Monday, January 13, 2014

Downton Abbey, Season 4, Episode 2

Did you have to scrape your jaws off the floor last night, like I did? File last night's episode under: Did Not See That Coming. 

As a whole, the last three seasons of Downton have been exceptionally well written. Last season, Fellowes and his writing team successfully blended the heartache with sweet moments. Not just Anna's heartache as she waited for her husband to be exonerated, but Tom and Cora as they worked through Sybil's death. Matthew and Mary's romance was the perfect foil to all the tears. While there were plot points that I didn't like, the whole season blended seamlessly together, making me love Downton and it's people all the more. I am as definitely wondering if they will strike that balance as well this season. 

Spoilers! Don't read if you haven't see this episode.

NOT ANNA! - Take a good, long look at that photo up there, it will likely be the last sweet moment between Anna and Bates this season. And I am hopping mad about it. Anna and Bates are, hands down, my favorite Downton couple, so imagine my horror and downright outrage at last night's episode. Am I too invested in fictional characters? Perhaps. I also think it is completely ludicrous that Anna would not tell Bates because she thinks he will do something awful and "he was already in prison once, they wouldn't let him off again." Yeah, he might do something awful if you call beating up his wife's rapist awful, but what exactly is she thinking he's going to do? I have never been through such a terrifying experience, so I can't truly speak to how she should or should not react, but Downton knows and loves Anna and would rally around her, don't you think?

Even though I find the plotline totally annoying because it puts my favorite people in the worst possible pain, I recognize that this "plot twist" was an all too common reality in those days, both upstairs and down. It will be interesting to see how these characters work through the horrors of rape, even as I wish it wasn't so. I guess I'm going to have to give up my hopes for cute little Bate's babies, because, I swear, if they add in the rape = pregnancy cliche I AM SO DONE. (Empty threat.) Sidenote: I died a little when Anna had to cordially say good bye to that scumbag.

OH, MOSELEY - Just when you thought Moseley couldn't possibly get more pathetic, he does. If you look up the term "sadsack" in the dictionary, Moseley will be right there, right next to Eeyore. He does provide some needed comedy, though, so thanks for that ol' Mose. He does seem to be getting more screen time than usual, and PBS teases us with "the unlikely iron in Moseley's soul may provide inspiration to one who needs it most," so I am hoping good things are in store.

SHE AIN'T NO O'BRIEN - Interesting that in the very same episode that Anna is raped, it is implied that the despicable Edna Braithwate may have done the very same thing to Tom. I feel creepy just watching her. Every time her rotten mug is on screen I feel like I need to go wash my hands and the combined ickiness of her and Thomas would be enough to make me rush to the shower to get the dirty off, but I don't have DVR, so I suffer on. My visceral reaction is either a testament to the acting and writing or my insanity. I'll take either. I do greatly miss O'Brien. Deep (waaaay deep) in there she had a conscience, making her a different (dare I say better?) beast than Thomas or Edna.

ALFRED + IVY + JIMMY + DAISY - Alfred pining over Ivy, Daisy pining over Alfred, Jimmy seemingly pining over Ivy. I'm pretty sure that there will be a Jimmy/Thomas storyline in there somewhere. His infatuation with Ivy dosen't ring true to me. I like that Mrs. Padmore is (mostly) sweet to Daisy, but mostly, the downstairs goings on are really boring to me so far.

EDITH - And while we are on the subject, I am already bored with poor Edith and her romance. Yawn.

Anyone else concur or completely disagree with my assessments? Also, if you can, comment here rather than on Facebook to keep spoilers to a minimum. Thanks!

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