Forgot to write that I think my favorite character is MRS. HUGHES! She is just...well, AWESOME! Her gentle intervention in the lives of Ethel and Thomas helped untangle their very dire situations. I swear, the woman has diplomatic skills that Kissinger would admire. No one else could diffuse a standoff between Violet and Lady Grantham as well as Mrs. Hughes, and leave everyone with their dignity. I just *love* her.
Oh, and I also found it a bit too convenient for everyone to use Sybil's memory as an excuse for what needs to be done. But what I wonder is why no one is pointing out the Dowager's constant manipulations and pushy behavior for these episodes. She was like some machivelian spider, doing things behind Isobel's back,making plans for that young gal to be forced to go to someplace boring, etc. She was on a tear, and no one seemed to notice, let alone try to say her nay or stop her! I loved the scenes where Mary and Matthew were holding the baby or showing their love for one another. Sigh. So beautiful. I am loving having Bates back, and overjoyed that he and Anna have a little cottage together.
MrWriteSF, though I believe that GLBT people should all be accepted without prejudice, I believe at that time, Edwardian England was not at all accepting of gay men in particular. Look at what they did to poor Oscar Wilde. He was never the same after being jailed for homosexuality. That is why I didn't find it at all strange that Carson was so disgusted at Thomas's play for James. It would stand to reason that most of the household would be prejudiced against him at that time in history. I am not saying it was right, I am just saying that historically, being gay was illegal and considered highly immoral, and most people were not tolerant, so I think Julian Fellowes has made more members of the Downton staff out to be liberal and tolerant than would actually have been tolerant in those early years of the 20th century.
I'll have to go back and watch some things again...I was doing some other stuff during part of the episode, so I missed a few things. Even so, I was glad to see Mr. Bates' behavior toward Thomas after all of the grief he and Mrs. O'Brien had given him. Not a whole lot of people would have been that way.
I also liked the way almost everyone else other than Carson knew about Thomas' sexual orientation and didn't care. To be perfectly honest, I find it kind of sad that the attitude shown by them in early 20th-century England is more progressive than that of many people in 21st-century America...but that's another discussion.
"Robert is really top-notch when it comes to smoothing over staff issues..."
Perhaps, but he seems rather clueless until it's too late, and only where the male servants are concerned. Bates told Robert flat out that O'Brien was behind the James / Thomas debacle and he appeared to do NOTHING where O'Brien was concerned. If your wife's Lady's Maid was making trouble, shouldn't your wife be informed?
"It looks like the outer circle of Hell in Dante's 'Inferno.'" - Matthew Crawley (upon entering a jazz club)
IMO, this was just one of many LOL moments in last night's 2-hour installment. It was a bit of a roller-coaster with so many serious moments followed by hilarious bits like Cora's thinly concealed exasperation with the cricket match, Rosamund's withering takedown of Rose in her foyer (oh, that was good!), and Violet' description of how Lady Grantham brought up her children. The writing in that last hour was just hilarious (yes, it was 2 separate episodes aired together).
SO nice to see Bates & Lord Grantham back together again, and Robert's reaction to Thomas' situation. I liked how the final scenes highlighted Robert's role at Downton Abbey. While his younger sons-in-law may have new ideas about how to run the place so it doesn't lose money, Robert is really top-notch when it comes to smoothing over staff issues, staying connected with the villagers & tenants, & facing law enforcement square in the eye. He's not as irrelevant to DA as he feels. I liked how his place as "captain of the ship" (as Cora called it) was further reinforced, and how the family tries so hard to remain together even when they disagree.
I said out loud that I couldn't believe I was feeling sorry for Thomas, right before Bates said the same thing. Having said that, I don't think he should have gotten off "scott free" and then been given a rank higher than Bates, presumably just because they wanted him in the cricket game. I thought that whole thing was weird. The story line built up and built up and then ... nothing actually happened. I'm not saying he should have been let go, but it just seemed that something else should have come from it - maybe O'Brien getting hers at last. I don't know. I just didn't like it.
Oh look...it's DISH-pimp. You're late--what kept you?
LadyJay...meet Travis, the DISH-pimp. Travis doesn't actually WATCH Downton Abbey--or so you would think given that he just paraphrases the review and others' comments. He's too busy hocking his employer's services to actually USE them and contribute anything meaningful. Be sure to catch him next week. Maybe he'll surprise us.
I had no idea the show was going to be two hours, I was so tired but glad I stayed up to watch it all. I loved the ending scene with the guys all together. It put a big smile on my face. I love how they are coming around to liking Tom, shame it took Sybil dying for that to happen. The idea of them all working together was great as well.
Edith is now my fave character now that Sybil is dead and I so feel for her. Seems like she can never get a break with love or happiness.
I too thought what is the purpose of bringing on Rose. I felt that whole storyline was unnecessary to a great show last night.
I like the scenes between Mary and Matthew last night because Mary usually seems so cold even to Matthew, so it was nice to see them having close and sweet moments.
I was happy to see Bates and Anna together again outside of the jail.
Great episode last night and can't wait to see what the finale brings.
One final note to the Crawleys: Do you think Lady Sybil would have liked you to use her memory as an instrument of guilt and emotional extortion? There were WAAAAAY too many references to "what Sybil would have wanted" in this episode.
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