6.5/10 After a rocky fourth season, season five does slightly improve but still falls short of the first three fantastic seasons. Much like season four, the strengths and weaknesses remain virtually the same, with the slight improvements this season coming from some solid payoffs and strong emotional moments that will surely move you. It goes without saying that the production design, costume design, make-up, wardrobe, props, acting, etc. remain as stunning as ever and I have yet to complain about any of those elements in any of the seasons. We finally make some much needed headway in subplots with Edith and Marigold, Tom Branson, Rose and more. Mr. and Mrs. Bates unfortunately can’t seem to catch a break but I have a feeling that it will make their eventual happiness all the more satisfying if and when we ever reach that point. I’ve often complained that Thomas Barrow is a rather one note character who is just mean for no reason but this might be his best season yet due to him being humbled, becoming slightly nicer and yet still being able to get his hands dirty to get back at people he doesn’t like. A character leaves Downton at the end of the season which was emotional but a strong change of pace. Violet and Isabel’s relationship has become one of the highlights of the show and Violet has two employees at each other’s throats this season which makes for some great comedic moments to lighten things up. Rose’s romance was nice to see and provided some drama but I wish we could have gotten to know her love interest more because their love affair seems very rushed and slightly underdeveloped. There are quite a few new characters introduced in the last two episodes of the season which seemed like they were jamming a little too much in at the last second. I did love that Violet gets a romantic subplot, which I never saw coming but it was a worthy addition to the season. One pair gets engaged in the season finale and even though the show has briefly hinted at some chemistry between the two, they have never so much as gone on a date or shared a kiss on the cheek so that seemed a little shoehorned in and could have been built up more. I wasn’t super interested to jump from one episode to the next like I was in the first three seasons but it seems the smart decision to have one final season to end the show and I hope they go out on a high note and then I can finally watch the recently released film. After three incredible seasons and two lesser ones, I have a good feeling about how season five ended and hope that season six continues that momentum so we can end this entire series on fond terms.
#MaryChristmasAndHappyCrawleyDays / #TheMarigoldStandard / #GoToSprattAgainst / #ImShippingUpToBoston / #WeighTheRoseAndCons / #StrivingMissDaisy