Downton Abbey Series 2 Finale

First, I must apologise for having not written a blog post in a long time – this is due to being exceedingly busy with uni.

Right, on with the review, in which I will attempt to keep rambling to the minimum.

I must agree with critics of the show that series 2 has not been Julian Fellowes’s finest hour. That being said, clunky dialogue and break-neck speed plotlines haven’t stopped Downton Abbey from being currently the best thing on television.

I’m going to review the series finale by character, starting with the Dowager Countess,  matriarch of Downton. Violet usually gets the best lines in every episode, and last night’s was no exception. She comforted potential-maiden-aunt-Edith by telling her, “don’t be defeatist, dear, it’s very middle class” and defended Branson by saying: “I’m sure Branson has many virtues…he’s a good driver.” I don’t know what Downton would be without her, I really don’t. That being said, Mary also had a Branson-related gem. When sleazy Sir. Richard showed up, when the house was in the throes of the deadly flu, to ‘help’, he said to Mary, “I hear you don’t have a chauffeur. Maybe I could drive”, to which Mary replied tartly, “preferably over the chauffeur.” Excellent.

Mary, of course, was still pining after Matthew and had to watch at the sidelines as the house was prepared for his wedding to Lavinia. Predictably, the wedding did not go ahead. Lavinia was struck down by the Spanish flu, and promptly popped her clogs. Melodramatic Matthew claimed that it was not really the flu that killed Lavinia: it was the sight of Matthew and Mary locking lips after an impromptu dance session in the hall, and thus she died of a broken heart. Despite Lavinia croaking that Matthew should marry Mary and be happy for her sake etc etc, before breathing her last, Melodramatic Matthew cried at Lavinia’s graveside that it was “the end” for him and Mary and “we’re cursed, you and I”; causing Mary to walk off arm in arm with sleazy Sir. Richard. I’m still clinging to the hope that M&M will get together in the Christmas Special, before Mary makes the colossal mistake of marrying the Sleazy Git.

Now on to the huge idiot that is Robert, Earl of Grantham. Apparently one illicit kiss with Jane The Maid was not enough. Oh no, he got very close to throwing off his dressing gown and doing the deed with her whilst poor Cora lay ill, and for one horrific moment I though that that was going to be the promised sex scene. Thankfully, Bates, clearly not content with just being noble on behalf of Anna, interrupted in the nick of time, causing Robert and Jane to reconsider. Thank goodness. Robert was the pinnacle of decency and good manners in series 1, but just like O’Brien, he suffered a personality transplant in this series. Let’s hope J.F sorts that out in the newly commissioned series 3. I was half expecting Cora to die tragically of the flu and Robert to plonk Jane in her place before she was cold in her grave, and then get his much longed for son – possibly by naming little Freddie as his new heir.

Bates and Anna tied the knot and viewers were then subjected to a post-coital bedroom scene between pasty Bates and his fair maiden (who for some reason still calls him Mr Bates). There were some things I would rather not have seen , but at the same time I was glad that Batesy and Anna got their brief moment of happiness, as Bates was, predictably, arrested at the very end of the episode, leaving Anna with a trembling lip and Thomas looking very smug indeed. If they don’t resolve the Bates issue in the Christmas Special, I feel very sure, unfortunately, that the angst will be dragged right through series 3. *Sigh*.

Sybil and Branson were the only ones who got their happy ending, when Lord Grantham finally gave them his blessing for their marriage. Here’s hoping that Sybil doesn’t change her mind by the Christmas Special. I’d like to see, in series 3, how she copes with stepping down the social scale.

In conclusion, I greatly enjoyed this series, plot and character flaws aside, and I shall be eagerly awaiting the Christmas Special, in which Mary and Matthew had better get together pronto, or else I, and many other viewers, will be sorely disappointed, as I think a decision to drag the saga right through another series would be detrimental to the show’s success.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Crista Kammerdiener
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 21:22:17

    I loved your post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

    Reply

  2. Brooke
    Oct 11, 2012 @ 01:46:58

    I still haven’t forgiven Fellowes or whoever who came up with the idea to have Lavinia die. She lacked a lot of necessary development. It would have been nice for her to marry someone nice like Evelyn Napier. It’s still hard to think that Mary and Matthew were able to be together after giving up Matthew and her tragic death.

    Reply

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