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HULK’S TV Talk: DOWNTON ABBEY 2.06

Hulk takes a look at the most recent episode of DOWNTON and asks: WTF?!

HULK’S TV Talk: DOWNTON ABBEY 2.06

... THE FUCK?!?!?!?

BUT WE'LL GET TO THAT IN A MINUTE. HULK FIRST WANTS TO THANK MEREDITH AND ERIN, WHO HAVE BEEN DELIGHTFULLY PROVIDING US WITH SUCH WONDERFUL COVERAGE OF DOWNTON ABBEY SERIES II. AND NOW HULK IS HONORED TO RETURN ONCE AGAIN WITH JUST A FEW THINGS TO SAY ABOUT THE SHOW THAT HAS SCUTTLEBUTTED INTO OUR HEARTS... HULK HAS NO IDEA IF SCUTTLEBUTT WORKS AS A VERB, BUT IT SOMEHOW SEEMS APPROPRIATE. AND SADLY, HULK MUST ISSUE A BIT OF A FOREWARNING: THIS EPISODE IS FILLED WITH A FEW NICE THINGS, BUT THERE ARE ALSO SOME BIG, BIG ISSUES HULK HAS TO SUSS OUT, AND THEY OFTEN GET AT THE HEART OF THE SERIES.

SO HERE ARE THE 7 MOST INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT SUNDAY'S EPISODE OF DOWNTON ABBEY:

1. ... THE FUCK?!?!?!?

SO SOME GUY HAS SHOWN UP IN DOWNTON HOSPITAL AND HE EITHER IS, OR IS PRETENDING TO BE, PATRICK CRAWLEY. YOU KNOW, THE YOUNG MAN WHO IN THE PILOT EPISODE WAS THOUGHT TO HAVE DIED ON THE TITANIC, THUS THROWING THE ENTIRE DOWNTON SUCCESSION INTO QUESTION AND BRINGING COUSIN MATTHEW INTO OUR HEARTS AND MINDS? YEAH, THAT GUY. BUT THIS MYSTERIOUS PERSON SHOWS UP SAYING HE'S PATRICK AND... HE MIGHT BE. THERE ARE INDEED TIMES WHERE HE SEEMS TO KNOW EDITH, BUT IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, THERE'S NOTHING IN HIS INFORMATION AND TONE THAT REALLY PROVIDES US WITH SOME KIND OF EUREKA SENSE THAT IT'S TRULY HIM. IN FACT, THEY HINT THAT HE COULD JUST HAVE BEEN GOOD FRIENDS WITH THE REAL PATRICK AND IS TRYING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS KNOWLEDGE. HE AS MUCH AS SAYS SO IN HIS WONDERFULLY AMBIGUOUS LAST SCENE WITH LADY ETHEL. BUT BECAUSE THE WHOLE THING COULD GO EITHER WAY IT MOSTLY FEELS UNNERVING.

... POSSIBLY BECAUSE HE HAS CRAZY EYES.

HULK KNOW, HULK KNOW, THAT NOT NICE TO SAY BECAUSE THE CRAZY EYES ARE LARGELY A FUNCTION OF THE HORRIBLE BURNS (OH YEAH, THIS GUY IS HORRIBLY BURNED, GOT AMNESIA, AND TALKING WITH A CANADIAN ACCENT NOW FOR SOME REASON), BUT WATCHING THE ACTOR GO ON WITH THOSE CRAZY EYES IS SUPER-DUPER UNNERVING. COMBINED WITH THE COMPLETE UNCERTAINTY AS TO WHETHER HE ACTUALLY IS PATRICK, HULK IS AWFULLY ON EDGE ABOUT THE WHOLE THING. THIS GUY IS WEIRD. HE'S SEVERELY BURNED. HE'S THROWING TANTRUMS. AND HULK DOESN'T LIKE HIM IN HULK'S DOWNTON THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

AND THAT VERY MUCH MIGHT BE THE POINT. FOR ONE, EVERYONE IN DOWNTON IS JUST AS PISSED AS WE ARE. INCLUDING LADY MARY AND THE EARL OF GRANTHAM BECAUSE, WELL, THEY'RE MIGHTY TAKEN WITH MATTHEW DAMMIT. BUT IT GOES FURTHER INTO THE REALM OF ENTERTAINMENT AND ASKS, "IS IT BAD SIMPLY BECAUSE WE DO NOT LIKE IT?"

