My dearest Downton Abbey,
We haven’t been engaged long, but I must admit I can hardly stand to wait until our most jubilant wedding day.
But seriously, season 2 was, as Michael Ausiello of TV Line put it, near perfect. My quibbles regarding Mary and Matthew, as actors, as characters, and as a romantic plot line, were all but erased in the first episode. Firstly, Livinnia, while being the wedge between them, was a delightful and sympathetic character. Her death was awfully convenient, but I accept it because it was still a slow burn for them afterward.
Neither Matthew nor Mary seemed so naive and so dramatic. That doesn’t come as a surprise considering the affects WWI had on their lives, and the 3-6 years of growth and maturity, but it didn’t make me any less pleased.
Sybil got something to do and she was great. Edith was still kind of “Poor Edith.” She got to learn that she liked driving things and seeing how they worked. That foray with the farmer was a bit mislead, but I suppose it gave her some humanity. Same with the Patrick plot line. I fear that girl will never really find happiness. I hope she does, so she leaves her sisters alone, but I fear for her that she won’t.
I can’t believe Robert almost fell for that new housemaid! That was a bit annoying, but at least he managed to handle it properly in the end. Jane was nice, and kind of cute, but ultimately not very interesting. I thought she fell for him a bit too easily.
Dame Maggie was lovely as ever. Sir Richard Carlisle… what an A-hole. It took quite a while to be rid of him. Rosamund’s random plot line at the end was fairly annoying.
But let’s get to Anna and Mr. Bates. First off, his wife is deliciously evil. Secondly, the actress who plays Anna… her little tiny trembling jaw breaks me heart every time. She and Mr. Bates really went through the ringer this season. Ok, first he starts talking about owning a hotel and having kids and Anna’s trembling jaw of happiness comes out. Then he leaves and she is devastated. Then she has a hear to heart moment with new housemaid Ethel about how she had dreams, she still has them, but she’s got to accept they aren’t going to come true. And then Mr. Bates secretly comes back to Downton, Anna finds out and goes and sees him and says again that she would “live in sin with him,” which I oddly find very romantic.
Then… Mrs. Bates dies so they get married and have their wedding night thanks to Mary, but then Mr. Bates gets accused and *GASP* is found guilty and sentenced to death, though his sentence is later reduced to life in prison and that’s where we are left at the end of season 2. PHEW. I really wanted, and still kind of want Anna to go to America with Mary, but I’m not even sure Mary is going now, though I would still assume so, after agreeing to marry Matthew. Something tells me both of these romantic story lines are not going to be easy, though that’s obvious in Anna and Mr. Bates’s case.
Daisy and William’s plot line was cute, and I was happy that Daisy never really fell for him, and felt appropriately guilty for being false. I was glad she stuck to her guns. I did also see it coming that William’s father wanted to treat her as a daughter, and was happy that she willingly accepted it. That has potential to be a very cute father/daughter relationship. The interactions between her and Mrs. Patmore were also excellent all season, Mrs. Patmore being like her mother and looking out for her.
Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson were wonderful heads of household, as ever. Cora was not particularly interesting, but that’s ok. Same with cousin Violet. She was just around, and that was ok.
I enjoyed seeing that they gave the servants Christmas lunch off, and then a special ball on New Year’s. I wearied of Ethel’s story line. I never liked her from the get go, not even after she was left with a bastard child. I miss Gwen. Maybe, hopefully she’ll come back next season to visit? Maybe Lord Grantham will need a secretary! Well, I’ll at least dream about it.
So, yeah, overall, a perfect season of Downton Abbey. The pacing was good, the drama was high (as was the romance). I can’t find more eloquent words right now to express my pleasure with you, but I look forward to our future together, however long it may last.
Yours truly and forever,