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: A Day at the Races

Previously on Downton Abbey: Mary and Edith both got boyfriends, Carson is turning out to be a horrible douchebag of a husband, Molesley might have a chance to become a teacher, and Thomas can’t seem to find his place anymore. So we’re, what, two episodes from the end of this series and they’ve finally gotten around to giving us an interesting episode? Eh, better late … Continue reading Downton Abbey: A Day at the Races

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 Parent Trap

60876Previously on Downton Abbey: Edith brought Marigold back to Downton and pretended to adopt her; Rose’s parents’ marriage imploded just before she decided to get engaged to Atticus.

The house is all in a tizzy as the family and staff get ready to head to London for the nuptials. Daisy and Patmore are working on the cake, which is super elaborate and apparently requires lots of handmade flowers.

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Downton Abbey: I Have a Plan

Downton-AbbeyPreviously on Downton Abbey: Michael is officially dead, and the sad news, the separation from her daughter, and her family’s collective shrug made Edith just throw up her hands, grab the kid, and up stakes to London to run Michael’s publishing business. Mary was still toying with her boys, but it looks like Mabel’s making some inroads with Gill. Molesley tried to help Daisy with her studies.

Rosamond steps off the train at Downton, having been summoned by the family, which finally realised they should at least pretend to give a shit about their missing daughter. She’s surprised to be met by Violet, but Violet needs a word with her before they get to the house. Things have gotten to the point where she has reluctantly concluded they need to bring Cora in on this whole situation. Yes! Thank you, finally! Rosamond thinks that’d be a betrayal, since they promised Edith not to blab, but Violet argues that, as Edith’s mother, Cora deserves to know the whole story. But Robert can be left in the dark, because dads don’t need to know what’s happening in their daughters’ lives.

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