November 08, 2015

DOWNTON ABBEY 6 -Episode 8

And the drama comes to an end: Lady Mary Crawley revealed herself to be a 'nasty, jealous, scheming bitch' - according to Lady Edith - in the finale of the last series of Downton Abbey, before the Christmas special

Ep 8 HERE   or     Ep 8 HERE

-----spoilers below -----
Downton Abbey finished with a wedding – a suitably traditional happy ending. Or at least it was supposed to be.
In fact the series' big finale was shamelessly shallow and calculating, whilst the underlying message it sent out was just depressing.
After five years, six series, and 47 episodes of Downton Abbey, the moral of the story came down to one simple lesson: in life it's better to be a Lady Mary than a Lady Edith.
Inevitably, it was the beautiful, bitchy, sister who found love at the very last and ended up with everything. The more good-hearted, ordinary, eternally unlucky younger sibling lost her chance of happiness, wealth, and marriage to her beloved beau Bertie Pelham.

Perennially overshadowed and mocked by Mary, not only did Edith's hopes of a reversal in fortunes suddenly evaporate it was the callous actions of her nemesis that caused it.
Such is life – if you're a plain Jane like Edith or a glamourpuss like Mary. So it would have been much more radical and GRATIFYING if the show's creator/writer Julian Fellowes had let Edith triumph and Mary get her just desserts.
The same went for Thomas Barrow. His bitter misery over his impending unemployment at Downton (not in the show but as the Crawleys' footman) finally became too much. He slashed his wrists and was only saved when a suddenly psychic Baxter ran back to rescue him.
Other sub-plots in the show's finale included: Mr Molesley's debut as a teacher; the agony aunt at Edith's magazine Cassandra Jones turning out to Septimus Spratt; and Mrs Patmore running a house of ill repute (inadvertently).
Fellowes crammed in so many loose ends you wondered why he was stopping – after the Christmas special.
She loves him: Edith's love story with Bertie seemingly came to an end
The way that Fellowes has been unable to resist contriving happy endings to bestow upon his characters, Edith might yet become Mrs Pelham.
'I love him,' Edith told Cora. 'I'd accept him in a trice if it weren't for Marigold.'
Bloody kids…
Marrying Bertie without telling him that Marigold was her illegitimate daughter would 'mean there's a lie at the heart of my marriage. But if I tell the truth, will I ruin it?' Edith fretted feebly.
There was really only one way to find out. JUST TELL HIM, we shouted as she dithered.
Things became more complicated when Bertie inherited the title of Marquess of Hexham.
'That's absurd!' Lady Mary cried, horrified, as she realized Edith would become a Marchioness and 'outrank us all.'
'A genuine copper-bottomed Marquess! For Edith - who couldn't make her dolls do what she wanted!' cheered the Earl, sensing the prospect of finally marrying off his dowdy daughter and smelling CASH.
Predictably he argued against the risk of revealing she had a secret lovechild.
'Edith's had so little luck in her life!' he harrumphed. Never mind about Bertie's.
'Won't you send me to bed happy?!' Henry pleaded with Edith for an answer to his proposal – not the indecent kind.
'I love you Bertie. The trouble is, I'm not as simple as I used to be,' Edith trembled, even though she was. As if correcting herself, she said: 'My LIFE is not as simple.'
Sadly, it was about to become much simpler. Lady Mary and Henry Talbot fought so fiercely over his ruthless pursuit of her that he departed Downton.
So at breakfast the next morning Mary greeted Bertie's announcement that he and Edith had good news with an icy silence.
'You see?! I'm getting married and you've lost your man and you just can't stand it!' Edith finally snapped bravely and, it transpired, fatally.
'You're wrong. I'm VERY happy for you,' purred Mary, in a manner that didn't sound it. 'And I admire you Bertie,' Mary continued. Fixing her gaze on her sister, she added acidly: 'Not everyone would accept Edith's past…'
'Mary, don't!' gasped Tom.
'Well you wouldn't accept him without telling him,' Mary mused pitilessly. 'About Marigold - who she really is.'
When Edith eventually uttered the fateful confession 'Marigold is my daughter', the merest flicker of satisfaction crossed Mary's face.
'Will you excuse me?' Bertie simply said, and walked out. With Tom and Edith reeling from the devastation she had created Mary just returned to her newspaper.
Breakfast table dramas: Mary dropped the bombshell about Marigold's real parent
Breakfast table dramas: Mary dropped the bombshell about Marigold's real parent
Off he goes: Bertie didn't choose to sick around to see what married life with Edith would be like
Off he goes: Bertie didn't choose to sick around to see what married life with Edith would be like
'Would you have married me in a lie?' Bertie asked later - the crucial question. 'We'll never know now will we?' Edith answered, as if Fellowes could not decide. 'I'm terribly sorry of course. My life was about to be perfectly wonderful. Now I've thrown it all away.'
In a way she was happier back in the role of victim, suffering through her own weaknesses or her sister's viciousness.
'Shut up!' Edith screamed when Mary tried to insist she really had assumed Bertie knew about Marigold. 'Who do you think you're talking to?! Mama?! Your maid?! I KNOW you! I know you to be a nasty, jealous, scheming bitch!'
We did too and so did Tom Branson now.
'Well you got what you wanted!' he blazed at Mary. 'Bertie's left for the next train and Edith won't be the next Marchioness of Hexham.'
Life with the Crawleys really seemed to have corrupted the former militant Republican's principles.
He turned on her so passionately, for a moment it suggested it would be Mary and Tom who would end up together.
'DON'T LIE. Not to me!' he cried, with a mix of hurt and caring. 'You can't stop ruining things – for Edith, for yourself. Anything to feel less frightened and alone! You're a coward, like all bullies!'
Now he knows! Tom Branson finally got the measure of scheming Lady Mary, and he told her so
Mary showed her true colours again after Thomas tried to kill himself, carping to her father 'do you still think that dismissing Barrow was a useful saving?'
