*Do NOT read this if you aren’t caught up with the entirety of season 2 of Downton Abbey! There be spoilers here*
ZOMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGOOOOODDDDDDDDDDD was the season 2 finale, a.k.a “The Christmas Episode” of Downton Abbey, amazing! Amazeballs! AH-MA-ZING. So wonderful, that I just want to yammer on about it for a few paragraphs or so.
Source: hitfix.com, ITV
Let me just get this out of the way first: Season 2 is not without its faults. Sorta batshit plotlines (the mysterious burn victim/cousin/shyster Patrick/Peter) some semi-worthless plotlines (Ethel’s monstrous baby?), characters losing their minds (ain’t NO WAY Lord G would make out with a maid in a closet while his wife’s nasal cavity is HEMMORRHAGING), and pacing dilemmas (the second to last episode was INSANE. Like, InSaNe. I couldn’t sum up the quantity of shit that went down in that one episode if I tried – and I know it aired differently in the UK so it didn’t seem as rushed, but this is how PBS shows it to us hillbillies, so we have to take what we can get :() Not to mention the martyrization (that is an actual word, mother fuckers) of the universally beloved Bates. But I’ll shut up about that bad stuff because xmastime with the Crawleys washed away the shame of goofier episodes gone by. It was THAT good.
First rockin’ development: After forcefully grabbing her at the goddamned dinner table in front of her FATHER and then whining like a little bitch whilst everyone is out hunting, (and looking fabulous), Mary tells Sir Richard to beat it. In an honest, heartfelt way. My sis and father feel tremendous sympathy for Richard Carlisle (they claim he did care for Mary and she was using him) and while I do understand their thoughts, he was just such an unwavering jerkface, that I don’t care. Get thee ass back to Game of Thrones, where your character is not a douche. Yes, he “loved” Mary, but to be loved by Sir Richard is to live in a massive, empty house, treat your servants like crap, and get man-handled. This development led to a marvelous Violet moment, as he explains he won’t be seeing the family again, and she replied, with a twinkle in her eye, “Do you promise?”
Second way-appreciated development: Robert FINALLY found out about the Pamuk scandal. And I LOVED. LOVED. LOVED. the heart-to-heart he had with Mary once he knew. I get it now, the purpose has been shown, as to why my precious Bon Bon was drug through the wringer this season. So he could make his own mistakes and therefore be understanding of the indiscretions of his spawn. When he told Mary that he wanted her to marry a man who loved her, and not one who wanted to ruin her, I pretty much burst into tears.
Smaller plot lines get their due (this is what was so great about season 1): Edith paid a visit to that old fart she wants to marry, Thomas abandoned a labrador retriever in the woods like the true asswipe he is, and Daisy’s William woes were settled. I was espeically happy about that last one. The entire William/Daisy marriage-on-a-deathbed just made me so sad, and every time Daisy stomped her feet about hoodwinking a dying man, I felt even yuckier. I saw both sides of the coin, but who couldn’t? Every time William’s poor, lonely father came around, spouting how his son loved Daisy with all his heart, I wanted to run out of the room. I’m so glad Patmore used the Ouija board for good, and Violet’s advice was golden. Best of all, they were right! What Daisy was willing to do for her friend WAS love and she needed to stop beating herself endlessly for it. This story allowed both characters to win – Daisy gets a dad, and sad little man who lost all his children gains a daughter. Win/Win!
I’m-not-happy-about-this-but-they’re-doing-a-good-job-portraying-it: Bates and Anna. Or, Banana, as I like to call them. Sigh a thousand sighs. Everybody loved poor Bates in season 1, he was sympathetic, kind, and soooo honorable. To watch him and Anna fall for each other is what the word “swoon” was created for. But now, in the wake of his heinous succubus wife surfacing, removing him from the premises, and getting herself fucking poisoned to death, the stoic valet has truly become, as I saw one message boarder state, the “Eeyore” of Downton. While I love watching Banana scenes, they always leave me frustrated. I sympathise with someone in a really shite situation, who is helpless, and I am of the belief there wasn’t much he could do in the wake of hurricane Vera. What I DO KNOW is that he didn’t need to tell the prosecution EVERY INCRIMINATING THING HE EVER SAID OR THOUGHT! To tell them about the “bitch” incident was preposterous, he didn’t know Mrs. Hughes heard that conversation. To NOT tell them about the rat poison he purchased, goes against all levels of credulity. But what takes the cake, is to tell the lawyers that he ONCE TOLD BON BON HE WISHED VERA WERE THE “LATE MRS. BATES.” Why, Julian Fellowes, why? This makes NO. SENSE. Unless of course Bates is a true masochist, and maybe next year we can look forward to some self-flagellation in his prison cell. Sigh. Okay, okay, okay, I want to smack myself in the face. What was great about this episode is that seeing him in prison and watching Anna’s lip quiver every time shit’s about to hit the fan, is devastating to my heart. Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggat are such great actors and have such wonderful chemistry, I wish they could date in real life. The scene where they BOTH cry and try to share their final moments in each others arms = more waterworks. As well as him asking her to promise him to live her life, even while he’s in the slammer. I really, really, REALLY fucking hope that season 3 finds Bates exonerated, the aforementioned inn purchased, and some little Bates-bies gettin’ made.
The SERVANTS BALL!: OMFG, I was literally speaking out loud during this scene, “THAT’S SO CUTE! GAHH!!” To see the 1% dance with the 99ers warms the cockles of the heart. When Bon Bon told Matthew he had to dance with O’Brien and he uttered “Crikey,” I slapped my knee in a fit of laughter and vowed to use that word as much as humanly possible.
And finally: The PROPOSAL! Outside! In the SOFTLY SWIRLING SNOW. Are you serious? What are you, Downton, BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY? Oh my god, did all of my internal organs melt into a pool of happiness and satisfaction, when all the lies were laid out and the bullshit set aside, and these two fricking beautiful people who need to get TOGETHER already, admitted their love, proposed/accepted marriage, and SPUN AROUNDDDDDDDDDD together. As Tom and Lorenzo said in their as-always marvelous recap, we need a Downton snowglobe!
My birthday present to tide me over for a full frigging year
And then, LIKE THAT – it was over. I have to wait until TWO THOUSAND AND *bangs head against the wall* THIRTEEN?!!!!!
Sigh. Loving things is hard and it hurtsssss.