BECAUSE IF THIS GUY REALLY IS PATRICK THEN ALL HIS OUTBURSTS AND WEIRDNESS ARE MORE THAN UNDERSTANDABLE CONSIDERING DOWNTON'S (AND OUR OWN) DISBELIEF. WE DON'T LIKE HIM MUCKING UP OUR IMPERFECT LITTLE ABBEY, BUT IS THAT A VALID FEELING? IF HE'S THE RIGHTFUL HEIR, THEN IT'S JUST THE RIGHT THING TO DO. AND DO NOTE THAT IT IS THIS VERY SITUATION THAT PUT MATTHEW IN CONTROL OF DOWNTON, WHO WAS RATHER UNWELCOME AT FIRST GLANCE. SURE, HULK KNOWS THAT HULK WOULD PREFER IF HE WAS JUST SOME HORRIBLY WOUNDED GUY LOOKING FOR AN OPPORTUNITY, BUT ULTIMATELY, IT'S ALL UP IN THE AIR. YOU, HULK, AND THE GOOD FOLKS AT DOWNTON HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH IT. WHICH MAKES HULK THINK OF THE WAY THE SITUATION SEEMS LIKE A REALLY NICE MEDITATION ON THE SUBJECT OF "BELIEF" AND HOW IN ABSENCE OF FACT WE TURN TO OUR WANTS. THUS LADY MARY AND LADY EDITH ARE ON TWO ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM FOR WHAT THEY "BELIEVE" IS TRUE WITH COUSIN PATRICK. IT'S A NICE THOUGHT AND IS LOGICAL IN A THEMATIC SENSE.

BUT IN A NARRATIVE SENSE? IT JUST KIND OF SEEMS OUT OF NOWHERE AND TOTALLY SUCKS.

THIS OUT-OF-NOWHERE STUFF IS REALLY COMING ON ALL THE TIME THIS SEASON. WE'VE TALKED A LOT ABOUT THE FAST PACE OF THIS SEASON TOO, BUT HULK THINK THIS IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE FEW CASES WHERE WRAPPING UP IN THE AMBIGUITY WITHIN THE EPISODE COULD WOULD HAVE PLAYED MUCH NICER WITH THE VIEWER. WE STILL WOULD HAVE STEWED PLENTY WHILE WATCHING, BUT WHATEVER DIRECTION THEY GO IN WOULD HAVE FELT MUCH MORE RESONANT TO THE POINT IN HULK'S MIND. PLEASE KNOW THAT HULK NOT SEEN THE REST OF THE EPISODES SO HULK HAVE NO IDEA IF THE PLOT WORKS LONG TERM OR NOT, BUT IF THIS TURNS INTO SOME LONG DRAWN OUT MYSTERY THEN HULK... WELL, HULK NOT SURE IF IT FOR THE BEST.

