So, across the pond, we’ve kicked off another season of Downton Abbey. And while abstaining from spoilers meant that I’ve lived in a fear akin to Baxter’s that something undesirable would be revealed, I’m happy to say that if for no other reason that helping the ratings of my local PBS station I was able to start the season off spoiler free, and I have to say I already love where things are going.
To keep things short and sweet, here were the things that I loved the most. I’ll start with Branson’s sort of, almost girlfriend. Now while her comments in the dining room resulted in Lord Grantham referring to him as a “hater” (which he’s not),I found the whole situation so enjoyable. Not just because the drama and humor were all over the place, but Tom has gone through so much and has grown, more radically than perhaps any other character on the show. It can be easy to look at families like Mary’s an think that they know nothing about the real world, and are undeserving of their position. And in the case of many families of that time, you might be right. With Downton Abbey though, they consider themselves stewards of all they have and with that motivation Mary and Tom are trying to turn things around, for the betterment of village. Ms. Sarah Bunting, may not see it that way, however I think that she’ll soften her perspective of the Crawleys (if not the wealthy in general) over time. Her attitude is not surprising though, considering the sentiment of the time, with the people electing a Labour PM, and the villagers wanting Carson to head up the committee.
In regards to Carson and the staff, the only things I might have nearly not loved in this episode was the treatment of Daisy, as she worked to try and better her math skills. Daisy so rarely is treated with esteem by the others (excepting of course Mrs. Patmore), that it was so sad to see that they didn’t encourage her studies. Additionally I might have loved the episode more had Jimmy not been the only servant sent packing (I’m looking at you Barrow!). Thomas however did save Edith, and for that I suppose we must be grateful, despite his weaselly behavior.
Speaking of Edith. I don’t know why she thinks that she can keep her daughter a secret, especially from the likes of her grandmother the Dowager Countess, who never misses a thing. Maggie Smith as always was on her game, as Violet needled Aunt Isobel, as she interfered in a potential romance with a lord. This was loveable, not just because she’s hilarious, but because I’ve not given up hope that Cousin Isobel and Dr. Clarkson will end up together.
All in all I think it was a splendid start to the season, and I can’t wait for the next episode!