Edna. She shows him one of Cora's clothing, which she has burned with the iron due to daydreaming. She is quite anxious about it, but Thomas says that it will be alright if she does as he tells her, as Anna walks in the corridor downstairs. Mr. Bates comes along and suggests that he asks some people in the village to sign the card for Gwen, such as the Bakewells and Mr. Molesley. Isobel and Mrs. Hughes are talking about a possible job for Mr. Grigg in Belfast as a stage-door keeper in an opera house. They also talk about Matthew's last written words and Isobel says that it is a relief that he has finally been heard. As Mary is getting ready for bed, she puts the toy she gave Matthew during the war on her dressing table to remind herself that he was on her side. Mary tells Anna how her father was harsh with her at dinner and she wonders if he will be able to run the estate on his own. Anna goes to Lady Rose's bedroom to show her some of Lady Mary's belts. Rose asks Anna to chaperone her to a thé dansant in York. Anna refuses unless she asks Lady Mary, but Rose tells her that she would be bound to tell Cora.

Edna shows her ladyship the item of clothing she ruined, but refuses to tell her who did it, which disappoints her. Mrs. Hughes comes in to Mr. Carson's office while he is looking through some old paper. He finds a photo of a girl named Alice Neal who was a former love interest of his. Mr. Bates goes to the Dowager's house to ask for money in order to help Mr. Molesley. He tells her that he is too proud to accept it as gift, but that he can find a way to give him the money. As he encounters her Ladyship in the great hall, Thomas proceeds to indirectly tell her that Anna ruined her clothes on purpose to get Edna in trouble, which surprises her greatly. While getting dressed, Mary asks Anna to pass her her perfume. Mishandled, they drop it all on the bedroom carpet. Anna offers to go to York and get some more for her. She take advantage of talking of York to ask Lady Mary if she would be allowed to accompany Rose to the thé dansant, which Mary agrees.

Mr. Bates goes to the village to Mr. Molesley house and insists he signs the card for Gwen despite Molesley saying he barely knew her. Mary and Tom are called to Violet house. The latter suggests that Tom takes Mary for a tour of the estate while telling her about the issues she would have to face with managing the estate with Robert. Isobel calls on Mr. Carson to tell him that Mr. Grigg is leaving for Belfast and that it would be his last chance to make amends with him before he goes. Carson is insistant that he doesn't wish to talk to him. Edith is in London at Mr. Gregson's flat. He tells her that he would be able to divorce his wife in Germany. He would have to be a german citizen, which means he'll have to live there for a while. He is willing to do so for Edith. She suggests he visits Downton to get to know the family and warm up to them. She invites him to a house party given the next month.

Mary walks out of the house and Tom is waiting for her next to his car, ready to show her around. Jimmy is walking in the market in York, and sees Anna and Lady Rose close by and entering the thé dansant. Rose is very quick to attract a young man who asks her to dance. Jimmy comes in and asks Anna to dance. She accepts saying they can keep an eye on Rose at the same time. Rose lies about her status and says she works as a housemaid at Downton. He notices her accent is very posh. She then starts faking a working-class accent. Tom and Mary are looking over the estate and he explains to her the matter. Mr. Bates in at his desk forging Molesley's signature and looking happy. At the thé dansant, a man, seeming slightly drunk, approaches Rose asking her to dance while she is dancing with Sam. A fight breaks out between the two men, and Rose, Anna and Jimmy are quickly out of the building.

Mr. Molesley joins the Downton staff for tea. Mr. Bates has faked a signed paper by the both of them stating that he owed thirty pounds to Mr. Molesley. He says that the latter had lent him money upon his arrival at Downton and that he had never paid him back. Molesley is quite surprised as he does not recall any of it. Bates is happy to have relieved his wife's worries. Jimmy is asking Mr. Carson if he could take Ivy to the theatre in the presence of Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore. He grants him permission as they are not entertaining on that night. After Jimmy and Mrs. Patmore have left the room, Mrs. Hughes tells Mr. Carson that Mr. Grigg is catching the eleven o'clock train the next morning and she suggests he talks to him before his leaving for good. Before the dressing gong is rang, Robert asks Mr. Bates in the dressing room and asks him to tell Anna to take it easy on Edna, as he thinks she ruined Cora's clothes. Ivy is excited of going to a play with Jimmy and Alfred is quite upset and jealous.

Sam Thawley from the thé dansant calls on Rose at Downton. Thomas answers the door, but doesn't understand why he is asking for 'housemaid Rose'. Anna takes over and tries to get rid of him. He insists on seeing Rose, so Anna goes and fetches her. Rose puts on a housemaid's uniform with Anna's help and lies to Sam telling him she is taken and they must end they relationship now. She kisses him goodbye. Before going in for dinner, Robert confirms that Matthew's letter serves as a will and, therefore, Mary owns half the estate. Downstairs, Mr. Bates asks Anna if she and Edna have something against each other. She tells him she only warned her about Thomas as they walk in on the two laughing together.

Mr. Carson is contemplating the photo of Alice Neal in his office. The next morning, as Mr. Grigg gets to the train station with Isobel and Mr. Hughes, Mr. Carson appears out of the fog and approaches his former dance partner. They talk alone together and it is revealed that Alice left Carson for Grigg, but that she regretted it. Carson learns that she died five years ago. The two men make amends and all is right before they go their separate ways.

Cast list[]


  1. Deadline - ‘Downton Abbey’ Ratings Jump Again With 9.6M Viewers For 2nd Episode Of Season 4, Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline, 30th September, 2013.
  2. CNN - 'Downton Abbey' premiere breaks ratings record
  3. Downton Abbey, Episode 2, Press Centre,, 18th September, 2013.

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