“Downton Abbey” entertained viewers with a few light-hearted, albeit historically questionable, storylines on the Feb. 2 episode. Season 4, Episode 5 may have taken a bit of license with history, but at least nobody died.
In a scene that viewers couldn't help but enjoy, Lady Grantham was dining in a very upscale restaurant with a committee meeting of some sort where she found the reconciled Bates and Anna being treated poorly by the waiter. The American Cora Crawley seemed to thoroughly enjoy giving the waiter his “comeuppance” by treating the shabbily-dressed couple as her social equal. She even gave them a ride home at the end of the evening. Unprobable, yes, but highly satisfying. And, nobody died.
The storyline about Lord Grantham's birthday party planned by cousin Rose was another more pleasant diversion from Downton's doom and dark despair. Not only was jazz introduced for their dancing pleasure at Downton Abbey, a black bandleader was a shock to their 1920s English sensibilities. Or rather, he probably should have been more of a shock than he was, if they were being totally true to history. It would have been really nice if it were really as they portrayed it, but sadly it was a long stretch.
Speaking of shock, Lady Mary would certainly have been quite a bit more shocked than she was to see her coquettish cousin Rose kissing a black man. Like it or not, she would have been.
It is hard to see how recreating history regarding race or class relations helps anyone. It was what it was. But, at least nobody died.
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