Saturday, February 1, 2014

Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 4

It's Saturday and I am just now getting to writing about last week's episode. I am so off my game right now, people. Of course, it is all because of my issues with time management, but I am going to blame this season's writers instead. Because that is easier and who wants to admit that they suck at making time for stuff? Actually, the real travesty is that this was the best episode this season in terms of story and character development, so of all episodes to rant and rave over, this was the one, right?

STOP MOANING, EDITH - Well, vintage Mary is back sniping at her sisters every word. When she made the first snide remark, I nearly choked on my ice cream. I thought that Mary was gone, but, no, as the episode moved on she rolled her eyes, snipped and sighed whenever Lady Edith dared speak - or even breathe - in her presence. Funny though it was, after the third or fourth time I started to fear that we were reverting to their old, ridiculous sibling rivalry. Since we saw Edith slink alone into a London doctors office, I suspect she is going to be moaning about quite a lot in the coming weeks. 

DON'T GO, TOM! - So uncomfortable with his new life, Tom begins talking about making changes. I sit up straighter in my chair expecting to hear him say he is interested in politics again but am quickly disappointed to hear him talking about going to America. America? Really? The fact that he even says this is laughable because he has a job he likes and family to support him in raising his daughter. He and Mary seem to really be becoming friends and he even has a friendly understanding with Carson and Hughes downstairs. Tom Branson may not have see Far and Away, but I have. Ask Nicole and Tom about how 'Murrica works out for Irish immigrants, let alone Irish immigrants with kids. STAY PUT, dude. 

THEY KISSED AND MADE UP! - And I tried not to jump up and down for joy! Mrs. Hughes did what she shudl have done in the beginning and told Bates what happened, Bates and Anna made up and everything is finally ALL RIGHT.

EXCEPT IT'S NOT - Everything is NOT alright and Bates makes sure we know it. It is FAR from ALRIGHT and he will not let it rest. Bates has revenge in his eyes and at the end of this episode I have anger in my heart. 

Here is why:

In the first two and half seasons of Downton Abbey, the characters and their lives were glamorous, exciting,and heartbreaking. Using the tragedy and pain of the Titanic and World War I as a backdrop, the Crawleys navigated the changing world mostly with grace and class. Lady Sybil challenged how the family thought of women and class, Matthew helped the family recognized they had souls. Without them, Lady Cora is left to holding up the nice person fort and she just isn't up to the task, I am afraid. 

The problem with the show for me now is that so much of Downton Abbey's stories rely on the changing times. No doubt the 20s brought sweeping changes to England, but for whatever reason we just aren't seeing them. It was the Jazz Age, after all, and all we have gotten has been teaser episodes with Rose that are uninteresting and kind of vapid. Rose, I am guessing is supposed to inject some youth that Sybil took with her when she died, but she's more Miley Cyrus than Fellowes probably counted on. 

I'm mostly annoyed because it really feels like all my favorite characters are regressing or becoming something they never were or should be. Mary is back to being a biatch to her sister, Edith is back to being mopey and tragic, Bates is becoming vengeful and angry, Robert is grasping to keep power over an estate he never really cared for, Tom has not only lost his revolutionary streak, but is on the verge of giving up entirely and Thomas, without a worthy adversary or partner is crime is left to fester and be the jackass we all know he is. 

It all leaves me disappointed and bummed out and yet completely unable to cut the cord on this show. 

Sidenote: Isobel + Granny = TOTAL WIN. These two are comedy GOLD. I cannot wait until Lady Cora's mother comes back because OH MY GOSH THOSE THREE. 


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