Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Downton Abbey Christmas Special



Please boot it outta here if you haven't watched Downton Abbey Season 4 and would like to do so at your leisure without spoilers. 

Let the Discussion Commence!

~~~

Oh my! I hardly know where to begin. One might think the beginning a good place, but I know that I shall be bouncing about a bit on this. Hold onto your hats, it could be a bumpy ride.


I found Ivy one of the most sensible characters in this week's episode. She has noticed that Lady Edith looks much more tired than she did eight months ago before going to the Continent (that fantastic time leap spoken of) and she (Ivy) will be the one to leave Downton Abbey for America to serve as Harold Levinson's cook. (Nice tidy wrap-up that.)

The show begins with Mrs. Hughes saying that she and Daisy must get off to Grantham House in London because the housekeeper there is ill. She sighs when Ivy mentions "tired" saying that they're all tired and about to become even more tired.

Ostensibly, this program is all about Rose being presented at Buckingham Palace to King George V and Queen Mary. It also involves the Prince of Wales' first love Freda Dudley Ward and a stolen letter that might ruin him. The Prince and Mrs. Dudley Ward carried on a romance for fifteen years prior to Wallis Simpson coming on the scene. Just a little historical background. 

~off to the palace~

~Awestruck Rose~
The other point of historical background that I needed to look up, and I'm sure that there are many more, was the point about Brown Shirts in Germany. Edith makes a passing reference to the fact that Mr. Gregson was attacked by Brown Shirts.

~Why Not?~
 
Now, presuming that Mr. Michael Gregson is off the scene permanently, I'd like to suggest this "Why Not." This was first suggested by one of you and I have no time to verify which you now, but I rather like the idea. And I loved the way Tom told Edith that the two of them would have to stand up to the Crawleys or be bowled over. That's when Edith stood up to her aunt and explained that she'd (Edith) be returning to the Continent and we all know why: Baby retrieval time!
~Edith and Violet have a chat~

Though Violet probably tried her best, she came up wanting in her discussion with Edith about it (the baby). And Edith is mighty prickly.

 
Edith strikes off for London, with Mrs. Hughes and Daisy, and is the first to greet her American 
family—Grandmother Martha Levinson and Uncle Harold Levinson. What a pair! Didn't Carson have the look of sheer panic and I laughed to see the way Martha glommed onto him holding his arm as she made him walk her into Grantham House. Do you like the American side of this story? I know that Mary does not!

The machinations in this final show were pretty intense, interconnecting, and amusing. The loss of the letter...the THEFT of the letter by that card shark Sampson...written to Freda Dudley Ward by The Prince of Wales was a significant subplot. We learn that Robert is a serious Monarchist who will go to any lengths to protect the Prince and that Mary is a
"practical Monarchist." She knows that the Prince is something of a scamp and she doesn't trust him not to run himself off the rail. 



Oh yes! Bates is a good man to know and Robert asks him for his help in letter retrieval. The first effort failed.

~No Luck~

The second effort works! Who knew that Bates is also a pickpocket?!
~Success!~

Now there are many other stories floating about...so many. Please feel free to pick up a thread and run with it. Do you wish to discuss Edith's story with Mr. Drew? Mary's story with her Desire of Suitors? The Lord Asygarth and his daughter Madeleine Allsopp's story? Harold and Madeleine's story? (What an odd couple!)The ongoing Thomas/Tom antagonisms? The catching of Sarah and Tom by Thomas in the Gallery? The ticket in the coat pocket? Mary's decision concerning same. Oh my! Any one of these could lead us a long way down a number of paths. Any specific quotes?

I thought I'd mourn Matthew forever. Now I know that is not true. There'll be a new life for me. ~Mary to Gillingham 
Oh please do share more!


I found a clip on PBS where the stars of the show discussed whom Mary should choose. Fun!

But let us wrap this puppy up with a bow. Cora asked Carson to plan an outing for the staff because of all the extra "kerfuffle." That's another story you might wish to discuss. 

~All Seems to be Well~



You can always hold my hand to steady yourself...We're getting on, you and I, we can afford to live a little.

~Mrs. Hughes to Carson
post signature
And the best news? There will be a Season Five!

