Downton Abbey rings in the New Year one last time

What will we do without Downton in 2017? Will our biological clock even recognize it’s a new year?

But at the moment, let’s just celebrate this monumental achievement for one last time. If Sunday’s Episode 1 of this last Season signifies anything, it’s: tis the Season to be jolly.

This intro Episode has well prepared us for some neatly resolved, long due conclusions, and rightly so. For how can we live with an unsettled ending for any of its characters? They all deserve a good life, don’t they, including Mr. Barrow, the in-house villain? Well yes, but maybe not for a thief and blackmailer like Ms. Bevan.

Thanks to Ms. Bevan though, Mary’s secret is finally made known to Robert. Charlie Sheen had thought of it first: if the secret is out, no one can blackmail you anymore. Simple. But of course, Mary has her point. Tony Gilliangham is just not good enough for her. And the best line of the Episode belongs to our inimitable heroine:

“I’d rather be alone than with the wrong man.”

With that line, Robert knows his daughter can run the kingdom, let alone Downton Abbey.

Talking about good lines, looks like our scribe Julian Fellowes wants to leave us with more indelible ones just as parting mementos.

With this episode, we finally see that Mrs. Patmore has talents other than the culinary. Why, acting as a go-between to sort out marriage expectations sounds as nasty a mission as Ethan Hunt of the Impossible Missions Force would choose to accept. Well, what are friends for. And we applaud her (ugh… awkward) effort.

Yes, Mr. Carson will take Mrs. Hughes, wrinkles, warts and all, with the lights turned off or on. A gratifying, redeeming scenario in an alternate universe far from Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Days.

DA S6 E1

And at long last, Mr. and Mrs. Bates are proven to be innocent of any and all crimes. Mr. Green apparently had more enemies than anyone would have thought. But while the Bates escape the miscarriage of the law, will Anna be safe from the literal, biological kind? Of course we all wish them well in giving Downton some more little ones, upstairs or down, since little Sybil will move to America with her Daddy and Marigold to London with her Mommy, and especially when they have an in-house piggy backer with Mr. Barrow.

Speaking of moving away from the aristocratic nest, I’m glad to see Edith find a place in London that she can be both a mother and a career woman. Although she soon finds being a woman boss is more challenging. But I’m sure she won’t be complaining much as she enjoys the benefits of mixing with the Bloomsbury group and meeting Virginia Woolf.

“I feel I have been given one little bit of happiness and that will have to do,” Edith’s line of self-sufficiency, one that can match her indomitable sister’s willingness to be alone than with the wrong man.

Looks like Downton embracing modernity is the theme this Season and I’m sure Daisy will one day make one devoted and effective Suffragette. Too bad the film has been made or else she’d be one fine comrade fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with Carey Mulligan.

Embracing or being enveloped by modernity, Isobel and Violet represent the two camps, the ready and the reluctant. Again, here sparks fly regarding the control of the village hospital. Violet will hold on to her principle, in whatever aspects of life: “Sometimes it’s good to rule by fear.” While Isobel does not flinch, it’s definitely effective for her servants, especially Miss Denker.

Last but not least, Robert brings Cora down to the kitchen, takes cold chicken out from the refrigerator all by himself, and eats a drumstick with his fingers? Do we need any more obvious signs of embracing modernity?

I trust Season 6 will be a delicious treat.

***

What are your favourite scenes?

Published by

Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

15 thoughts on “Downton Abbey rings in the New Year one last time”

  1. I watched the episode — finally taking an opportunity to see what all the fuss has been about. It was pleasant enough, and I didn’t have a single impulse to turn it off. That would have been difficult, in any case, as I was watching at a friend’s house, and she’s quite the fan.

    I did think it was interesting that so many plot lines were so nicely interwoven. And, even for someone who didn’t have a clue about the characters in the beginning, it was easy to follow. I never felt confused in a frustrating sort of way.

    Will I go back and watch it from the beginning? Certainly not. Would I watch the rest of this season’s episodes? Probably not. But It was a pleasant hour that was worth the time. in my book, that’s at least three ripples, and maybe even four.

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    1. Linda,

      With you seeing DA for the first time in the last Season and giving it 3 – 4 Ripples says a lot! And, I wouldn’t be so certain about not watching more in the future. Hope this little taste could lead you at least to the first 2 Seasons which I think are the best. Although now I highly anticipate Season 6 to be a good conclusion too. So glad you did join in for last Sunday’s notable screening (willingly or not 😉 ).

