Downton Abbey‘s third season ended its run on PBS this past weekend and it seems like there is a lot to talk and complain about! (I haven’t been watching the season, but I have been keeping up with the #spoilers, and OH BOY.) So please free to talk amongst yourselves! Did you hate it? Love it? Are you sadmad? Something about Thomas?

Comments (42)
  1. I haven’t watched this show really since the middle of the second season, but on Sunday I forced one of my friends to watch The Amazing Race so in return I watched Downton with her.

    And I can’t believe how much I yelled at the maid who kept hitting on Branson!!! Know your place, you horrible girl! And I was very worried about Mrs. Patmore (who had always been a fave), so I’m glad she got to have a laugh with Hughes. And now that Matthew the-most-boring-man-in-the-British-Empire is dead, I might just watch season 4. Thumbs-up all around.

  2. I have not been a fan of the length of the episodes. I mean, yes, I did watch Traffic yesterday and have been watching 2-3 episodes of House of Cards each weekend day and watched about 6 episodes of Girls yesterday, but man-o-man, I do not have time to sit down for an hour and a half to watch Matthew die and Thomas gain a new friend, etc!

  3. I laughed a lot at the ending, mostly because it reminded me of Marissa Cooper’s fateful exit at the hands of the Surf Nazi. #ripmarissaneverforget

  4. This is an episode late, but:

    In what world is “Lady Cora’s soap” a fiendishly impenetrable brain teaser of a clue? “‘Lady Cora’s Soap? Why, the only association I can possibly think of is the time that Lady Cora slipped on a bar of soap and had a miscarriage while O’Brien was attending to her. Remember? During that period when O’Brien thought that she would be fired? Now why would that have gotten O’Brien so flustered? I can’t imagine.”

    Couldn’t Anna, the World’s Greatest Detective before Batman was born, have put two and zero together there?

  5. UGH. JUST UGH. Like, I wasn’t completely shocked at Matthew’s death, because I knew Dan Stevens wanted out, but what an inelegant and stupid way for him to go. I think maybe Julian Fellowes was miffed he wanted to leave and this was just a big middle finger?

    • Now you’ve got me wondering what an “elegant death” would and should look like… The only thing I thought was stupid about the way he died was that the car’s airbags should have saved his life easily.

  6. Maybe I’m an awful person, but I lolled when Matthew died. It was so desperately foreshadowed, and really the only reason that boring, preachy, indicisive man was on the show was to provide an heir. Mission accomplished, get him outta here! I had heard the actor was leaving, but thought with Sybil’s death they weren’t going to kill off ALL the characters so maybe they’d just replace him and we could all pretend not to notice?

    • I would love a good soap opera replacement! That’d be so hilarious. My mom and I were just talking about it last night! (My mom was very upset and has said “Maybe I won’t watch next season.” But she will.)

      • My mom hasn’t seen season one and it’s literally causing a rift between us. She doesn’t understand why I hate Matthew and love Bates and I have to explain a ton of small things to her all the damn time. I’ve offered to get her Netflix and then she yells at me for wasting all of $20. And, to me, it’s worth it so we’d stop fighting about the Granthams… but nope. And there is no one I want to discuss Queen of Versailles with more than my mom and it’s seriously making me insane.

        • Aww…maybe just buy the DVDs and send them to her without telling her. Then she’ll just get a package with them and it will be too late for her to scold you about wasting money!

          And Queen of Versailles! So good. I want to try to find that place, since it’s somewhere here in the metro-Orlando area.

          • That would make such a good feature. I bet local kids are there using it as a place for underage drinking. Or you could go the toxic mold angle, bc it’s still sweeps. Or you could seek it out and get arrested for trespassing and have to write a story about yourself (my #1 fear when I was in the news).

            Oh, my mom would find a way to yell at me, especially about DVDs. At least Netflix is returnable and has a big selection. She wouldn’t yell at me in a mean way… it’s just how we talk. Loudly.

      • Downton Darko summer!

    • I liked the 10 minute “it’s so great we have Matthew” nonsense right up before the crash. Honestly, the only thing missing was him forgetting to sign the insurance forms before he got in that car… though that would totally be Lord Grantham’s awesome financial sense. I laughed so much at his interest in investing in the Ponzi scheme last week.

  7. Ah, the 1920s, when taking a beating for a man made him grudgingly become your friend.

    I wasn’t spoiled in advance, but the final minute totally screamed “LOOK OUT, MATTHEW!”

