Downton Abbey, Season 6, Episode 9: The End of Everything

2016 is a year in which, sadly, so many good things are coming to an end. America as a shining example of pluralism and democracy, for one. And the show Downton Abbey, for another.

I’m not sure which one I’ll mourn more: the end of America or the end of Downton Abbey. While viewers of the show can’t do much to stop our fellow knuckleheads from electing a nasty orange Oompa Loompa as our President, we can take time from the madness to stop and watch the finale of Downton Abbey, a lovefest that might prove to be an antidote to the hatefest that is going on in this election cycle.

And what a lovefest it was! Two weddings, no funerals, and enough foreshadowing of future match-ups to make the folks at The Bachelor look like the amateurs they are when it comes to trying to find two compatible people to bring together in wedded bliss. Continue reading

Downton Abbey, Season 6, Episode 8: Mary Has it Coming

It’s been a rough week here at my house, with bouts of flu for all five members of the family leading to pneumonia, ear infections and assorted other maladies. All of which adds up to the fact that I’ve been preoccupied and am only able to turn in a short(ish) late recap of the penultimate episode. But if any episode deserves a short and sweet recap, it is this one.

Season 6, Episode 8 was so generally awesome there is not much to say, except that it was almost (almost) like Season 1 all over again. Solid writing, substantive dialogue, more or less believable action, characters that you care about, scenes that make you cry — at least if you’re like me. Yes, indeed. I wept like a fool this week, pretty much from the middle of the episode until it ended. I even clapped a few times. And laughed. So basically, between the laughing, clapping and crying I looked like a lunatic.

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Downton Abbey, Season 6, Episode 1: The Birds & the Bees & Mrs. Hughes

The Beginning of the End

Who among you didn’t get a little lump in your throat at the opening credits, knowing that this is the last first time you’ll watch a brand-new Downton Abbey in a brand-new year? For the last six years we’ve anticipated this show every January; it gave us something to look forward to as we emerged from the holidays. And now it is all coming to an end.

It is coming to an end — just like all them big ol’ English country houses came to an end, the ones packed with furniture and paintings and silver, with servants stacked from cellars to rafters like cordwood. Sometimes you just got to call it, to quote Lord Neighbor-who-auctioned-off-his-stuff: you’ve got to “stop hanging on to what is no longer supportable”. And lest we all get too sentimental, let us remember that Downton Abbey, however wonderful the show once was, is no longer supportable. It’s time to put the old girl down. But first! We shall enjoy many last suppers around the table with the Family Grantham, many below-stairs antics, and many, many discussions about how the times just continue to change and change and change.

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