“I’m afraid I don’t share your enthusiasm for her” (Blake to Napier).
Ah, the “aloof” Lady Mary Crawley (née Grantham)’s implacable heart is beginning to warm up, thanks to an entourage of suitors but in particular, Charles Blake.
Blake, played by Julian Ovenden enters Season 4 as the boss of Evelyn Napier, whose purpose is to aid the estate in diversifying their income streams with agriculture and…pigs.
As early adopters of Masterpiece Theater in our household, favorite PBS shows of mine growing up were Daniel Deronda, played by Hugh Dancy and Tess of the D’Ubervilles with Eddie Redmayne.
The highly anticipated fifth season of critically acclaimed Downton Abbey will no doubt include its share of drama, but the palpable chemistry between Charles Blake and Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery is by far one of the most captivating storylines yet.
Aside from the fact that Lady Mary is beginning to move past the loss of Matthew; the progression of her relationship with Blake as opposed to the other men who merely pine for her (take Tony Gilliam, for example, who descended upon her like a hawk, asking for her hand while she was still grieving for heaven’s sake) is mesmerizing.
Blake challenges Mary and the notions of aristocratic entitlement, the cultural mores of the time and perspective toward hard work. The verbal jousting, subtle exchanges and icy sparring is superb. The scenes in the drawing room and farm. The flirting and mud fight in the barn. The intimate dinner afterwards.
And in the finale, discovering more about Blake’s character, integrity and unassuming, unpretentious attitude toward his inheritance and status.
Cora: I’m afraid it’s just us…
Blake: Don’t be afraid
Mary: “But we are afraid! How could two brainless dullards like us ever hope to entertain Mr. Blake…”
Cora, chastising: Mary! That sounded rude…
Blake: I can take it.
Has Mary met her match?!? (Edge of seat creaking)…