Image Source: BBC
There’s always an episode in every season of Downton that I call the build-up episode. That doesn’t necessarily mean nothing happens; it just means you can tell we’re heading for some bigger plotlines. The first two episodes of this season weirdly seem to be wrapping up some plotlines from Season Five. Mary got blackmailed and Robert handled it. Anna and Bates are completely clear of any charges brought against them and in this episode; any leftover fallout from the Marigold fiasco got resolved. As they plotlines are coming to an end (or so we think), we know get to see a whole new bunch of stories sprouting up.
Almost every season, there’s a heavy focus on the business aspect of Downton where the show is heavily drenched in politics. It may not be as flashy as some of the other storylines but these are the ones that really portray how the times are changing.
Of course I love any storyline that pins the Dowager against Isobel……though for the first time I think I’m actually siding with Isobel. I know in the past, for the most part; you’re supposed to side with Isobel. She is much more sensible than Violet but I always actually thought Violet had some good points. Here; though I understand where the Dowager and Dr. Clarkson are coming from, it just seems the times are changing and the more they stay back in the Stone Age so to speak; the worse of the village really will be.
The Pig Show
On another note, I am completely thrilled that Mary seems to be doing so well replacing Tom. Mind you, there is no replacing Tom in my mind but we haven’t seen the last of him right? RIGHT? Anyway, I like that Mary is taking initiative. Actually I love seeing both Mary and Edith being strong, working women. It’s a stark difference from how they were in previous seasons…bickering about how might be best suited for who. Mary is handling things at the estate and Edith is in charge of a paper. There’s less bickering between the two though I’m sure they still don’t particularly like each other. But again; as long as they keep busy with their respective jobs, both of them seem less annoying to me.
The Pig Show seemed to be a huge success. Well, besides the whole kidnapping situation and it’s so nice to see the family really rally around Mary and her decisions. Though I can’t imagine it’s very hard when she seems to actually be making the right decisions. Still, I miss Tom. I miss Tom so very much.
The Wedding of the Season
I feel absolutely horrible for Mrs. Hughes. She wants her own wedding and by golly she should have it! For once; let’s just stop trying to appease the Crawleys and just give the bride what she wants! Mrs. Hughes just wants a sweet wedding where she can marry the man she loves! Is that too much to ask? And of course, Carson will have to learn the hard way that a happy wife is a happy life! Mr. Carson knows a lot of things but he may not know the key to a successful marriage yet. Though this storyline seems to be one of the more lighthearted of the season; I always look forward to the awkward conversations Carson has to partake in in order to plan his wedding. This is exactly the type of charm Downton has been missing for quite some time.
Mr. Barrow’s Bad Fortune
Okay everyone hold on because we’re going for a ride….that you may not like. My favorite character in Downton Abbey has always been Barrow. Not necessarily because he’s that great of a person but I happen to believe that he’s actually not that bad. Mr. Barrow has done some terrible things….specifically to Anna and Bates in the past but man, everyone has hopped on aboard the Barrow hate train and I’m so sick of it. Carson has always had an issue with Barrow and Barrow has always narrowly escaped Carson firing him for some reason. I think it mainly had to do with him saving Edith from that fire. You go Thomas!
Anyway, everyone besides Anna and Baxter….everyone’s being downright horrible to him. Especially this new “Who the fuck are you” kid. I know you’re not supposed to sympathize with Barrow and this storyline is probably supposed to garner up any sort of love you may have for the character but for someone who already loves him? This kid needs to take a seat. And why is he being such a prick for no reason? I can’t help but think it has something to do with Barrow being gay and that just infuriates me more.
Now all he can do is try to find work elsewhere because he is sure he will lose his job. Yes, he’s done some unsavory things and I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but he hasn’t been fired yet. What makes him think he will be now? Mr. Barrow has done some amazing things as well….specifically during the War. Just because Carson doesn’t seem to particularly like him….I just wish he would wait until he knew someone wanted to let him go. Listen, Barrow not many people may like you…..but I am sure as shit in your corner and if this is a gay thing like I suspect; I’m going to be livid.
Mary Helps Anna
Besties for life. I loved seeing the scenes where Mary was completely helping out Anna with her issues of not being able to stay pregnant. I absolutely hate how Anna blames herself for not being able to carry a child and how she thinks Bates would think any less of her. Anna is a woman that doesn’t entirely know her worth. She is also a woman who’s gotten the shit end of the stick the majority of her adult life. Seriously writers, can you leave her alone?
Watching Mary spring into action and bringing Anna to her doctor no matter what the cost was so sweet to see. And when Anna says it would be too much, Mary took the words right out of my mouth when she mentioned all the thing Anna has done for her in the past….including carrying a dead body. She deserves this and so much more. I hope this quick procedure will actually work but somehow I have a feeling something may go wrong. It is Anna after all.
Oh Sweet Marigold
Probably the most intense part of the episode was when Marigold went missing at the Pig Show. Though everyone was running around in a panic; I have no idea how they all didn’t immediately know who took her. Could it be the crazy lady who likes to think he’s Marigold’s mom? Luckily, the confusion didn’t last long. That wouldn’t be entirely realistic. I will say (even if I tend to like Mary more than Edith) I kind of liked seeing Mary being left out in the cold as everyone rushed along to deal with Edith’s worries. Sorry, Mary…you’re not the most important daughter today.
The ending of this “Drew” saga was actually slightly sad to me. More than I thought it would be. I never really cared for the Drews but it even broke my heart to see the fallout of what happened in the last season. Poor Mr. Drew. He’s trying to do the right thing but also dealing with an intensely grieving wife. He really is stuck between a rock and hard place. Also, let’s give some props to Robert yet again in this episode. He’s handling his family’s business just like he did with Mary in the last episode. May be too early to tell but I think I found our season’s MVP already.