Tuesday, March 3, 2015

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

Downton Abbey: Season 5, Episode 9 (B+)

This year’s Christmas special includes the obligatory trip out of town for the Crawley family, though this time it was somewhat different since most of the servants didn’t come with them. What that meant back home was a lovely dinner with just Carson, Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Patmore, Molesley, and Daisy. This mega-episode had a lot to do with the servants and their roles, particularly when it came to them overexerting their places in efforts to preserve the traditional way of things. Tom receiving the cold shoulder from Stowell was the perfect impetus for Thomas to secret some revenge on him, setting him up to be disciplined by Lord Sinderby, but then going too far by having his mistress show up with a child. Fortunately, that was the ideal opening for Rose to prove her resourcefulness and her loyalty to her new family. Back at Downton, the rivalry between Denker and Spratt came to an entertaining head over a soup battle followed by a stern scolding from Violet. I was pleased to see Matthew Goode as Atticus’ neighbor and another potential suitor for Mary, not that it suggests much hope for his chances given how well his predecessors have done wooing her. Anna didn’t have to spend nearly as long behind bars as her husband did, and the unexplained ending suggests that they may in fact live happily ever after, which seems like a stretch but it’s honestly hard to stick with this whole Green plotline anymore. The very end of the episode featured another happy ending, one that could have been predicted a while ago but seemed like it was never going to happen: the engagement of Carson and Mrs. Hughes, one of the sweetest non-couples ever to become engaged. This season has been a positive and fun ride, somewhat repetitive but ultimately just the taste of soapy British period drama that it’s always been.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Maggie Smith

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