Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Downton Abbey - Season 3 Review
Well, the third series has recently finished on ITV and with another Christmas special due next month, here's a brief look at what went down this year. Spoilers, so you know, tread carefully if you haven't seen it. It's certainly been an interesting enough year.
Episode 1: The arrival of Shirley MacLaine's Martha Levinson who would go on to have a shorter tenure than expected this series. Not totally a bad thing though, even though the character is alright enough, her scenes with Violet being a highlight. We also got introduced to O'Brien's nephew, Alfred, saw Mary/Matthew tie the knot, learned of Robert's financial woes and had Strallen come to Branson's defence during a dinner party. Spring 1920.
Episode 2: Good plotline with Mrs Patmore tending to Mrs Hughes who thinks she may be dying but the bickering between Mary/Matthew over Reggie Swire's inheritance is a source of tedium as is the Bates plotline as well. I wasn't expecting the return of Ethel either but there you go.
Episode 3: Of course, Edith would have to get jilted at the altar by Strallen. On the plus side, at least things get more interesting for her as the show progresses and the the storylines between that bloody inheritance and Downton being at threat are somewhat resolved here. I also enjoyed the Thomas vs. O'Brien antics, though they're foreshadowing something nastier later in the series.
Episode 4: Ethel got forced into making a pretty terrible decision in relation to securing her son a good future, Edith got an article published about women's rights, Robert read Branson the riot act over putting Sybil at risk and we got a new worker in the shape of Ivy and another footman in the shape of Jimmy, much to Thomas's delight.
Episode 5: The big one. The one where someone major died and someone was born. Also the best episode of the series too. The reactions to the character's death in question from the downstairs lot was more interesting too. Shame we had to lose this character though.
Episode 6: The one where the bates storyline is finally done with, once and for all and where Violet intervened in order to prevent Robert and Cora from drifting apart with their shared grief. Also noteworthy for Matthew deciding that Downton needed a bit of modernizing as well.
Episode 7: Thomas, you numpty. Yes, O'Brien well and truly managed to get her revenge on Thomas while using Jimmy in order to achieve it as well. The Christening of baby Sybie was fine enough, though Branson's brother was annoying as hell. Oh and it might have been nice if everyone had given Ethel a say in her own future.
Episode 8: The Thomas plot was resolved, Rose was introduced, Edith may or may not cop off with a married man in the future, the mystery of Mary/Matthew's fertility issues were resolved and there was a spot of cricket as well as Branson's future at Downton being secured as well. A good finale but not a spectacular one.
As a series went, this one was something of an improvement on the second one, though the Bates storylines dragged out to the point where I lost interest in the character and I would've rather a different scenario for Thomas and Jimmy. Still, this does continue to deserve to be a ratings juggernaut for ITV though.
Rating: 8 out of 10