As Downton Abbey Season 4 comes to a close (we can’t believe it either!), we’re hoping for some sense of how the season’s various romances may end up. It wouldn’t be unlike Julian Fellowes to leave us hanging until the Christmas special on December 25, but thankfully a sneak peek at Episode 8 hints at a conclusion for at least one of the Abbey’s new romantic pairings.
Alone, Mary turns to Rose and tells her she’s heard the foolhardy blonde had “an interesting day.” Based on the look of prideful guilt that then flashes across Rose’s face, we have a feeling this is related to her secret beau, African American jazz singer Jack Ross (Gary Carr).
The two first hit it off back in Episode 4, when he whisked Rose around the dance floor of a London club. The couple met again when Rose invited them to perform for her uncle Robert’s (Hugh Bonneville) birthday, the same evening Mary caught Jack and Rose snogging in the servants's quarters. The intrusion didn't stop Rose from seeing Jack again; they met up in Episode 7 for a romantic boat ride in London.
If things are going so well, why does Mary sound so disapproving? Because of the risks this particular illicit love affair runs her cousin. “My dear, all I want is you to not lose control of your life,” Mary councils Rose, likely referring to the very fact Jack brought up in Episode 7: Society has little room for a black man and a white woman to be together in 1922.
“I love him,” Rose declares. “And I won’t listen to any imperialist nonsense about racial purity and he should be horsewhipped for daring to dream.”
“Don’t you know me better than that?” Mary responds as her cousin carries on in a rush.
“I’m going to marry him, Mary, and I don’t care what it costs and I won’t keep it a secret,” Rose says before turning on her heel, darting out the door, and potentially changing the course of her whole life. (If you'd like to know if she does, we’ve got the answers. Warning: Spoilers ahead.)
What do you make of Rose’s plan to marry Jack? Anything for love or dangerous to both of them considering the time period? Sound off in the comments below.