Monday, February 24, 2014

Downton Abbey Season 4 Finale (SPOILERS)


Before this episode started, I was sweating thinking of all the material it had to cover:
Michael's disappearance, Mary's suitors, Edith's baby, Thomas' hold on Baxter, Bates/Green, etc. Turns out, the episode wasn't sweating nearly as much as I was. Pick one of those plot points and tell me if it was resolved: nope, nope, nope, nope, and nope. But thank goodness we got to spend a good deal of time with our old friend Madeleine!

OK, so I'm a little annoyed with how this season ended on the Road to Nowhere regarding its most major plot points. But I'm trying to appreciate it for what it was.

That does NOT mean that I appreciate Miss Sarah Bunting. You know who she is? She's that girlfriend who drops her boyfriend's mobile phone into a body of water and thinks it's playful. Except in her version, it manifests as needling Tom about his high-brow connections and then demanding to see the upstairs gallery against Tom's politely-put wishes.  I CANNOT ABIDE SUCH BEHAVIOR. And even though Tom and Sarah kinda deserved it, I was sad to see Thomas (Barrow) stoop so low to catch them out, with the fist-clenching and everything. You're better than this, Thomas (Barrow)!

I'm not sure I follow Mary's logic re: Charles Blake. She's ready to date, and it's Tony, until she finds out about Blake's not-so-humble origins, then it's Blake? Tony did the noble thing, does that count for nothing? And what about Evelyn? He's nothing if not noble. I wonder if the show is setting Evelyn up for a magnificent comeback some season to show up all these other suitors. I vote Evelyn, Blake, then Tony.

One of the more interesting plot points was what to do (for Mrs. Hughes and Mary) with the knowledge they gained about Bates' trip to "York." Which was actually London, where he possibly made sure Green got in the way of a passing car. I thought the answer was pretty clear - do nothing - at least for a television show. I think the show has left the question open, however, as to whether Bates actually did it or not.

In the end, the most enjoyable storyline was Mrs. Hughes trying to get the staff a trip to the seashore, but having to go through Carson to do it. Inconsequential, yes. But we weren't getting any answers on the consequential stuff, so I'll take the closing image of Mrs. Hughes and Carson hand-in-hand in the water and call it good.

7 comments:

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Tom is such a push-over. I wish he'd put his foot down in this episode. Bunting is nothing but trouble.

Several characters personalities have changed this season--Mrs. Crawley is acting almost like a teenager when that man comes around (can't remember his name) (I just woke up). Baxter is improving. And the man who was doing road work (brain fog) is nicely developing a back bone. Thomas however, is degenerating in my mind--if that's possible.

Cait said...

I liked Miss Sarah Bunting and was so hoping for a socialist romance with her and Tom. But she's exactly how you described her.

I am really disappointed in Edith. I don't know what it's like having never been accidentally pregnant with a missing lover and giving my baby to a Swiss family, but cruel for the Schroeders and I don't like how she handled it.

You are voting for Evelyn Napier? Really? He's so... boring. I like Blake. Gillingham is too hoity-toity and I like how Blake really challenges Mary.

I can't believe Mary actually contemplated turning Bates in. Do you remember... Anna? The kindest, gentlest lady's maid there ever was? Remember how Green violently attacked and raped her?

That last scene with Mrs. Hughes and Carson was heart-melting. So perfect.

Au revoir, Ivy!

And ARE AMERICANS REALLY LIKE THAT?! And do we talk like that? Geez.

Bridget said...

I wanted to like Miss Sarah Bunting. But I can't.

Yes, the poor Schroeders!! Will no one think of them? That can't have been pretty - "here is a baby for you to love. Wait, never mind."

Evelyn Napier is the dark horse. Just wait. Think: he loves Mary even though she turns him down, has never given him a reason to hope (in fact told him to his face he had no reason to hope, right? back in Season 1, maybe?), and even though he knows the whole business (like the WHOLE business) about a certain Turkish man. He's for real.

Re: Mary almost turning in Bates. Mary, do you also remember a certain Turkish man, and how you kept that all hush-hush? Just sayin'.

I do love seeing this show's interpretation of American accents. Apparently the actor who played Jack Ross isn't American, so that accent was affected. Just interesting.

Bridget said...

I wanted to like Miss Sarah Bunting. But I can't.

Yes, the poor Schroeders!! Will no one think of them? That can't have been pretty - "here is a baby for you to love. Wait, never mind."

Evelyn Napier is the dark horse. Just wait. Think: he loves Mary even though she turns him down, has never given him a reason to hope (in fact told him to his face he had no reason to hope, right? back in Season 1, maybe?), and even though he knows the whole business (like the WHOLE business) about a certain Turkish man. He's for real.

Re: Mary almost turning in Bates. Mary, do you also remember a certain Turkish man, and how you kept that all hush-hush? Just sayin'.

I do love seeing this show's interpretation of American accents. Apparently the actor who played Jack Ross isn't American, so that accent was affected. Just interesting.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Yeah, Americans come across as so crass in DA.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I should amend my statement. It was true until Harold (is that his name) showed up--you know, the John Adams actor.

Jennifer said...

I'm way behind and just finally finished watching Season 4 and I've enjoyed coming back to read your recap of each episode and others' after I watched each one. I couldn't believe Mary wanted to turn in Bates after all Anna as done for her and what Green did to Anna. I'm so glad she came to her senses. I appreciated that they didn't drop a bomb on us during this last episode, like they usually do in the Season Finales, even if they didn't resolve a few key plot lines. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

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