Downton Abbey, Series Six (2015)

February 19, 2016 12 Comments

After six years watching the secrets of the Crawley
Family peeled back, this is it. All of the adoration, tears, happiness and
love-hate dilemmas are all over. The sixth and final season of the wildly
popular British series ends here. With the finality of the final episode just
around the corner, there didn’t seem to be a better time than now to review the
final season. Without giving away too much, or spoiling the final episode, here
are my thoughts on series six. 
 

Changes are afoot at Downton Abbey.
Faithful butler of the house, Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) finally asked the love of
his life, housekeeper Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) to marry him which has put the household
in a flurry of wedding preparations. Enjoying a close relationship with the
stalwart butler, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) is insisting the wedding be held
at Downton in the prestigious hall. Mrs. Hughes has her doubts, while Carson
finds himself unable to say no to the family he thinks can do no wrong. Mary is
herself encountering some challenges when she’s blackmailed, and as the estate’s new manager. For a woman
to be solely in charge of the position is unheard of, but she persists in
succeeding. 
 

Quite outnumbered by the strong willed women in his family,
watching his daughter take on his responsibilities isn’t the only thing Robert
(Hugh Bonnville) sees change. He watches as his wife, Cora (Elizabeth McGovern)
and mother, Countess Grantham (Maggie Smith) bicker over whether or not
modernizing their hospital would be prudent.
 

Elsewhere, middle daughter, Edith (Laura Carmichael) treks
up to London on numerous occasions, becoming quite the modern woman with her
newspaper office; son-in-law Tom (Allen Leech) returns from his short move to
America; and downstairs, Robert’s valet, Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) and his
wife, Anna (Joanne Froggatt) struggle with accepting the possibility they may
never have a family.
 

Silly as it sounds, Downton Abbey has
been a memorable part of what I refer to as my TV obsession life. Each new
season I excitedly snatched the full season sets, adding them to my already too
large TV sets collection because I had an affinity for the beloved ITV show.
Giving this a proper send-off in a review is a next-to-impossible task because
every single one of the nine episodes that comprise the final season packed a
punch – and they all packed a great deal into the hour (some a bit longer)
installments. Unpacking all of the good, bad and downright ugly (believe me,
this word is applicable in some situations) is a daunting task to say the
least!

One of the things that I noticed about this season was how
far the show pulled away from some relationships. For example, this is true
when one remembers all of the prior seasons full of scenes between Bates and
Robert or Baxter and Cora. If there were a handful of scenes between the two
respective relationships I’d be surprised. I missed this. These aren’t the only
differences, but they are certainly some. Anna and Mary still enjoy a fabulous
relationship and if anything, their friendship enjoys the most fulfilling
completion. 
 

But it’s Tom and Mary whom I most adore together. Not as a romantic
pairing, rather as best friends. There’s a moment in the eighth episode (airing
this Sunday) when Tom tells Mary off (with very good reason) and it’s
glorious
. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Mary, but sometimes she needs someone to
NOT tiptoe around her. If she can give it, she needs to be shoved right back. Though
I neglected to mention them, fan favorite characters Daisy, Molesley, Baxter, Dr.
Clarkson, Isobel, Lord Merton and so many more are still present and play a
large role in this season. 
 

Without giving away the entire season, I really don’t want
to say a lot about this sixth season. To me, the short version is, it’s
beautiful. I adored every moment, savoring each poignant scene and respecting
some of the “tough” decision writing. The new romances grew into something I
easily rooted for, and yet through it all, those loved ones we lost along the
way were never forgotten, something the writer’s earn my respect for. The theme
of “new beginnings” and happily ever afters are present which will play to an
audience that I think will be satisfied. Even someone who doesn’t have a love
life (for the first 7-8 episodes) finds someone he could pursue – and I heartedly
approve! Then there are the return of favorite characters Atticus and Rose
(Lily James). 
 

Those who have been with this series since the
beginning will be doing themselves no favors if they’ve not been watching this
final season. Those of you who have been teetering on the edge of starting this
family saga, I say to you, there’s no better time than now. Jump on the
bandwagon and discover this for the first time. Fortunately for you, you’ll be enchanted
if you’re anything like the rest of us. For the rest of us, this is a fond farewell.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

All posts

12 Comments

  • Kristin February 19, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I was really pleased with how they wrapped everything up. A few characters acted rather obnoxiously throughout this season (I'm looking at you, Daisy), but overall a lot of things happened that I've been waiting for. :)

    • Rissi February 20, 2016 at 4:53 am

      Daisy… YES! I didn't have near enough page space to cover everything I wanted to. And believe me, I so wanted to talk MORE about THINGS. Daisy really become a nuisance in some instances, but dear thing she is, I still liked her.

