Image Source: BBC
Wow, moral of the story; Mary’s a bitch. I honestly had no idea one episode of television could take me through so many emotions. I feel spent after watching that. All in all; I really did love the dynamic between Mary and Edith in this episode……tense as it was. In general; episode eight had everything; heartbreak, anger, happiness and serious sorrow. This episode was a perfect example of what Downton can accomplish in one episode which I do believe it does better than any other show on today. It’s quite fortunate for Downton that it has (in a sense) two finales. My problem with series finales in the past is that they don’t fully encompass what the show was really about. It seems like an entirely different show as they desperately try to wrap up every single loose end that they have. Though the Christmas Special may be a little more like what I just described; it’s nice that Downton had this episode to really show what the series excels at.
Edith Finally Speaks Her Peace
So probably the most notable storyline of the entire episode was between Lady Mary and Lady Edith. I loved how the writer’s really brought years and years of tension to the forefront. The sisters never got along. In the beginning of the show it was Lady Edith who was the immature one. It was not entirely her fault. She had a serious case of middle child syndrome and was having a very hard time trying to find her place in the world. Lady Mary had a lot going for her but in the beginning of the show; she seemed slightly calm and collected even if her comments were sometimes cruel.
But what happened over the years really changed the dynamic of the two and to me; changed how I viewed the characters. Lady Edith and Lady Mary were both tested and both went through some insanely hard times. It’s how you come out of hard times that can really identify who you are as a person. Over time; Lady Edith got more mature. And Lady Mary got colder. I don’t blame Mary. She desperately fought and had a hell of a time finding her happiness with Matthew and it got stripped away. The problem almost the exact same thing happened to Edith. Edith cut Mary some slack and Mary’s horrible comments towards Edith just kept growing as time went on. That was the difference between the two.
This episode just brought this tension to the forefront when Mary pulled the mother of all “bitch” moves. She ruined Edith’s entire life with just one sentence. I think that was the moment for all of us (maybe not die hard Mary fans….I’m sure they’ll come up with some excuse) where we literally wrote off Mary. That’s it. Even Tom couldn’t forgive her. It was blatantly clear that Mary did not want Edith to me happy when she had to be miserable. It was pure jealously from a spoiled little brat because to be honest; she’s gotten away with it all these years. This was the first time she went way too far and people stopped coddling Lady Mary. She got it from Tom and later; she really got it from Edith.
One of the better scenes of the episode was when the Dowager came back into town and had a good talk with Mary. It really reminded me of the talk they had after Matthew died. The Dowager is a no nonsense woman but she also can give some of the best advice in the world. Mary is her own worst enemy and she feels like if she has to suffer; everyone should suffer.
But the real scene stealer certainly went to Lady Edith. Her moment where she finally calls Mary a bitch was so satisfying. And that word holds a lot more meaning in that time than now. When Mary begins to even remotely try to speak back; Edith fires at her yet again. I was honestly rooting for Edith and walk over to Mary and punch her dead in the face. That didn’t happen but finally after all of the years of Mary literally tearing Edith to shreds every chance she got, Edith finally stood up for herself and ultimately found confidence in herself. I think for a long time Edith felt like she wasn’t good enough. This was the triumphant moment where she not only realized she was just as good as Mary but she was in fact better than her.
Now all I can say is that Lady Edith better have a happy ending in this Christmas Special. It was utterly horrible to watch Mary yet again have her happily ever after while Edith is heartbroken because to be blunt; Mary’s a bitch. I’m so glad the lesson of this episode is that if you are a horrible person…..you’ll still get everything you want. I really don’t think the writers are going to leave Edith heartbroken and lonely. Maybe they are saving her happy ending for the final episode. It would be nice to see Lady Edith land on top of the world…..for once in her life.
I really did go through a whirlwind of emotions regarding Mary in this last episode. I absolutely hated her but I also loved when the writers put her and Barrow together in a scene drawing parallel between the two of them. They basically said to us (and specifically me) “If you can forgive Barrow, you can probably forgive Mary”. Well played, writers well played. But the moment that really got to me was when Mary finally visited Matthew’s grave in order to say goodbye and let him know that she is in fact moving on. Now Matthew and Mary were never my favorite couple at Downton. But trust me when I say these other guys can’t even hold a candle to Matthew. They are all simply inadequate. Even the man Mary married. Matthew was a brilliant character and certainly a fan favorite to the show. I love how the writers really brought him back in a very real way with this scene. And yes, seeing Isobel standing there behind Lady Mary giving her one final piece of advice made me balls my eyes out. Thanks Downton; you really know how to make someone cry.
I Knew It, I Knew It, I Knew It
I feel like it was about this time last week where I went on a very long rant about how I was positive that Thomas was minutes away from trying to take his own life. Thomas’s journey at Downton has been quite the rollercoaster. He’s definitely had some ups and he has certainly had his downs. Watching Baxter break in to find Thomas lying in a pool of his own blood was enough to make me shriek. To be honest; we’ll know about the consequences of his actions in the final episode but I really do hope he is allowed to stay at Downton. I know he has done some horrible things but he has also done some wonderful things. In my mind; everyone’s done some pretty shady stuff at Downton and Thomas was the only one who was upfront about it. I think he deserves to land on his feet especially now that it seems like this season was really showing him finally appreciating where he is. I know I’m hoping for a lot of happily ever afters and it may be naïve to think all of the characters will end this show on a good note but I would put Barrow on the top of my lift as the one person who may deserve a bit of a break in the final episode of Downton…..yes, even more than Edith.
- Watching Mrs. Patmore get her business off the ground was so wonderful to see……especially in this particularly dark and tormenting episode.
- On another note; it is also lovely to see Mr. Moseley really find his purpose somewhere other than Downton. I always went back and forth on how I felt about Moseley but for him to have a sense of self is wonderful. Now all he needs to do is man up and sweep Baxter off her feet.
- I don’t know whether to be upset at the fact that Anna and Bates have seemed to be pushed to the background this season or to feel so happy that they’re not being tortured every single episode. Hopefully they will have a bit of screentime in the Christmas Special.
- I love seeing Isobel stand up for herself when it comes to Lord Merton. I personally don’t want to see her anywhere near any of them. Joining that family is like joining the ninth circle of hell.
- The fact it was Spratt writing the love section of Edith’s paper was quite a pleasant surprise and gave us all a reason to finally care about Spratt.