This is it. We are finally upon the very last Downton Abbey episode. Ever. If you're already feeling a little teary-eyed over this, don't feel bad; you are not alone. We are going to get through this together. Grab those tissues and let's rip that bandaid off and jump right in to see what fate holds for our favorite family and their loyal servants.
The family are walking the estate with the children and we find that Edith has plans to send Marigold to a school in London. The family, except for Tom, are all quite taken aback with this notion, but Edith stands firm. She'll live in London and work on her magazine and be a real woman of the city.
Mary finds Henry brooding alone and we find that the death of his friend has taken the fun out of driving. Sounds as though we can expect him to give it up entirely.
Anna tells Mrs. Hughes that she plans on working throughout her pregnancy, and Mr. Carson does not approve of this "future." Mrs. Hughes is in far better touch with reality and she believes that the future means no ladies maids at all.
The family are sitting down to dinner and Mr. Carson's hand tremors as he is pouring Robert's wine, clearly throwing everyone who noticed for quite a loop.
Andy corners Mrs. Patmore and asks if Daisy is interested in boys. She asks what he's implying and he clarifies that she hasn't seemed interested, what with all her exams and whatnot. Mrs. Patmore assures him that he does have a chance, and that a little bit of wooing goes a far way.
We shoot over to Barrow and find that he's found another job, a discovery that does not thrill Barrow nearly as much as it does Mr. Carson.
Edith stops to visit Spratt and give him the good news that they intend to turn his column into a full paged feature. If you recall, her mysterious advice columnist, who writes for women-about-town, was actually Lady Grantham's butler, Spratt. Classic.
Mr. Mosley and Baxter are walking through town when the teacher comes up and lets him know that the other teacher is retiring, and offers the position AND the teacher's cottage to Mr. Mosley. He is stunned into silence, but Baxter promises the teacher that he'll think about it.
Denker is seething that she doesn't know Spratt's secret. I'm so over her and her scheming.
Mrs. Hughes notices Mr. Carson's hand tremor and barges into his office furious that he hasn't told her what's happening. She is his wife and his secrets are safe with her always.
Violet comes to check on Dickie, since she hasn't heard from him in a while. He's been quiet because he's been sick, and we find out that he's got pernicious anemia. Apparently this is fatal, but I've never heard of it so I'm basing this off of their faces and all the implications.
Henry drops Edith off at her flat, and we find out that the reason he is in London is to "give up racing." I don't know if that means to sell his car, or something of the sort, but he doesn't relish the thought of becoming the sort of husband that sits around the house all day with nothing to do, but Edith just tells him to, you know, find something to do. Straight forward, yes, but sound advice nonetheless.
Andy is trying to be sweet to Daisy, but she's just being a total asshole to him. Daisy is really quite harsh, when she wants to be.
Edith had a note waiting for her at her apartment to meet her Aunt at the Ritz for dinner. When she gets there, though, she finds Bertie waiting for her instead. She is shaken to her core, and we find her flushed with anger. She doesn't believe that he would have ever called her had Mary not tipped him off that she would be in London, but he assures her he would have. She tells him that nothing has changed, she and Marigold are a packaged deal. He tells her that HE has changed, and cannot live without her. She says that he's been doing a pretty good job of it lately, but he says, no... he's been doing a very bad job. He is ready for the gossip, he is ready to tackle all of the problems him loving Edith could bring. As long as they are together, he can take on anything.
Thank you sweet Baby Jesus. No character has ever deserved happiness more than Edith and it sounds like she may actually get it. Edith calls and tells the family and they are all thrilled at the news, and will head to Brancaster to meet Bertie's mother.
Isabel is telling Violet about Dickie's condition and finds that she is terribly upset about the news. Violet tells her, well, of course she's upset. The man she loves is dying. Isabel scoffs at the term, "in love," saying it conjures thoughts of dance cards and stealing kisses in the dark and youth, not a couple of old fuddy duddies who can barely manage the stairs.
Violet continues to masterfully deliver trite, perfunctory proverbs, and I don't know if I've ever loved her more. Isabel asks her if she ever loved again, after Prince Caragon got away, and Violet tells her, "You must know by now, I never answer any question more incriminating than whether or not a I need a rug." Honestly, what am I going to do without Lady Grantham on my television screen?
