Downton Crappy: Downton Abbey 4.3 Review

Yes, we watched this week’s episode. Honestly, a lot of the joy of it is draining away for me. I’m so incredibly annoyed at what the writers (and actor shenanigans) have done to these poor characters. Words fail to capture just how moronic some of the stunts have been this season. The two prime offenders are, of course, Mary’s plotline and Anna’s.

Mary is a wonderful character. Strong. Determined. Smart. Biting. Mean to most people. And I get that the writers are trying to do some acrobatics with her character, claiming that Matthew changed her and gave her a bigger gooey middle, but then they contradict themselves in almost the same sentence. Look at it this way–the only reason Mary is remotely interested (supposedly) in Gillingham is because Matthew changed her so much. But if Matthew had such a great huge impact on her, why in the world is she remotely interested in Gillingham? You can’t have her be both at the same time, because that’s just lame with a capital L. And yet that’s what they’re going for this season. When Gillingham “accidentally” “happened” to “show up” at her door for the third day in a row, I really wanted Mary to let him have it with both barrels. To just launch in one side of him and out the other, letting him know what a simpering, stupid ingrate he was, and how he ought to go out and do something with his life other than be an idiot.

What did I get instead? Him saying, “Please just kiss me.”

And Mary went along with it? And then verbally dwelled on how she might regret letting him get away for “years to come.”


Also, I’m all for saving the planet, but I prefer not to have my plot lines recycled, thank you very much. Didn’t Matthew do the whole “ditch your fiancee for Mary” plot a season or two ago?

Bah. So Mary’s a complete mess at the moment. Fine. But we’ve still got the wonderful Anna/Bates plot to keep us satisfied, right? I mean, just a few weeks ago in my review of the first episode, I said:

Anna and Bates–this is a good level area for them. Please please please just keep this at this level for the rest of the show. No more surprise murder accusations. No infidelity. No long lost children. Just let them be happy together. Or else!

Clearly no one listens to me. At all. What happens in this episode? We discover that Bates is secretly the Incredible Hulk. That his rage is so great that he will magically kill anyone who has done something vile to Anna. It’s a foregone conclusion.


What gets me with this plot is that characters are inconsistent. Anna is afraid of what Bates will do, because he murdered his wife already–except he didn’t murder his wife, remember? He was framed for it. He hasn’t been murdering anyone. He’s never shown a real propensity for law breaking. This is just plain stupid. I’ll give a pass to Anna’s character, because who knows how anyone will react to something like that when they’re thrown into such an awful position. But what about Mrs. Hughes? When the plot needs her to be, she’s willing to stick her nose into anyone’s business. Until the plot needs her to be quiet. Blarg.

I have a feeling I’ll be calling shenanigans on this plot for the rest of the season. Let me see . . . Another episode or so before Bates finds out what happened. And then it turns out he really IS the Incredible Hulk. And then the guy gets killed. And then Thor shows up to take Mary away to Asgard.

How are we supposed to put up with all of this dreck? A rundown of the other plots worth mentioning:

  • Rose and the jazz singer–In which Downton tries to prove it’s got some diversity by having a random character pop up and do stupid things for a few minutes, after assaulting us with some lousy singing for longer than that. This was far too contrived and silly, an excuse to get Rose into the arms of another race, and then give all the Downton people a chance to go frowny face over it. Dislike. Downton is to diverse as Dr. Evil is to cool:

  • Tom and the hussy maid–Talk about over the top ridiculous. Hussy gets guy drunk, then goes to guy’s room and sleeps with him, then threatens to guilt trip him to death unless he commits to acknowledging the child, in case she’s pregnant. At what point in time did this sound like a good plot?
  • Edith and the reporter dude–“Here, honey. Sign this paper, but don’t read it too carefully.” You’ve have to be a grade A idiot to do this. Lucky for the plot that’s just what Edith is. Disappointing, and methinks she’ll be ruing that little mistake in a later episode. And I’ll be regretting having watched that later episode.

At this point, I think the show’s really just gone too far. They’ve tied up the Gillingham plot (I hope!), so perhaps things will improve in that area, but the Anna plot seems just about ready to kick things up a notch, which will be dreadful.

Someone persuade me to like this show again. Give me some hope that watching it each week isn’t a waste of my time. Please!

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