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?
I know what you mean about the faces. When the Dowager asks Mary, “WHY did you do it [tell Bertie about Marigold]?” Mary says “I don’t know, Edith was just so…” and she makes this face as if Edith had been showing off about it, which was NOT true at all. But I loved that expression. No matter what she does, I just LOVE Lady Mary. I enjoyed the moment, too, when Henry says that he trembles at the touch of her hand and Mary laughs and said, “Me too, I don’t know why I said that, really!” — showing that there’s some lovable girlishness underneath the ice-princess exterior.
It was a great episode with lots of drama … but wow, if you thought Episode 8 was rushed , wait for episode 9! It’s SO good, though.
OK, I’m gushing. 😀
I love to loathe Lady Mary, but then again I think sometimes I just love her, too! 🙂 The girlish giggle was a nice touch!
Having lost a sister of my own, I “blubbed” when Edith reminded Mary that someday only the two of them will be able to keep alive the memory of their sister. It’s amazing how we can live in to the lives of TV characters. 🙂
Oh, and I loved the way that Mary and Thomas connect — the two haters who have realized that being mean burns bridges and leaves one miserably lonely. Master George spoke! 🙂
Well said Bonny.
I am so sorry you lost your sister! That scene must have been very poignant indeed for you, Bonny. I like your insight about Thomas and Mary as being two haters who understand each other! I love how gentle Thomas is with Master George. 🙂
I thought this was one of the better episodes in a while. I loved watching Edith finally let Mary have it, and continue to cheer for Edith, who has surprisingly become one of my favorite characters, along with poor Thomas. I’ve appreciated the way the writers have brought some of the lesser known characters to the forefront this season.
Mary gets the best dress award from me for that black sequin evening gown.
The whole Mary/Henry romance has been a little “meh” for me from the start, so their “ten minute” wedding was an appropriately blasé ending to their story arc. I realize everyone wanted Mary’s story wrapped up with a bow but I almost enjoy her more when she’s being nasty to everyone. 🙂
Did anyone see Mr. Spratt coming as the successful columnist? Right before she opened the door, I said to my husband, “I bet it’s a man” but I wouldn’t have predicted Spratt. LOL.
Very intrigued to see how they wrap up all the story lines in the final episode! Part of me wants to see everyone waltzing off into the sunset and part of me wants things to be more realistic. I do hope the divine Mrs. Crawley gets a happy ending, though–she has been one of my favorites from day one.
I too thought it was a man but laughed so hard when I saw Spratt! And I agree about Mary’s dress – very nice!
Kelli, do you mean Isobel? Or Cora? Or Violet? Could they all be Mrs. Crawley? Love them all!
Ann Byle says
And what about Spratt as the mysterious advice columnist!!?? I gasped. I laughed. I wished for more on the mysterious Spratt. Here are my thoughts on how the finale should be, as if the creators would ever ask!
1. Bertie and Edith marry, with Marigold as bridesmaid and Tom as, again, a groomsman.
2. Mary immediately gets pregnant.
3. The B&B is a resounding success, with one of the royal princesses coming for a visit.
4. Spratt lampoons Denker in his column.
5. Mr. Molesley and Miss Baxter finally smooch.
6. Thomas finds a true home at Downton, and a friend.
7. Lord Grantham continues to make funny, needle-sharp comments about the women in his life. It was hilarious to see him fight with his sister.
Must watch this episode again and again!
Good call! I’d surely enjoy your episode.
All of this, and especially #4 Anne! I love Spratt and his weird, froggy voice. His being the agony aunt (or agony uncle, as it were) seems to me to be one more reason for me to hope they do a spin-off show on the magazine.
Jenny Van Hoy says
I thought this episode was fabulous. Mary and Edith was priceless. Oh, Miss Pattmore, that was hilarious. I’m so sad this is the second to last episode. I don’t want it to end.
I just watched part of it again on my coffee break. I am going to miss Mrs. Patmore most of all!
Jo Beth says
So sad to see it ending, but oh what a ride we’ve had. It was good to see Edith finally stand up to Mary and show she does have a spine. As nasty as Mary can be, I still adore her. As for Thomas, I saw the suicide coming for weeks, I just thought Julian would make it successful. He surprised me again, part of the reason he’s so incredibly brilliant.
