And now our watch is ended. Denisa and I caught up with the finale of Downton last night, and it was pretty much as we both expected it to be: one long “let’s fix every problem we ever came up with” session that was about as close to fan service as any series finale I can remember. In the immortal words of Vanilla Ice, “If there was a problem, yo I’ll solve it.”
And lo, all the problems were solved by the end of the episode. Let’s just run them down one by one, shall we?
- Edith didn’t have a husband? No problem! We’ll have Bertie Bott show up and say he can’t live without her. And because Mary was the one who messed things up, we’ll have her be the one to fix things. And that mother we mentioned last episode? We’ll have her get over her internal hangups and presto! Marriage. Happy happy happy.
- Anna kept on not being able to have a baby? Cue the time jump to her being fully pregnant, and on comes the baby! I know that in pass Downtons, this is where Anna would die in a horrible child birth scene, but no more! She has the baby in Lady Mary’s bed, and everything is 100% wonderful.
- Carson’s been a gigantic jerk? We can fix that! Give him the palsy out of nowhere, and suddenly we all feel super bad for him, and hope he gets better soon. (Though of course he can’t. Introduce a major illness and magically cure it in a single episode? What sort of chicanery do you think we’re up to here? This is Downton Abbey! We must have some standards!)
- Isobel still isn’t married, and Dickie has a shrew of a Daughter-in-Law? Pair up Isobel with Lady Violet, and together the Wonder Twins will swoop to the rescue. And because Dickie turns out to have a heretofore unknown illness, Isobel gets over her hangups and marries the old man anyway. And then to make sure that we’re all extra happy, we’ll take away the death sentence and cure Dickie! (What was that about Carson still being sick? Hush. This is Downton Abbey! Standards are for the weak.)
- Thomas has no job? We’ll give him one! And then when he hates it (because he really turned out to love Downton all along), we’ll give him Carson’s job! You get a job! And you get a job! And YOU get a job!
- Molesley wanted to be a teacher? Make it so! Give that boy a house and a career.
- Chewbacca Nurse still was attached to her past ex-con love? Fix it! In this case, all she has to do is reach deep inside herself and realize she doesn’t need that ex-con anyway!
- Mary married a guy who loves racing, even though she hates it? Not anymore! Now he doesn’t like racing, and instead just wants to . . . sell cars! That’s the ticket!
- Who else can we fix? Tom! He doesn’t have a sweetheart anymore. That’s okay, we’ll imply he’s going to get together with the Editor Girl.
- Daisy! She’s been a nincompoop for forever We’ll have her make an idiot of herself with a hair dryer, then solve that problem and hook her up with Farm Boy. Bingo!
- But what about Mrs. Patmore? Hook her up with Farm Man, of course!
- Violet shouldn’t be angry at Cora anymore. Fixed!
- Spratt might be in trouble for writing articles for the paper? Not in my finale, he’s not!
- Dumbledore died in Harry Potter! Not anymore! Lady Mary used the Time Turner and . . . what? Oh. We didn’t fix that? Okay. Sorry about that.
I’m sure I’m missing a couple, but it’s all good. Everything’s good in Downtonville. And I must admit, I really enjoyed the ending, despite how blatantly it was fixing everything. Really, I was quite impressed with how they managed to salvage Carson. I didn’t see the debilitating illness card being played not once, but twice in a single episode. Impressive.
And Thomas . . . Think back to season 1. Who would have thought that the finale would involve him taking Carson’s place, and everyone being good with that? Bizarre, but they pulled it off. Put characters into a bad enough spot, and it turns out your audience can root for just about everyone.
It’s been an interesting road, these six seasons. Some really great television, and some real stinker episodes. On the whole, I’ve enjoyed it, though I wouldn’t mind an edit that leaves us with just the great stuff and skips over the bad.
And of course, none of you saw the alternate ending they filmed for the series, where it turns out Thomas poisoned the wine at the New Year’s/Wedding party, and he killed every single character you’ve ever loved. It was just a five minute scene that was going to be tacked onto the end, just for kicks. You know. As a sort of “And then Matthew died in a horrible car wreck” good bye to the characters. For old times’ sake.
Thanks for watching and reading. I’ll have to find something else to obsess about now. Any suggestions of shows you’d like me to review?