Downton Abbey series 2 episode 6 review

Don’t do it Mary! You would never have married a bore so definitely don’t settle for a bully. You have nothing to lose anyway – the cripple and the fallen woman can roll (insensitive?) into the sunset together.

Except he’s not a cripple is he?

Good show Mr Stevens, anyway, for some gut-wrenchingly stark acting upon hearing of your usurper’s return. Thankfully it seems that your soul-searching won’t need to continue next week. A pity it was your only chance for proper alone time with Mary. Now Lavinia’s bloody well back in her drab dresses and plain manner.

I must admit that I didn’t think Mary would be a strong enough pull to make Carson leave Downton; but then Carson was played a little off-kilter for my liking. Granted he is an immaculate example of a very precise segment of social history, but was anyone else uncomfortable when he mentioned men’s acceptable lack of thought but a women’s need to say no? Carson how rigid of you.

So the big story this week was the return of Patrick … Crawley? Gordon? How convenient the disfigured face, the amnesia and the 6 year cultivation of a Canadian accent. Probably some shrapnel wound knocked this gentleman down and inch or two. And it’s likely that all the hard labour transformed his slight frame into a rugby player’s shoulders.

Sceptical? Moi? You bet I am. Clearly I, like Mary, am rooting for Matthew. But in all seriousness, even if the improbable sequence of events were true, even if he had developed a Canadian accent, HE WOULD STILL HAVE THE SAME VOICE. In true Downton fashion, though, my bile is balanced by pathos for poor Edith, and I’m intrigued to see what she does next.

On the subject of intrigue, what has Mr Bates done?

There are some areas that concern me in this series and which I have ignored thus far – simply for lack of anything to say. Happy day though it was when Miss O’Brien and Thomas were reunited, they have been disappointingly ineffectual ever since. I can’t even tell if they’re plotting. Are they plotting? Are they going to do anything? Likewise, where is Ethel’s story going? She’s an interesting character but she really gave us very little opportunity to like her in her brief stint at Downton. I’m just not sure I care enough.

Oh, and the war’s over. What? I’m part of a desensitised generation. Personal interest ranks above national peril.

Matthew 5.75, World War One 0.25 (the war may be over but the wheelchair hasn’t yet been defeated)

Words by @Claudiarowe


  1. I am thoroughly mystified by what they’re doing in Downton at the moment. One minute they bring up Evelyn Napier wanting to come and stay at the Officer’s Hospital (as potential love interest for Mary), and the next he ceases to be mentioned.

    There was a sudden flash of what looked like sympathy from Thomas last week in reference to William (the treatment of the working class lads) and then he’s back to being his usual self.

    Like Jacqui, I’m wondering what on earth is so significant about the button box that it warranted a special mention!

    I can cope with the leaping forward months if not years at a time (one moment Ethel is pregnant and then by the next episode she’s had the baby), but a bit more cohesion in characters and storylines would be very welcome!

  2. Claudia

    Azzy you are so right! I had totally forgotten about Evelyn Napier! Plus it would have been big news given Mary’s past conduct.

    Completely agree about Thomas and Miss O’Brien too, as mentioned above. It feels like they’re so desperate to push the central Mary-Matthew story and some things just get waylaid. I really liked how last series every character had their own full strand of the story, but this series a lot of the servants, particularly, are just there because we like them.

  3. Beemonsta

    What actually happened to Patrick? Did we find out if he was who he said he was or did the letter explain he had lied (and I missed that bit)????

  4. Claudia

    Well he bowed out, didn’t he? I personally don’t think anything was confirmed – in his letter he didn’t reveal his “true” identity. But in my opinion that paints a guilty picture. And anyway, he could never compare to Matthew!

  5. Rosie

    Is this the best that Julian Fellowes can do? The man who wrote “GOSFORD PARK”? This is the series that beat out the first-rate “MILDRED PIERCE”? Oh my God! Like the British film and television industry, we have embraced mediocre productions.

  6. Claudia

    Gosford Park is wonderful, though it’s a very long time since I saw it now I think about it. I think that Downton is a totally different offering, though, I mean it’s deliberately aimed at a wider market. I think where Downton proves it’s worth is providing really well produced drama (albeit frothy) that appeals to lots of unlikely viewers. I certainly have forced period-drama haters to sit through it and have won them round in the end! At the end of the day it’s just one facet of what the UK industry produces.

    Alas Mildred Pierce is still waiting on my series record but I shall check it out imminently!

  7. Diane Farr

    I rather like Edith. Am I alone in that? Even the actress playing her seems to believe her character is a nasty bit of work – and yet she plays her with a beautifully nuanced pathos that I find endearing. She’s so pathetically eager to be loved, and a complete cypher in her own home; even her parents continually overlook & belittle her. I am rooting for her to land that fubsy viscount. Or better yet – Evelyn Napier!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *