Downton Abbey Season 2
January 9, 2012 by staff
Downton Abbey Season 2, The season 2 premiere of Downton Abbey reminded us why the Crawleys are kind, considerate and compassionate people, genuinely interested in everyone around them. Their own livelihood, that of their town, their country, their home and their staff are all equally important. That they take nothing for granted is unique in a story of this type and makes them utterly charming.
From the moment Matthew and his mother stepped foot onto Downton Abbey, I fell in love with them. But I didn’t realize how much I cared for Matthew until I saw him on the WWI battlefront in the opening scene. As the third cousin once removed and heir to Downton Abbey, what could have been a painful situation for the family turned into one of mutual respect and admiration, as he and Isobel proved themselves worthy to the task of looking after the Abbey.
Whereas the sinking of the Titanic put Matthew into a position he could never have dreamed at the start of the series, his own life is now in jeopardy as he fights for his country, beside the very same people he had come to know as household help just two years earlier. It’s an extraordinary sequence of events demonstrating how easily circumstances can change for any one of us, no matter our position in life. That the residents of the Abbey treat each other justly works in their favor because their situations continue to transform.
If ever there was a catalyst for transformation in Europe, World War I was it. The Abbey is left with few men on staff, and the Earl of Grantham himself is embarrassed to be dismissed from active service and used merely as a morale booster in the war effort. Still, not understanding of the changing times, Violet has taken it upon herself to ensure the Abbey is not completely without man-servants by using her station to speak with the local Army doctor about medical conditions she believes would keep some male staff from duty.
It was particularly upsetting to learn of this hidden deal when two women attending a fundraising concert at the Abbey stood up and handed out white feathers signifying cowardice to the young men left behind. With Isobel hard at work on the war effort and her own son in the trenches, once she learned of Violet’s deception, she demanded that each man be evaluated on their own merit for service. Only Mr. Mason begged release.
It was no surprise that Sybil felt so greatly the need to assist in the war effort. After speaking her mind to Isobel, the latter suggested she learn some things from the help – such as how to make her own bed, clean the floors and learn cooking skills so she would have talents to start with in the nursing career. That she wouldn’t know how to do those things never entered my mind, but it was absolutely joyful watching her in the kitchen. The richness of the household relationships was at its best during those scenes.
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