Monday, February 18, 2013

Downton Abbey Season 3 Finale: An Actor's POV

My friends tease me about reading the end of books before I dive into them, but it gives me a sense of comfort, knowing what's coming.

So when Downton Abbey's season 3 finale hit last night, I thought I was ready to say good-bye to a beloved main character, but boy, was it hard.

I can only imagine it was just as difficult for writer, Julian Fellowes, to work around some of his lead actors' decisions to not renew their contracts. But I understand these things happen, and I understand Dan Stevens' desire to do other things.

Hey, at least Bates came home!

Still, I wish TV was like theatre, in which case Matthew would have been replaced by some other young actor, eager to step into his shoes. They did it on Bewitched and Roseanne! ;)

Ah well! I still thought it Season 3 was very well done. It really gave the whole cast some serious drama to dive into.


Lady Sybil's death scene was really heart-breaking. I lost it when Tom (Allen Leech, who was really superb this season) was holding onto her, begging her to stay with him. I wasn't so keen on his character in the past, as he seemed too pushy. So I was surprised to see his character really dive deep, and I felt for him. Last night's breakdown to Mrs. Hughes was heart-breaking!

And I couldn't stop the tears when Elizabeth McGovern's Lady Cora talked to her dead daughter, telling her she would take care of everything. That was chillingly beautiful.

I'll still take the journey to Downton Abbey next season, curious to see what happens with Lady Mary and the rest of the family upstairs and downstairs. I liked the side story of Dr. Clarkson and Cousin  Isobel. I hope that blooms.
I'm sad to see Matthew Crawley go, because as Mary said, he brought out the best in her and was looking out for Downton.

But as one reporter said, "However sad the end of Matthew Crawley, the happiness of Dan Stevens is likely to grow and grow." And I'm glad. I look forward to seeing him in other productions, and I look forward to seeing what else happens at Downton Abbey.

Carry on!

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