I really expected this show to have, like, seven seasons, with the seventh consisting of thirteen episodes (Episodes 53-65) instead of the usual nine. And the Christmas Speical/season finales being, like, 97 minutes.
Season One (1912, 1913, 1914)
Season Two (1916, 1917, 1918, 1919)
Season Three (1920, 1921)
Season Four (1922, 1923)
Season Five (1924)
Season Six (1925, 1926)
Season Seven (1927, 1928, 1929)
Wow, you had big plans for the characters (and yes, I got that you knew you were asking for a fairy-dusted fairytale ending).
To be honest, I am of the view that this show should end with questions unanswered and loose ends because it is the natural way that lives are lead. If we stopped to look at a family at any one moment, we wouldn't find all of them in happy endings, we'd find them embarking on more projects to reach further satisfaction. I think it's also important to realise that ambitious people (like some of the characters in Downton), are always striving and always have projects so they will never "finish".
If I had planned the end of Downton, I think the priority would always have been to set Mary and Edith up in good marriages, afterall their love lives have fueled most of Downton's longest story-arcs and we must have some peace. In addition, I would have wanted Hughes and Carson to marry, as they did, because they have been constant support for each other, and Anna and Bates to have their baby because they have always been short of happiness. In my (personal) book, that is all that is required to make me feel complete when it ended. The rest of the characters could be shown to be on their way to a happy ending, but I am happy being left with the thought that some day, Isobel and Merton will work out, Patmore and Mason could get married, Daisy and Andy may be romantic or just very good friends etc. Therefore, I think 6 series was alright.
However, I am a little disappointed with how my "priorities" have actually turned out:
1). Mary-Talbot - rushed romance, rushed wedding, and not enough screen time. I think he is good for her but there was too much hospital and not enough of the cheeky grins they like to share. For Mary-Matthew, there was much more screen time and discussion about them, and lots of cute smiles before Matthew even proposed the first time. I want to say that Matthew-Mary are a cute, sweet romance (I imagine like ballroom foxtrot if they were to dance), but Mary-Talbot a fiery and empassioned romance (like a tango or paso doble).
2). Edith-Bertie - they are turning out alright (if the CS delivers, otherwise I'm throwing a hissy fit). However, I don't like the idea that I still think Michael was Edith's best match because he encouraged her to spread her wings, find out she was a great writer - he empowered her which is what I think a great relationship is about. Bertie is just... I don't know him and what drives him. He seems like he'd be happy watching Edith as she does her job and I just thought Michael was more "for her" (sorry, I know it's a dampner). I do, however, accept that he makes her happy which is why I want them together. But I still don't like the fact that the person I think Edith was best suited to isn't the final one.
3). Anna and Bates - her pregnancy is progressing so slow, she's barely showing! I'm worried I won't get to see baby Bates... I know I should be happy assuming the Baby will come and be healthy, but with Anna and Bates, we never get a happy ending so they really need to prove it is possible!
4). Hughes-Carson - kerching! This paid out as cutely and as true to their characters as possible. BUT, Hughes took Carson's nonsense for one episode too many. Come on Elsie, you're a sassy lady, should've whipped him into shape sooner.
Even though I love Bertie and he's one of my favourite characters, I have to agree with you. I think the big problem for Edith at the start of Downton was that she had no direction and she though she was no good at anything. Discovering her strengths and finding a purpose made her stronger and nicer, and Michael was so good for her in that regard. Bertie has some of those exact same problems - he says in the Series 5 CS that he didn't know what to do when he left the army and he got the agent job because Peter felt sorry for him.
Still, I think they could work out well. Bertie obviously utterly adores Edith and I think that will help her to believe that she's the kind of girl men can be mad about. And maybe she will help Bertie find his purpose in life besides just being a Marquess.
I am also in agreement. Michael was Edith's once-in-a-lifetime irreplaceable true love, just as Matthew was for Mary, and Sybil for Tom. I remain greatly disappointed that they killed him off after making us wait as long as we did wondering if he would come back.
Also, it certainly does seem that maybe Edith will do for Bertie what Michael did for her, and help him spread his own wings and see his potential. Bertie definitely cares deeply for Edith, and Edith knows he can make her happy, even if they both know Bertie can never fully replace Michael in her heart.
I think tihs may deserve a new thread, I'll make one soon but reply to what you said here:
I know it'll be nice if Edith, combined with his new title as Marquis, gives Bertie that feeling of empowerment. However, the conversation that really bothered me with Bertie was the 2014 CS where he said he said something like he had no burning ambitions and he didn't know what he wanted to do.
I feel like Edith (before Michael) was actually very different, she didn't know what she wanted to do BUT she had an ambition of being useful and finding her niche (like learning to drive and going to the farm, writing for the magazine etc.) If you like, Edith had a desire that Bertie doesn't seem to have. So, although Michael helped her find direction, it was all her drive that she possessed and he was her support network. Bertie, on the other hand, is being given the support by his title and may be by Edith, but I just don't feel he'll have the natural drive that Edith did.
Good point about Edith being driven by herself to do something with her life whereas Bertie did not seem to have that. Of course in the Christmas special that could change, but right now that's up in the air. Still, I agree Edith had more of a drive than Bertie.
188.8.131.52 wrote: Well the last episode was a little longer than an hour. Maybe the holiday special will be two hours long instead of one and a half.
I would kill for a reunion of those characters lost: Jimmy, Gwen, Lady Rose (confirmed, though)... But also, some flashbacks of how the servants came to Downton and their first interactions with the Crowleys (Sybil included). And some aftermath about what happened with Thomas. An orange, seriously?
Well, we've got 2/3 of the reunions you wanted! Jessica Brown Findlay (Sybil) really wouldn't ever come back for a prequel because she was so desperate to sever all ties with the show - whereas Dan Stevens and Lily James still turn up to Downton press events, Jessica doesn't.
We'll see a bit more of Thomas hopefully, in the CS, and see how he's progressing. The orange, as much as we may scowl, was considered an exotic luxury so it was probably a very precious gift (like in Little Women and, I think, A Christmas Carol). Shows how much times have changed, eh?
I would have preferred for Mary to stay alone. We all fell in love with Matthew over so many episodes as we got to see how their relationship developed. Then, one day, just because the show needs to end, she is married off to some guy we know nothing about. In the show we are told that Mary is madly in love with him but I don't know how or why that happened. Just because Violet comes along one day and tells her that love is important that fixes all differences among them. I think that we loved Matthew so much that it would have been fair for this Talbot guy to make us fall in love with him too. Matthre was generous, kind, honest, bla bla bla, Henry is.... tall.
I think they could easily have kept Mary unmarried, at least. They could have ended it with her getting into a relationship and building something with Henry so that it looked like the early stages of the Matthew-Mary, then we could draw the conclusion that it was heading in that direction. Basically, I prefer if they show you a relationship forming (like with Matthew) rather than telling you that a relationship is forming (as they did with Henry).
I think it would have be a strong ending because it would be a bit like Scarlett O'Hara and Tara, her land and saving it was what she lived for, kind of like Mary, and love of a man is good but only if it suits her. Hoever, I think they did have to show some romance (not necessarily marriage) for Mary, I know I would be upset otherwise...
However, I am also becoming quite fond of Henry. I find him more interesting than the other planks she's dealt with since Matthew, and I like that she's not as shallow as S1 Mary who always thought of money and position at the expense of love. She almost lost Matthew over it and Fellowes gave her some bitter-sweet luck when Lavinia died.
I wish they'd have chucked Tony Gillingham after season 4 and got on with Henry in early season 5 instead.
What do you think?