Your Weekly Downton Fix: Episode 4.7

Yes, it’s true. The olympics are on, I’m teaching early morning seminary this week, and I still made time to watch Downton yesterday. Why? Because my wife adores the show, really. And she puts up with watching an awful lot of things I love, so I try to reciprocate now and then. And honestly, it’s not that it’s a dreadful experience (well, most of the episode, anyway)–there are still plots I’m genuinely enjoying. But when I have to get up at 5 am the next day, and I’m feeling under the weather, and there’s downhill skiing beckoning from another channel . . .

I still watched.

And what did I think this week? Allow me to give a rundown of my responses to the various plotlines:

  • Abortion. Really? Abortion? We’re going there? A sign to me that the writers really are starting to grasp at flashy plotlines. Very glad Edith didn’t go through with it. The less said about this plot the better. I have no idea what the writers are up to with Edith. Her story is just sort of flailing around from week to week. Maybe it’ll all come clear in a future episode?
  • Lord Gillingham–Back again? Ugh. Each time he opened his mouth I wanted to backhand the little simpering snot, and I was ticked off Mary didn’t oblige me by doing it. How big of an idiot does this guy have to prove himself to be? Lame with a capital L.
  • Anna’s rapist returns–Not that you couldn’t see this coming from a mile away, but I finally understand how they’re going to justify Bates murdering this moron. Have him show up and start prancing around making jokes in front of Anna and Bates until the entire audience wants the guy dead. Very happy to see Mrs. Hughes give him a sound lecture, and looking forward to this year’s Christmas special, which will consist of 2 hours of Bates slowly beating the man senseless, as upstairs Violet and Isobel play a pinochle tournament.
  • Violet–Nice to see Isobel and her making nice. Very pleased the murderous writers didn’t have Violet die.
  • Rose–Never liked her. This plot is vapid and forced. Next.
  • Mary and the pigs–This was kind of awesome. It felt in character for Mary, it introduced a new love interest in a way that wasn’t repugnant. Mary is a strong character–to have her even consider the offer of such a weak spined chucklehead as Gillingham is just yucky. To have her have an equally strong minded character to go up against . . . much better.
  • Ivy/Daisy love triangle–Still diverting, if only for the laughs.
  • Thomas off to America, leaving a spy behind–Intriguing enough, I suppose. Thomas is being underutilized these days. He’s just sort of delegated to the background, where he can rub his hands together wickedly every so often and cackle now and then. Lots of foreshadowing, but to what end?

There’s only 2 episodes left, so I guess it will all go somewhere soon? Or shall we have a big cliffhanger that will torture us all? I’ll keep watching, though judging from my page hits of this weekly column, a lot of viewers have long since given up on the show.

What did you think about this week? Are you back on the Downton wagon?

2 thoughts on “Your Weekly Downton Fix: Episode 4.7”

  1. I haven’t given up on the show at all, and still quite enjoy it, especially since giving over to the fact that they’re going to kill or mess with pretty much all my darlings. Makes me totally relaxed about everything somehow. It often takes me some time to get to the episode, because Ali doesn’t watch, so I have to find time in the week.

    I don’t know that I agree with you about the abortion plot line. I imagine it’s an issue loads of women dealt with emotionally, and it was somewhat interesting to me to have them touch on it. In some small way I appreciate that the show this season is exploring real awful issues women were/are dealing with all the time.

    I like Rose and think it’s interesting that the show is exploring race issues a little, but I agree they’re not doing it in a very interesting way.

    The business with the pigs was fun, and as a farm person, I did have to call out to Ali who was in the kitchen making dinner: “There’s a farm crisis! It’s the pigs! They’re out of water! Oh no!” (Which is to say: the writers could have come up with a more legitimately frightening crisis. But such are the perils of watching a show with the critical eye of someone who’s living that stuff regularly. But I can let it go. The scene was fun. It was GREAT fun to see Mary doing something physical. And yes, great fun to see the two of them.)

    I definitely missed something a few episodes back though – why does Thomas have such power to make Baxter do his bidding? Is it just that he got her the job?

  2. Really late getting to this–sorry, Lisa. I actually thought of you during the pig scene, and wondered what you’d think of it.

    With Thomas, he got Baxter her job, and somehow he knows something mysterious about her past that would incriminate her in something. We don’t know what, I believe . . .

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