56 comments:

  1. It really is hard to know where to begin, so I'll probably pop in and out of the discussion today. The ENDING....ahhh! No place I would rather be than the sea so this was special to me! Everyone looked so happy and relaxed...the type of outing that helps you leave all of your problems at home. One thing though....are you concerned with how tired and frail Violet acts and looks since she was sick? She sure was moving so slow throughout this show. I'm worried. Thanks for the discussion. I have a DA post up today pointing everyone this way! Sweet hugs!

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  2. I loved the season ending show!! Very nice.

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  3. I love the Hughes/Carson whatever thing..I love the America storyline (Love Shirley McClain & Paul Giamatti), I do not like the fast forward it 9 months to Edith, I would of liked more baby storyline. I do not think the Bates/Anna has been wrapped up nicely yet..something..just something is off. I can not put my finger on it..I do love Bates and the many "qualities"about him. I LOVE BAXTER/MOSELY!!! I love how she stood up to Barrow. Just loved it. I could go on and on..but won't, lol. Blessings

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    1. Linda, I agree with you...too many loose ends still on Anna & Bates situation and I must say I was a bit surprised to find out they had fast forwarded 9 months! Reading your comment also reminded me how much I like the Mosely-Baxter connection...SEE...just too many things to remember! Thanks!

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  4. sad the season is over. looking forward to the next week.
    does anyone know when it will start over.
    thanks creative hugs, Milissa

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    1. They began filming this month. It will begin airing in the UK in late September and will air in the US and Canada in January 2015.

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  5. Vee, I am so glad to have read your synopsis because I had a hard time keeping up with all of the activity! I am not "up" on British history so I had a hard time following exactly what was going on...OK...go ahead... call me dense, if you will! I had already decided to back and watch however many times it took for me to understand everything that was going on! All I know for sure is I LOVED the ending with Carson and Mrs. Hughes getting their "feet wet"....so very touching with subtle sparks of romance!

    I just want to tell you, Ms.Vee, just how much I appreciate the hours you must put in weekly getting out these wonderful posts!

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  6. I loved the whole season. I find Mr. Bates to be the most compelling character. Always full of surprises and while he has some rather nefarious skills he always seems to use them for good. I love that character! By the way, for anyone who needs some more awesome British t.v. to hold them over until season 5, The actor who plays Mr. Bates is also in a series called Larks Rise to Candleford which I am enjoying very much. It's on Amazon Prime, so if you have the Prime membership it's free! I am hopeful that Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes will get together, although he can be a bit of a stiff, he has a good heart :>) I loved that she coaxed him into holding her hand.

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    1. Larkrise to Candleford is also showing on PBS on Sunday evenings. I like that show a lot, too.

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    2. I need to find the very beginning of this series and watch it. Not enough shows on DA! I'm already in withdrawal!

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  7. I almost stopped watching it because I didn't care for the first two episodes. But friends who had seen it all told me to keep watching and I'm glad I did. I loved the way they wrapped up everything and prepared us for next year in the season ending episode and the "Christmas" special.

    I didn't like the way they had everything go with Anna and Mr. Bates and then I saw an interview with the writer who explained that he has always seen Mr. Bates as having a dark side of him due to his past. What he was showing through the season is how that side remains a part of him. Hmmm... I guess I can see that.

    I shouldn't have been surprised as I had the same thing happen with Season 1. I didn't care for it in the beginning but kept watching and then ended up loving it. You would think after four seasons, I would realize there is an arch there of storylines that J. F. wants us to follow all the way through before making up our mind.

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  8. I have enjoyed the whole thing and have all the DVD's so we watched all the season after the Jan 28th release of the DVD. I am surprised Rose hasn't gotten pregnant with all her craze for affection. Also why her parents aren't checking in on her surprises me. I admire Edith's decision to take responsibility.

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  9. At the end of Sunday's episode, I did not know whether to smile at the incredibly sweet scene of Carson and Mrs. Hughes wading hand-in-hand into the sea...or cry because it's all over for another season! One thing I know, there are plenty of places for the story line to go...so many loose ends and possibilities!