      Same as you, I was really happy with the way things ended up. Everything was… beautiful and well suited for these stories. :)

  • Meghan M. Gorecki February 19, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I am SO pleased with this season. The truest and most honorable way to end Downton, in my opinion. I'm enjoying it again, after seasons 4 and 5 being somewhat clunkers in my opinion.
    Tom is my favorite character–and I agree about him and Mary. LOVE their relationship. He's a great buffer between Mary and Edith too. Which they need…again. LOL The romances too I'm enjoying–especially Edith's. Granny's one liners are en pointe as always and it's been such a joy to watch every Sunday night!

    • Rissi February 20, 2016 at 4:58 am

      Ditto, Meghan. Ideally, I'd have liked it to continue on, but as all good things must, this had to come to an end.

      Tom started out being a so-so character for me. I never disliked him, but I didn't love him as I do now. He's amazing… and what's great about him is he's not "afraid" of anyone. He says what needs to be said and gets away with it – particularly with Mary.

      Granny will forever be a fabulous, iconic character. There's just no "buts" about that.

      I hope you wind up enjoying the final episodes, Meghan. They're perfection or as close to TV perfection as I'll see. :)

  • Miranda Atchley February 20, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    This season has been great. Twists and turns lie around each corner still, but we still get that feeling that conclusion is coming soon. Things are winding down but they're still exciting. It's just so sad to think of it being over! :(

    I love seeing all the progress that's taking place with Mary being more involved in the estate, Edith running the newspaper and many of the servants chasing some of their dreams. That's always a wonderful thing to see. And the romances are turning out great. I just hope they stay that way! Haha!

    • Rissi February 22, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      It HAS been great, Miranda. As silly as this sounds, I'm so proud of the writer's for how they've chosen to conclude this series. They've not forgotten the heartbreaking losses over the years, and pay sweet tribute to them throughout the series. Plus, the new stories, as you say, are lovely.

      Some of the romances had to grow on me, but in the end, I was very pleased by them all. It's nice to see certain characters find happiness after so much tragedy and as sad as it is to see this end, the writer's didn't disappoint us. Because of that, the end is lovely – and I hope you find it so too, Miranda. :)

  • Bekah M. February 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I have to admit, I'm still back on series four but I couldn't help but read your fabulous review! Makes me all the more excited to finish this lovable show! :)

    • Rissi February 22, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Nothing wrong with that, Bekah! In fact, this means you've got so many great moments yet to come. Happy watching – and I hope you are enjoying this beloved series. :)

  • Kate Scott February 26, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I'm not what you would call a super fan of Downton, but I have watched it religiously since the second season (after discovering the first season on Hulu). But I have FEELINGS about last week's episode. It was one of the best of the whole show. The acting was amazing. The only complaint I have is that I just don't find Mary's whirlwind romance with Mr. Fast & Furious believable. I think they rushed it too much and didn't develop his character enough. But other than that, this has been a great season. :)

    • Rissi February 29, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      I've been a huge, avid fan of this show from the get-go, Kate. It has it's flaws, sure (as every show does), but overall I cannot hate this show.

      I have FEELINGS about the entire latter half (okay, maybe the entire series) of this final season. It's been brilliant. I totally know what you mean about Mary's new love interest. But I do think the writer's give him a bit more character development in the finale (I'd be interested to know what you think), which is a great big plus. Either way, I hope you enjoy the end! :)

  • Rosie Lapp March 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I adored the fact that Fellows gave our characters happy endings. In my sorrow of Downton being over I've been rewatching the seasons and I have to say, I still wish Tom and Mary had ended up as a romantic couple. I didn't care much for any of Mary's suitors. But alas, at least Edith got her happy ending! It was about time!

    • Rissi March 24, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      Me too, Rosie! After all of the hardship and tears it was lovely to see everyone with genuine smiles when all is said and done. I wouldn't have disliked Tom and Mary, but in the end, I was happiest with them being close as siblings/best friends. By the time the finale rolled around I was quite fond of Henry and loved that Tom took such an active interest in welcoming him into the family. Something tells me he could relate. ;)

      As for Edith – YES! I loved her story. So sweet and finally. Plus I liked that Mary and she made some sense of peace. :) Great thoughts, Rosie. Glad you shared them. :)

    Leave a Reply

    (Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

    Bonjour and Welcome!

    Welcome | thank you for visiting and reading. if you like, you are invited to join our conversations and follow along – join us.  You’re most welcome.
    Read more about Finding Wonderland

    ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a mess in my “Disorder + Feedback” post!

    Finding Wonderland Elsewhere!

    Finding Wonderland in your Inbox!

    Subscribe! Have Finding Wonderland's new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here. Please note, this does require a sign-up confirmation via email, and that email may be sent to a junk or spam folder.

    RSS Feed

    Enter your email address:

    Shop our Etsy Store

    Archives

    Disclosures

    Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive (a small) compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you.

    Rissi JC (RissiWrites.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    All written content (unless noted) is © Copyright Rissi JC and Finding Wonderland (RissiWrites.com).

    Categories

    ×
    %d bloggers like this: