Monday, February 13, 2012

Angst Initiate: Thomas Barrow on Downton Abbey

Hands up if you love Thomas!

Rob James-Collier as Thomas kisses  Charlie Cox as The Duke on the pilot Downton Abbey Thomas kisses The Duke
Thomas is a great character. And he's such a bastard. He's often vindictive, manipulative and downright cruel. But he's also incredibly funny and a social outcast. Those two things soften his edges and grant him a measure of sympathy. 

Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow with his mangled hand on Downton Abbey S02E02
It's not hard to imagine how difficult it would be to be gay in the early 1900s. (Although the fact that everyone seems to know I find a little unlikely). Thomas was simply born in the wrong place at the wrong time. His dastardly ways are a product of his strength. It's admirable, in a way, and also very sad. 

Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow in uniform on Downton Abbey S02E02
When Thomas meets the blinded solider while working at the village hospital, he tells him, "You're not a victim, don't let them make you into one." That's pretty much the life mantra of Thomas. He pushes first. And his hard candy shell doesn't crack often.

Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow cries sobs on Downton Abbey S02E02
Poor Thomas. If only I could send him a television time machine so he could jump forward to 2012. Things aren't quite perfect here, but I think he'd be a lot happier. And probably a lot nicer too.


  1. I think being a bastard just adds that extra something to the angst, which I love. Whole heartedly agreeing here.

  2. I watched season 1 - 3 only recently, and while I always felt sympathetic towards Thomas he became one of my favorite characters (besides Branson) in the last episode of S3. He really got to me there, and I think the final scene he shared with Jimmy was very touching. More than anything else that man needs a friend. I'm very curious about how he will progress in S4.

    1. Yes!! Thomas definitely needs a friend. I find it really interesting when they sort of hint at how different he'd be if he had been born in a different time. Like - if he hadn't been so browbeaten and scorned. And I always want them to give Thomas more than they do. But yeah - his season three stuff with Jimmy was really great. I definitely have to write a post about it :)