    I loved the scene with Violet and Isobel in the car as they leave for London, with all the quips being bandied about. Those two! There does seem to be a softer edge though since Isobel nursed Violet through her illness.

    I don't care for the character of Martha Levinson. (Or is it Shirley MacLaine that I don't care for?)

    Downton Abbey is definitely one of the bright spots of winter, isn't it?


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  10. Glad you are enjoying Downton as much as I did. It was Sunday nights for me.

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  11. Well of course I feel like everyone else...sorry it's over already! I had a hard time with the time jump myself. I would have rather seen Edith having the baby. For the first time though, I actually kind of like her, lol. I find the bantering between Violet and Isobel...soo funny. And I really like the addition of Paul Giamatti. I like Mosley and Baxter, but that final scene with Carson and Hughes would be hard to beat. Soo sweet! I am soo tired of Thomas and his constant need to be a jerk, but then every series needs the bad guy. Looking forward to seeing where they go with so many of these story lines.

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  12. Ditto on Thomas Debbie, and of course every story must have it's jerk. I loved Carson and Hughes scene. Yes there is plenty story lines for JF to continue this series. I am so sorry there are so few episodes each season. Seems like things did rush too much in this last episode. Love the Prince story line. I love history and was up on that part. You do a great recap Vee. Thanks.

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  13. This was such a good ending to the season. Tied up a few ends but left enough hanging that we'll all be eager for the next season.
    About the brown shirts - they originated from assault troops during Imperial Germany, and over time evolved into a pre-Nazi group under Adolf Hitler's influence. The name came from shirts they were assigned to wear - an order left over from WWI - cheap and available. I believe that once Hitler's Nazi Youth party was formed the "sturmabteilung" (SA) group was disbanded, later to emerge as the hated SS.
    I wonder if Mr. Gregson was attacked and later died, or if somehow, he's joined in with the party and that was a rumor. I don't think we've heard the end of his story yet. Good for Edith for wanting to bring her baby home. Such courage that would have taken in the culture of the time. Mr. Drew seems to have gotten the picture and is willing to aid Edith in every way possible. He seems kind and I hope he stays that way and doesn't decide to later blackmail her or something. What a suspicious nature I have.
    The budding romance between Isobel and Lord what's his name is rather sweet. I like to see Isobel flustered once in awhile.
    Daisy did so well in saying goodbye to Alfred and in refusing to go to America. She is developing a mind of her own and is maturing, which is good to see. I loved the scene when Daisy went outside for a few minutes to pull herself together after Alfred left and Mrs. Patmore tells Daisy how proud she is of her. Yet no matter how pleased, a fleeting touch on the shoulder was all the demonstration she could muster. It conveyed so much of her depth of emotion combined with British reticence.
    The seashore - so lovely. Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes wading into the sea - makes me sigh just thinking about it.

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    1. Thank you for the excellent background on the Brown Shirts.

      Your comments about Daisy reminded me that I had wanted to include a photo of her looking lovely in pink on the beach with Ethan. She's becoming a self-assured young woman. Fellowes could take her story forward after Downton Abbey when she inherits the farm! ☺

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  14. So very happy that there will be a season 5. I was hoping they wouldn't just cut us off.
    I thought the conversation between Violet and Martha upstairs in the hall was so rich. The looking in the mirror and seeing the future as opposed to seeing the past and how Martha is ready for the future and poor Violet is not going to be happy with the future at all. Loved Daisy's line "I never get excited"
    Hope you all survive the next Vortex!!

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  15. Another great wrap up by you. : ) The only thing bad about Season 5 is that we have to wait SO LONG to see it!!

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  16. Two hours of heaven………..how will Julian Fellowes ever be able to conclude such a wonderful tale? There are so many story lines to continue and build upon, and each one so interesting. The characters are all amazing, the acting superb, the costumes and sets gorgeous. Everything in this series is topnotch and, I know, I know…..I'm a displaced Brit, but I think all who are wrapped up in DA will have to agree, nobody does this type of show like the Brits!!!

    Thanks Vee for putting so much time into these posts - you've truly made it even more interesting. Now if you could only make them film earlier, get the next season up and running in the UK and here at the same time - that would be wonderful, LOL!

