Downton Abbey: And They All Lived Happily Ever After

EMBARGOED_UNTIL_05_DECEMBER_DOWNTON_36Previously on Downton Abbey: Edith got engaged for about ten minutes before Mary completely ruined it out of spite, prompting a couple of characters to finally call Mary out for being a hateful, miserable bitch. She responded to that not by actually doing anything nice for the sister she’s abused for their entire lives, but by getting married herself to Henry Talbot. And apparently we’re all supposed to be fine with that. Cora’s now in charge of the hospital board, which doesn’t make Violet all that happy, and Lord Merton’s daughter-in-law, Amelia, is trying to unload Merton on Isobel. Isobel’s not playing that game, however, and tells Amelia the request to rekindle this relationship has to come from Larry the Jerk, which isn’t happening anytime soon. Belowstairs, Carson’s a jerk and a half, Thomas is on the hunt for a new job, Anna’s pregnant, Patmore might be having a flirtation with Farmer Mason, Molesley got a teaching gig, and Andy the footman has hopes of becoming a farmer someday.

This is it, folks, our last outing with the Crawley family! Will you miss them? I…don’t really feel like I will, which is a shame, because this show started off fairly strongly, but you never know, give me a week and I might be sobbing into my pillow or something.

It’s summertime, and the family’s out walking the grounds and playing with the kids. Edith plans to put Marigold into a school in London so she can, you know, actually get an education befitting a young lady living in the 20thcentury. Edith, it seems, hopes to move to London and set up residence there during term time so she can be near her child and also actually run the magazine she owns. Robert worries about her being all alone down there, but Edith, a little shortly, says she’s a spinster, and spinsters are supposed to live alone. I thought spinsters were supposed to go in sisterly sets. Or pairs, at lest.

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Downton Abbey: Truth and Consequences

3152Previously on Downton Abbey: Edith started dating a rather nice young man named Bertie whom nobody thought much of because he’s Edith’s boyfriend; Mary dumped Henry immediately after his best friend died in a fiery car crash, because she can’t even deal with all this; everyone was treating Thomas like shit for no apparent reason; and Patmore got her first guests at her B&B.

Edith and Cora take a walk in the garden and discuss Bertie’s proposal. Edith loves the man, but she’s concerned about how he’ll react when she tells him she’s Marigold’s mother. She doesn’t want to keep the truth from him, but she’s afraid that telling him will ruin everything. It doesn’t really seem like you have much of a choice here, Edith. Either you keep your secret and dump the guy, which’ll obviously ruin things, or you roll the dice and tell him the truth.

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Downton Abbey: Open House

3366Previously on Downton Abbey: Mary and Edith got new boyfriends and Robert’s stomach exploded all over a future prime minister.

Ok, having seen this episode, I have to conclude that either Julian Fellowes completely and utterly doesn’t give a shit about anything at all anymore, or he’s just taking the piss, because this single episode basically broke all the rules of storytelling and delivered up one of the most boring hours of nothingness I’ve ever subjected myself to. Was there tension? No! Were there storylines we cared about? Of course not! Was the plot advanced in any way? Nope! And this unbearable narrative carelessness was signalled early on: I kid you not, the first three scenes are different sets of characters having the exact same conversation. They nearly mirror each other’s words. I’ve seen padding, but this really takes the cake.

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Downton Abbey: The Hurl of Grantham

Previously on Downton Abbey: Carson and Mrs Hughes got married, Thomas’s attempts to become friendly with Andy were rather brusquely rebuffed, Matthew Goode wandered back onto the scene, Robert was having stomach pains, Violet was losing her mind over the damn hospital, Baxter will have to give evidence against the guy who got her stealing, Daisy secured the Drewe farm for Mr Mason, and Edith finally … Continue reading Downton Abbey: The Hurl of Grantham

Downton Abbey: You Know Nothing, Thomas Barrow!

Previously on Downton Abbey: Carson and Hughes got married, Anna got knocked up, Edith fired her editor, and lo, many seasons ago, teenage Sybil got all girl power and helped one of the housemaids get a better job. Branson walks around the estate, just checking things out, then goes in to breakfast and reassures Robert that he didn’t abandon America because he quarrelled with his … Continue reading Downton Abbey: You Know Nothing, Thomas Barrow!