The servants are all saying goodbye to Barrow and I find myself getting quite sad. He has made a miraculous transformation, his evolution has been more dramatic than that of any other character. "I arrive here as a boy, I leave as a man."
Wow, now I'm sobbing. I have jumped from cackling to openly weeping numerous times already in this episode. Exactly how any series finale should be, in my opinion.
Daisy makes another hateful remark to Andy, and Mrs. Patmore tells her that she only likes boys when they don't like her. The minute a boy starts to show her affection, she snaps and becomes bitchy.
Cora and Robert have come to finally meet Bertie's mother, and right away I can tell she's going to cause some trouble.
Henry tells Mary that he's going to give up racing, and she's clearly relieved. As they're discussing the new prospects, Mr. Carson's tremor rears it's ugly head again and he spills wine on Lady Mary. He rushes downstairs and Mrs. Hughes is there and he tells her that it's a "palsy" that ended both his father and grandfather's careers. Mary comes down and tells him that she is prepared to do whatever needs to be done to make sure he's okay. He knows how dear he is to her.
Okay Bertie's mom is a raging bitch. She is being all kinds of hateful and all but calls Edith out as unworthy in front of everyone, including her parents. She's the worst. Edith can handle it, though; she's tough as nails.
Isabel insisted on taking Dickie to the hospital to get a second opinion. Dr. Clarkson tells her that it seems the prognosis is accurate. As they're walking out, his terrible daughter-in-law, Amelia, is waiting for them. She tells Isabel to leave Dickie alone and I want Violet to come in and just ring her neck for her. Ugh.
Mary finds Henry reading in the bedroom and he tells her that he's trying to figure out his next move, so that he can be worthy of her, whether she actually feels that way or not.
Robert finds Edith looking out over the grounds and she tells him that she isn't sure if she should actually go through with it, because she doesn't think Bertie has actually considered what marrying her might mean. Robert brings her back down to reality though.
Barrow is saying his final goodbyes and it's too emotional. I don't want him to goooooooooooooo. I have a feeling this isn't the last we'll from him, though.
Edith has come to see her future mother-in-law. She has decided that she's going to tell her about Marigold.
Barrow is settling into his new role, and finds that his grand new house only has three servants, including him. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of Downton.
Daisy comes to visit with Mr. Mason and Andy gives her earlier bite right back to her. So of course, now she's hooked. Just like Mrs. Patmore said.
Bertie comes to meet with his mother after Edith confessed everything to her. She is clearly upset by the revelations, and tells Bertie that, while she likes Edith, she has put herself out of the running, and is damaged goods. Bertie tells her that he has chosen Edith and he will not yield, and walks away.
Isabel goes to visit Dickie, but Amelia stops her at the door and refuses to let her in. After a bit of a spat, she slams the door in Isabel's face. Isobel heads straight to Violet's house and Violet tells her she needs to run past the servants and push her way up the stairs. As her late father always used to say, "If reason doesn't work, try force!"
Mr. Mosley has finally given his notice to Mr. Carson and Carson finds himself just a wee bit panicked that he'll be alone with a footman.
The big dinner at Brancaster is upon us, and as Bertie gets up to announce his engagement to Edith, his mother stands up and interrupts him. Bertie insists on continuing with his plan though, and Robert tells her to speak up or lose him forever. She dashes up and announces the engagement so that it's clear she is happy about it and will cooperate. Edith will get her happy ending after all.
Her mother-in-law comes into apologize for their initial meeting, and praises Edith for her integrity and honesty.
We shoot to Violet and Isabel shoving their way into Dickie's house. Amelia refuses to let them up, but Dickie hears their voices and comes rushing down the stairs. They tell them that Amelia has been denying Isabel entry and Dickie is straight pissed. His asshole son Larry tries to interject, but Dickie cuts him off. Isabel tells him to go upstairs and let his valet know that he will be moving into Isabel's house. Larry and Amelia are scandalized, even more so when Isabel declares that she intends to marry Dickie as soon as may be. Amelia asks what Dickie thinks about Isabel trying to take him away from his family and kidnap him into marriage, and his face turns into the happiest face I've ever seen as he says, "How perfectly marvelous."
