One day late! But here are my thoughts on last night's episode ... so many plotlines trucking along, some more speedily than others. But not many more episodes to go? They have much to do before it all ends - though how I wish it would never end, and I am not exaggerating that feeling one bit.
Anyway. A great episode last night! I like that so much of the action revolved around the House itself and luncheons and homecomings and such. Very domestic and visually delicious!
Well, it's so good to have Tom back, isn't it? I just love his character - he might be my favorite of all, so dependable and kind. I missed Sybil last night, as did the family ... she was so wonderful and together, they made such a beautiful couple. I wonder if there will be a new love interest for Tom before the series wraps up? I would love to see him find happiness in that way (though he seems pretty darn happy as it is now). I don't think that will be Mary who called him brother (aw), and especially not now that the dashing Henry Talbot is on the scene ... !
And not to sound old-fashioned, but DEAR ME was it nice to see Mr. Talbot back "clicking" with Lady Mary - and having watched Mary now for several years, we could see she was definitely swooning beneath that aloof exterior! (I love that actor, by the way, Matthew Goode - have you all seen Leap Year? Oh, you must! A lovely movie which would be especially appropriate viewing this year!) Henry's chemistry with Mary was clear to everyone including themselves. I had to laugh at Lady Violet and Lady Shackleton's conversation, watching their young relations with a speculative eye. "Mary needs more than a handsome smile and a hand on a gear stick." Ha!
I'm betting though, that Henry's profession will be a difficulty for Mary - whose husband, as we all remember, died in an awful car crash. I think that will be a potential fly in an otherwise very nice ointment.
Now, on to Thomas - and, well - this was "first season" Thomas all over again, wasn't it? Here we are, all feeling badly for him lately, and then he goes and reminds us just how vicious he can be. And pompous. And vain. But that line to Baxter: "You're wrong. I do care what people think of me." Well, it makes me sad (even though I wanted to smack him for embarrassing Gwen). He clearly has such issues - he wants to belong, and be liked, but he just can't stop biting the hands that try to feed him. Or pet him. Or whatever. He's like a wounded animal that can't help being mean. But the scene when Mrs. Patmore told Baxter that Sargent Willis was looking for her - and Anna quipped to Bates that it was nice that for once he wasn't looking for them - well, Thomas spoke up and reminded them that it wasn't very funny for Miss Baxter, after all. So he does have a clue about being kind ... or protective, I guess. Remember how he saved Jimmy? And how he was with Sybil? And how he is now with the children. sigh I really hope he gets himself on a better path emotionally before he has to find himself a new job.
As for Baxter herself - she reminds me of Anna in some ways - they're similar characters. And because of her past, she has issues too, though she has kept her softness whereas Thomas has only hardened. Being asked to testify against this Peter Coyle character was a hard decision for her, but I'm glad she will do it. We all knew she would ... because she is for others first, herself last.
Oh, and about Gwen - what a lovely scene that was! Except of course for Thomas's cruelty and Mary's being all snootily affronted. As she recounted how she made a life for herself - with Sybil's kind intervention - it showed the Granthams how things have changed (and should change). This young woman worked and lived in their house for two years and they never spoke to her - hardly recognized her! But then you had Sybil - so ahead of her times - looking past society's norms and befriending Gwen. Helping her because she was in a position to do so ... and wasn't that quite the wake up call for them all, especially Mary. I loved how the camera would find Tom's proud, smiling face as Gwen spoke ... and I seethed when Mary thanked Barrow for alerting them to the "truth." Arggh ... hang it up Mary! Enough of the snobbery!
But so happy that everything is all right for Anna - and kudos to Mary for taking charge and getting Anna to that doctor straight away. Mary was feeling (and perhaps rightly so) ashamed about Sybil's behavior in comparison with her own ... but she really does have a heart. "I realized how much better Sybil was than I am ... It was quite chastening." Mmm-hm. And I would have loved a more intimate scene for Anna's big "reveal" to Bates, but I guess that's how things were for the "downstairs" crew at the time. Your lives are constantly put on hold, secondary to the House's agenda. And today's was welcoming back Carson and ... Mrs. Hughes. How funny that they decided to keep the names like that. Again, what works best for the House ...
And UGH - Daisy. For goodness sakes, she's acting crazy this season and I've had enough. I can't stand that they're having her act like this but I guess she's always acted irrationally if we go back to the Jimmy thing. She's young, I get that ... but she's supposed to be smart. She's perhaps a symbol of how the lower class were getting sick and tired of coming last. But honestly, she had it all wrong about Lady Cora - and she's fortunate it didn't play out as she envisioned (challenging Cora about "duping" her). But thankfully, Mr. Mason now has a new home and job ... and did I perhaps detect a little romantic interest on Andy's side towards Daisy? He said he loves the countryside ...
Speaking of new jobs - who do you think Edith will hire as editor? They kind of dangled that out there ...
Now, onto the Hospital thingamabob. Boy, am I growing weary of that storyline! It's the same argument each week with just one more voice lent to the fray. This time it was Lady Violet's friend, Lady Shackleton, who found it hard to argue with reason and support an opinion without knowing all the facts. "That's never stopped me," cries the Dowager. Lol! She gets all the best lines. But you can see her defense (or is it an offense?) is crumbling. And I have a feeling that Robert's "indigestion" is reaching a boiling point - and that will be just the dire medical situation to show the Dowager Countess how important it is to have the very best, modern care at their disposal. I don't think anything less will do it. Certainly not reasonable argument! But I will say Rosamund's "funeral" comment to Robert is haunting me ...
*Quick note before I go - and I could talk about the clothes again because as usual, they were gorgeous - but I wanted to mention how especially lovely the house seemed in this episode. More homey and less grand. (Though it's still, obviously, quite grand.) There was a scene in which Cora was heading upstairs when Mr. Molesley asked to speak with her and the pause here - the way you could feel the lateness in the day, the comfort in the routine ... and then we switched to a scene downstairs with Daisy and Mrs. Patmore in the kitchen ... and it all just looked so cozy. Quite late in the day, supper getting on, lights low, a quietness about the place ... this was a real home to these folks. All of them. And not just a manor, but HOME. This is part of what I'll miss about the show. They really know how to set an atmosphere!
Well my friends, I thought I'd write a shorter recap than this, but I do hope you enjoyed it! And I would love to hear your thoughts on this week's installment ... are you enjoying the final season so far? Do you have any predictions for what is to come? Drop me a note below if you have the time!
I will be back later today with a few photos - a Tuesday Tidbits post I put together late on Monday - so I'll see you here again very soon! :)