Well, Golly Gumdrops, Downton addicts:
A tawdry local brouhaha, a tragedy and a wedding, plus:
Mrs. Patmore’s face!
So many dramatic brouhahas and faces to regard in this, the second to the last episode ever of our beloved, sudsy romp in the Yorkshire countryside of 1925. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. That mysterious gent, skulking in the bushes outside of Mrs. Patmore’s b and b? A tabloid photographer, snapping photos of Mrs. Patmore’s adulterous first guests and smearing the establishment’s good name–maybe permanently.
2. Although, Lord Grantham won’t have his head cook’s business go up in a flame of tawdriness. He hatches a plan to enjoy some tea and crumpets there himself, along with Cora and his sister Rosamund, thereby restoring Mrs. P’s “house of ill-repute” to a house of good repute.
3. But oh, Mrs. Patmore’s face when the constable (for whom a cot should be procured at the Abbey, since he’s there every second time the door opens) announces her b n b is being thought of as “a house of ill repute.”
4. And speaking of faces, Mary’s visage, usually so chilly, so stone-like, practically melts off in horror when she finds out her lowly sister Edith’s man is now the Marquess of Hexham, which means, should they marry, Edith would out rank them all.
5. More on Mary’s face: Could her eyes be more like two small, black slabs of granite? Hauteur, thy name is Mary.
6. Bravo to the meddlesome Tom for administering some tough love to Sister Mary. “Shame on you,” he says to her, for being such a snob, for being mean, hateful, vindictive, superior, self-important, absurd etc, etc. “How many lives are you going to ruin to smother your own misery?”
7. And the hits keep coming for Lady M: Henry Talbot, the dumped suitor determined to win her back, echoes Tom’s snobbery insult. Mr. Bates calls her a bully, and Edith? Well, later on, Edith has no shortage of words to call her sister when she…
8. Falls victim to Mary’s unusually cruel (even for her) sabotage of Edith’s happiness. In an act of supreme passive aggression, Mary coolly drops the Marigold bomb to Bertie at breakfast, blowing up Edith’s life. Bertie is put off at Edith’s lack of trust, and departs on the next train.
9. Whereupon Edith unloads on Mary an inferno of suppressed wrath which hopefully made her (Edith) feel considerably relieved in spirit, if not in life circumstances.
10. Carson is even more stuck up than Mary, which is saying something. It must be why they get on so well. I mean, STEP OFF MAN! Worrying about whether those for whom he buttles will have any residual scandal from Mrs. Patmore’s mix-up? For me, this was the final straw. I think we all need some redemption for Carson in the last episode.
11. It takes Granny Violet to loosen the chinks in Mary’s cement: Mary finally owes up to the fact that she’s terrified of losing another husband in a car crash. Does this absolve her for her boorish behavior? Not quite. But it was good to see her blubbing anyway.
12. Mister Barrow’s despair leads him to an unthinkable act, and a bathtub full of blood. Thankfully, he is saved by his fellow staffers, mostly Miss Baxter, who intuits in time that Thomas is in deep trouble. Finally, Carson and Lord G realize forcing him out the door was not the right thing to do. So he’ll stay on, but will he find any joy or friendship?
13. Mary whistles, and Henry Talbot comes. They confess their deep mutual love, kiss, and decide to get married in the next ten minutes! But before they can get married…
14. Edith appears as Mary is dressing for her wedding. They try and make amends, although not as many as were needed. But it’s a start. Edith’s speech about them being siblings, and how they need to stick together in some way, because some day, it will be just them to remember Sybil, and their parents, and their growing up years at the Abbey, made me BLUB!
So true. No matter what–and trust me, this is not said flippantly–siblings need each other, cradle to grave. Oh Edith, in the words of Bertie, “I’m afraid you’ve made me blub!”
Apparently, PBS does not want to compete with the Oscars next week, and for that matter, I have an Oscar party to go to (“Brooklyn” for Best Picture!).
The series finale, then, will be in two weeks, but I think I’ll whip up some Downton themed blog to tide us over, anyhoo. Maybe “Top Ten Best Baby Names from Downton Abbey?”
In the meantime, keep those fabulous comments coming in for your chance to win Downton Tea!
What’s burning in YOUR Downton-loving hearts?
Will Bertie snap out of it and see that being a titled landowner will mean nothing without Edith?
How will poor, dear Thomas fare in the aftermath of his suicide attempt?
What did you blub over? and isn’t blub a grand word?