Downton Abbey: Witness

downton-abbey-premiere-reviewPreviously on Downton Abbey: Mary considered marrying Gill seriously enough to enjoy a weekend bonkfest with him, during which they checked into the same hotel under their own names. I think we should all be grateful that this particular brain trust fell apart and didn’t breed. Speaking of breeding, Edith gave birth to a kid and handed her off to the Drews, which went so incredibly poorly that she took the kid back and offered up the feeble explanation that the Drews couldn’t care for her and now little Marigold (yes, Marigold) is her foundling. In one of the show’s more ludicrous plotlines, Anna was accused of and even jailed for the murder of Greene, all on the extremely shifty evidence of a witness who’s come out of nowhere after sitting on their information for over a year. Yeah, really reliable there. Anna’s now out on bail, waiting to find out what will happen to her. Branson and Rose both decided to pursue movie careers move to America, and Carson and Hughes got engaged.

Home stretch, everybody! Now, for our American friends just joining us, I feel I should warn you. Apparently, on this side of the pond there was a lot of talk prior to the season airing about how this was going to be THE BEST DOWNTON SEASON EVA! But let’s keep in mind that Fellowes said something very similar about his Titanic miniseries, and we all know how that went. So I guess what I’m saying is, if you’ve heard that…

expectations

If you’ve got ‘a hunt scene’ on your Period Drama Bingo Card, you get to tick something off early, because here we are knee deep in hounds and hunting pinks, and oh look, Mary’s finally decided to start riding astride. Her father sniffs about that, telling her that sidesaddle’s much more elegant, and she points out that it’s also far more dangerous, and she’s good with her neck unbroken, thanks. A crowd of locals has gathered to take in the sight of the hunt, and amongst them is a particularly smug young woman. This is Rita, our cartoon villain of the season. She has all the obnoxious classist outrage of Sarah Bunting combined with the maddening, buffoonish absurdity of Vera Bates. Fun!

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Downton Abbey: Grouse and Goodbyes

Downton-Abbey-Christmas-specialPreviously on Downton Abbey: Rose married a Jew, which gave her mother ample opportunity to be absolutely repulsive; Violet tracked down the wife of a former lover/flirtation (we’re not quite sure how far this thing went); Daisy started getting into some book learnin’; Tom convinced himself to move to ‘Besten’; Edith adopted her own daughter; Mary found herself suitorless; and Anna was ridiculously arrested for murder.

Ahh, Isis may be gone, but her bum lives on in the credits.

Mary goes to the prison to visit Anna, wearing a rather spiffing coat, if I may say so.

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Downton Abbey: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

downton51Previously on Downton Abbey: Mary was seriously depressed about Matthew dying, but bounced back enough to start taking a more active role in the running of the estate and to start playing two suitors off of each other. The new lady’s maid has a secret that Thomas knows about, but she’s got an ally in Molesley, who’s now a footman. Tom made the acquaintance of a rather pushy and grating local schoolteacher, and a lord began flirting with Isobel. Edith consummated her relationship with Michael just before he departed for Germany to try and secure a divorce and promptly disappeared after a run-in with some brownshirts. Now pregnant (because the universe can’t stop crapping on her for even a second), Edith secretly gives birth, and then stashes the kid with a local farmer who kind of owes the Crawleys a favour.

Edith bikes off to the Drew home, which appears to be a converted church, and spies on her now toddler daughter happily helping Mrs Drew with the laundry.

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Downton Abbey: The Scarlet Letter

Downton-Abbey-Christmas-special-2013Previously on Downton Abbey: Bates possibly literally threw his wife’s rapist under a bus, and the fandom rejoiced; Robert took a trip to America to support his brother-in-law, who was implicated in the Teapot Dome Scandal; Edith and Rosamond made plans to head to the continent for an extended stay so Edith could have her baby quietly and adopt it out; and Mary, Isobel, and Tom got some romances going. There’s also some weird and creepy unknown history between Thomas and the new maid, Baxter.

Downton. Hughes gets off the phone and tells Daisy the London housekeeper’s ill, so Hughes has to go down and run the townhouse. For some reason, they want Daisy to come down too. Ivy rather messily exposits that Edith went away to Geneva for 8 months, but she looks tired all the time. So, we’re about a year on from the last episode. Which is a bit odd, because Cora was talking about Rose being presented and doing the Season the year before, but she only gets presented and has her coming out in this episode.

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Downton Abbey: Is There Something You Want to Tell Me?

downton-abbey-episode-8Previously on Downton Abbey: Edith decided to keep her baby, and got a ton of unexpected support from Rosamond. Isobel nursed Violet through bronchitis, Mary got down and dirty with Blake (but not in that way), and Green showed up again, and it looks like both Hughes and Bates know the truth about him.

Edith, Tom, and Mary go to visit the pigs and the interim pig man, Farmer Drew. Guess they fired the guy they originally hired. Seems Drew knows a thing or two about pigs, so they offer him the job permanently. He thanks them for giving him another good turn and hopes he can repay the family someday. Just pay your rent, Drew, and make sure the pigs have water. I think that’s really all they want.

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