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Wordless Wednesday ~ Little Christmas

Masterpiece Monday: Downton's Last Season! (updated)

DA season 6 poster

Happy Monday, my friends! Hope your week's off to a great start!

Now, you might notice that this post is rather brief ... and that would be because, as I feared ... I just could not stay up late enough to watch the whole show! #tiredmama #babyinbed #sleepcomesfirst! I WILL, however, be watching tonight, so tomorrow I will update this post with my thoughts ... but I wanted to put this up in case anyone would like to get the discussion rolling! So you are welcome to share your thoughts on the first episode of season six in the comments below. I won't be popping in till tomorrow so don't worry about spoiling me!

(Can you believe this is the FINAL Downton Abbey season???)

(And p.s Did anyone catch the new Sherlock? What did you think?)

See you all tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by!


(And here are my thoughts, now that I've caught up! I'll join you in the comments a bit later on ...)

Well, that was a wonderful final first episode! I loved stepping back into this beautiful world, but how bittersweet it is to remember this is the last season ... I miss it already! And so here are my thoughts ... I took notes as I watched last night and this morning (with but a few sips of coffee in me!) I am attempting to make sense of them!


So happy for Anna and Bates, that their troubles finally seem to be behind them. In the beginning of this episode, as Anna was crying and Bates was consoling, all I could think was: Gosh, are they ever going to get a break? Maybe once her stress lessens, she will relax and be able to conceive. I found it interesting (sad, really) that Anna's assumption was that she was the one who "couldn't get pregnant" ... it points to how for so long, throughout history, it was women who shouldered the blame of infertility. 

Interesting how lovely Thomas is with the children ... how they have taken to him. And he worries he'll be the one to be let go. When he said that nobody wants him there, I immediately thought, despite his past misbehaviors, they obviously trust and rely on him. To allow the little ones to be in his care for so many hours.

Now, about the whole Carson-Mrs. Hughes "how married will we be" drama ... it was sweet and real, and I loved how it was resolved. That final scene was beautiful. I'm still befuddled, however, that Mrs. Hughes asked Mrs. Patmore to speak to Carson about her intimate anxieties?? Did that not seem strange to you? I mean, I know they're all friends, and it did provide some humor, watching Mrs. Patmore struggle with her task ... and the look of Mr. Carson's face when he realized what she was asking! But in the end, such a sweet, even swoon-y, scene ... the love and admiration Carson professed for Mrs, Hughes (and she him) was just lovely.

(Side note - if they marry and live elsewhere will they still run the household? Just as Anna and Bates do I expect?)

Then we have the hospital situation unfolding ... so the "Royal Hospital" wants to take over the little local hospital that Isobel runs and the Countess oversees. I must say I'm relishing this drama because as much as I love the friendship that has blossomed between them, I relish their sparring very much!

Best line of the night:

"Does it ever get cold up there up on the moral high ground?" (Lady Violet to Isobel Crawley)

And I can see this situation has stirred up the potential triangle between Isobel, Lord Merton and Dr. Clarkson once again. I detected a little "fire" between Isobel and Clarkson and might that be the spark needed to change their friendship into something else?

Then of course we had the whole Mary blackmail drama. She's being quite "Mary" again this season, all aloof and snooty and picking at Edith. But boy did I want to smack that little snit who was following her around and harassing her. Another symbol of the changing times - Mary's power and station didn't impress or intimidate this working class woman. But I loved how Lord Grantham took care of her with finesse and resolved this particular pickle for Mary - stepping in to take care of his daughter, but also acknowledging she is no longer a child. And so Mary moves forward as agent of the estate ...

And all this talk about downsizing ... because houses like Downton just don't exist as they once did. Is this all about money or just that too much extravagance is unseemly? In the Grantham's particular situation, is Robert worried about appearances or money?

Now, that scene with Daisy at the auction ... just ... UGH. I was so upset with her ... and for her! I  know she was acting out of love and outrage, but honestly. She's a very smart young woman - emphasis on the word young - and she really should have known better. What an awful way to handle things! She was fortunate not to have been dismissed (and I'm sure in another house she would have been) but I worry now for Mr. Mason. What on earth will he do? 

Edith's storyline is interesting and I like how she's carrying herself. (And I must say I like how she presents herself as a mother, much more than I do Mary: "Come to Mummy, George" makes me cringe.) So she's considering a life in London with her daughter ... I think this all sets a certain tone of movement and change among the classes and genders. Both she and Mary are now working women - working mothers! - without men in their lives. Each of them strong in their own way, and resolved to live their lives fully without a man if needs be ... but you know of course, there must be men out there just waiting for another episode to appear. I'm hoping that handsome race car driver whom Mary met at the end of last season returns ... I love that Irish actor, Matthew Goode. As for Edith, well - she's certainly due some happiness as well! Does anyone wonder if Michael Greyson might return "from the dead" at some point? Or is he really and truly dead?

There were mentions of Rose being quite happy in New York and Tom and Sybbie well-situated in mostly Irish-Boston. Wouldn't it be nice to peek in on them? Might we get a look at their lives in America at some point, I wonder?

Oh my goodness, and can we just talk for a moment about the CLOTHES this year? Too gorgeous! And the hats, especially ... love the little cloche hats. I find myself needing a little hat just like that this year ... :) I'm hoping Victoria Magazine or some other similar publication will do a sizable spread on Downton fashions once again before the series wraps. The 20s were quite elegant and feminine ... While I think of it, I have a really nice book to recommend if you are also enthralled with 20s fashion:

Vintage Notions: An Inspiration Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Fashion, Sewing and Fun

And finally, I was once again endeared to the Grantham family by how they live with, and handle, their staff. There is a distinct separation, of course, but also, a true partnership, with real respect on both sides. I love Mary and Anna's relationship especially - protective, honest and open. I like who Mary is with her - just as I liked who she was with Matthew ...

And I loved the final scene when they all gathered for champagne to toast the end of Anna and Bates's trials ... I really think this closeness set Downton apart from other houses of the time. The "upstairs and downstairs" rely on each other, but also, deeply care for one another as well. How funny was that scene with Robert snooping in the kitchen! "Is this the fridge?" he asks Cora. :)

 What this episode did for me more than anything is remind me how much I adore this show, in all aspects, and how much I am going to miss it ... it is a true treasure, and I aim to savor every last minute! Will you join me?

Ok, so week one is a wrap! I would love to hear your thoughts if you have the time ... I will be back again next week to talk more, and I will strive to be ready on Monday! I'm now off to poke through some of my Downton books ... I think I'll be turning to them often for "a fix" as the series winds down ...

Thanks so much for stopping by, my friends ... see you here again very soon!