Of all the inexplicable parts of Downton Abbey in its first two seasons, I find Lord Grantham’s dalliance with the maid Jane in the last two episodes of Season Two to be the most baffling.
Baffling because, unlike other events that beg an explanation, this one does not seem like it will ever have one, nor could have one.
He dallies with the maid right after reading his daughter the riot act for her engagement to their chauffeur? Really? Why would that be?
Is that to show us that he is capable of double standards between males and females?
He dallies with the maid while his wife is lying ill of the Spanish flu several rooms away? Really? Why would that be?
Is that to show us that he doesn’t yet realize his wife will come close to death with the Spanish flu?
Lord and Lady Grantham have always been close, at least since the series opened. They allude to issues earlier in their marriage . . .
So why would Lord Grantham dally with Jane, kissing her out of the blue in the pantry, then later taking her into his room and preparing to be immoral with her, though never following through with the act?
Is it just to show us that he is a human being with feet of clay?
I think we already knew that . . .
Not sure why this short detour from his devoted married life was written into the script.
The best I can do is to categorize it as a teaching on the nature of temptation.