Published February 17. 2013 4:00AM
Kathleen Edgecomb and Marisa Nadolny write a weekly blog in which they discuss "Downton Abbey" the day after each episode. Their latest blog is printed below, with the addition of their predictions for the season three finale, which airs at 9 p.m. tonight.
My Dear Kathleen,
It seems to me that all's well has ended well as of last Sunday's "Downton" double feature. Not sure what other drama can emerge in this week's two-hour 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 issues, making Project Baby is go.
Although, let's talk about that for a sec. I was secretly hoping that 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?
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.
I'm exhausted. What with last week's 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.
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 likes 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.
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.
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.
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 goodness 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...
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.
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-despite previews to the contrary. Instead, they'll take Baby Sybil, thereby annoying the hell out of Drinky Brother Branson.
Next, Thomas and Bates form some sort of unholy alliance to fix O'Brien but good. Or they just become pals, which is weird, too.
Also, I think Edith will go for it with Mr. Editor, which will serve to isolate her from the family all the more. MAYBE she'll get pregnant. And MAYBE SHE'll have to hightail it to Scotland, too, to carry out hypothetical pregnancy.
Anna's probably going to get preggo, too. Just seems par for that course, now that they have a new hovel...I mean, house.
What do YOU think's going to happen?
Here's my predictions:
Bates and Anna can't have children; Matthew and Mary won't have children.
Edith doesn't have an affair with flirty editor. But if she does, she will be too smart to have a child.
Cousin Rose will get pregnant.
Thomas and Mr. Carson will hook up and adopt.
Let's make a bet: I'll wager a cup of coffee that Edith gets her groove on with her editor. Deal?
I'll share a few predictions from our colleague, Ms. Lisa McGinley, who says perhaps Edith will write a column about married men carrying on like teenage girls.
She also notes, "I predict that Tom Branson is a big part of the long-term future of Downton; that Edith will have a more interesting life than Mary; that Thomas will become one of the good-ish guys (their empathy for him was surprising); and I'd like to see Miss O'Brien teetering on a bar of soap. But she seems to be totally isolated and always greenish with guilt. I wonder if she will be a victim of her own machinations."
All good points. O'Brien might just raise cranky spinsterhood to a fabulous new art form.
Another office "Downton" fan, Carol McCarthy, made some calls for the finale too.
She writes, "Daisy will take William's father up on the offer to run the farm and will announce she is leaving 'service.'
"Edith will follow wild cousin Rose's example and take up with her married editor. Mary's ex-beau Sir Richard Carlisle, newspaper tycoon, will find out about it and spread the scandal to get back at Mary.
"Thomas will go back to being evil, but will direct his deeds at O'Brien.
"Mr. Carson will realize he loves Mrs. Hughes, feelings he finds both exciting and 'foul.'
"And Baby Sybil of the giant head will wobble her noggin, acccidentally knocking over a Christmas candle and igniting a blaze at Downton."
I must say, dear Kathleen, that I agree with Carol on all points."
I'll take that on Edith bet. But I've lost every bet I've ever made, so what's your favorite coffee shop?
I'm intrigued with Thomas. Will he and Bates become friends.?
And I like the Rose story line. The stuffy Grantham/Crawley clan needs a little shaking up. And now we know Branson isn't ruffling any feathers-although he may be shearing sheep shortly.
If Ethel moves away to be closer to her son, I think she's gone from Downtown. She really wouldn't have any ties. Her kid isn't related to the family in any way, is he?
For a treat, next week I will make something from the "Downtown Abbey Cookbook." Any requests?
As long as it contains no kidneys, I'm cool with anything. That lovely pudding Ethel made comes to mind...
The "Downton Abbey" season finale airs at 9 p.m. tonight on PBS stations.