THE OTHER REASON IT SUCKS? BECAUSE IT IS ANOTHER IN A LONG LINE OF "EXTERNAL PRESSURES" THIS SEASON. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? IT'S A CODE WORD FOR AN EASY WRITING TACTIC WHERE YOU ALIGN YOUR CHARACTERS WITH SOMETHING THEY CARE ABOUT, BY APPLYING OUTSIDE PRESSURE. AND WHAT MADE THE FIRST SEASON OF DOWNTON SO GOOD IS THAT ALL THE CONFLICT WAS "INTERNAL" SO TO SPEAK. WE ALL HAD THESE CHARACTERS IN A CLOSED SYSTEM OPERATING TO THEIR OWN ENDS FOR GOOD AND BAD. AND WHETHER IT WAS THOMAS OR MRS. O'BRIEN SCHEMING IT HAD AN "IN-HOUSE" SENSE THAT WAS FASCINATING, INTERESTING, NUANCED, AND ARTICULATE. BUT THIS SEASON? IT'S ALL EXTERNAL PRESSURES. THERE'S THE WAR. THERE'S MRS. BATES BEING A CRAZY EVIL HARPY. THERE'S SIR RICHARD BEING OILY. AND NOW THERE'S PATRICK SHOWING UP AND PERHAPS THROWING EVERYTHING INTO DISARRAY. AND THE PROBLEM WITH EXTERNAL PRESSURES IS THAT... THEY'RE EASY TO RIGHT. SURE, THEY'RE EFFECTIVE. SURE THEY GET US TO RALLY AROUND THE INTERNAL CHARACTERS, BUT ALL THESE OUTSIDE THREATS RENDER THE SHOW A LITTLE BIT MORE CUT AND DRIED THAN HULK WOULD LIKE. THIS SHOW THRIVES ON NUANCE AND HULK FEEL LIKE ALL THESE BROAD HATEABLE OUTSIDERS ARE DESTROYING DOWNTON... AND AGAIN, MAYBE THAT'S THE POINT. WW1 CERTAINLY SHOVED THE WORLD OUT FROM THE INTERNAL FIGHTING AND INTO THE BIG, BOLD HORROR OF LIFE. CONCEPTUALLY IT SURE WORKS EVEN IF IT MAKES US MAD IN AN EMOTIONAL OR NARRATIVE SENSE.

THE WHOLE THING BEGS FOR A LARGE ANALYSIS FOR "WHAT DO WE WANT IN A TV SHOW?" DO WE JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN AND EASY ROOTING INTERESTS SET IN THE WORLD WE LOVE? DO WE JUST WANT TO GO ON LIKING THE CHARACTERS WE LIKE? DO WE WANT TO TURN THIS SHOW INTO A MELODRAMA? DO WE WANT THESE EASY ROOTING INTERESTS TO TURN IT INTO *GULP* A SOAP OPERA? HULK SURE AS FUCK DOESN'T. AND THERE'S NOTHING THAT ANY EVIL, EXTERNAL CHARACTER COULD DO THAT WOULD FILL HULK WITH MORE SORROW AND GRAVITAS THEN WHEN MRS. O'BRIEN LEFT THE SOAP BY THE TUB. THAT MOMENT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ROOTING INTERESTS, OR THREATS, BUT HER OWN PAINED FACE HAVING REALIZED HOW FAR SHE HAD GONE AND HOW TRULY HORRIBLE THAT WAS.. THAT IS EVERYTHING HULK WANTS FROM  THE SHOW. IT'S "VILLAINY" THAT ISN'T VILLAINOUS. IT'S HUMAN. WHICH MEANS CENTRAL QUESTION IS....

IS THE EXTERNAL BOLDNESS RUINING WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT THE SHOW?

2. CASE IN POINT, THERE WERE NO HOUSE POLITICS IN THIS EPISODE.

THE DAY IN, DAY OUT FLUX OF CONTROL AND PROPRIETY AT DOWNTON ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE SHOW. THIS SEASON HAS BEEN RATHER LIGHT ON THEM, BUT HULK FEEL LIKE THIS EPISODE HAD ALMOST NONE OF THE "DOWNTON-NESS" IF THAT MAKES SENSE. NO ARRANGING FOR POSITIONS. NO INFRINGING ON PROPRIETY. NO HOUSE POLITICS. THIS IS A SHOW THAT THRIVES ON ITS EXAMINATION OF A SYSTEM. AND TONIGHT, INSTEAD OF ALL OF THAT WE GOT THESE BIG, BOMBASTIC CHARACTER MOMENTS... AND HULK FOUND IT ALL RATHER LACKING.

