Downton Abbey: Episode 6:01- Review/Recap

Your lot’s finished. You’re going down and we’re coming up…

That’s not a statement to be taken lightly, even if it was spoken by a woman attempting blackmail. But even if those words were not meant to be taken as gospel, nevertheless, they were the equivalent of handwriting on the wall; words that once absorbed, cannot be ignored or deemed unseen.

In fact, the first domino would fall shortly thereafter, as the goods and possessions of a neighboring estate were being auctioned off after the house and lands had been sold.

From near life-size portraits that might be too big for a London townhouse, to sporting scenes that adorned the walls of lesser rooms, everything must go – up to and including wedding gifts from long ago. At the auction, the departing owner, Sir John Darnley would say to Robert:

I’m afraid we held on for far too long, and now there’s nothing left. Learn from us!

Here, it is 1925, and change is coming. Not that it was unexpected. So begins Downton Abbey‘s final season. Episode One of the Sixth Season of Downtown aired last night. I watched it on WEDU the PBS outlet here in Sarasota.

I am considering covering this final season on a weekly basis, so if  I do, I hope you will stop by regularly and often. To make it quite clear, beginning this week, and for the future, at least with regard to Downton, there will be spoilers.

To my delight, (not sure why as I neither ride, shoot, nor have I an English country side at hand to do either) the episode began with another fox-hunt. The horses and hounds. The gallop through the estate’s country side.

How marvelous. Of course, just like the first fox-hunt, from an earlier season – we again were not treated to sight of a fox. The highlight was Lady Mary wearing riding britches, a fact that while not quite shocking, did not go unnoticed by Lord Grantham. Mary would say that this was a much safer way to ride than sitting side-saddle. But her horse stumbled in a muddy creek bed and Mary was tossed from her ride. Fortunately, neither the horse nor rider suffered any harm. The same cannot be said  for Lady Mary’s riding attire.

But I think it might be said that this was the only misstep of the episode. The script for the opener by Julian Fellowes brought almost every character into play. Some story lines were resolved and others brought to our attention for the first time. And, as expected, other situations remained pending. The beauty was in the seamless flow as we were informed and entertained simultaneously. As we would breathe a sigh of relief based one bit of news, we would also see new storm clouds gathering.

Finally, finally, and finally – the long running and unresolved murder charges against Anna Bates, and the lingering suspicion about John Bates were resolved. No longer will Anna be ‘out on bail’, and no longer will John Bates be looking over his shoulder to see if the law was looking at him.

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