Downton Abbey – Season 4, Pt 2

Mr. Bates and Anna:

brendan coyle  beachI think all are waiting to see what will happen to Anna (JoAnne Froggatt) and Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle). I enjoyed their romance  in the past seasons only to see it rapidly decline this season. It was a sad day for all of us fans when Anna was raped. There was such coldness between them after that, that even though Mr. Bates was trying his best to reach out to Anna, she just couldn’t let him in. My friend who dislikes Mr. Bates with a vengeance couldn’t wait to throw the line,  “See I told you SO” at me concerning Mr. Bates. She is as staunchly convinced of his guilt as I am of his inner goodness. I suppose, this season we had to look hard to find that inner goodness, but I am convinced it’s still there. Fellowes, don’t kill of my Mr. Bates!  Why do I always tend to think that in the end Mr. Bates will come through and show some great quality in him that will exonerate him from all previous dubious, potentially illicit acts?

My friend, call her “Doubting Debbie”, has neatly listed his many heinous acts (according to her he is HEINOUS): murder of his deceased wife, threatening acts towards his fellow inmate, murder of Lord Gillingham’s valet and now forgery. She wants to see him hang!!! Poor Mr. Bates ! Is there no one in his corner except Mrs. Huges, Anna and myself ? Is there no one who feels that he may be justified in perhaps pushing the sleazy rapist, Mr. Green in front of the bus? I just wish Julian Fellowes directed some human feeling into Mr. Bates in season 4, so we could feel a bit more empathy at his plight. I wish Mr. Bates could have shown a little more about how enraged he was at Anna’s predicament, how horribly despondent he was at the turn of events in his romance with Anna and how he plotted his vengeance. I wish for once, Mr. Bates would let down his guard and show some passionate rage. I wished Fellowes showed something of the vengeance plot, if there truly was any. Why was that left in the background like a “oh btw, Mr. Green was found dead”. Anything, except that cold, calculating stare from Mr. Bates would have been more desirable. That cold, calculating stare when Bates realized that Mr. Green had raped Anna gave me the chills. However, he showed his lack of conscience to deliver justice in his own vigilante manner when he showed no remorse in his feelings in season 4. One can always deliver justice, but do it with some passion !  Be the tragic hero that you are, that we all have grown to love in the past and that we saw little of in this season.

I want Mr. Bates to come out to be a hero. I want his romance with Anna to be rekindled like a flaming phoenix; I want them to have a future. Is that in the cards though? Fellowes does not like to keep Mr. Bates happy for too long. He likes to keep happiness dangling for Mr. Bates, tangibly present and near, but never fully attainable without a price. What will Fellowes have in store for Mr. Bates next season? If I was the writer… let’s see…what would I do ?  I still do have faith in him and if I was the writer I would put a twist in season 5. I would throw a wrench in the plot and would create a situation where he would come out a victor, a hero and show the world that he is not at all a villain, but a man of principle, honor and valor. Let’s see what all of you think? Have the tides turned against Mr. Bates during this season? It’s time for another poll, methinks. Meanwhile, I remain steadfastly loyal to Mr. Bates and hope that his goodness shines bright in season 5. You know which way I will be voting.

Toodles to all !

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