Seeing as the January 12 installment ended with a physically and emotionally bruised Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) walking alone into the dark as her husband, Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle), desperately called out after her, we’re very worried about our favorite couple on staff. So how is Anna doing in the very next episode?
Sadly, the answer seems to be “not well,” judging from a 30-second preview of the January 19 episode we got a chance to look at back when the show was live in the U.K. Actually, the teaser trailer has very little in the way of good news.
First, we cut to a flustered Tom Branson (Allen Leech) talking to conniving lady’s maid Edna Braithwaite (MyAnna Buring). Remember, we saw Edna sneaking into what we believed to be Tom’s room after she strategically kept filling up his drinks during the party hosted at Downton. Whatever she was after that evening, it sounds like she got it.
“I blush to admit it, but I was very drunk,” says Tom, to which Edna coolly replies, “So you’re not going to deny it.” Unfortunately, overhearing the whole exchange is Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier). Could this be the new Soap Story that gives Thomas an upper hand in the household?
One highlight in the preview is Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) nearly bumping into the gallant Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen). It was pretty clear how taken Anthony was with Mary during the party at Downton. So taken, in fact, that he lets his rich fiancée stay at home while he joins Mary (they actually dance!) at a London jazz club. Scandalous, no?
Speaking of scandal, things appear to be moving quickly for Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) and her editor-turned-true-love Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards). The two have been spending a lot of time alone together at his London flat, but would Lady Edith really risk an out of wedlock pregnancy in prim and proper 1922 England?
Then, at the end of the clip, we finally see Anna. Looking shrunken and swollen, the once lively lady’s maid harshly tells her husband, “We live together. We work together. Sometimes I think it’s just too much.” Obviously, she’s pushing her beloved away because of her too painful secret, and this a turn of events both clenches our stomachs and wrings our hearts.
If you're looking for all of the answers for what's ahead this season, we have a spoilers roundup for Season 4 as a whole. Also there, a recap just of the January 19 episode, or Episode 4 as it was referred to in the U.K.