What Happened To Charles Blake on 'Downton'? Lady Mary's Love Triangle Was Demurely Spicy Last Season
Despite Lady Mary's standoffish demeanor, she has always been the most eligible (literal) lady on Downton Abbey. And the romances of Lady Mary in Season 4 were truly intense since it showed her back in the swing of things after the death of her husband Matthew (Mattthhhewww!!). The dreamy blue-eyed lawyer Matthew Crawley died tragically in a car accident in the Season 3 Christmas special — and Season 4 didn't hesitate in getting Mary back into the dating pool. Although I didn't approve at first (let the woman heal!), the love triangle between Lady Mary, Lord Gillingham, and Charles Blake should make for a dramatic Season 5.
In the George Clooney Downton Abbey spoof for charity, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) quipped about what happens to people who go out for a drive in cars around Christmas (too soon, Lady Mary! Too soon!). But the audience had to learn how to move on very quickly from Matthew's death since the show featured not one — but two — suitors for Mary (not including lame-o Evelyn Napier). Now, as much as I enjoy looking at Lord Gillingham (and Tatiana Maslany agrees), I'm Team Blake completely. Before we get to watching Season 5 of Downton Abbey in the US (which premieres Jan. 4), let's take a trip down Mary's lovers' lane in Season 4.
Lord Gillingham Courted Mary — and Was Denied
Lord Gillingham hit the scene early in Season 4 when Mary was still mourning the death of Matthew (who wasn't?!). The pair were childhood friends and they got along well, but Gillingham was about to become betrothed to Mabel Lane Fox (who wouldn't want to be betrothed to someone named that?!). When he gave Mary an ultimatum saying he'd marry her instead, Mary (very appropriately) told him she wasn't ready to move on from Matthew yet. Right on, girl! Now, stop riding horses with dreamy men around the countryside and hold you son, baby George!
Mary Got Down and Dirty With Blake and the Pigs
Blake came to Downton Abbey to inspect estates alongside Napier (who we first saw in Season 1). I loved Blake instantly as he did not appreciate any of the ridiculous aristocracy BS the Crawleys were swinging at him. Once disaster struck with the family's new venture of pig farming (yep, that was a thing), Blake proved a worthy ally in saving the pigs and Mary showed that she wasn't afraid of a little hard work. Romance was clearly in the air while those two bonded in the mud — and it was the most fun anyone has ever had at Downton Abbey. (Plus, Blake was great with George and Mary made him scrambled eggs with red wine! It's like they are already married.)
Gillingham Came Back
Unable to resist Mary's standoffish charm (while no one gives a crap about poor Edith), Gillingham ended his engagement to Mabel and decided to pursue Mary full time. Although I really admire people ending a relationship when they are in love with other people (a rare concept in film and TV), Gillingham is just too intense and desperate for me. And when a man will do anything for you it's easy to believe you should be with them (don't do it, Mary!). The one benefit of his intense devotion is that Mary was able to tell him to fire his valet Mr. Green (who she knew raped Anna earlier in the season).
The Love Triangle Officially Began
In the Season 4 Christmas special "The London Season," Gillingham revealed that Charles Blake is actually wealthier than he is and that Blake has downplayed his status (a fair move by Gillingham). And before that, Blake helped Mary and company with a serious letter scandal involving the Prince of Wales. So Season 4 ended with both men singing Mumford and Sons' "I Will Wait" to Mary and proving to be pretty awesome dudes.
The Downton Season 5 preview shows Mary going in for a kiss with Lord Gillingham, but I don't think it's safe to say who she will pick just yet. Mary always likes a challenge and maybe she's enjoying playing the field now that she finally had a bit more time to get over Matthew.