Downton Abbey Season 4 Finale (SPOILERS)


Before this episode started, I was sweating thinking of all the material it had to cover:
Michael's disappearance, Mary's suitors, Edith's baby, Thomas' hold on Baxter, Bates/Green, etc. Turns out, the episode wasn't sweating nearly as much as I was. Pick one of those plot points and tell me if it was resolved: nope, nope, nope, nope, and nope. But thank goodness we got to spend a good deal of time with our old friend Madeleine!

OK, so I'm a little annoyed with how this season ended on the Road to Nowhere regarding its most major plot points. But I'm trying to appreciate it for what it was.

That does NOT mean that I appreciate Miss Sarah Bunting. You know who she is? She's that girlfriend who drops her boyfriend's mobile phone into a body of water and thinks it's playful. Except in her version, it manifests as needling Tom about his high-brow connections and then demanding to see the upstairs gallery against Tom's politely-put wishes.  I CANNOT ABIDE SUCH BEHAVIOR. And even though Tom and Sarah kinda deserved it, I was sad to see Thomas (Barrow) stoop so low to catch them out, with the fist-clenching and everything. You're better than this, Thomas (Barrow)!

I'm not sure I follow Mary's logic re: Charles Blake. She's ready to date, and it's Tony, until she finds out about Blake's not-so-humble origins, then it's Blake? Tony did the noble thing, does that count for nothing? And what about Evelyn? He's nothing if not noble. I wonder if the show is setting Evelyn up for a magnificent comeback some season to show up all these other suitors. I vote Evelyn, Blake, then Tony.

One of the more interesting plot points was what to do (for Mrs. Hughes and Mary) with the knowledge they gained about Bates' trip to "York." Which was actually London, where he possibly made sure Green got in the way of a passing car. I thought the answer was pretty clear - do nothing - at least for a television show. I think the show has left the question open, however, as to whether Bates actually did it or not.

In the end, the most enjoyable storyline was Mrs. Hughes trying to get the staff a trip to the seashore, but having to go through Carson to do it. Inconsequential, yes. But we weren't getting any answers on the consequential stuff, so I'll take the closing image of Mrs. Hughes and Carson hand-in-hand in the water and call it good.

February 2014 books

A new book on the shelf (it's my thesis)