Hey, first blog post in just YEARS!
So. Finally got to watch the Downton Abbey movie. Thoughts (mostly Barrow-centric) below.
The first thing you should know about me and Downton Abbey, is that it was always (mostly) about Thomas Barrow. Oh, I love the Dowager, I like Edith, but for instance I never particularly cared who Mary would end up with. But from episode 1, I loved Thomas’ schemey ass.
So after six (?) seasons of being firmly on Team Barrow, after a couple of seasons of being convinced Jimmy would turn out to be closeted and then being sourly disappointed, after years of watching the show put him through the wringer for being gay, my most pressing interest in the Downton Abbey was “WILL THOMAS FINALLY GET TO BE HAPPY??”
The trailer provided some hope, but this IS Downton Abbey and Thomas always seemed to snatch tragedy from the jaws of hope.
I knew going in that Carson would be asked to come back to Downton for the King’s visit, but when I saw that it was because of Mary doubting Thomas’ competence, I started to get annoyed, and more so in the scene where he’s unceremoniously told he’s being pushed aside with no warning, because, really? THIS again? I did like how he handled it, because seriously.
However, I loved the budding rapport between him and Richard Ellis, the King’s Backup Valet, and I definitely perked up when he asked Thomas to go to York with him.
(Small aside: Thomas is the ONLY member of the staff that shrugs and decides to actually take advantage of the unexpected time off? Just how brainwashed ARE these people?)
I ESPECIALLY liked how Thomas and Richard’s rapport was deep enough for Thomas to bring Richard into the plan, and how gleeful Richard was about it all. And even more so, their flirty little exchange as they head off after.
However, as the movie progressed I got suspicious that this was all to get Thomas out of the way, so as not to feature him much, and that none of it would amount to much. Obviously I was happy to be proven wrong.
Which brings us, of course, to York, and Thomas blowing off waiting for Richard to go off with mustache to the clandestine gay club. And then, of course, the police bust in and arrest everyone, including Thomas. At this point, I’m horrified by the idea that Julian Fellows might actually mean for THIS to be the end of Thomas’ torturous story in Downtown Abbey. Arrested and sent to jail for being gay. Sure, it’s historically accurate, but OH NO YOU DIDN’T JULIAN FELLOWS.
But no, Richard bails him out and after letting Thomas worry about what he’ll think now that he knows about him, makes it clear that he is, in fact gay himself. That little gesture, touching his lips, then Thomas’ was just adorable. For once, Thomas has someone to talk to freely, someone who understands.
And then the next day, promising to keep in touch and “is that really what you’ve found, a friend?”, and Richard kissing him and giving Thomas something to remember him by…
Thomas Barrow actually got to have a love interest, /and it doesn’t end in tears and tragedy/. It actually ends on a hopeful note!
At this point, I’ve forgotten all about my lingering disappointment over Jimmy Kent.
All the same, during that ridiculous sequence where all the couple are dancing, I did wish Thomas and Richard could have that.
On non-Thomas storylines:
- Of course it all starts with the mail. But how times have changed.
- I’m actually quite sad about Edith. Sure, her husband, whom I like quite a bit, will be with her when she gives birth. But it’s quite clear that Edith is NOT satisfied in the life she was, and it’s sad that at this point she didn’t continuing to run her magazine was something that could be in the cards for her. Almost made me wish she’d decide to leave Bertie, if it meant she could go back to being the modern, independent woman she used to be.
- She did look absolutely smoking hot in her fancy underwear though.
- Absolutely thrilled that Bates didn’t get a storyline.
- The Dowager and Isobel were delightful, and I must admit that I teared up when the Dowager confessed to Mary that she was dying and said it was all okay, because Downton would be in Mary’s hands.
- Aside from that… what did Mary DO in this, exactly? Her story arc was pretty non existent. But again, this was never the reason I wanted to see this movie.
- Andy is a dumbass. Daisy deserves better, if she wants it.
- Tom’s entire confusing plot with the anti-monarchist… eh.
- As for Miss Smith… I was ABSOLUTELY certain that she and Lady What’s Her Name were actually secret lesbians.
All in all, the movie was fine. It delivered exactly what one would have expected from a Downton Abbey movie. It was also gorgeously shot. Which, again, is what one expects from a Downton Abbey movie.