Unfinished Business at Downton Abbey

DATELINE: Off to the Ascot Reruns

Yes, the ending was swift after a considerable amount of lolly-gagging all season. Characters who were moving at glacier speed (as Lady Edith pointed out) were now out-pacing the writer and creator Julian Fellowes.

We are sure someone will point out this exemplified the metaphoric thrust of the modern age speeding up.

Yet, we were left high and dry when it came to matters suddenly ignored.

We thought under-butler Barrows tried to kill himself because he was gay and could find no companionship, tea, or sympathy at Downton. Instead, it appears he simply was disappointed he couldn’t be head butler.

Branson, the one-time chauffeur who hated all members of the House of Lords, opened his own house of used cars. He would sell them to the only people in town who could afford them—members of the House of Lords.

We thought the show ended on Valentine’s Day, not New Year’s Day, based on all the romances (or quasi-romances) that suddenly were ending up at the altar. We suspect that  future TV movies we have been promised will all be about divorce.

Important past characters sent their regrets for not showing up at the big finale. Where was the American grandmother played by Shirley MacLaine?  She allegedly was on a sea voyage and couldn’t make it back for weddings and holiday cheer.

The long simmering financial crisis at Downton, overspending their budgets, vanished as free houses were doled out to members of the downstairs at Downton. Apparently the warning signs of the Great Depression and the Great London Labour Strike of 1926 never occurred to the high ranking, high living hangers-on at Downton.

The wedding of Lady Edith featured an open bar (apparently paid for by the hostile mother-in-law who awoke one morning to see Edith’s virtues).

With the shuttering of Downton Abbey for now, we will be sent packing with our questions and curmudgeon attitude shared with retiring butler Carson.

This series ending was unlike the grand Upstairs/Downstairs that ended with the main character blowing out his brains after losing the fortune in the stock market crash. Well, that’s progress for you.