WHICH LEADS HULK TO MAKE:

3. A NOTE ON CINEMATOGRAPHY

THIS EPISODE WAS RATHER... CINEMATIC, WASN'T IT?

WHAT HULK MEANS IS THAT THE CAMERA MOVEMENTS AND FRAMING IN THIS EPISODE WERE EXECUTED WITH TONS OF OBTUSE STYLIZATION... WELL, OBTUSE FOR DOWNTON. AND AS A RESULT THE CAMERA DREW A HECK OF A LOT OF ATTENTION TO ITSELF. WHY DOES THIS MATTER SO MUCH? FOR ONE, IT IS INCONSISTENT. THE CAMERA IN DOWNTOWN ABBEY IS NOT DIRECT OR EMPHASIZING. IT IS A MERE OBSERVER. IT IS NEUTRAL. IT DOESN'T KNOW THINGS THE CHARACTERS DO NOT. IT DOES NOT PAN DOWN TO REVEAL. IT IS NOT MAKING DECISIONS. IT IS NOT GOD. IT IS MERELY A WINDOW. IT IS SOMETHING THAT LETS US SEE INSIDE TO THESE CHARACTERS. IT DOES NOT SPEAK FOR THEM. IT DOES NOT TELL US WHAT TO THINK.

BUT NOT ANYMORE! WHY, THE CAMERA WAS DOLLYING BETWEEN WALLS, IT TOOK OPAQUE, RIGID ANGLES AND FRAMING DEVICES. IT SHOWED STYLIZED CLOSE-UPS. BUT REALLY, THE THING THAT SUMMED IT UP WAS LONG PAN OVER AS THE BELLS RUNG FOR THE END OF WW1... HULK KNOWS WHAT THEY WERE TRYING TO DO (SORT OF, IT WAS BOTH ON-THE-NOSE AND ALSO A-PURPOSELESS, A RARE COMBINATION!) BUT REALLY THE PROBLEM IS THAT IT'S NOT THIS SHOW. IT'S SOME OTHER SHOW. AND SOMETIMES THE MOST BASIC OVER-EMPHASIS OF CAMERA MOVEMENT WAS USED TO DISASTROUS EFFECT. THE NEW MAID JANE? THE CAMERA LANGUAGE IN THIS EPISODE KEPT SUGGESTING THAT SHE AND THE EARL HAVE SOME SECRET PAST, WHEN REALLY (HULK BELIEVES AT LEAST) THE CONTENT OF THE SCENES WAS TRYING TO HINT AT THE COMPLEXITY OF THEIR CLOSE PROXIMITY. TO HINT AT HER INTEREST IN HIS KINDNESS. BUT THE CINEMATIC LANGUAGE WAS OBTUSE AND THEY WERE COMPLETELY OVER-SELLING WHATEVER THE FUCK IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE. IT'S COMPLETELY WRONG AND MADE HULK A WEE-BIT SMASHY.

.... SO HULK JUST LOOKED UP WHO DIRECTED THE EPISODE AND IT WAS ANDY GODDARD... THE SAME DIRECTOR AS  THE LAST EPISODE HULK WROTE UP FOR YOU, IN WHICH HULK COMPLAINED ABOUT THE STYLIZATION OF BRANSON'S HITCHCOCK-ESQUE MURDER SEQUENCE... UGH. DAMMIT. HULK JUST HAS TO SAY THAT THIS KIND OF PERSON HAS NO IDEA WHAT SHOW THEY'RE DIRECTING. THAT MAY SEEM JUDGMENTAL, BUT THAT'S TWO STRIKES IN A ROW OF SOME REALLY PISS POOR CHOICES. FOR EXAMPLE, THOSE CHIMES AT 11:11 WOULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE WITH A SERIES OF STATIC CLOSE-UPS WHERE WE ACTUALLY GOT TO SEE FACES AS THEY REFLECTED. BUT NO! THE DIRECTOR WANTED A NONSENSICAL TRACKING SHOT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING THAT HAS EVER BEEN IN THE SHOW!... SORRY-SORRY HULK WILL CALM DOWN NOW... THAT WAS GETTING TOUGH.

