Sunday, November 4, 2012

Downton Abbey 3.8

Wow, did we finally get a happy ending to a season?

Mandated Spoiler Alert.

I'm going to say right off that while I did like this episode, I felt that this season was lacking some of the omph that was there in the first two seasons. What they did to Sybil still remains a major dark spot, and I'm starting to agree with the fans who feel that they've watered down Branson too much.

I still adore Mary and Matthew, and we got some really great Matthew stuff this season, but we haven't seen much of Mary since the first two episodes. While we had hints about the infertility thing, it really seemed written off in this episode. A 'small operation'? What on earth was she talking about? Color me mystified. I wonder if this will come into play further, or if the Christmas special will roll around with Mary already pregnant?

I'm glad Ethel's storyline has been resolved. I wasn't keen on her character for a long time, but I've come to care about her, and I do like the storyline they've given her. And she gets to see her son sometimes, so YAY.

I will say I'm disappointed in the very vocal pro-gay rights soapbox this season. It just seems to be forcing the modern political scene on those times. Everyone would /not/ have been as 'cool' with it as they were, seriously. I dislike it when any show takes on a too active agenda, but especially when historical shows overdo scenarios that really wouldn't have been laid out that way at the time.

Speaking of which... I didn't have a problem with Rose's storyline - we need a girl like that on the show - but she seemed really out of place in this episode. Just taking time from the other characters. Unless she's due to come back next season, it seems a waste of screentime.

I'm not sure what to think about Edith's newspaper man. The "wife in the asylum" thing seems a bit too Jane Eyre for me. Edith has historically been gullible... so while I give her total kudos for doing her research on the guy before getting involved with him, I'm worried that she'll buy his excuse too easily because she feels so sorry for him.

Anna and Bates are finally adorable again. I love their little cottage, and although I didn't like the historical shakiness, I did appreciate that Bates went to bat for Thomas. I hope that Thomas will have the grace and humility to show some gratitude and decency to Bates in the future.

I didn't hate this episode, I promise! I just found more to be critical about than usual. Ah well...

Still want a happy ending for Daisy.


Katerina said...

Your thoughts on this episode just about sum up my own! It did feel quite.. /not/ finale-ish to me. Hopefully the Christmas special will be more satisfying.
I was also a little confused as to how the whole Thomas storyline was resolved. One episode everything was unbearably awful and I was really feeling so sorry for him, and now nothing has changed except for him /and/ James to be promoted? How is that a logical outcome?
I also felt that the little scene with the police turning up was sort of pointless- if they ended the series with Thomas getting arrested, that would have been more climactic I guess (if rather Bates-esq), but as it was we just got Lord Grantham, of all people, telling Alfred to be more liberal.

Amanda said...

Yes, I pretty much agree with everything you said, particularly the whole pro-gay thing. It just didn't fit, for any of their characters. Lord Grantham being so willing to forgive Thomas and brush it off as no big deal? When he is so concerned about the propriety of his daughter writing for the newspaper... really?

What really bugged me too was what I saw a hugely hypocritical contrast between the acceptance and forgiveness of Thomas, and then /promoting/ and how terribly everyone treated Ethel and refused to give her a second chance. Now come on guys. Where was your liberal thinking then? That girl deserved it so much more than Thomas did.

*end rant*