For the first time in what seems like forever (and most certainly the first time in Season 4), Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) smiled and laughed during the January 12 episode. (Thank you, Tony Gillingham!)
But as heartwarming and encouraging as it was to see the widow enjoy life again — even if it was just for a fleeting moment — there was one person who couldn’t quite come to terms with Mary moving on after the tragic death of Matthew (Dan Stevens). That person? Matthew’s mother, Isobel (Penelope Wilton).
In the January 19 episode, Isobel continues to struggle with life’s onward steady march. She admits as much to the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) as the two stroll through the surprisingly scenic village cemetery in an clip we got a look at back when the show aired in the United Kingdom last fall.
“Did you enjoy the concert?” the Dowager asks her new friend in the episode.
“I did,” Isobel replies.
“And the evening generally?” Violet presses.
“You mean, did I find it hard to see Mary come alive again?” Isobel asks. “Yes, I did. I can confess it.”
Isobel feels guilty about harboring such feelings, saying she knows “it’s amoral to react in such a jealous and selfish way.” As much as the overly helpful Isobel may irk us at times, we think calling herself amoral is a bit harsh. Thankfully, the Dowager agrees: “If we only had moral thoughts, what would the poor churchmen find to do?”
Do you understand where Isobel is coming from or do you think she should give Mary more of a break? Share your thoughts in the comments below.