Did Tom Branson overshadow the big wedding of Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes on “Downton Abbey” Sunday night? While we’re not entirely sure that we would say that just yet, his big arrival of course is probably what many are going to be talking about more so than the actual ceremony.
What we want to talk about here in our reaction article (you can head over here if you want to read our full review from this past fall) is whether or not the show handled the return of the Branson character the correct way. We certainly do understand the desire to get Allen Leech back on the show as soon as possible, just as we also understand that this was a practical time to do so. He cares about Hughes and Carson, especially when you look back at his own humble beginnings.
With that said, it would have been a sharper move for the series to bring Tom back in prior to the nuptials, that way that particular ceremony is what you were remembering more leading out of the episode. It’s a magical moment between two longtime characters; meanwhile, the return of Branson cannot be shocking to at least those of you who followed social media or reports throughout the show’s filming last year.
Creatively, the move to bring in Branson for the final run does allow for some more nostalgia on the show, and a familiar face to help cultivate the future of the estate. The only thing we wonder is this: We for a long time envisioned a spin-off featuring Tom starting anew in Boston. Does bringing him back negate that, and is there now any “Downton” spin-off that would be interesting to follow once this series comes to a close? Keeping in tune with this same world would not be easy, since you would have to bring back too many familiar characters.
If you want to get some more “Downton Abbey” news tonight, be sure to head over to the link here. Also, sign up over here to get some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. Photo: PBS.)