Downton Abbey: The finale aired last night, and everyone except Decker got a happy ending. (She’s Lady Grantham’s maid who keeps trying to get the butler fired in the most obvious ways possible.) I was on board with most of them, but Thomas Barrow’s arc seemed a little off. I was thinking about it early in the episode, when everyone this man (who recently attempted suicide) worked with felt completely free to tell him they hated him. At one point, they went around the table so everyone could tell him they hated him. And granted, he started off pretty sleazy and conniving, but that’s still pretty much the definition of a hostile work environment. And while his next job isn’t hostile, it is sad and lonely and that’s almost as bad. So his happy ending is that they offer to bring him back with a promotion. So… all those people who openly told him they hated him, he’s going to be the boss of them? And it’s not so much that he seems to no longer be conniving as he doesn’t have anyone to be conniving with, but there’s no guarantee that’ll always be true. It feels like Barrow would have been better served by discovering something else he’s good at and leaving to do that. Maybe find a community of people like him? They did exist, then.
The Family: I tried the pilot. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that at the end, the stakes didn’t feel big enough. The central mystery is, “is this actually the boy who disappeared ten years ago?” But… why wouldn’t it be? There’s not really any indication that anyone would want to set this family up, or why. There’s also a whole thing where the sister planted evidence on the man next door to help the police get a search warrant, and that evidence ended up convicting him of murder and she feels very guilty. But they let the man out of prison as soon as the boy showed up, all, “guess you didn’t kill him because he’s not dead!” and he’s all “no worries! I promise not to sue!” so literally the only consequence is that the girl feels guilty. Maybe there’s some bigger things the show is building towards, but I didn’t really get a sense of that from the pilot and I don’t have time to wait around and find out.
Supergirl: I’m still watching this one, but I dunno. The big sticking point for me is Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart). Supergirl insists that she needs a day job and friends so she can feel connected to the human race and that’s fine. But there is absolutely no reason why it needs to be THIS day job. There are exactly zero benefits to Supergirl being in a newsroom, much less one where she has no power and in fact is frequently mocked and threatened. The office dynamics feel off anyway – she writes a letter to her boss’ adopted son from the POV of her boss, telling him how she regrets giving him up for adoption and he needs to come visit, and somehow talks her way into keeping her job. Then she dates said son for about a minute, decides it’s not working out, and is threatened with firing every day for multiple episodes. THIS IS AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. I don’t know why she stays in it, and it’s making me extremely tense watching it. So I don’t know about season 2. I mean, I’m sure the show will get a season 2. I just don’t know if I’ll be watching.