AND LOOK, HULK KNOW THAT SOME PEOPLE MAY LIKE THIS SORT OF NOTICEABLE CINEMATOGRAPHY AND THAT FINE, BUT CINEMATIC LANGUAGE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE "STUFF THAT HAPPENS." IT TELLS YOU HOW TO FEEL AND THINK. AND THUS CONSISTENCY MATTERS. HONESTLY, THOSE CAMERA MOVES WERE JUST AS JARRING TO HULK AS IF THEY SUDDENLY TIME-TRAVELED THE CHARACTERS TO 1990'S LONDON. DO NOT MISTAKE HULK FOR SAYING THAT "PERIOD STUFF" CAN'T BE CINEMATIC. HULK SAYING THIS SHOW HAS A "VOICE" THAT'S ALL, AND THE DIRECTOR NOT WORKING IN THAT VOICE. BUT SADLY, TO HAVE DOWNTON BE STYLIZED IS EXEMPLARY OF EVERYTHING THAT IS "BIG, BOLD, AND BOMBASTIC" IN THIS SEASON. AND THAT JUST MAKES HULK A SAD HULK.

AND THAT CAMERA INCONSISTENCY SPEAKS TO SOMETHING ELSE:

4. A NOTE ON CHARACTER INCONSISTENCY.

SO WITH ONE TOUCH OF THE HIP, LADY SYBIL LIKES BRANSON NOW? CHARACTER INCONSISTENCY IS THE MOST CARDINAL SIN OF STORYTELLING, TELEVISION MOST OF ALL. WE LIVE AND BREATHE WITH THESE CHARACTERS OVER HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS. AND OFTEN WE KNOW THEM BETTER THEN THEY KNOW THEMSELVES. SO LET'S DO THIS...

FIRST OFF, BRANSON CAN GO SUCK A FUCK.... THERE... HULK SAID IT. IN HIS FIRST FEW EPISODES HULK FOUND HIM TO BE AN INTERESTING BREATH OF FRESH AIR, AND AN INTERESTING WAY TO WEDGE IN THE MODERN POLITICAL LANDSCAPE INTO THE SHOW. EVEN A HANDSOME LITTLE BOYISH FIGURE... BUT NOW HE'S BECOME A ONE NOTE, NAIVE, SACK OF POOP WHO HULK FINDS COMPLETELY UNINTERESTING. HE SEEMS TO HAVE NO SUBTLETY OR ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE ANYMORE. HE JUST CONTINUES TO BE MORE PLAINLY, OBVIOUSLY, DULL. FOR EXAMPLE, HERE'S EVERY SCENE HE'S IN THIS SEASON:

BRANSON: "I'm so committed to my cause!"

SYBIL: "I am too, but I don't just talk about it. I do something."

BRANSON: "You're so in love with me and you don't even know it."

SYBIL: "No... I'm not."

AND THE GOOD PART ABOUT ALL THESE SCENES IS THE WAY THEY SEEMED TO HELP LADY SYBIL GROW UP. UNLIKE HER JUVENILE SELF, SHE'S BECOME A REAL PERSON. SOMEONE WHO WON'T JUST RUN AWAY IN A HAZE OF LOVE, BUT UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF HER FAMILY AND INTEREST, ETC. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY AS OF THE LAST FEW EPISODES SHE SEEMED TO LEARN THAT BRANSON WAS A LITTLE SHIT. HULK WAS LOVING IT.