'That's a bit below the belt – even for you,' the Earl muttered witheringly.
And yet Julian Fellowes still couldn't condemn his heroine, or resist lobbying for our sympathy, just as he had with Thomas Barrow even though we had seen them both do so much that did not merit it.
'I've only myself else to blame,' Barrow told Mary about his loneliness. 'I've said and done things, I don't know why. I can't stop myself. Now I'm paying the price.'
Yes he was the male Lady Mary.
'I could say the same,' she said, his self-pity and hypocrisy obviously striking a chord.
Anna, Bates, the Dowager, and even Edith queued up alongside Tom and Thomas to psycho-analyse Mary, argue her break-up with Henry was ill-advised, and explained or somehow justified her heartlessness to Edith.
Bit of a bully? The general consensus is that Mary is just rather mean, with even her father the Earl telling her 'that was a bit low, even for you'
'Henry's perfect for you! You're just too stupid and stuck up to see it!' blasted Edith, still enjoying the excuse to finally speak up and lay into her sister.
'Tom believes you're unhappy. That's why you lash out as you do,' their grandmother suggested more softly.
The Dowager was almost as smitten with Henry as Tom was. 'Lord Gillingham had birth, money, and looks, but didn't suit you. He wasn't clever enough, or strong enough. Henry Talbot is both.'
Lady Mary's maid had the same blinding insight.
'She can't control him,' Anna told Bates. 'That's what frightens her. He's stronger than her – or as strong. And she's not used to it.'
'She's a bit of a bully,' Bates agreed (admiringly). 'She likes her own way.'
The consensus was either Mary didn't really like Henry Talbot or that they weren't that well suited. This was initially Mary's own view too.
'Mr. Talbot is not right for me,' she complained to Anna. 'We'd be miserable. I AM sure. Nobody can believe that I can know my own mind. I mean it.' She seemed convinced, and convincing. Talbot was vain, arrogant, and not that charming. They clashed rather than complemented one another.
Something's looking up: Elsewhere, Mr Molesley made his debut as a teacher
'You push in here, into my home, in order to call me a grubby gold-digger?! You've got a nerve!' Mary had blazed when he had accused of being obsessed with status. Later she described his behaviour as 'high-handed and bullying and unapologetic!'
Of course she had a point but only such unbearable snobs as the Crawleys could consider a toff like Henry Talbot as riff-raff. He came from 'decent family stock' but had no prospects of money or a title.
'Am I expected to lower myself to his level and be grateful I'm allowed to do so?!' continued Mary.
'None of us thinks it's a good idea,' declared the Earl, who disparagingly referred to Talbot as 'a mechanic'.
The problem was not so much their difference in social standing but the value Mary put on it.'
'I don't mean to pull rank,' Mary told Henry, doing exactly that before explaining if they married, even her young son George would 'out-rank' him.
'I believe in love:' The Dowager told Mary to leave her preconceptions behind and marry the man she loves
'People like us need to marry properly,' she droned, not referring to herself and Henry but people like the Crawleys.
This seemed more than enough even without her abhorrence at Talbot's passion for motor racing.
'I can't be a crash-widow again!' Mary wailed to her grandmother. 'I'd live in terror - dreading every race, every practice, every trial. I can't do it!'
Well Formula One IS boring.
The Dowager was determined though – as she invariably is. She never really addressed the trauma Mary had suffered seeing Talbot's colleague Charlie Rogers die at the wheel, much like her husband Matthew (albeit more slowly).
Instead the Dowager declared: 'I believe in rules and tradition and playing our part. But there is something else. I believe in LOVE.'
And with this, Lady Mary's objections to marrying Henry Talbot instantly vanished, as if Julian Fellowes couldn't wait to get it over with.
'I'm not sure why I fought it,' she told Henry. 'But I've stopped fighting it now.'
'You look nice, by the way': In the end, Lady Edith had only nice things to say when it all worked out swimmingly for her mean sister Lady Mary on her wedding day
'You look nice, by the way': In the end, Lady Edith had only nice things to say when it all worked out swimmingly for her mean sister Lady Mary on her wedding day
All's well that ends well: After a near-miss, Mary finally walked down the aisle with Henry Talbot
All's well that ends well: After a near-miss, Mary finally walked down the aisle with Henry Talbot
'Oh darling, thank God for you!' Talbot groveled – which Fellowes presumably thought was speaking for us all.
As luck would have it, he had a wedding licence on him and an uncle who was a bishop.
'There they go! A new couple in a new world!' cheered the Earl at the church five minutes later, having seemingly changed his mind about their social standing.
She even had Edith's blessing, if only because, Edith explained to her (and us), 'you're my sister. In the end only we will remember Sybil or mama or papa, or Matthew or Michael, or granny or Carson, until our shared memories will mean more than our mutual dislike.'
Mary repeated she was sorry - almost meaning it this time. 'I don't know why I did it.'
Her happy ending: Mary got what she wanted in the end, after much dithering 
Her happy ending: Mary got what she wanted in the end, after much dithering 
'You were unhappy so you wanted me to be unhappy too,' Edith stated flatly (correctly). 'Now you're happy, you'll be nicer. For a while.'
It was a damning verdict but even now Edith was reduced to telling Mary: 'you look nice by the way.'
After the devastating blows of losing Bertie and her chance of becoming a Marchioness, we had seen Edith gamely recovering in London, working away on her little magazine The Toff.
The final scene showed her smiling as she watched Marigold, George, and Sybbie playing in the churchyard.
So Edith was fine after all, which meant Mary supposedly wasn't that bad. Everything was forgiven.
After all, it was only Hexham. 