    Hugs - Mary

    P.S. Mr. Bates a pickpocket, yes; and also a forger methinks! Guess one can gain quite an 'education' behind those prison walls!

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  17. I was sorry it was over, Vee, but I felt that there was waaaaay too much going on in this episode. I kept wondering if I'd missed something! In fact, I thought I missed an episode when Edith already had the baby!! The one redemption for me was the ending with Mrs. Hughes and Carson holding hands... Ahhhh!! Luckily I have it taped and can watch this episode again.

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  18. New to your blog and commenting here. I am just enthralled that your blog is devoted to this new love for us (my husband/me). That has been the biggest shock of all - that my husband and I have fallen in love with this superbly entertaining PBS show. If you knew my husband this speaks volumes! =) Thank you for your blog! I just wish the season consisted for the more typical 10-15 episodes. It's over way too soon. The ending with Carson/Hughes was absolutely perfect! I had just told my husband earlier in the episode "my goodness, those two just need to get on with it." hahaha! I can hardly wait to see what happens with Edith and her baby. I am absolutely fascinated with all the intricacies of the characters, time period, costuming, and historical points that I don't know yet. The show opens up so many interesting paths to pursue and research. This show has become our most favorite escapism time period of the week. Nothing de-stresses like Downton. I think Isobel and Violet could certainly have their own spin-off hour each week. Love them! And I do hope Violet is ok too as someone mentioned above being concerned about her/her character. My husband's fav character is Daisy - hope she gets even more time on screen next season.

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    1. Hi AllysonB~

      Lovely to have you pop in, but I wouldn't want you to think that this blog is all Downton Abbey all the time. That said, there'll be a few little tidy-ups tomorrow, mostly photos. Daisy did look so lovely at the beach!

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  19. Your summaries have been wonderful and I so appreciate the time it takes!! I;m afraid I am going to be wordy!!!!
    OK, the costuming in this episode was so wonderful. So glad I DVR'd it so I can go back again and watch for more details. Daisy... I think there is a series there in her life when she takes over her late husband's farm when her FIL passes. She has grown so much since we first met her. The other flash I had on Sunday night was an Albert and Daisy restaurant in London ~ as she has become such a good cook as well! Bates::: when he handed over the letter, I immediately thought HE was the forger. And then the pickpocket moment... all kinds of sides of Mr. Bates we have been shown. I am thinking, if 9 months had passed since Mr. Green met his demise on the streets of London, are the police still digging into that "cold case" or will that surface again. Thomas the Mean/ Bully. When will he finally get his? Will anything come of Tom and the Teacher wandering in Downton? I am not sure I really liked her much, and wonder if she will show up in Season 5. Edith and the pig farmer raising her baby..... will people just think it is normal for his adopted child and Sybbie and George to become BFFs? Because I am certain there will be many play-dates going on. Cora..... what exactly is in the drinks she consumes? Did anyone else find her kind of flitty and giggly this season with a few breathy words between the giggles? Not sure what she was "doing". Worried about dear Violet. She seems much more frail since her illness. Still love Isabel. Paul Giamati was great,,, but I kept thinking "John Adams" from his wonderful HBO series!! I'm thinking the Power of Attorney Edith signed will become an important piece in Season 5, and I wonder if the father of her baby won't come back shouting "Heil". The ending was wonderful and SO much more wonderful than the ending of Season 3. You mentioned a Christmas Episode............. is that true?? Or will Season 5 just kick off w/ a Christmas episode? Sorry this is so long....... sorry it is the end of the season, too!!!! And THANKS again!

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    1. Chris~

      This episode is considered a Christmas Episode since it shows at Christmastime in the UK. It's a little deceiving to present it that way here. It's episode 9/Christmas Special for the UK and Episode 8 (because 1 and 2 were shown the first night) here in the US and Canada. Thank you for all your thoughts. Yes, it was clearly shown that Bates is the forger both times that he's been busy at that job...once to give some money to Moseley that he would not otherwise have taken and once to gain access to Sampson's hotel room.

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  20. Since no one's commented on this yet, I want to mention the costumes. Beautiful. I didn't think I cared for 20s fashions much, but did you catch Cora's blue beaded dress when they were presented to the king and queen? And what about Mary's pale blue ensemble when they were at the art gallery? I read that the costume designer really struggled keeping on budget this season! I love to rewatch episodes and hit pause and just drink it all the gorgeous set and costumes. So many details that I miss as I'm concentrating on the story line.
