Reflections on the end of Downton Abbey

Depositphotos_22234715_s-2015Like most fans of the British period piece Downton Abbey, I feel somewhat bereft that the series has now finally concluded, after six seasons.

Mostly, however, because the season finale last night tied up so many loose threads that it was obvious there was enough material for a seventh season, and possibly much more.

It’s one thing to go out on a high note, which it did — so many plot lines and subplot lines were wrapped up with nice little bows — but quite another to end a show long before it’s time. The finale had a lot more short scenes and fast edits simply in order to accommodate the compression of the abundant material that evidently was at hand.

Tantalizing peek at the dawn of the auto industry

A good example is the scene in which Lady Mary’s new husband (the former race car driver, Henry Talbot,  and Tom the ex-chauffer create a new business partnership to capitalize on the dawning automobile industry.  This took but a few minutes of screen time in the finale but could easily have taken up two or three episodes of a seventh season (or even a spin-off series, as I suggest below).

Likewise, Isobel Crawley’s whirlwind late-in-life romance with a miraculously recovered beau she had earlier spurned (Lord Merton) could have chewed up an entire episode or two, at least as a subplot.  Less so with the young maid Daisy — who finally changes her hair “do” at the 11th hour after a belated crush on a fellow servant — but even that minor development had the potential to be expanded.

Another example was the departure and quick return of Barrow, the former conniving butler who seemingly developed a heart of gold towards the end. His subbing in for an ailing Carson could also have consumed several episodes, again as a minor subplot.

Still, better I suppose to have too much material and leave them wanting more, than the opposite.  A pity but one can always hope that once the cast and producers gets a sabbatical from what must have been a gruelling schedule, a year or two hence they collectively decide to create a sequel, even if (as rumoured), it picks up in America, perhaps after the Crash of ’29.

That tiny vignette of the new automobile venture would seem to be the perfect launching pad for such a prospect. Here’s hoping. Till then, well done to all concerned.

For those who missed the final show, this review by the New York Times nicely summarizers the multiple happy endings.

What’s this all got to do with Findependence?

Well, not much but please indulge me after a week away. I suppose we could claim that Downton Abbey is an example of the golden age of financial independence for the British upper classes but really I just wished to express some thoughts that couldn’t be compressed in a few tweets, and this has been an exercise in restimulating the blog-writing muscles. We’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming forthwith!

And what was that OPP-issued news bulletin, at least in Ontario last night? A bulletin issued about a child’s abduction was terribly intrusive. The amber alert, while perhaps necessary, didn’t need to be that intrusive or loud, and for those with remote problems (as in our case, with a weak battery) it was impossible to mute or to exit.


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