"Downton" doubles down

My Dear Kathleen,

I think I'm still half asleep after last night's late-night Downton double feature! I couldn't settle down until well after 11 p.m. last night! Actually, I was all aflutter going in, what with the Grammys/"Walking Dead"/"Downton" conflict.

It seems to me that all's well has ended well as of last night. Not sure what other drama can emerge in NEXT week's 95-minute finale. Branson and Lord Grantham have found common ground; everyone stopped hating Thomas for a few minutes to help him stay employed; and apparently Mary's sorted out her lady parts so Project Baby is a go.

Although, let's talk about that for a sec. I was secretly hoping Mary was cleverly using some sort of birth control to stave off the baby years for a little while longer. It seems a tad depressing to me that these kids can't have a bit more of a honeymoon period. And what the heck was wrong with her that she necessitated "a small operation"? A cyst? They brushed that off too quickly, but maybe the writers are wary of too much gynecological discussion in one season?

Thoughts?

Lovies,

M.

PS. As cute as Matthew is, when he bid Mary to start "making babies" with him, I cringed. I just can't picture those two letting down their guard long enough to actually "make" anything intimate.

***

Dearest Marisa,

I'm exhausted. What with the snow and shoveling in real life, and then the Grammys horning in on "Downtown," and then I didn't realize we were in for a two-hour episode — whew!

My question is — is Thomas a changed man? Even though he's devious and not very nice, I felt sorry for him. Then he said "I'm not foul." Gulp! I wanted to offer him a job. I could use a footman.

***

Ms. K,

I, too, was surprised by how moved I was by Thomas's plight. But then again, I bought his sincerity when he was moved to tears by Sybil's death. I like to think he's a changed man, but he's so very good at being bad—I might miss the Devious Mr. T!

Time will tell, I suppose, but I have to say I was absolutely disappointed by Carson, James and Alfred's response to their colleague's sexual revelation. I know it was a different time, but Carson was downright cruel in his summation of Thomas's "foul" lifestyle. I know James was, you know, kind of assaulted and all, but Thomas was misled and certainly wouldn't have jumped James if he knew James liked girls. Their ease at falling under O'Brien's spell and its companion holier-than-thouness was very disappointing. I hope Ivy took proper notice.

Good old Mrs. Hughes, and all her cosmopolitan tolerance, provided a most welcome respite from all that homophobic rubbish. I absolutely love that she wasn't at all bothered by Thomas's lifestyle. Along similar lines, double points to Mrs. Patmore who noted earlier in the episode: "There's nothing wrong with a man who can cook." Once again, she drops some knowledge on these provincial babies.

***

Dearest,

Enough of Thomas; I think Carson might be gay.

And what about the big-headed baby from last week? Little Sybil turned out to be A-dorable. And had a normal size cranium.

I loved Cousin Rose and all her shenanigans. Imagine that little flapper cavorting with a married man. No sooner does Matthew explain to Rose that "married men who want to seduce young girls always have a horrid wife" Lady Edith discovers her flirting editor is married. And his wife is horrid. Well at least in an insane asylum. That was oh so Jane Eyre-ish.

KE.

***

KE,

OK, yeah, what's up with the convenient use of Bronte device re: this alleged wife of Mr. Editor? Come on! Way too melodramatic.

I HATED Rose! We've got plenty of shenanigans elsewhere at Downton to deal with. Now we've got Little Miss Thing to follow around? I was relieved when the Dowager shipped her off to Scotland. That was so beautifully arranged, it was like a Mafia hit! She eavesdropped and played her daughter and granddaughter against each other to get the intel — and then she struck! Bravo, Grandmama. (This is probably why "I'm" a Dowager Countess according to that quiz. Young flibbertigibbets annoy the hell out of me!) I'm not looking forward to the continued Rose storyline next week.

Speaking of characters I hate, how about Branson's brother? A very clever person on Twitter noted, "Why didn't they get Gary Busey to play Branson's brother? He would have been more subtle." Agreed. Maybe the writers were trying to show us how mild Tom is, compared to louts like his brother? In any case, suddenly I'm a big fan of Branson, so here we are. I also don't want Baby "Sibby" (worst nickname ever) to grow up in a garage with that man around! Thank god for Cora and her well-played leverage ("Sybil would've wanted it"). PS. That baby is absolutely gorgeous. Maybe it's the same baby from last week shot at a better angle? They did toss a hat on her...

Luv,

M.

***

M,

I love Rose. Did you see her outfits? Fabulous. Actually I think the whole episode rated A-plus for costumes. I loved all that white at the cricket match — the women in those lightweight linen and cotton numbers, lots of covered buttons and pearls. And the men in those white wool v-neck sweaters. Swoon.

K.

***

KE,

We are agreed on the gorgeous clothes—one of my favorite aspects of "Downton." Cricket is a very silly game, but I do love the gear and outfits. Back in the Old Country (New Britain), a cricket league played at the gorgeous Walnut Hill Park on weekends, and they all wore the whites. It was ever so jolly.

So, shall we get on to predictions for the season finale? I'll start: I say this alleged future baby of Matthew and Mary's isn't going to happen perhaps because Matthew will turn out to be unable--he did get that test, after all. Instead, they'll take Baby Sybil, thereby annoying the hell out of Drinky Brother Branson.

I've got more, and I know you've got several ideas, but let's save them for print. In true "Downton" fashion, we'll make this blog a cliffhanger!

Cheers,

M.

Check out the rest of this blog, in which we offer our "Downton Abbey" season finale predictions, in this Sunday's Daybreak section. The "Downton Abbey" season three finale airs at 9 p.m. on PBS stations.

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