Image courtesy of Instagram (@downtonabbey_official)
For anyone who's keeping track, we're now at part 6 of a 7 part season (not counting the 'Christmas Special). Now I'm no showrunner, but to me, this is the point in the season where all the major ducks ('plot points' as they call it in the business) of the story are in place - which is probably why this episode felt a lot like everything was getting set up for a killer final ep of the season. (Or here's hoping at least).
The Fake Out
Hands up if you had a moment of panic when the Dowager Duchess got ill? (If you're listening, Julian Fellows: the day you kill off Maggie Smith is the day I stop watching.). But luckily, it was just a case of the 'Dame Cold', a form of 'bronchitis' that afflicts primarily aristocratic curmudgeons, and can only be cured by bizarre copper pots (?) and games of cards with your nemesis. Point: I think we can safely rule out the Dowager's death as the season ending plot twist. Here are my highlights for the week:
Best Valentine's Date Idea
Listen up, fellas: Jack Ross is a man who knows how to plan a romantic rendezvous - a boat, a bridge, and swans?! Lady Edith (and her fabulous hat) never stood a chance.
Best Rom-Com Send Up
I'm firmly on Team Blake in the battle for Mary's stone cold heart, and this week's adventure with the pigs (you had to be there) was a lovely development in their courtship, if a trifle heavy-handed in the 'look at how they get down and dirty together' metaphor. Of course, the whole thing was pulled straight from every rom-com ever (mudfight included), but I'm choosing to see it as a clever send-up of the genre, and a sly subversion of all the expectations put on Mary as a romantic heroine. Also, it was pretty cute. What were your favourite moments from last night's episode?
Downton Abbey Season 4, Part 5: The New Arrival
Downton Abbey Season 4, Part 4: Nothing Happens