Did you watch the season finale of Downton Abbey last night? If not, here is your official notification that I’m about to talk about it, thus firehosing all sorts of episode details directly into your face. In order to avoid this spoiler-bukkake, stop reading now and click elsewhere! Let Thomas’s disembodied dead-eyed gaze be your warning!

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I love spoilers, so I do.

I initially resisted Downton Abbey because I suspected everyone who was raving about it was in on some elaborate joke—I mean, since when did everyone get obsessed with some crusty old period drama?—and then I finally downloaded the first episode and was instantly addicted. If you’ve never seen it I can’t even really explain why it’s so good, just that it is. I mean, even the opening sequence is indescribably compelling—there goes the dog butt! And the bell! And the flower petal! OH MY GOD HERE’S THE CHANDELIER PART I JUST SHIT MY PANTS.

Anyway, we tore through season one and two in record time, and I can’t believe the finale is now over and we have to wait, like, MONTHS to see what happens next.

As for last night’s show, I mostly loved it. So much to talk about!

Matthew and Mary. I mean, finally. Jesus christ on a stick. I was distracted by Mary’s bare arms as the romantic snow fell all around her in the proposal scene—dude, isn’t she freezing?—but it was a lovely moment and I had a big stupid smile on my face. God knows we can’t trust that they’ll really live happily ever after, but I’m glad the season didn’t leave us hanging on this front. Also, is it just me or did Matthew somehow develop a chin between season one and season two?

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Sir Richard Carlisle. The genius of allowing Sir Richard’s eternal nastiness to wear so painfully thin was unveiled via Lady Violet’s elegant “Do you promise?” when Richard announced they’ll never see one another again. Did you leap off the sofa in order to comically pump your fist and yell “OH FUCKING SNAP” when that happened? Just me? Okay then.

Daisy. Good god, the girl finally sort of grew a spine—although she’s clearly still missing most of her brains, as evidenced by the Ouija board fakeout. The resolution over the endless William-whinging was actually sort of brilliant, too. Hopefully in season 3 she won’t be quite so mush-headed and startled all the time, because it’s been kind of getting old. Also, weirdly familiar somehow…

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Lord Grantham. I didn’t see the Pamuk confession coming at ALL, did you? His subsequent conversation with Mary was pretty much the best thing ever: “I don’t want my daughter to be married to a man who threatens her with ruin. I want a good man for you. A brave man.” So noble! So loving! So forgiven for macking on that maid a couple episodes ago!

Thomas. Man, I was prepared to hate Thomas forever if Isis the Dog met her untimely demise, but by the part when he managed to emerge as the hero for looking for her, I was actually sort of rooting for him. He’s evil, but he’s becoming a sympathetic character, don’t you think? He’s just so bumbling in his diabolical efforts.

Bates and Anna. Oh, Bates. Well, at least he’s not dead, but I have to say, the Bates/Anna storyline has gone downhill for me. I was so into those two last season, and this season has just been so…SOAPY, I guess. I feel Bates started out all strong and mysterious, and now he’s just passive and more than a little cheesy. Although it was oddly refreshing to see him in prison garb, for some reason.

Rosamund and Whatshisname
. Ugh, the grifter side plot was nearly as bad as the Burned Peter/Patrick episode.

The Servant’s Ball. AMAZING. I could not have loved this more. Cora dancing with Carson! Thomas dancing with the Dowager Countess! Matthew taking a stiff drink and shuddering (“Crikey!”) when he realizes he’ll have to dance with O’Brien! Nothing but net in this entire scene.

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Did you watch last night? (I certainly hope so, if you’ve made it this far.) What did you think?

Comments

57 Responses to “Downton Abbey: let us talk of the finale”

  1. Diane on February 24th, 2012 4:04 pm

    Did anyone notice that Maria Doyle Kennedy (Vera Bates) was also Katherine of Aragon in The Tudors? It was driving me crazy. Thank goodness for imdb.

  2. Karen Chatters on February 24th, 2012 6:57 pm

    I LOVE this show. So addicted and sad we have to wait until September!

    All I could think about the Mary/Matt story was, “Isn’t she freezing? Where are her goosebumps?”

    And I loved Lady Violet’s, “Do you promise?” Awesome.

    And the dog, yeah. If Isis had died, Thomas would have had to be killed.

    So yeah, I’m basically just mimicking everything you just said and have none of my own thoughts.

  3. Noemi on February 25th, 2012 8:15 pm

    I TOTALLY said “snap” at that moment. Now I’m just sad that I didn’t say “OH FUCKING SNAP” because that certainly has more panache.

  4. Clueless But Hopeful Mama on February 27th, 2012 5:15 am

    My response to the Dowager Countess’ “Do you promise” was to yell “GO GRANNY!”

    And then file “Do you promise” away to hopefully use at a later date.

    What about Sir Richard and Matthew’s LAME fight? C’mon! Put a little muscle into it!

  5. Carrie on March 1st, 2012 12:41 pm

    Am I too late to join the party? I just finished Season 2 (I’m behind, I know!)and have now read your post and subsequently ALL the comments which I have LOVED!

    I’ll start with a DITTO on all the comments loving Mary & Matthew’s engagement (and also no sleeves? brrrr) and the Dowager Countess – LOVE!

    Also, I LOVED that they turned a somewhat annoying (in my mind) story line about Daisy into such a sweet resolution where she gained a father figure in her life.

    Anna and Bates. Ohmygod. How many times can Bates fall on his sword? He goes to jail for his wife, he leaves Downtown to keep it from scandal and then he doesn’t tell the police that HE BOUGHT THE POISON. Stop Taking the Fall, Man!

    Also, I had assumed that Vara killed herself and framed Bates as her final revenge? In my mind there was no question about it, but now I realize from the comments maybe there are other storyline options out there. However I am predicting that in Season 3 Mary will have to decide whether she comes forward with the scandal/payoff to Vara/Vara threatening to get her revenge on Bates …in order to get Bates out of jail. It will be the moral conflict of “How far do I go to save a “servant” “- at least that’s my prediction…we’ll see if I’m right!

    Also, someone above was mourning the sweet moments that Anna and Bates had in the beginning of their relationship and how that was so much better than all of this soap opera drama. I totally agree. The scene where they were sitting at the kitchen table talking about buying a small inn and having a family – I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about it – those are the Anna and Bates moments that we love!

    Okay, I’ve written a novel on a post that’s two weeks old so no one will even read this, but I do feel better that I got to say my peace! Loved your post and can’t believe we have to wait a year for Season 3!!

  6. Lisa on March 8th, 2012 4:22 pm

    I had no interest in DA even though I DO like period pieces–simply because most period pieces these days are slow. But I was home sick with a nasty cold one day and had nothing else to watch on Netflix. I watched the entire first season in like 2 days and LOVED it! I am so sad that I have to wait forever for season 3.

    I like the Bates/Anna story, even if it’s soapy. I go back and forth between liking Mary and Matthew but I definitely got choked up on the finale! YAY!

    I’d like to see more of the pathetic life of the middle-sister who is so angry and spiteful. I think she could be a good “love to hate” character.

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