What I liked:
- The stark differences shown between wartime battlefronts and then the jarring peace that is experienced in other places (such as at Downton).
- The relationship between Lady Mary and Carson.
- Sybil and Branson – I have always liked this pairing, because it does not fit in with the times, so it gives it a dangerous edge. Plus they just look gorgeous together. Granted, the show takes forever while dancing around this thing, but Findlay and Leech have fantastic chemistry, and I was rooting for them from the off.
- How much Edith has improved. Goodness, what a piece of work she was in the beginning! She has definitely gotten better, though I am still no fan of hers.
- Cousin Violet does have a heart, though she never, ever wants that part of her to be seen. A big scene this was evident was when Daisy and William were getting married, and she was crying, but passed that off as a bad cold. Silly woman.
- Lavinia Swire. I know we were (technically) supposed to hate the girl, but she was so pure, so good, so sweet, that you could not help but like her, and feel for her when Matthew was so obviously still in love with Mary.
- That Christmas episode was absolutely fantastic.
- Daisy and Mr Mason – so sweet.
What I didn’t like:
- Cousin Isobel just peeved me this season. Last season she was some annoying comic relief – this season she was a control freak, nasty, pushy, and just plain down rude. No love for that.
- How Lady Mary can really just be a spoiled brat (this is specifically looking at how she handled the whole Carson not joining her and Sir Richard at their new home).
- This whole Robert Crawley scenario with the housemaid, Jane. I was not a fan of that at all, and felt it was most uncalled for.
- Thomas being back. The man is so evil, cowardly and underhanded and annoys me endlessly!
- Ethel and her whole pregnant, baby, can’t work thing. I know it sounds cold, but she made a stupid decision, and is holding everyone else accountable for it. She’s also pushy to boot.
Seriously addictive show! We start up with the war in full swing, and it seems that everything is changed. Downton is still functioning, but with minor changes. Bates is still gone, and Anna’s heart is still broken, and it sucks. Times were certainly different, as this season showcases how desperate all the men seemed to be to serve in the war to show their loyalty to the country, no matter what. Robert Crawley was especially offended on being a “mascot” and that he was not going to be sent to the front, while William was prepared to leave his father just to join the effort.
I was highly unimpressed to see Thomas back so soon, and evidently that slippery snake has not changed his ways. Maggie Smith, as always, entertained me endlessly with her aversion to technology, and the way she dealt with both the telephone and the gramophone was, naturally, hilarious. Only Carson is her equal when it comes to technology!
Sybil made me so happy this season, as she was really in her element, having studied to be a nurse and caring for people. She was respected. Branson hanging around was awesome, and I was thrilled to finally see their relationship progress to something. I was not a fan, however, of the subplots that came in and ended without really giving much closure. For instance, Robert being a total twat and having that affair with the maid was something that horrified me, I always thought he was made of sterner stuff, and they dance around it and then the maid leaves. Done. Poof. Gone. No more. Really?! After the entire fuss that was kicked up about it, I would have assumed more. Also, for instance, Patrick returning. That was a thing and then bang, all gone. Oh well.
Mary’s new beau was definitely a smarmy and nasty character, and I was not impressed. Matthew, of course, is still just pure perfection for me, and I was so sad when he was so terribly wounded at war, I could not bear to think of him wallowing in such a depression, thinking himself less a man because of his wounds. But holy joy for us, things changed! Yay! I am really starting to get worried about Carson’s health… his heart just doesn’t seem able to bear things anymore. Mrs O’Brien, still sly as a fox, has definitely changed her tune quite a bit at times. She is still cold and cruel, but she is no longer as bad as she previously was when she was with Thomas, and her loyalty to Cora is astounding.
I must say that Cousin Isobel really just worked on my nerves this season, it was not as amusing as last to watch her. The way that Downton was totally changed was interesting and frustrating in equal measure, because there was some extreme amusement to be found there, but there was also things that were irritating. Again, the divide between the rich and the poor was highlighted fully here, with the rich being more concerned about some of the space being used up as opposed to the assistance that was generated.
As much as Mary peeves me, I actually really just want her and Matthew to be together, because he does love her. Too much. It was sad to see the way the whole thing with Lavinia Swire went, but it did clear the path for them to be together. Edith has changed a lot, and with all her flaws and all she is no longer deadly nasty and cruel as she was before. I was terribly sad, then happy, then worried, then depressed watching the whole Bates/Anna story. Finally he gets shot of his wife, everything is smoothed over at Downton and he returns, but then his wife dies and Bates is in trouble, and he marries Anna and is then arrested… good gracious me, not happy times. Oh my goodness, again there is just far too much to talk about here and just not enough space! Go watch this, immediately, maybe then we will all be on the same page about it!