Downton Abbey episode 6

25 Oct

So, I know this blog has basically become “Stacey talks about Fringe and Downton Abbey” but I have to discuss the last episode of Downton. I just have all these feelings, you guys. Spoilers follow for anyone who hasn’t been watching this season, of course.

So, I actually kind of…didn’t…like this episode (that was very hard for me to say). The trailer was better than the episode, which is actually becoming a very common problem with this show. I’ve just come to the conclusion that Downton’s pacing is pretty bad. Part of it is a technical thing–I remember in the first episode there was this one scene that cut off so abruptly I thought that the video was messed up, but nope, it was just a very weird edit. But mostly the pacing is off just in terms of how the plot is moving along. I complained before about how time is being rushed through incredibly quickly (and it’s been confirmed that Sybil is 21 [even though she should be 22…], Edith is 25, and Mary is 27 so they’re basically all old maids by now), but at the same time a lot of the actual plots are moving at a glacial pace. Like Sybil and Branson, who had literally one 45-ish second scene in this episode. I feel like this sums it up best:

It really is getting ridiculous. Especially considering the fact that even though he told her how he felt two years ago, it’s really been more like four years. There’s dragging out a plot point and then there’s dragging out a plot point, if you know what I mean. And then there’s Anna and Bates, who’ve basically become, for me, the will they/won’t they from hell. Pretty much every episode goes like this: Anna–“Oh Bates! I love you! Let’s be together finally!” Bates–“Yes! [Insert obstacle here] is finally gone! Let’s get married!” (10 minutes later) Bates–“Anna. It turns out [insert obstacle here]. We have to wait some more.” Anna–“That’s ok! I love waiting! Waiting is the best!” It’s passed the point of being dramatic. Now it’s just silly.

But moving on to more general things, can someone please tell me the point of bringing in this burned soldier claiming to be the supposedly dead Patrick Crawley, spending a huge amount of the episode on him, and then just having him leave? Presumably never to return? That just seems pointless. And then there are the character issues: as amusing as I found the scene where Violet tried to find another cause that Isobel could be a martyr for so she’d leave and stop trying to keep them from reverting Downton back to a private house, I feel like Isobel really should have seen through it. And would have as written last season.

Basically, there is no way I’m going to stop watching, and I’m still pretty obsessed with the show, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that season two is nowhere near the quality of season one (though season one did have the miscarriage-by-slipping-on-soap, which is pretty bad…). Julian Fellowes just really needs to chill out with the time jumps, work out his plotting/editing issues, and stop trying to string out every relationship and make everyone suffer. Please.

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