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Downton Abbey Season 4 SPOILERS: Episode 6 Recap, Episode 7 Trailer: Trouble For The Crawleys With Lady Edith Pregnant, Lady Rose Kissing Jack Ross; Anna Bates Rape Plot Controversy Continues


Anna Bates Downton Abbey
(Photo : Tumblr) Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates on "Downton Abbey."

“Downton Abbey” Season 4, Episode 6 aired last night, with Episode 7 coming up next Sunday. We have spoilers for both.

Episode 6 brought major drama to the Crawley family as Robert learned that his Uncle Harold had gotten into trouble over oil leases, Lady Edith learned that she was pregnant (with her lover Michael Gregson missing) and Lady Mary saw Lady Rose kissing black singer Jack Ross while getting on badly with her new suitor, Charles Blake.

Downstairs, Alfred was accepted at the Ritz, leaving Daisy upset. Jimmy and Ivy’s romance continued, with Jimmy becoming surprisingly aggressive. Thomas learned that something happened with Anna, though he doesn’t know quite what.

Critical reaction to the episode was mixed, with reviewers saying that the season as a whole is lackluster and suffers from the Anna Bates rape subplot, which many find to be inappropriate.

The Daily Telegraph writes, “All that said, with a lot of diffuse plotlines, the episode lacked pace. This series of Downton started well enough but recent instalments have started to slow down. It feels as if the attack on Anna in episode three was the main event and only now does writer Julian Fellowes feel he is obliged to start teeing up other serious plot developments. Although, to be fair, in the duller episodes he may also simply be trying to please that body of his audience who found the rape a dreadful EastEnders-style eruption into a drama they like to watch chiefly for its ability to comfort them over a Sunday evening cup of cocoa.”

The Guardian writes, “Fortunately we are slowly but surely getting towards the end of the series. Thank goodness for that. I'm not sure how much more I can take. That said, not a displeasing outing. (Talk about damning with faint praise.) It was gratifying to see the jazz band storyline crop up again, even only for - what was it? - several seconds. It was worth it, at least, for the effect of this storyline on Carson's face.

"But I've realised the biggest issue overall: it's the length of the scenes and the chopping between storylines. This trend has really taken hold over the past three series and it now dominates everything (Many below-the-line commenters on this blog blame the American viewing public and I fear they may be right.) I seem to remember Uncle Julian once saying that every character in Downton is a main character. Great idea in theory. In reality that means every scene needs to be 30 seconds long. And it's exhausting.”

A trailer for next week’s episode shows Robert heading off to America to help Uncle Harold, Blake returning to Downton Abbey (to Mary’s displeasure), the Dowager Countess in poor health, and Lord Gillingham (and his rapist valet Green) returning, making Anna sob.

Watch the trailer below.


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Reporter's Photo Oct 28, 2013 03:06 PM EDT