Spoiler Alert! If you are a fan, STOP RIGHT HERE if for some unexplainable reason you don’t
know anything about Sunday’s final episode of Downton Abbey, Season 3. I will keep the details vague anyway to protect the innocent. In terms of TV land, the rest of us woke up to a whole new world this morning, and as I was struggling to come to terms, I was reminded of Elisabeth Kubler Ross’s Five Stages of Grief.
First there is denial. They did NOT do that to us! I went to bed in such a state that I tossed and turned all night long, thinking surely it was only a bad PBS dream, something akin to Laura Linney having bad hair or missing a front tooth. It simply could not be so! But alas, at the dawn of day, hundreds of Facebook posts and comments had confirmed the worst. As I began my personal journey of processing the truth, I become aware that I have moved to the second stage, which is anger.
Season Four? No way am I watching–ever again! After that cheap shot? I won’t take that kind of emotional manipulation! Julian Fellowes can take his Earl Grey tea and shove it! What do we care about those people anyway? They’re way too rich for their own good. But wait, here comes the bargaining stage. Really now, if you just take that last thirty seconds of Season 3, Episode 7–especially that one shot, you know which one I mean–and throw it out, I’ll come back. Go ahead, admit it was a mistake, a hasty, ill conceived notion, an artistic burp, as it were. Out of delicacy, I will refrain from using the better word.
Of course, that’s absurd. It has happened. It’s done now and there is no going back. Thus, I move into the fourth stage of grief, which is depression. Though I will avoid specifics for the sake of our friends still living in that other land, let me say that there is a deep, genuine sadness over the state of affairs at the big house. Yet one question looms most heavily-Who are we going to look at next season? Oh, how we will miss those baby blues!
We must move on. No doubt there will be support groups, message boards, and to help us remember those happier times, there will always be reruns. Eventually, perhaps some sooner than others, we will move on to the next and final phase of our grief journey–acceptance. This is not a place where we forget, but rather, where we can remember the good, and move on with courage and anticipation into the next season. There is hope! We can help ourselves and each other reach this place with a simple, daily reminder–PEOPLE! IT’S A TV SHOW! Thank you.