    I'm not happy w/ the Bates and Anna situation. Seems like everything should be good now, but there's still something dark there. Love Daisy. And love that Baxter stood up to Thomas. So many good things to talk about. Thank you Vee for the great recap.
    Lark Rise to Candleford is a wonderful series, and also recommend the British series Cranford and Return to Cranford. Lovely.

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    1. I do love the Lark Rise to Candleford series, but have not been able to appreciate the Cranford series, though I know many gals who have. Thanks for stopping by!

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  21. I guess I won't read these comments or join in as I slept through most of it if you can believe it. Especially seeing your photos makes me realize I slept a lot! That I had taken some cold medicine is my excuse. I'm looking for time to rewatch it all. :-)

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  22. First, I was aghast how bad Shirley MacLaine looked; I know we're all getting older, but she needs to tap into one of her previous lives and buy a mirror! Okay, that was catty...maybe some of Violet is rubbing off on me:-) I was surprised by the ticket in Mr. Bates' pocket--could it really be? I find myself liking the story of Mr. Green stops with the end of the season and Mary throwing the ticket in the fire. Can any of us blame him if he did give him a push? I love, love, the history lessons that are woven into this fictional family...the Prince of Wales will not go down because of the Crawley's and the Brown Shirts--precursor to the Nazi Party having something to do with Michael's disappearance is done well. Everything about Downton Abbey is appealing and I'm very happy there will e Season 5.

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    1. Haha. I love that comment on Shirley MacLaine. lol I love all the bickering that Violet and Cousin Isobel do. :-)

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  23. My favorite ending of all! It was so sweet to see the noble and wise Mrs Hughes holding the gruff and proper Mr. Carson's hand in the surf. I had to laugh because I would have picked a museum or the Crystal Palace to visit as a treat, as Mr. Carson wanted to do, instead of the shore, but I guess enjoying the outdoors was a special treat for those inside all day, every day.
    Mr. Bates certainly has a long deep story, and I wonder if that will come to the forefront next season? I am also curious as to what will play out with Edith bringing her little girl back to England.
    I agree with Susan above that Shirley MacLaine looked ghastly! She had on so much makeup that she looked like a taxidermist version of herself. I like Paul Giamatti as an actor, but his role on this show was rather wishy washy. I had the feeling Americans were not well received or respected by English society in those days (and maybe even in these days?) and Fellows made them all look a like oafish?
    As usual, I enjoyed seeing the period dress and the hoopla at the palace was impressive.
    In any event, I am looking forward to next season!

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  24. PS: of course I meant to write above " a little oafish"..lol!

    I went over to PBS to see the excerpts of the actors discussing Mary and I have to admit I am always startled to see them as present day people--lol! In my mind they will always be the characters on Downton Abbey. I guess thta is the problem with type casting

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    1. Pat, that's another reason why I want to see 'A Winter's Tale' and 'Non-Stop,' for Lady Sybil is in the first one and Lady Mary in the second. Also Lord Grantham is in the movie 'Monument Men' which I want to see.

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  25. I really enjoyed reading your recap Vee and also all the comments. It occurred to me just how wonderful it would be to have a tea party to sit around discussing it.

    I love the costuming and their style in general.

    I smiled at this moment...
    Ethan: Would you care to try one of these? I think they're quite nice.
    Carson: Have you lost your mind?
    Ethan: Why? What have I done?
    Carson: You're a footman, not a traveling salesman. Please keep your opinions on the catering to yourself.

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    1. Oh that was fun! Poor Ethan was totally out of his element. I liked the way he dared to correct Carson that his name wasn't "Levinson." Ha!