BUT NOW? HE TOUCHED HER HIP AT THE END OF THE LAST EPISODE AND TODAY WE FIND THAT THEY'RE KIND OF MAYBE PREPARED TO RUN AWAY WITH EACH OTHER?... FUCK THAT. REALLY. FUCK THAT. THAT BIG INSTANCE OF CHARACTER INCONSISTENCY IS REALLY, REALLY ANNOYING. IT'S DISHONEST. IT'S A SPIT IN THE FACE TO EVERY NUANCED AND INTERESTING THING THEY WERE BUILDING TO IN THE EPISODES BEFORE. EVEN IF THEY RECTIFY IT BY GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, THIS MOMENT RANG SO FALSE THAT HULK JUST CAN'T ABIDE BY IT. SYBIL SHOULD CLEARLY KNOW BETTER BY THIS POINT. HULK REALIZES SOME MAY NOT FEEL ABOUT THIS PLOT-LINE THE WAY HULK DOES, BUT THE MOMENTS WHEN SYBIL REALIZED JUST HOW MUCH MORE ADULT SHE WAS THAN BRANSON IN THE LAST FEW EPISODES, WERE SOME OF THE SHOW'S FINEST WORK. AND HULK NOW FEELS LIKE IT KIND OF RUINED.

SO... ONTO ANOTHER ISSUE.

5. THE ASSHOLE SHOWS HIS ASSHOLE

THAT'S A BETTER METAPHOR THAN THE WOLF TAKING OFF THE SHEEP'S CLOTHING, RIGHT? ALL SEASON LONG WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR SIR RICHARD TO LET LOOSE AND SHOW WHAT KIND OF AWFUL PERSON HE JUST HAD TO BE UNDERNEATH. HULK WAS BEGINNING TO THINK THAT MAYBE THEY'D DO THE SUBTLE THING AND JUST LET HIM BE PARTICULAR AND BLUNT AND NICE IN A PURELY PRACTICAL WAY, BUT THE OILINESS CAME TO THE FRONT AND CENTER IN THIS EPISODE. HE GRABBED LADY MARY IN A MOMENT OF WHOLLY-CONTROLLED TERROR AND THEN THE SMARMY, SNEERING WAY HE LEANED IN FOR A KISS... IT WAS SO PERFECTLY GROSS... POOR LADY MARY.

AT LEAST IT WAS A SLOW BURN UNTIL THIS POINT? THEY GET POINTS FOR DOING THAT, BUT STILL IT JUST PUTTING THE AUDIENCE IN ANOTHER SITUATION OF ROOTING AGAINST VILE EXTERNAL PRESSURES.... IT'S JUST SO SIMPLE... IT'S SO NOT DOWNTON.

BUT SCREW THAT JERK. LET'S MOVE ON TO...

6. MATTHEW'S CRAWLEY'S BONER!

MATTHEW CRAWLEY GOT A BONER, RIGHT? HULK MEAN... THEY WAY THAT DID THAT SCENE... TOTALLY A BONER. SURE, SURE, IT MIGHT HAVE JUST BEEN A FEELING IN HIS LEGS, BUT HULK FEELS LIKE WE ALL KNOW WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN A MAN GETS HIS FIRST POST-SPINAL INJURY BONER AND THAT'S THE LOOK RIGHT THERE...

BUT WHAT SPURRED IT ON? IT MUST HAVE THE SULTRY EMBRACE OF MR. BATES TOUCHING HIS CHAIR.

HULK TRULY GLAD THE BONER CAME AND IT CAME NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON. SIR RICHARD'S BEING A JERK IS THE VERY THING HE NEEDED TO MAKE HIM REALIZE HE NEEDS TO FULFILL HIS DESTINY OF BONING LADY MARY. BUT ALSO, IT PERHAPS RIDS US OF HIS WOE-IS-ME-I'M-AN-IMPOTENT-BURDEN NONSENSE. GRANTED THAT WAS A VERY NECESSARY PLOT-LINE, BUT IT CERTAINLY WASN'T ANY FUN. A KIND, ASSURED MATTHEW IS A MATTHEW HULK WANTS AND ADORES. SO SAY WE ALL!