    It’s a shame that two actors choosing not to renew their contracts results in two plot lines involving children growing up without a parent around, but I’m not sure what the writer could have done with Matthew. There was no reason he would have left on an extended tour, for example. Death was the only option.

    I read recently that British television pays very poorly compared to American television (or Broadway, for that matter), which is why a lot of British actors jump ship after a bit of fame on British shows and end up in America.

    • Yeah, I read an interview where Fellowes was like, when an actor playing a family member wants to leave, the only option is death. Whereas if a downstairs person wants to leave they can just go out and get a new job or whatever. He was saying he couldn’t justify Matthew just leaving Downton and NEVER wanting to see his child, even if he and Mary did divorce or whatever. But, come on. What about a coma or something? Downton is glorified soap opera anyway. Or put him in the asylum with Mr. Editor’s wife! That’d be great. Then Edith and Mary might finally have something to bond over.

    • Death Was the Only Option is my new band name. Thanks!

  8. Sponsored comment from Laffy Taffy.

    The writing this season hasn’t been as sharp as the last seasons. The show should be called Downton *sigh* Shabby.

    Gross, I really should have read through this native advertising contract a bit more thoroughly.

  9. I watched this season twice and I STILL don’t understand what information got Bates out of jail. Somethin about what time his wife made pastry? What??

    • I don’t either…that storyline was so boring I pretty much tuned out when it was on.

    • Because the poison was in the pie? So she must have done it to herself? That whole plotline was ridiculous. I love this show to death because it is seriously so, so awful, but there is ZERO dramatic tension. The only thing that threw me was Sybil’s death.

  10. A spinoff called “Shrimpy in Bombay” would be AMAZING!

  11. I was so annoyed by the new maid hitting on Branson. I was glad she got the quick exit…but seriously what are they going to do with his character now? None of the respectable society girls will be interested in the former chauffeur, and Old Lady Grantham would kick him out of the family if he started something up with one of the help. Is he going to be sad and alone forever?

    Also… I was shocked at the amount of people who commented on the NYMag recap saying they wanted Branson and Mary to get together. WHAT?! In what world would that be a good thing? Terrible.

    • I saw that too! I guess people are thinking they were both widowed with babies and the grief will draw them together? But I’m like, ummm, hello, this is MARY we’re talking about.

  12. I stopped watching when they kept showing Mr. Bates in prison because I really hate police procedurals and I was embarrassed for myself every time I say Anna shuffling around in that stupid hat. Like what am I watching?

  13. Also, while the developments with Thomas have been entertaining, one can’t help but think that there’s been some inauthentic projection of contemporary sensibilities backward in time.

    At one point Carson (of all people!) actually said “He can’t help the way he is” which seems a pretty unlikely sentiment, plus there was the fact that so many people claimed to know about Thomas’s gayness. A more realistic picture would have half of them clutching their heads and reeling because they had no idea gayness even existed.

    A more realistic portrayal would be unpleasant to watch, of course, but it would be educational. Why do it if you are going to be so fake about it. Anyway, I’m no expert, but it seems off.

    • I’m not sure about how the British understood homosexuality, but if I remember correctly, it might not be as anachronistic as you think. According to the book “Gay New York,” the most common idea about men with same-sex attraction in this period is that they were “inverts,” or men born with women’s brains. Therefore, they were pretty receptive to the idea that they were “born this way.” Whether Carson would see it that way… maybe not, but it’s not absurd.

      • Yeah, I don’t want people to think I’m saying that everyone would have reacted like a fundamentalist Christian.

        From what I understand sexual encounters that we would consider gay were actually common in English boarding schools (so +1 for Robert referencing Eton). But it was also considered something that men do and then leave aside, like a universal bisexuality?

        There must have been some understanding that some men are really gay though. E.M. Forster’s Maurice [1913, pub. 1971] turns on a relationship between one man who eventually moves on to heterosexuality and/or the closet and another who can’t.

        It seems that such a realization would have been colored in darker tones, though, especially for someone downstairs, and in the eyes of the other servants. Thomas is not a member of the upper class who has an inborn claim to dignity.

  14. I was very, very upset. I could have handled “I have to go now. My planet needs me.”, but not Matthew’s lifeless blue eyes and trickling blood. :( :( :(

  15. I haven’t found a picture/gif of Carson holding baby Sybil yet and that is very distressing.

    Were any other Austen fans excited that the awful Susan (she was a Marchioness?) was Elizabeth Elliott from the 1995 Persuasion? And Mary Elliott from the 2007 adaptation is on Ripper Street? With Mr. Darcy? Everything’s coming up Austen.

  16. I wish there were more eps though.

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