TV Recap: Downton Abbey, Season 6 Episode 9

Overthinking It bids farewell to Downton Abbey, recapping the final episode of the series: Season 6 Episode 9.

Ben Adams, Peter Fenzel, Ryan Sheely and Matthew Wrather recap Downton Abbey Season 6, Episode 9, wrapping up the season and the series.

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One Comment on “TV Recap: Downton Abbey, Season 6 Episode 9”

  1. Tulse #


    More seriously, I was a bit disappointed that the recap didn’t discuss Edith’s story in more depth. While I was initially delighted that she did indeed “win” the game of Downton Abbey, on reflection I felt that the outcome was a profound narrative regression. To the extent that the show is about adapting as was pointed out in the podcast, it had appeared for several seasons that Edith would end up being the Crowley who was most adaptable, most suited to the new modern world. She owned a business, one that she had a direct hand in making successful; she had a place in the City, and was certainly the Crowley who was most comfortable in that setting compared to rural manor life; and she was a single mother. In all these ways, she seemed to be modelling a way forward for the Modern Woman.

    But in the end, the narrative shoves her back into the aristocratic system, where her talents at business, her urban life, and her daughter are all at best detriments. She is now stuck in Northumberland, about as far as one can get from London and still be in England. She’ll no longer be able to be directly involved in her business, and presumably will not frequently be in the City. And the nature of her relationship with Marigold will always have to be hidden. The narrative literally and figuratively moves her farther away from her seeming modern life than when she was at Downton.

    I find this all a bit confusing, as it seems to be Fellowes in essence re-asserting the primacy of a way of life the entire series has shown as doomed. (Or is this his final act of screwing over poor Edith — she ends up in a gilded cage, far away from any sort of meaningful work, and locked up with a mother-in-law who despises her and her bastard daughter.)

    As for the season overall, the last few episodes seemed breathlessly determined to tie up all the loose ends, and all for the good. While watching I couldn’t help but literally laugh out loud at how seemingly-insurmountable impediments were corrected with a mere line of dialogue. “That terminal illness you thought you had — hey, it’s a misdiagnosis!*”“Well, yes, I think you’re a harlot and your daughter is a bastard, but sure, marry my ridiculously wealth son!”“Gosh, let’s give the head butler job to the guy everyone hates and we have had to upbraid on numerous occasions!” Honestly, the last few episodes seemed more like Downton fanfic to me than considered, careful writing. (That said, I did get a bit of schadenfreude for Mary having hooked up with a used car salesman…)

    * What especially annoys me about this story line is that in 1926 a treatment was found for pernicious anemia. Putting Merton on a new treatment would have seemed far more believable to me than simply changing his diagnosis out of the blue, and would have involved overcoming an obstacle rather that simply finding out an obstacle wasn’t real.


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