What I liked:
- Sybil and Tom are just the best together, they make me so happy.
- Matthew and Mary finally being married, and that coming to fruition, to working.
- The relationship that is building between Matthew and Tom – I know the family is not overly keen on him, but Matthew is taking him under his wing.
- The slow thaw of the family towards Tom Branson. Matthew is the leader of this, for sure, but the rest are all getting there. Also, the servants are warming to him, and here I am looking specifically at Carson, who has never really been a fan.
- Something I have always loved about this show are the relationship dynamics between all the characters, be they rich, poor, middle class, servant or part of the big family, they all interact. The family is very caught up in the struggle of Mr Bates, and the servants are all caught up in the problems with the family.
- Cousin Violet is a hilarious gem – all my big laugh out loud moments come from her, and I will always appreciate it. Snarky, sarcastic, but very sharp, she just owns whenever she is on the screen.
- Having Cora’s mom around to see the differences between the British and the Americans, and how they both think they are right and the other is wrong. It is hilarious.
- Bates finally getting free of prison and returning home – it was a happy thing, and will put a pin in that melodrama.
What I didn’t like:
- Matthew complaining about the money he is to inherit (potentially) from Lavinia’s father. I totally understood his point, I did, but I rapidly got over him and Mary arguing about it the whole time. The story was just stale.
- Matthew being told that he would be like a joint manager of Downton, and then Robert shoots him down the whole time. What was the point then?
- Writing Sybil off. Are. You. Kidding. Me. What the hell, cruel world? That crushed my soul, and I damn near did’t want to keep watching!
- Bates in prison is starting to get old and wearing, I won’t lie. I mean, I get the point of it, I do, but it was so slow and meh all the time.
- Ethel coming back. This character annoys me. She was always “so much better” than everyone else, and was going to do so much with her life, and then she screwed it up royally. Well, whose fault is that?
- Mrs Crawley really can be a bloody nuisance. I think the only time I didn’t dislike her was in the first season. After that? She never, ever lets up.
- Downton being in trouble again. I swear, that estate is constantly in trouble, and it is rather annoying.
- Seriously – Matthew, too? What the hell? There is such an extreme mortality rate attached the these Crawleys and having children, and it should be stopped! This season is enough to break me, to make me want to take a break and recover from all the losses! How cruel!
Another jam packed season, no doubt! This show is consistent and it is good, and it is well worth a watch every time. It is put together masterfully, and will appeal to pretty much all audiences and ages, which is a rare thing. Even my mother in law enjoys this, though we don’t see eye to eye about much of it. This season was busy, and had a lot going on. There was plenty drama, of course, but not so much that it was annoying. Well, except maybe Matthew squealing the whole time about Reggie Swire’s inheritance that he was being left, and Ethel being around to get on everyone’s nerves, and Thomas (we will never be free of that snake). But these are not things that make you hate the show, they just make it more complicated. I was so happy to see some more of Sybil and Tom, but I was not at all happy when that ended in heartbreak. Was that really necessary? It broke me down to my core, and to see Tom and Cora’s devastation over Sybil while she was dying and as she had passed was horrible. Crushing. Cruel. Why?! We did not need that! Even Thomas cried and was crushed about it, and that man has no bloody heart. However, her death opens for a whole different set of things with Tom and the Crawley family. Obviously there are still issues between them, Tom is very different from them, but they are trying with him, and he is trying with them, but he will stand his ground for other things. I also think it was really good to bring him into the family business – it gives him a purpose and draws them all together some more. Ever Carson starts to warm up towards Tom, which is not something you would expect. As always, the dynamics between the characters are fascinating. When Mrs Hughes found the lump on her breast and was worried, Mrs Padmore was there every step of the way, and even Carson eventually got the story out (in a sly manner, no less, I was so proud of him), and he was so concerned. When she was found to be okay? The way he didn’t ask her (but she knew he spoke to Mrs Padmore, she was right there) and when he found out she was fine he went about his work, singing. It was so sweet! After waiting for a lifetime, Mary and Matthew are finally married and living a life together, and it was sad to see them having difficulty conceiving a child, and both of them seeking treatment in secret to see which of them was to blame. Then there is Edith, who I swear is destined to suffer forever more. Being jilted at the altar was just… so horrendous. Nobody should have that happen to them. Like, I get whey Anthony Strallan did it, but it does not make it better. He should have called an end to it before it got so far. That girl just can’t get anything, and she is nowhere near as cruel as before, so give her a break! You know, then we have to deal with Matthew dying. What the heck, the Crawley clan needs to stop having children – the mortality rate is just too damn high here! Two major deaths in the space of a few episodes?! What on Earth did we do to deserve such punishment?! Did we really need to see that?! Anyway, the heartbreak in this season is too damn high, and you get so invested in the characters. Just as you think you can move on from Sybil, there is Matthew, then you just don’t want to watch anything anymore after that. Because it hurts. Well written, well acted, well paced, Downton Abbey is always a show worth watching, and I highly recommend it.