It took about 6 episodes of the 5th season to get Downton moving out of its comatose state. I don’t know if it’s me or my expectations of Downton, but this show just hasn’t picked up. I am waiting for some drama, some monumental shake up since Lady Mary was found in bed with a dead Turkish Pamuk. Couldn’t we have some more of that type of stir ups and shake ups? Would it hurt Fellowes to be a bit more adventurous with his story lines?
What about the men of Downton? Is it my imagination or are all of them dull, dull, dull! I am just counting on Atticus to sweep away some ratings, because all the others certainly aren’t doing their share. It seems like Fellowes is confused about what to do with Branson. Should he go? Should he stay? Should he become an aristocrat or go back to his roots? We are confused too. We have no idea where Branson is headed. Also, I used to be an avid fan of Bates, but has anyone noticed how small a part he has in this season? They show him for a few seconds and before you can say Mr. Bates he is gone! I used to look forward to what sort of trouble Mr. Bates got into, but now they aren’t even showing him enough for him to get into trouble. The chemistry also between Bates and Anna has become very dry. Only this last episode showed some tender moments between Anna and Bates, but after Anna’s rape we thought we would see some dramatic and teary eyed moments between Bates and Anna’s tragedy. Julian Fellowes has lost his ability to draw the emotions from his audience. Please Julian Fellowes don’t let Anna get blamed and pay for someone else’s crime. I love sweet, dear, loyal Anna and she should have her romance with Bates revived.
We are forever tired of the woebegone sad-puppy looking Robert. Please, Cora, have that affair and stir up some of that dead, passionless soul in Robert and put us all out of our misery. I think Robert is more in love with his dog than Cora. As for Edith, I am so tired of seeing her sad face. Fellowes, put her out of her misery and give her a love that lasts. Why must he continuously make her suffer? Maybe he’s waiting till the last season for her to be happy. My God, poor girl, it’s too long for the audience and Edith to wait for happiness. At least she had the courage to run off with her own daughter. I applaud her for that action in those times. It was a most poignant moment of the episode, maybe the whole season when you felt a mother’s pain at having her daughter taken from her. Even though Edith is the true mother, you can’t help but feel sad for Mrs. Drewe who had looked after the child all this time. It was all around bittersweet.
Let’s not talk about Lady Mary. One of my least favorite characters. Spoiled, rich girl who acts as if she can take any man and throw him away at her whim. I am glad Lord Gillingham finally had the bravado to tell her that she couldn’t dump him that swiftly and easily. I respect him for that. Lady Mary’s constant high and mighty attitude is distasteful and I hate the way she belittles Edith at every moment she gets. There’s very little feeling in her. Did I say how much I hate Lady Mary?
Oh the other character I hate is Thomas Barrow. I know he’s sick, I know he’s got issues, but he’s just downright spiteful and he finds ways to make others miserable. I can’t feel any empathy for him.
Another sweet moment was between Mrs. Huges and Carson. Carson sneakily mentioned investing in a cottage so that they would have some place for retirement. Mrs. Hughes turns around with a small, victorious smile as if she knows exactly how to get her man. I can’t wait to see them end up together.
My favorite is Lady Rose. She is sweet, but not sappy. Fun but not too outrageous. She seems to be growing up and her romance that is blooming with Atticus is truly wonderful to see. So, there is some beautiful light at the dreary dark tunnel of Downton. Let’s hope the last few episodes don’t disappoint. Fellowes, if you are listening, don’t be afraid to get dangerous and adventurous. Make us laugh, make us cry and definitely make the men of Downton perk up a bit more. They are just plain wilting from the dryness of the writing.
The high point of this episode I think was the steeplechase. That was indeed fun and I did like Mary’s new “do” even though I don’t like Mary. She has the pomp and “I don’t give a &$%*” attitude to carry it off in those times. When Lady Mary asks the Dowager about her new hairstyle “Granny, what do you think?” The Dowager’s reply is : “Oh it is you? It thought it was a man wearing your clothes.” I can’t help but love the Dowager and her witticisms. Let’s hope she doesn’t have to single handedly keep the show afloat.