VOD TV review: Downton Abbey Season 4, Episode 6
Neil Brazier | On 31, Oct 2013
Another week at the Abbey where not a lot happens; more seeds are planted but nothing is growing, maybe because Pegg is walking all over them in his big boots?
It does appear, though, that something is building but the crescendo is not happening quickly enough.
In Episode 6 of Season 4, Rose organises a surprise for Robert’s birthday, while the black jazz singer makes his way to Downton – and although initial reactions are of shock, they are quickly brushed aside and everyone enjoys the show (Rose maybe a little too much). But where was Lady Rosamund at her brother’s birthday? Why is Robert so quick to shrug off this man of colour in his house when he isn’t open to change?
Over halfway through the season, the storylines almost seem as though they’ve been thrown together without any thought or development. For example, Alfred’s cooking career seemed all but over, but when he gets a letter from out of the blue, off he goes; it is almost as though the writers wanted to go in one direction and filmed it, only to be told they actually needed to do something else.
And it’s not just Alfred: Tom seems to be in a constant state of flux over where he wants to be too (Downton or America), as Mary assures him that if he goes, they’ll introduce him to plenty of people. One of those, perhaps, is Uncle Harold, who has only ever been referenced once before and has never shown up at any of his family’s weddings, funerals or births. Suddenly, though, he is in a spot of money bother – cue Robert trying to help and either plunging Downton out of business or showing that, sometimes, his way is the right way.
Julian Fellowes’ show continues to lack cohesion in its writing and despite some laugh-out-loud throwaway lines from Carson and the Dowager, it isn’t enough. We crave more from Downton and we’re just not getting it.
The end is nigh. Christmas is coming. Something needs to happen – and not just leaving Edith in the lurch again. She’s had too much happen to her already.
Downton Abbey Season Four is available to watch on ITV Player or to buy on blinkbox and iTunes. Downton Abbey Seasons One through Three are available to stream on Netflix.