Friday, March 11, 2016

Downton Abbey Recap: Season 6, Episode 9

[If you've been looking for the Episode 8 recap, you can call-off your search because it never happened. Then again, Episode 8 barely happened so maybe the FGR's omission was in itself a clever bit of criticism. At least that's what we'll tell ourselves].

Regular readers of the Fantasy Golf Report know that I have an affinity for many things British such as the British Open, British porn stars and drinking as a problem solving tool. How else to explain my borderline obsession with a TV show that seemingly has no place among my list of all-time favorites which are (in approximate order): The Wire, The Sopranos, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, The Shield, The Americans, Hill Street Blues, Homeland and 24.* (That's a lot of booze and violence. Feels like I may be compensating a bit).   

I think it had to with the fact that just about every fifth line of dialogue was a barb fired at someone. And when the show was at it's best, you'd have two characters trading verbal baskets like Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins in their classic game 7 from 1988 (still compensating). Whatever it was, it got me and now I feel the need to say goodbye with one final entry (no I'm not crying, you're crying . . . shut-up!). 

Let's dispense with some of the throw away story lines first. We had Tom and Henry opening a Carmax with an inventory that a sloth could count on one hand. We're glad to see that Henry is going to have something to get him out of the house because he's going to be a father and you don't want to be sitting around the abbey all day with your kid asking a bunch of annoying questions like "who are you?" as Barrow gives him a piggy back ride while trying to pour the brandy in a manner that will win Mr. Carson's approval (more on that later).

I feel ya Spratt.
Idiots abound.
Septimus Spratt had his moonlighting job validated by the Countess (in your FACE Denker!). Spratt and I actually have much in common. We both toil away at night as anonymous writers while busting our humps at a thankless day job to keep food on the table. We both have a cousin who tends to run afoul of the law. And we both tend to wear a look of constant disapproval. 

Daisy got a haircut which momentarily made her more attractive until she started speaking again at which point I wanted Mrs. Patmore to turn her face into the shape of a frying pan Wil E. Coyote style. 

Molesly was offered a promotion and, despite spending his whole life longing for the very opportunity that was presented to him, he figured he better mull it over a bit before giving-up his job as a guy who carries tea around and is regarded about as highly as Lord Grantham's fifth favorite bathrobe.   

Lord Merton got some unexpected good news when he learned that he din't have pernicious anemia (death sentence) but instead had iron deficiency anemia (take two pills and call me in the morning). This was heart-warming but, with all due respect to the Baron, who gives a shit about Lord Merton. I guess when Julian Fellowes was doling-out more happy endings than a strip mall massage parlor, he realized that Isobel didn't have one so bring on Lord Merton. On the other hand, it did lead to the classic line he dropped on his son like an anvil when he basically said, "Larry, you're my son so the rules say I have to love you but I never really liked you . . . asshole." If you don't watch the show, trust me, Larry deserved it.

The centerpiece of the finale was of course the fact that Herbert grew a pair worthy of the 7th Marquess of Hexham and came back for Edith. Anyone who didn't see this coming probably found the ending of Titanic far more suspenseful than then rest of us. This led to a temporary burying of the hatchet between Edith and Mary. At least until the first time Mary gets hammered and asks Marigold in front of everyone if she ever wonders what happened to her real daddy. For now, however, everything is blissful for the nobility, especially for Lord Grantham who finally managed to get his daughters married off and, more importantly, lived to see it happen (I would've lost that bet). 

Grab our sticks and a bottle
of rye Barrow. We're going
out for a booze nine.
The only character who didn't find himself a love connection was Mr. Barrow but we need to keep in mind that (a) he's gay, (b) this is England in 1928 and (c) he's a gay man in 1928 England. Remember how that worked-out for Alen Turing in The Imitation Game (Spoiler Alert: Not well). Barrow will have to settle for the consolation prize of getting re-hired as the lead butler at a Division I house after getting a taste of life working for the Havercamps. At least he'll have the ever patient and amenable Mr. Carson looking over his shoulder to make sure he doesn't screw it up.

And with that, we say goodbye to a show that captivated the hearts of housewives, interior decoraters, English literature professors and me. Now let's fire-up season 4 of The Americans. I'm ready to see some dead bodies stuffed in suitcases again.


* When making these lists, you have to seperate comedies from dramas. Anybody who makes a list that contains both Bosom Buddies and The Wire is a jackass.  

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