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  26. I can't join in as I've never seen even one episode of this series......:(

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    1. BJ, when you've nothing better to do, go to the library and get Seasons 1-4 of Downton Abbey and have a DA marathon weekend. You won't be sorry. :-)

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  27. Well, well, well... Did you mention that the relationship between Freda Dudley Ward and the Prince of Wales was an adulterous one? She was married at the time to the Right Honorable William Dudley Ward. That's why she was a bit chagrined by the comment that Mrs. Levinson made about reading about Freda in the American papers. I loved that part! I can't stand Thomas, although I think he's a perfectly wonderful actor, because we're all supposed to hate him. I also think it's interesting that we always use the term 'card shark,' whereas I'm pretty sure that Gregson used the term 'card sharp.' It would probably be a good idea if I'd looked that up before commenting on it, but I think that's what he said. Maybe that's another one of those things where the Brits say one thing and we say another. I think The Dowager Countess was trying very hard and being kind when she was addressing Edith. Edith is unduly unkind, in my opinion. Her grandmother could have called her names and turned away, but she tried to help her out (and the Crawley family name as well, I realize). I was all for Charles Blake until Mary found out that he had money. Now I'm rooting for Gillingham, as much as I don't like his Labrador Retriever behavior. Blake is much more German Shepherd, which I like, clever, cautious. And last of all, Bates would be really handy to have around, wouldn't he. I thought it was interesting that although Rose bought the story about Bates 'finding' the letter, Mary didn't. She knew better. Anyway, Vee, this has been so much fun and you've done a terrific job of weekly recap. Thank you so much! How can we possibly wait for Season Five????

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  28. Vee, you have taken on a big task of doing these blogposts on DA. It must take a lot of work to review each episode and critique it. I did manage to view the first 2 episodes on the plane from Calgary to Montreal last night and enjoyed them. Maybe I'll get to see the rest on the link you shared with me. It's a great and interesting show.

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  29. Sorry, but one more comment. I totally do NOT buy the idea that Bates would carelessly leave a ticket stub in his pocket. No way. Julian Fellowes, shame on you. We're not that stupid. And Bates definitely is not that stupid.

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  30. I have one more thought too...does anyone else think Michael might be a British spy and that's what he's in Germany? I don't believe he's married either and that's why he left everything to Edith--food for thought until Season 5 comes around.

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  31. Oh-There are so many avenues that could be open for discussion! It was an amazing windup. I do think there will be more to the Bates/Anna storyline. I thought maybe Bates had gone to confront the valet that raped Anna and when the valet saw Bates he panicked and ran into the street (to escape Bates) and was hit by a vehicle-thus saving Bates from actually killing him. Bates came home with a sly, self-satisfied smile but he did NOT look like he had committed murder.

    I am glad Edith will have her baby close by. I loved the interaction between her and the farmer. She is becoming softer as the years move her along and I think we will see a different woman when the baby has been brought close to home. I wonder if they will show the baby being taken from the family that adopted it? I am glad that Edith had the gumption to stand up to her Aunt by saying that "no one else can do what needs be done"..or something to that effect. I also think that Gregson (is that his name) is probably a POW somewhere and will return and then there will be the devil to pay with Edith and the baby and that a proper family might be formed there.

    I kind of like the tie in to American relatives...she is such a hoot (Shirley M). Anyway, I could write on for paragraphs but will stop here. Thanks, Vee. GREAT post! xo Diana

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  32. I'm always last it seems. I gotta talk about Tom Branson--that whole Thomas being a tattle tale and an angry and jealous little fella..I hate that Tom didn't get to explain himself to Lord G. and that he might think a little less of him . But I LURVE that Thomas didn't get a big result ..apparently.

    tom and edith--I noticed he picked up the basket from edith in the last episode as if he knew she were pregnant. I think there are signs and whispers from this episode that maybe something might happen between these two ...because I do not like Sara Bunting.

    The actor playing Tom was born in 1981 when I was 18...gosh he's young.

    I like Napier and I think he has honor considering the whole Mr Pamook incident. I like gillingham--he reminds me of the lead singer of the band Coldplay. I like Blake because he is like a pirate. hard choice , Mary.

    Violet is looking frail. Isabel and that Lord something-sweet. Rose-she is growing on me. Mary-classy dame. Edith-mama. Daisey cute in that beach outfit. Shirley Maclaine-love her. Ivy good for her.

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  33. published before I meant too. I love ISIS the dog and that she was all through the season and her lovely bum is the opening of each show. I have to watch the opening credits every time. Ok, that's enough. I need to watch it all over again.

