Just take a minute with me here to absorb the fact that next week is the last episode of Downton Abbey for this season.
Next week's episode is the "Christmas Special" that aired in the UK a few months ago, which explains why last night's episode had that "end of an era" feel. Well, either that or because in many ways it is the end of an era. As far as Sir Robert is concerned, anyway. Poor Sir Robert.
As usual, look away now if you haven't seen the latest episode!
This week O'Brien gets her revenge (so we think), Matthew goes toe to toe (head to head?) with Lord Grantham, Ethel gets her dream job, Edith gets a dream boat boss, there is an all-important cricket game, and we are introduced to the Crawley's "loose" relation, Rose.
MATTHEW VS. ROBERT - Battle Royale is started when Matthew proposes change (gasp!) to make Downton Abbey profitable. Robert loses grip of everything he knows and loves as Matthew stacks the family against him in epic proportions: Granny, Mary, Tom, Cora, the lawyer guy whose name I can't remember and I am too lazy to look up, they all follow Matthew's plan leaving Robert the lone holdout. Matthew does some yelling and gets shrill and suddenly I don't think he's very attractive anymore and start noticing things like his weak chin and foppy hair and how the only Brit who does weak chins and foppy hair very well is Hugh Grant.
THOMAS GETS FOUND OUT - Get it? Found out? I crack myself up. O'Brien sets up her dominoes to bring Thomas down quite nicely. Thomas fell for the bait, assaulted Jimmy, (does no one notice that? We were offended when the guy in the Super Bowl commercial takes off the sleeping girl's shirt, but we aren't offended when Thomas kisses a sleeping guy?) Alfred catches them and freaks out, chaos ensues, ending with Thomas getting the sack, but not before O'Brien ensures that he gets no reference.
Raise your hand if you remember why O'Brien is hating on Thomas so bad? No? Me either. Guess what? Google can't remember either, I asked and came up empty, so if you remember, please enlighten me.
NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED - Just ask Lord Grantham and Bates. Lord Grantham decided to grace Sibby's christening (I love that nickname!) and got roped into a photo with a priest! You may as well call him an Irish radical socialist now. Which now bring us to Bates.
Seriously? You are going to go up against O'Brien to get Thomas (who, however hard his life may be, is also just happens to be a jerk. The thing about Thomas is that his sexuality isn't what makes him a foul person, it's his unbridled jackassery. So, when he stood before Carson and declared the he wasn't a foul person, I had to scoff slightly, because yes, as a matter of fact, Thomas Barrow is a rather foul person.) his letter of recommendation? Bates gets sprung from jail, but I suspect by the time Thomas and O'Brien get done with him, he may just wish for his old cellmate.
SINCE WHEN DO WE CARE ABOUT CRICKET? - Suddenly, after two and a half seasons of this show we are introduced to an annual Cricket game so important to house and village that it has never been mentioned before on the series. A Cricket game so important that Lord Grantham is willing to concede defeat in the running of his estate rather than have Tom not play. A Cricket game so important that he is willing to overook Thomas' sexual assault of Jimmy to ensure he still plays (and while we are at it, let's just keep him on, shall we?).
In a turn of events so inexplicable that both Carson and I are still scratching our heads, Lord Grantham decides to not only keep Thomas Barrow on the payroll, but to PROMOTE him. Because obviously that makes sense. I'm pretty sure this is what happened in the writers room:
"Oh blimey, we wrote Thomas into a corner with that plotline. They have to fire him now, but we like this dastardly character too much!"
"Let's just have Lord Grantham change his mind. He was kissed at Eaton all the time, so it will totally make sense that he is down with Thomas in 1920s England."
A round of back slaps and hand shakes ensue for a job well done.
O_O (this is me not buying any part of that story in any way, shape or form)
MARY AND MATTHEW ARE SO CUTE I CANNOT STAND IT - But in a good way, not in a "my suspension of disbelief is far too suspended in regards to Thomas" kind of way. I can even excuse all the shrill yelling Matthew does earlier in the episode. We got a teaser of a baby belly in next week's episode, so yay for that. I like Mary with babies, she is sweet and more human, and nice enough to not say all the mean things to Edith that she wants to (Granny is going to, anyway).
SPEAKING OF EDITH - I am going to admit right here and now that I was so distracted by Edith's extremely awesome outfit, (the teal one with the adorable hat) that I forgot to even pay attention to what she was saying to her editor. Something about a "madwoman" lunatic wife in an asylum. Borrowing from Jane Eye, I see. At least this time when her hopes were dashed, she looked AMAZING. I am a little bitter that the ONLY screenshot I could find of her was of her pathetic face. Even the internet won't cut Edith a break.
WHILE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CLOTHES - The costumes this season make me sad. So drab, so boring, so not pretty. Thank you for Rose and her scandalous nightclub and Edith and her teal dress. I felt happier just seeing those amazing outfits. Yes, I am shallow that way, but please, I need more pretty clothes!