Monday, January 18, 2016

Wedding Bells at Downton

To universal rejoicing, Tom Branson and Sybbie came home at the end of last night's episode 3 of Downton Abbey's 6th season. It was a return already anticipated earlier in the episode when Lady Mary reported Tom's letter about his having dreamt about Downton and then awakened with tears in is eyes. His return was a veritable Wizard of Oz ending, with Tom explaining how he had had to leave Downton to realize how much he belonged there, that it was his home. 

If only he hadn't stepped on the biggest story of the night! Not than anyone or anything could really have overshadowed the long-awaited wedding of Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes (aka Charles and Elsie), the latter having gotten her way and gotten more or less the kind of wedding she wanted.

This had to rank as one of the happiest episodes yet. Except for poor Barrow (who gratuitously put himself through yet another unsatisfactory job interview), virtually everyone seemed to be coming out ahead in this episode, although I shudder to think what tragedies still await some of the characters. (Will Mr. Mason really get a new farm as Daisy so confidently hopes? Will Anna's latest pregnancy succeed, as he and Mary hope while again keeping poor Bates in the dark? And what about Lord Grantham's latest "indigestion"?) And, of course, there remains as a kind of permanent distraction the ridiculous but still unresolved quarrel about whether Downton Cottage Hospital should be merged with the Royal Yorkshire County Hospital, which really seems just a device concocted to keep Violet and Isobel constantly on opposite quarreling sides - and perhaps embroiling other family members in this silliness. And it is even more boring than the ongoing war, downstairs at the Dower House, between Spratt and Denker

Meanwhile, for what it may be worth for her future prospects, Lady Edith fired her fat editor and worked all through the night to get the job done herself, with the unexpected but most welcome assistance of Bertie Pelham, the Brancaster estate agent she met at the end of the last season and who may yet (or may not) fulfill some of the void left in her life by Marigold's father's untimely death. Will Lady Edith find her way as a career woman and/or will she finally find love that lasts? Earl's daughter or not, until now Edith has simply not been one of those on whom fortune smiles. Dare we hope that might change? Or is the division of the human race into the happy and the unhappy, the fortunate and the unfortunate, as fixed as that between upstairs and downstairs?

But, back to the wedding! It wasn't quite the glorious Downton spectacle that Lady Mary had originally hoped for (although she did engineer an improvement in the bride's outfit). But it was a beautiful wedding with just about everybody there - properly seated, of course, with upstairs and downstairs on separate sides of the church aisle.  Charles and Elsie exchanged vows according to the Book of Common Prayer, then were bagpiped out of the church to a real wedding breakfast at the local school, where the groom gave thanks. “That a woman of such grace and charm should entrust her life’s happiness to my unworthy charge passeth all understanding.”

Amen to that - and let's hope for at least two more weddings this last season!

No comments:

Post a Comment