Recap from:


November 01, 2015

Downton Abbey 6 - Episode SEVEN

downton abbey
The final season of "Downton Abbey" is about to end, and with it the lives of the Crawleys. In this week's episode, the show runners have focussed on the eldest daughter of the Crawley family, and her relationship with her new love interest, Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode).
In Episode 6, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) finally kissed Henry during a romantic walk home after dinner. This was certainly a happy moments for fans, who've been speculating for months about Lady Mary's love life in Season 6. However, she is fascinated but still sceptical about Henry.
In the promo for Episode 7, Lady Mary talks to her lady's maid, Anna (Joanne Froggatt) about her car racing partner, and asks if people can live happily ever after even with their differences. 
The promo also depicts the Crawleys at a car racing event. Lady Mary shares an intimate kiss with Henry before the race begins and appears to be very happy. However, the promo gives an omnious warning that things might go awry. 
In an interview, Michelle Dockery hinted that her new relationship might not last. "What appears to be a good relationship for Mary, seemingly moving in the right direction, takes a cruel turn that sends Mary to a dark place again," she told Metro. 
Episode 7 will also focus on Thomas Barrow (Rob Collier-James). The under butler at Downton, might not have to live in fear as his name gets cleared by his friend, Andy. In the  teaser, Andy says that Barrow has been helping him read and write, dispelling Mrs. Patmore's concerns that the two are in a relationship. However, it remains to be seen if this revelation helps Barrow secure his place at the estate. 

watch HERE