Matthew Goode is now in Downton Abbey! I can't stress enough what great casting that is! Of all the choices of well-mannered slightly adorable classy men, he fits the show perfectly. Tom Hiddlesdon? Too widely loved. Ben Wishaw? Too tasteful (dude was Paddington, y'know!) But Matthew Goode? He's the perfect culmination of tacky class. He's like a well-refined savant Ken Doll, and I would love him to return for Downton Abbey Season 6.
If his other main project, The Good Wife permits, we may well see more of Matthew Goode in Season 6. What might Downton Abbey gain from this precious porcelain man returning to our screens?
He Has Chemistry With Lady Mary!
Lady Mary's exploits, and the men those exploits rope in are where the sexy elements of Downton Abbey emerge (as sexy as you can expect Downton to be). Matthew Goode's Henry Talbot made his first appearance in the 2014 christmas special. While I'd misunderstood a joke sketch and was thoroughly fed up with the lack of George Clooney on my screen, Matthew Goode suddenly pops up and starts shooting grouse, and I'm in a stupor of wonderment for the rest of the episode.
I can speak for the fans when I say that everyone wanted Henry and Mary's snappy back and forth to be taken further. Their wry chemistry was palpable, and can be taken places, which the show seems to know! Why else would they explicitly address Henry Talbot's perchance for racing cars? It's kinda weird that Mary is totally into this, since it was a car crash that literally killed her ex-husband, Dan Stevens! I'm just not sure why she would be getting all hot and bothered for fast, dangerous machines.
He Can be Sinister
Matthew Goode is a funny actor. Just put him in stuff, and I will laugh at it, like a gnome being photographed going round the world. That said, he has more depth than just being a funny action-figure man, and has shades of lurid ominousness that make him a joy to watch. He could certainly adapt to some of the dark DARK places Downton Abbey is willing to go. Goode's range could tonally do some interesting things to Season 6.
If you want proof of Goode's ability to play the unsettling villain, look no further than Park Chan-Wook's masterful Stoker. His performance as Uncle Charlie is a truly terrifying delight, and if Henry Talbot were to descend into some sort of villainous figure in Season 6, Goode could manage it spectacularly.
We Like Him and Downton Abbey for the Same Reasons!
Let's be honest, Downton Abbey is a trashy show. It's one that provides refined imagery that a lot of people like to indulge in, but it's a crazy soap-opera under it's shiny veneer. That's one of the more beautiful things about serialised television; the fact that things, in the long run, can be enjoyed for reasons completely different to how they were first pitched.
In a bizarre way, Matthew Goode inhabits the same space. He should be just another slightly posh actor who's face pleases the camera, but he's not! He's MATTHEW GOODE! This kind of transcendent appreciation of an actor occurs when they have that same kitschy indulgence that Downton Abbey has. Matthew Goode is great. He's like a classical Hollywood actor who got frozen, and has restarted his career upon thawing with no concern for how the industry has changed. He even rocks this demeanour in hyper-industrialised modern nonsense like Watchmen.
I would make a joke here about Zack Snyder directing Downton Abbey Season 6, but then I realise how amazing that would be.
Matthew Goode is a pocket of archaic campiness played straight, and in a sense, so is Downton Abbey. There's something fun about regressing to a form of viewership devoid of the biting cynicism that comes from modern media consumption. Matthew Goode and Downton Abbey are the perfect marriage for Season 6. I can only hope that they decide to bring him back, unless he gets offered another role where he's impossibly charming and handsome yet unbelievably silly, which, let's face it, he probably will be!