“As nasty as Mary can be, I still adore her.” Isn’t that the truth?
Mr Carson has been such a fuddy dud, to put it sweetly. He needs to have a change of heart. Bravo for the visit Mary and little George paid to Thomas! Edith’s speech to Mary about Siblings was indeed spot on … Well said Edith. I really do hope her man extends forgiveness and that Edith ends up out ranking them all.
I could think of stronger language to describe Carson’s behavior lately! 🙂 Hope he is redeemed somehow. And I adored the visit with Master George and the orange. So sweet.
Mia White says
I’m blubbing over the fact that Tom Branson is Sean Astin/Samwise Gamgee’s long lost twin. It’s so distracting to me! I posted a comparison on your FB page but don’t know how to here. Also, I just gushed with delight when the family made a point to visit Pattmore’s B&B, they are so gracious and upstanding and classy, so fiercely yet commendably loyal. LOVE!
Mia, very true about Sean Astin and Mr. Branson ( or “my Tom” as I call him)! Also a good insight about how gracious and loyal Lord G and Cora and even Rosamund are!
I will be so sad to see this series end. I just want everyone to have a happy ending! I love Edith and how she has matured during the years. I wish this was a book series as well. It would be such a fun read! There was so much in this episode! It’s almost moving too quickly. I will need a box of tissues ready for the final show!
Debra, it would be a GREAT book series! I wouldn’t be surprised if a sort of “fan fiction” series took off. Wouldn’t it be fun to write?
I think Barrow will end up as Mary’s butler- he and George have some sort of connection.
My baby name pick- Baxter for a little girl!
Ooh I was thinking maybe Thomas could replace Spratt but Carson *does* need to retire from Downton and then Thomas and George could have the kind of relationship that Mary and Carson have had! And Bertie better come back or I’m going to be mad at all English people forever.
You didn’t mention the reveal of the mystery columnist, Sprat! He and Danke supply me with plenty of entertainment. I blubbed many times last night, and then I woke up this morning and blubbed some more just thinking how the series is almost over. I called my mom from work and blubbed a little to her too! Oh Mr. Fellowes, please give us more!
Laura Hall says
Mr. Mosely being “a natural” at teaching was another moment I liked. It neatly clears the way for Barrows to secure his spot for good. And I like his character. I like that it might end with him finally finding his place in the world. And what about Ms. Patmore and the farmer? I also think it’s been interesting to see Lord G. having Ms. Patmore’s back once again. That’s three times he’s come to her aid. I think what I have liked the most about the series is the unlikely loyalties with the different characters. I saw the entire season 6 at the video store a couple of weeks ago. I was so tempted to get it and binge the rest of the episodes. But I want to make the enjoyment last as long as it can so I decided against it. I LOVE the idea of a continuation book series. That would be a huge hit. I saw an interview of some of the actors and they said there has been talks on a one off movie down the line, too. Either way I think Fellowes new show has a lot to live up to. By the way, if you want to enjoy a couple of movies with a bit of Violet in it, check out The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and the sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Maggies character reminds me so much of Violet. Oh, it also has Isobel in it (but she’s not very likable).
“… those for whom he buttles …” haha, it is true, Mr. Carson was getting on my last nerve tonight with his snobbery. I had thought the cooking incident would have taken him down a peg. God bless Mrs. Hughes! I too feared that Mr. Barrow would harm himself, and I was so glad that they found him in time. But probably the best part for me was Mr. Mosley connecting with the children in his classroom. So poignant after all of his struggles. I have come to love his character. And I appreciate the way his relationship with Miss Baxter has unfolded slowly and steadily. Oh, and Mr. Bates’ line, “Don’t all husbands smile when their wives admit they’re wrong?” SUCH a good episode!
Enjoyed this episode a great deal. I think more of Edith as she gave it to Mary and then came back for the wedding as well as running the magazine. Loved it when Spratt was on other side of the door – how is he going to hide his writing from the Dowager – She will let him know what opinions he can have. There is so many stories to resolve but I do not want all them to be resolve in order to have a movie for Julian to write.
CHERYL DEMBINSKI says
I also loved this episode.its just to good to be true! love the servants and mrs.patmore and miss baxter.so good.thank you lorilee and all you other downton fans. also if I can mention this I so loved BROOKLYN MOVIE WANT TO WATCH IT 20 MORE TIMES!