Snark & Banter

[review] Downton Abbey – series 4 finale


It’s come to an end too soon! (Yes, woe is me, I always fall in love with quality over quantity shows).

It was a nice episode, but overall… kind of underwhelming, I have to say, though there were some surprising moments.

My thoughts about the episode are as follow:

  • Firstly, I didn’t think Tony Gillingham would have the balls to break up with his fiancee, but he did, so good for him. As much as I like his devotion to Mary, I wonder if he isn’t TOO available. Mary gets bored fast, we all know that. She needs someone who can love her, support her, but still keep her on her toes from time to time.
  • Mr. Blake is an interesting addition to her suitors, especially given Mary’s snobby attitudes towards non-peers in the past.
  • Poor Evelyn Napier has no chance.
  • It’s really sad that Anna and Bates can’t even talk about this like adults, and she has to live her life in fear that HE will do something destructive and ruin her life even more than it’s already ruined. NOT happy about that storyline at all.
  • I mean, OF COURSE he was going to end up killing Green – isn’t that what the whole season has been pointing towards? How are we supposed to take Bates for a changed, happy man if he keeps doing this shit? And pretending to put Anna first when, in reality, he’s putting his need for revenger over her worry for their future. They seriously need to communicate better, and Fellows needs to write better.
  • Edith’s storyline also had a predictable resolution. I understand that they want to save stuff for the Christmas special, but good heavens, at least give us something! A Gregson sighting or Mary getting suspicious… SOMETHING!
  • I expected Rose’s storyline to be the most controversial and juicy (even though I wasn’t a big fan of it), but instead of creating great drama there, they’ve just quietly resolved it, put it in a box and packed it away. I mean, where’s the drama?!
  • Jack Ross was FAR too mature for Rose, we already knew that, but it would’ve been nice to see Robert & Carson explode with incredulity at the prospect all the same!
  • Also, really happy to see Rosamund in a positive and supportive role for once!
  • I’m happy with the way Daisy/Ivy/Alfred’s ridiculous storyline was resolved, though. Glad Daisy finally got over it, and they parted on good terms. Hopefully, she’ll stop being so nasty to Ivy all the time now.
  • I really loved Mrs. Patmore’s and William’s father’s conversations with Daisy. It is nice to see her have parental figures in her life giving her love and guidance. Mrs. Patmore’s speech to her made me tear up! :’)
  • Baxter and Molesley’s growing affection was a nice surprise…
  • …And so was Mary’s godfather randomly hitting on Isobel and making Violet all sorts of awkward. The scene where she passes on the flowers he’s sent for Isobel was hilarious!
  • The new girl isn’t good enough for Tom, no one is. If it could be done, I wish Mary and him would get married and live together, but I doubt that’s about to happen. He really needs someone who understands him and doesn’t frown down upon his family or try to play it like they’re taking advantage of him. All the girls hitting on him so far have not been kind to his family, so I really don’t like that. Hopefully, some nice young woman of equal standing (doesn’t have to be a peer) will catch his fancy, and then he can live a life free of people’s awkward questions.
  • Poor Edith’s life drudges on. It’s not God that doesn’t want you to be happy, dear, it’s the writers.
  • Poor poor Anna. SO much anxiety, so much fear; can’t be good for her!
  • Mrs. Hughes and Carson were just there…
  • Cora has been “just there” for the entire season, I feel. Please give her a better storyline next season, writers!
  • Violet was great as always. I’m really enjoying her growing “friendship” with Isobel. I think they’d make quite good mates. Plus, Maggie Smith is a delight to watch.

And that’s that. Mary’s parade of suitors continues, Michael Gregson remains anonymous, we STILL don’t know what Thomas has over Baxter, and Edith… well, Edith’s luck remains the same, all the while Cora remains blissfully ignorant. They could’ve packed much more in this episode and still left some for the Christmas special, but alas, they did not do that.

This episode was better suited to be a mid-season than a finale. I won’t disregard the entire series because of a weak finish, though. It certainly had it’s moments. Anna’s rape was horrific, but Joanne Froggatt’s acting throughout this storyline has been outstanding. It’s been fun to see a little bit of the season 1 Mary come out, and to see her become a business woman in her own right. I think Sybil would’ve been proud of that, and of Tom, who has been wonderful throughout. Even Edith, the perpetual punch bag of the show, got to have some love and light in this season, and I’m really happy to have seen that. Violet is always a delight and her flourishing friendship with Mrs. Crawley is certainly something I can get behind. Now, if only we could get more of Dr. Clarkson and Isobel interaction on the show, it would be splendid.

In the end, unfortunately, I have to agree with people who’ve said they expected more.

But, as Downtoners would say, well, that’s that. Now all I can do is hope the Christmas special covers all the aforementioned loose ends and more. I want to see more DRAMA, and I hope Downton delivers!


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This entry was posted on November 11, 2013 by in television and tagged , , .


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