Erika Rivera Staff Writer
This season of Downton Abbey has had it all! Death, births, romances, feuds…you name it! Going into last week’s finale (for those of us not from the UK), we definitely had our guard up as far as what was to be expected. Last season’s finale ended on an incredibly happy note as we got what we had been waiting for two seasons to happen, Matthew and Mary’s engagement and subsequent wedding. What did tonight’s finale give us?
Tonight’s episode started on a relatively happy note as we were treated to a time jump. Lady Mary and Matthew were expecting their first child together (yay!) and she was pretty far along. Understandably, everyone was a bit nervous about her giving birth, especially Carson. No one has yet forgotten the shocking death of Lady Sybil so pins and needles seem to be in order for everyone’s behavior.
The Crawley family is then invited to visit Lady Rose and her warring parents, Susan and Hugh (“Shrimpy” as he is affectionately called) up north to Duneagle Castle in Scotland, the ancestral home of the MacClare family. For those fans who remember, Lady Rose caused quite the scandal earlier this season when she was visiting the Crawley’s (notably the Dowager Duchess). Many of the Crawley family members would prefer that the Lady Mary stay behind, given her condition, but she insists on coming anyway. Bates, Anna, Moseley and O’Brien also join the Crawley’s on their getaway (Good times!).
On the Lady Edith front, she is surprised to learn that Gregson, her boss at the newspaper, is also Scotland (how convenient), causing both Mary and Matthew to fight about his motives for being there. Gregson, if you have been watching faithfully, is stuck in a hopeless marriage to a woman who no longer remembers him (poor dear). He tells Edith on this trip that his situation is rather hopeless but Edith, who is tired of losing at the game of love, digs her heels and tells him that their relationship is only just beginning (Go Edith!).
As for the family the Crawleys are visiting, as aforementioned, all is not well with Lady Rose and her parents, the Dowager’s niece Susan (what a shrew) and “Shrimpy” (the nickname kills me). Their discord is so loud that Lady Rose is eventually invited to stay at Downton (this is going to be too good!). The troubles at Duneagle Castle does help give Robert a much needed reality check and Lord Grantham finally decides to stick his foot in his mouth by realizing that Downton will survive because of Matthew and his hopes for it (about time!).
Back at Downton, Branson is left with his sweet babe Sybie but is feeling a little down and still a bit out of place. The staff, on the other hand, is totally looking forward to the county fair and Carson, being the killjoy that he is, struggles to keep them concentrating on work. A new housemaid, Edna, joins the staff and sets her sights on Tom. He falls preys to her charms and begins to feel more at place with the staff and more ashamed of what he has become (Sashay away, Edna). Edna gets too big for her britches and gets far too cozy with Tom, inviting him to the fair as her date and being extra flirty with him.
Also at said fair, a lot of interesting plotlines converge and take place. Dr. Clarkson, who has set his affections on Isobel, attempts to pop the question after a few enjoyable dates with her. Isobel, catching on to what he is about to do, saves him the embarrassment of rejection by pretending not to understand what he is up to. As for Mrs. Patmore, she receives a proposal of her own with her new romance but it does not last long as she realizes that he is only interested in her cooking and Mrs. Hughes informs her that he is quite a flirt with all the ladies (that cad!).
As for the saga of Jimmy and Thomas, that takes a surprising turn at the county fair as well. Jimmy is still put out about Thomas not being fired for sexually harassing him earlier on in the season. When a drunken Jimmy is mugged and nearly robbed after winning money from betting, Thomas saves him. Thomas comes to his rescue (after kinda stalking him throughout the fair, mind you) and takes a beating for Jimmy, for which he is so grateful that he offers his friendship to Thomas.
As for the Edna and Tom situation, Mrs. Hughes is onto to the little social climber (after Edna pretty much admits to not having actual feelings for Branson). She gives Edna the pink slip after she uncovers the truth (yay for not having another Edith, the maid, situation). Later Tom confesses to Mrs. Hughes how much he still longs for and misses his beloved, Sybil (cue Niagara Falls from this viewer; Be still my Syb/Tom heart).
After having tons of fun in Scotland, which included a dancing Anna (who learned for Mr. Bates), a drunken Moseley (seriously, the man cannot hold his wine) and a sneaky O’Brien (who caught another maid trying to one up her), Lady Mary decides to go home early just in time to go into premature labor! Since they have produced an heir, a son, “Downton is safe” proclaims Mary. Wish the same thing could be said about Matthew. The proud father, smiling from ear to ear, rushes off to the estate to share the news of his son when he is killed in a fatal car crash (go ahead and cry; I am still weeping at the time of this writing).
So there you have it, Downtonians. Rest In Peace, Matthew Crawley, you beautiful blond Adonis of the Abbey. What will next season bring us as we await our return to Downton? Only time will tell on that, but I know that I will be impatiently waiting to see what the show will give us next!