So, I made a guess in my last post here that Matthew and Mary would be something to watch, well I was right, although Season two has been up and down, it really played on my emotions with the love story. Read on but be careful as I may spoil some of the storylines, I did warn you.
I’ve been really wanting them to get together and I am so glad to finally see them talking about their feelings and at the end of the Christmas special, Mary accepting his hand in marraige. It’s been so frustrating watching Mary hide her feelings and not talk about them, continuing on with a different man whom she didn’t love. Richard was a horrid man to Mary, I am glad that Matthew speaks up for her and protects her. Can you imagine that in today’s world? Us women would never stand around and not tell their “beau” how they felt. It was great to see them kiss and knowing they have finally sorted their relationship out. I started off not liking Mary too much in season one, but now I feel differently. I think I would have been like her if I was born into that world, at that time and I am really hanging on to what happens with her and Matthew – clever script writing me thinks.
The war depicted in season two is just eye opening, it seems so scary. I can’t imagine sitting on the front line, being in that scary situation. The dark, the dreary, the noises, the only piece of brightness the lads get is from their letters home. I felt terribly sad for William and Matthew though when they came home. One of the staff made a comment about their house being hit by the war, it was only a matter of time. Basically saying that everyone knew someone who had been hurt or killed in the war. I just cannot imagine what that must have been like. I love the way they transform the house into a place where wounded soldiers can come and rest, it really showed a transformation to the family and I love the fact that the daughters all took on roles and eventually Lady Grantham did too. It made me feel very liberated, not sure why, but it did.
Yet again, the differences between back then and now are incredible. The Spanish flu hits the house, it was the 1918 flu epidemic and was known as the Spanish flu (see I have learnt again). The wedding is cancelled because the bride-to-be has flu. How crazy is that? Nowadays we would have cold and flu tablets and get married regardless. To be honest it all plays a part with the Mary and Matthew storyline, so I was happy with the eventual outcome. It was scary watching Lady Crawley take a huge turn for the worst with the flu. Just to think that back then people died from the flu, from what I can see in my research it killed nearly 100 million people. That is a ridiculous amount of people to die from flu, flu that we deal with every winter it seems here in the UK. I do believe the Spanish flu was a little more than our usual flu, it attacked the ammune system of young adults and they were most effected. I wonder if today’s flu tablets would help us now, hopefully we won’t ever have the need to find out.
The telephones are being used more and more: the second season is mainly set around 1918. So there are some things that are changing around them, more cars on the road and the women working and doing things for themselves. They talk about the new fashions after the war too which made me giggle, the shorter skirts, which apparently make it easier for the women to do things! Fancy that. I wonder what they would have thought about mini skirts and the fashion we have! They would probably have a heart attack. I think its strange that Carson measures the knife and forks when they have their meals, making sure that everything is in its most perfect place. Were things really that strict back then? Can you imagine going out for a meal nowadays and having the waitress measure your cutlery?
One of my other favourite moments of the Christmas special is when they are all opening their Christmas presents and Richard is moaning about the fact they have to serve themselves. Mary explains that the staff have their Christmas lunch at lunchtime and then serve the family their Christmas dinner in the evening. I think thats lovely that they let their staff have a Christmas. I can imagine there were many houses around that would not have gone to that trouble though. The Crawleys are a lovely family. I can see myself being a Crawley type, Constant though of course with Lord Constant.
So things I am looking forward to (huge spoiler alert coming): I am looking forward to seeing Sybil’s baby and her returning to Downton. Mary and Matthews wedding. I am also hoping that Bates gets out of prison as he did not kill his late wife, I really want Anna to have a happy ever after as she does really deserve it. I hope O Brien calms down and stops being a nasty piece of work and the same goes to Thomas. He does seem to be getting “nicer”, I must admit.