While you’ve spent the last year doing very little to influence television programming, I’ve been in direct communication with Julian Fellowes about tweaks in the upcoming (and final) season of his brainchild Downton Abbey, just to make sure that we’re on the same page. I’ve opted to use telepathy to communicate with “Jules,” as I call him, because this prevents disagreements from marring our discussions. It turns out that he is totally for my idea of killing off just about everyone in the first episode of this final season and letting the rest of the story run its course in heaven.
For this is how Lady Sybil finally gets her day. While the others have lived on and withered in the heat of life on earth, she has been maintaining her youthful glow, chilling up there in a big feathery bed, biding her time while the servants back-stab and her family’s piles of money get diluted by fiscal ineptitude and new generations of lay-about relatives. The lovely Sybil has not only maintained her striking beauty over the years, having aged not a millisecond, but also has continued to bone-up on the rights of labor while clad in some rather salacious black-market undergarments (which are available in heaven). Meanwhile, her surviving husband Tom all too easily dons the starched costumes of the upper class and drives the story in boring circles, unable or unwilling to seduce either Edith or Mary (or someone, anyone, for crying out loud!)
Julian himself tells me (via telepathy) that he totally agrees with me that having Sybil be the central figure in the final season is absolutely essential, and gets that this is his last chance to make amends for the eclampsia debacle. (“Stupid decision,” he told me without actually speaking, communicating directly with my brain via a smattering of almost imperceptible body movements in PBS interviews).
The one minor dispute we’ve had revolves around my assertion that three people should remain alive on earth and therefore out of sight: Mr. Bates and Anna, of course, who can be imprisoned, or exonerated, or permanently stuck on death row – I don’t really care, as long as we’re not forced to watch the tedium of their sugar-tinged subplot over and over again; and the Countess of Grantham, who seems to have forgotten how to act in film.
This is heaven, after all, where there is finally justice.