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  2. I loved it!! And as always I was not ready for it to be over! I can’t wait until next week and I dare say I will be very sad when it all ends. I think I am going to buy all 6 seasons and watch them again. My hubby got hooked with me in season 4 so he hasn’t seen the first three. Oh darn.. ha ha!
    My favorite scene was the from the Countess Grantham quote you used… “Sometimes it is good to rule by fear!” The look on Miss Dinker’s face was priceless!! But she told her “Not to say a word!” I guess she could justify it by saying more than one? Stupid cow should not have underestimated Granny! LOL! That woman always “knows”.. she didn’t become the Matriarch she is just by being the oldest! 😉

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    1. Courtney,

      While it’s sad to see the beginning of the end, I’m glad this first episode kicks off the final season with Julian Fellowes back to his top shape as in Seasons 1 and 2. Your better half will definitely enjoy those first Seasons for the first time and you rewatching. I agree it’s going to be such a loss for us all, but I’ll try not to think so far ahead but just enjoy these last episodes for now. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice write up! There really were no spoilers to be had in this one — all exposition for what I anticipate will be a fine final season. I certainly hope so! The mind begins to wonder with speculation!

    I think my favorite scenes involved Miss Danker — both her eagerness to set a spark among the Downton downstairs and her nemesis, Spratt — and then Violet’s one-upmanship! Also loved the little touch of Barrow’s piggy back rides and all being forgiven between Anna/Bates/Molesly/Baxter. And of course Mrs. Patmore as ambassador was great fun! I can see lots of room for all the characters to go during the last year. Will Barrow and others begin looking for a job? Will Daisy join forces with her father-in-law? Will Molesly and Baxter get together? And which hospital plan will win? Stay tuned!

    I have to say that it was nice of Julian Fellowes and PBS to end the series before many PBS stations nationwide go dark due to the FCC auction. (The Auction will conclude in July and stations sold have three months to close operations). It would have broken my heart to have been left hanging!

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    1. Jeanie,

      While Violet may be reluctant to change, we can empathize with her as we see something good and enjoyable and thoroughly delightful come to a defintie end. So we all share her lament as we go through these last episodes with bittersweet sentiments. So it is with our media, our TV formats, our movies, our movie delivery formats, the end of films (I mean the actual film as in reels, or rolls), the digitalized of everything, our music, our entertainment systems. I’m afraid it’s as testing a time in 2016 as during Violet’s time in the 1920’s. Not all changes are for the better I’m afraid, and it’s certainly hard to stop the tides of the times.

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  4. I watched the first series, and it was quite pleasant and easy to look at. Series that go on and on aren’t really my thing though, unless they are Game of Thrones.

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    1. Denise,

      This one certainly isn’t going on anymore since this is the last Season… and they’re smart to stop it while it’s in top form still. I know I’ll miss it and I sure hope something will come out to fill the void. Julian Fellowes reportedly was to start The Gilded Age, something like an American version of Downton. Not sure if it’s still on the drawing board.

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  5. We enjoyed it here at this old house. Was very pleased that Bates’ charges are finally dropped. sigh of relief. I liked the line by Violet that said “Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?” I was happy with the way Robert handled Ms. Bevan.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I almost missed the first episode. Unfortunately I got a nasty case of acute bronchitis and was in bed from about the 22nd of December till last Sunday – no Christmas or New Year for me (or TV or computer.) I was going back to bed then, just in case, looked to see what was on TV – Gosh! I was so happy I did so I could see Downton Abbey. I read an article saying that in France it is not much viewed compared to other countries. So I am pleased not to be there as I really enjoy the show – the clothes, etc. They speak a bit fast for me with their British accents that I am no longer used to and sometimes it is hard for me to understand, but then I can always listen to it again online. I’ll certainly miss it when it is finished.

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    1. VB,

      Glad you caught it! About not hearing every dialogue, I can share your sentiment. With DA, though, I’ve found even not grasping every word they say is worth the viewing and very enjoyable still. I found too that they speak very clearly and less accented compared to other Brit series or films, like Sherlock or Suffragette. So I’ve been enjoying it for the past 5 Seasons. Often, I’d rewatch them to get what I’d missed. 😉

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  7. So, so glad it’s on again! What will I do when the series ends, and there’s nothing to look forward to in January? The only character I don’t like is Mary, such a snippy know it all (in my opinion), but everyone else I’m completely rooting for.

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    1. Bellezza,

      Yes, the joy of every new year. Indeed, 2017 will be a loss. As for Mary, I agree sometimes the character’s cynicism and rivalry against Edith is uncalled for. But hopefully a new beau might change that. 😉

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