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  34. Oh dear, well, here's my two cents.. I've liked Ivy, but felt the scriptwriter might have been in a rush to finish her off. I can see her wishing to advance herself, but her grousing after hearing Alfred's good news just seemed so out of character.

    Is anyone else as tired of Rose's spoiled behavior? I understand she and her mother have a horrid relationship, and initially, Rose had my sympathies.. despite seeing her go off the rails, running around with a married man. But her determination to use others as a cudgel with which to strike at her mother, no matter the cost, has me wondering what else in her history might have had her mother to treat her as she did.

    With Edith, I'm just so torn. She's so flighty, leaping from one situation to another. I liked Mr. Gregson initially, but first his lack of commitment to his marriage vows, and then his lying to Edith about what Matthew had said to him, in last year's Christmas special, when they were out, either fishing or deer stalking. Claiming he'd ordered Gregson to end it, when he'd only advised it. I think he had Edith sized up pretty well, knowing that would change her mind from not seeing any chance at happiness with a married man. Gregson has had some good moments, but he was not an honorable man. I dread what will happen now that Edith is planning on bringing her daughter to Downton. She's given Drewe an opportunity to not only blackmail her, but to destroy that little girl's life.. we can't be sure that he's a good person, he's still an unknown quantity. That also leads me to Mary's new suitors, given that Gillingham seemed to be grilling Charles Blake about Downton's prospects, I can't help but wonder if he's pursuing Mary for monetary reasons. I actually like Mary, have done so since the beginning, and hope she's happy. I hope she decides on either Evelyn Napier (it's always been plain he loves & truly likes Mary), or Charles Blake.

    I enjoyed Paul Giamatti's portrayal of Cora's brother Howard. I'm a fan of his, but initially dreaded this, because in all candor, I loathe Shirley Maclaine, and have found her portrayal of Martha Levinson as annoying as every other performance she's ever given, she's not a good actress, all one sees when she appears in something is Shirley Maclaine.. unlike Maggie Smith, who has the talent to find the character and embody it.

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    1. I'm with you on Napier! He is clearly the better man all the way around. Gillingham is looking for money (I think) and Blake seems to know Freda too well. Ha!

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    2. Compared to Matthew...Evelyn Napier doesn't! I think we'll all be surprised by a fourth suitor in Season 5!

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    3. Vee, I'm totally agree about the Freda-Blake connection. Hmmmmm. Why does he know her? My husband says it's because they're both wealthy and run in the same circles. Well, we'll see. I think there's going to be more to this story.

      I agree that Shirley Maclaine is annoying, but I think Julian Fellowes is intentionally portraying Americans as empty-headed, brash, and annoying.

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    4. Compared to Matthew, nobody does! Wahhhh!

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  35. I was very happy with the ending this year, Vee.
    No major cliff hangers in the end, thank goodness!

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  36. I'm enjoying Downton again through your eyes Vee!
    What a marvellous program - the English do subtly to perfection!
    I can't wait for the fifth series later in the year!

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  37. I loved this episode. It ended on a happy note. So proud of Edith and Daisy. Loved, loved, loved the beach scene with Mrs. Hughes and Carson. So happy the ticket was burned. Happy that Daisy stayed and Ivy went to America. Thanks for sharing Vee, love the pictures and the recap of this episode. ~ Abby

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  38. Totally enjoyed reading all the comments! So what do you think Mr. Barrow has over the maid? I have my thoughts which would play into the coming situation in Europe. Loved the back and forth between Violet and Isobell, do not care for the teacher and Tom duo. I hope Edith's Michael returns, that girl has had too much bad luck! But it is all up to Mr. Fellowes. Great discussion, Vee.

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  39. Well I'm not going to go on and on, but let's just say that I cannot wait for the next season!!!

    xo
    Leann

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  40. I don't watch Downton Abbey, but as I was viewing this post, my thought was that I must thank you for the effort and creativity you put into creating your posts. It's such a lovely place to visit.

    P.S. Love that little arrow in the bottom right hand corner!

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Thank you for commenting! If you ask a question, I will answer it here in case anyone else was wondering. Reply boxes are provided so that you may feel free to interject a thought on any comment. I do love good conversation!