Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith
In this sixth and final season of Downton Abbey, doctor there’s a lot of talk about the changing times and women’s changing roles in society. Change is once again in the air this year but the changes here are more dramatic and unstoppable than they’ve ever been before and it’s hard for the traditionalists (specifically head butler Mr. Carson and patriarch Robert Crawley) to keep up.
Over the years, sickness the show itself has changed. In its first season, viagra order the show was unique and electric with creator Julian Fellowes building this production around an engaging group of rich royals and their servants. The show peaked in its second season where the characters were able to blossom into fully fleshed-out figures surviving in the midst of World War I. Since then, the show has had a few worthy stories (Tom’s blossoming relationship with the family) and a few not so memorable ones (Mr. Bates and Anna dealing with more hardships — and murder accusations— than any couple should have to bear).
The sixth season though begins on a high note with Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), a devout butler who has served the Crawleys for years, preparing for his impending nuptials with head housekeeper Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan). Since the show began, their budding relationship has been simmering on the back burner so it’s nice to see this couple — one’s of the show’s best and oftentimes hidden treasures — take center stage.
In terms of the main family itself, one of their main stories revolves around an attempt by the government to take control over the local hospital. With the sarcastic Dowager (Maggie Smith) taking one side of the debate and the more open-minded Isobel (Penelope Wilton) taking the other, it’s a battle of wits about who will triumph.
Unfortunately, the other storylines this season aren’t quite as compelling. Daisy (Sophie McShera), the kitchen aide, has become an obnoxious child when faced with the realization that her father-in-law might be losing his home (a new owner purchased the land he was living on). Meanwhile, Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) have hit another roadblock with Anna being unable to carry a child.
Additionally, the show sometimes has issues moving on from its past stories. This season alone, we’ve some more talk about murder accusations (fortunately, that story has now ended, it seems), Edith (Laura Carmichael) still unnecessarily hiding her child’s birth parents from her sister Mary (Michelle Dockery), and Mary being blackmailed (again?) about her past romantic dalliances.
That being said, the show still offers an undeniable appeal with the production team doing a marvelous time recreating England in the 1920s. The show’s characters have grown over time and it’s been a fascinating journey for some of these characters. Even Thomas (Rob James-Collier), an under butler with an attitude problem, seems to be showing some growth this year. In the past (aside from season 2 and a bit last season), Thomas has often been a one-dimensional character. It’s nice to see the showrunners begin to soften his image and really show his painful struggles as a closeted man living in trying times.
With the clock ticking, the production team now have the opportunity to close out the stories of this remarkable family. They are not breaking new ground in this final season but they are closing it out in style. Interestingly enough, it seems now that the servants are receiving both more screen time and more power than they ever have before.
It’s another nice change on a show that has chronicled changing times and how those changes affect both the upper and the middle classes in immeasurable ways.
Review by: John Hanlon