Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What I’m Watching: Downton Abbey (Season Finale)

Downton Abbey: Season 4, Episode 8 (B+)

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already reached the end of this season, which started just two months ago. Fortunately, the show got renewed for a fifth season back in November, and so we’ll have plenty more opportunities to revisit Downton. As is standard for the season ender, this episode was all about an outing, and a fresh setting in London proved to be very productive for telling a story. The big plot of the super-sized episode was a comic ploy to get back an incriminating letter that could have disgraced an important regal, and I enjoyed the fact that Bates’ forging and pickpocketing abilities both came in extremely handy. Edith was back already from Switzerland after the secret birth and, ignoring the advice of the two people who know the truth, she opted to have the baby brought to Downton so that it (she) could grow up with her real mother around. Tom’s late-night tour was a serious misstep, and Thomas’ apparent disdain for his former peer is going to help push Tom out of a life he never felt comfortable with but had been living in for a decent amount of time now. Mary protesting against the poker players being referred to as “Mary’s men” was hilarious, and I’m glad that the show is able to poke fun at that. I certainly hope that Mary gets over her stupid conscience and opts not to turn Bates in for his presumed crime of killing Anna’s attacker. It was great to see Paul Giamatti in a perfect role as Harold, whose every moment on screen was a scathing delight. Carson’s reaction to the American valet’s attempt to hawk food and his question about whether anything was “going on” with Daisy was great, and I heartily appreciated the season ending with Carson and Mrs. Hughes holding hands and walking into the ocean together.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Maggie Smith as Violet and Jim Carter as Carson

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