Downton Abbey 4.8 Review: Mostly Redeemed

I’m on jury duty again today, so you’re getting this post a bit early. Denisa and I watched the penultimate Downton episode last night, which means this season only has the Christmas episode to go, and we all know what happens then: all fun and games until someone gets in a car crash.

So how did this episode go? For the most part, I enjoyed it at last. Short on time, so I’ll jump straight to the rundown:

  • Mary and her suitors. Gather ’round, class. I’m going to teach you how (not) to introduce a new acceptable suitor to replace the one all your fans loved and adored. Step one. Introduce an absolutely idiotic replacement. Someone who doesn’t fit our heroine at all. But make it so that our heroine is interested anyway. Chalk it up to her being emotional after the death of her husband. Whatever you do, make sure they audience doesn’t like the new guy. Keep that up for an episode or two–long enough to get your audience to think “ANYONE BUT HIM!!!” Then, introduce the guy you want people to root for. Blarg. It’s so clear how they maneuvered the plot in this case . . . But the stage is now set. We can have this love triangle forced upon us. I’ve decided to just focus on the fact that Mary was changed by Matthew. That she became a nice, kinder Mary who can still be mean now and then. But the sooner Lord Gilligan disappears, the better. The guy’s like a sad puppy.
  • Bates Goes A’ Murderin’–That spring is back in his limp. The smile’s on his face. Here we have Bates proving to everyone once and for all that he didn’t kill his wife. When he wants someone dead, he’s smart enough to make it look like an accident. Case closed. Still a very bizarre plot for the show to have, where Bates was forced to turn into this bloodthirsty monster for half the season. Whatever. It’s over now. (Please?)
  • Daisy/Ivy/Alfred–Also over. I really liked the interaction between Daisy and Mrs. Patmore. A great touch, and some wonderful character development. Huzzah!
  • Rose and her Band Leader Boy Toy–Also glad this plot is done. I’m all for introducing color to the Downton cast, but I can’t help but feel this wasn’t the way to do it. Band Leader guy just came across as *such* a token character. And now he’s swept back under the rug for the rest of the cast to ignore again.
  • Edith Off to Switzerland–This is a plot that felt like it hasn’t quite known what to do with itself. It’s kind of all over the place. But whatever. Maybe they’ve been saving up for the chance to do something big at the Christmas episode.
  • Lord Grantham and Thomas back from America–Did the actors want a vacation? Kind of a random absence. Oh well.

That’s all I have time for today, alas. Really, there’s nothing particularly awesome I can point to to explain why I’m liking the show again. I think it’s mainly just that the plots I *dis*liked are done now. I’ll save my final verdict for next week, but so far I’d say the season isn’t the worst one they’ve had, but definitely not the best.

On to Christmas!

Leave a comment