MOVING ON!

7. MR. BATES MURDERED THE SHIT OUT VERA, RIGHT?

MAYBE.

THEY CERTAINLY LAID IT ON THICK WITH ALL "THE FORMER MRS. BATES" STUFF AND THE WOUND ON HIS RIGHT EYE... AND YOU KNOW THE LITTLE FACT THAT HE WENT TO VISIT HER AND NOW SHE'S DEAD. BUT ANYTIME SOMETHING IS ALWAYS LAID ON TOO THICK LIKE THIS, HULK BEGINS TO SUSPECT WE MIGHT BE HEADING DOWN ONE OF THOSE ELABORATE PLOT-LINES WHERE THERE'S SOME STRANGE EXPLANATION THAT DOESN'T MAKE A LICK OF SENSE AT THE CURRENT JUNCTURE... OR WHO KNOWS, MAYBE HE JUST KILLED HER. BUT IT BEGS THE QUESTION, COULD BATES KILL? IS THAT THE POINT OF ALL OF THIS? JUST ASK YOURSELF. HE'S BEEN A BIT OF AN ANGRY LITTLE SOD FOR SOME OF THIS SEASON, ESPECIALLY AFTER BEING THE PARAGON OF GOODNESS LAST SEASON. BUT HE WAS IN THE ARMY WITH THE EARL, CORRECT? HE MUST HAVE KILLED IN THE ARMY? AND HE ALWAYS HINTS AT THE WORST PARTS OF HIMSELF? BUT WHAT BRINGS OUT HIS TEMPER? IF HE COULD KEEP HIS TEMPER WITH O'BRIEN AND THOMAS THEN HULK DUNNO.

HULK JUST KNOWS THERE IS A PART OF HULK THAT IS TIRED OF ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENING TO CHARACTERS INSTEAD OF CHARACTERS MAKING THINGS HAPPEN ON THEIR OWN. MEANING, HULK IS TIRED OF NOT GETTING TO SEE ANY MORE OF BATES AND ANNA'S CONTINUED RELATIONSHIP. ARE THEY GROWING CLOSER? IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY WEEK THEY'RE JUST DEALING SOME TENUOUS PLAN OR LEGAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND SINCE THE PUB WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN TO SEE THEM TOGETHER IN A TRUE EMOTIONAL SENSE... HULK MISSES THAT. AND ALL THE DRAMATIC MURDER PLOTS IN THE WORLD AREN'T WORTH A DROP OF SOLACE IN COMPARISON.

THE SOAP OPERATICS OF DOWNTON AREN'T WHAT FUEL US.

IT'S THE GRACE.

HULK'S QUICK WRAP UP!

AND SO THERE YOU HAVE IT: THE MOST TRADITIONALLY DRAMATIC AND AMERICANIZED EPISODE OF DOWNTON ABBEY THUS FAR... UGH. HULK STILL INVOLVED WITH THE SERIES AND IT CERTAINLY IS STILL EXECUTED RATHER WELL. IT'S JUST THAT THIS SEEMS ALL VERY UNBECOMING AFTER THE SHOW SEEMED TO REBOUND IN THE LAST FEW EPISODES.

AND YET WITH ALL THE WHAT-THE-FUCKERY... IT'S ALL WORTH IT FOR THE MOMENT WHEN MR. CARSON AND MRS. HUGHES HAVE THEIR BRIEF EXCHANGE OF APPRECIATION. THAT LITTLE HALF SMILE THAT COMES OUT THE SIDE OF CARSON'S MOUTH?

THAT SMILE IS WORTH EVERYTHING.

Film Crit Hulk's photo About the Author: FILM CRIT HULK WAS CREATED IN A CHAOTIC LAB EXPERIMENT INVOLVING GAMMA RADIATION, TELEPODS, AND THE GHOST OF PAULINE KAEL. NOW HULK HAVE DEEP AND ABIDING LOVE CINEMA.
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