How perfectly marvelous indeed.
The family have returned home from their visit with Edith's new family, and Edith thanks Mary for orchestrating the entire meeting with Bertie. They seem to have really made headway on their relationship, I hope they'll continue to mend.
It's New Year's Eve and the house is preparing for Edith and Bertie's wedding. Rose and Atticus have arrived and everyone is thrilled to see them. She has photos of her baby girl, Victoria, and is catching up with all the servants now. She asks is Barrow will be there, but they don't know if he'll be able to get the time off work.
Mary and Robert notice Carson's tremor again, and when they go down to investigate, Carson decides he must give his resignation, and they are all very distraught. They try to talk him into staying on as an overseer, but he doubts that a new butler would agree to that.
Henry and Tom have taken Mary into York and she is pleased as punch with their new business venture: a garage and car dealership. She also tells Henry that she's pregnant, but that she doesn't want to steal Edith's thunder, so they'll keep it a secret for now.
Rose insisted on taking Robert to see Cora in action, so that he could see exactly what Cora does at the hospital. He has been very bitter lately at all the time she's been spending there, but seeing her in action shows him that this is where she belongs.
Daisy decides that she's going to steal Lady Mary's hairdryer and try her hand at a new style.
Denker spills the beans to Violet about Spratt's new journalistic ventures. Denker just so happens to have a copy of the magazine handy and hands it to Violet to check out. The plan backfires, though, as Lady Grantham starts laughing hysterically at Spratt's words.
Daisy's attempts to update her style have backfired terribly and she's a ball of fuzz. Anna helps her out and fixes her hair, and Mr. Bates wishes she would just sit down already.
Andy makes his intentions for Daisy clear, and they're totally on the same page now and are going to definitely end up together.
We then find out that Dickie does not have the pernicious anemia, and he's going to be just fine. Oh goodness, more tears.
Barrow shows up to the wedding and plants himself down next to Anna and Bates. She is feeling a bit claustrophobic and hot, so of course we can assume that she's going into labor.
Edith is walking down the stairs all dressed in white, and she and Robert have an adorable father-daughter-moment together. She's ready to marry her prince.
It's hard to type when you've turned into a weeping puddle of feels, but I've made it this long, I'm not giving up yet.
Robert tells Cora that he was very proud of her at the hospital yesterday, and the puddle has grown.
Carson is trying to handle the champagne but finds himself struggling again and has a bit of an outburst. Barrow comes up to try and help, and an idea strikes Robert. He asks what everyone thought about Barrow coming back as Butler while Carson will continue to run the household. The only situation in which this would work. Mrs. Hughes sees this as a great opportunity and settles it right there. So Carson stays and Barrow comes back. Jesus H I cannot handle it.
Anna goes upstairs to return the hairdryer where her water breaks on Mary's carpet. Mary runs into a tizzy of action and starts to undress Anna. Anna tells her that it doesn't seem right, this role reversal, and Mary asks "Oh what does all that matter now?"
Henry tells Bates the news and his face lights up with the joy of impending fatherhood. The whole house is moving at a rapid pace. Since, let's not forget, there is also still a wedding going on upstairs!
Edith and Bertie are heading off to their honeymoon, their fairy tale wedding having come to an end.
Edith's bouquet lands in the arms of her editor, and I'm certain when the movie comes out in a few years, she'll be married to Tom.
Robert spots Carson in the back looking very downtrodden, but they have a really sweet conversation and now I'm sobbing again. Especially because it looks like Carson is very close to crying himself.
Anna has given birth to a healthy baby boy and Lady Mary's bed. She and Bates look like the proudest two people on earth.
Cora and Violet also make amends on this New Year's Eve and seriously, I think Julianne Fellowes is trying to kill me. Death by dehydration after I've dried out because of all of my fallen tears.
We close out the final episode of Downton Abbey with the household singing a beautiful rendition of "Auld Lang Syne," the song of endings, as well as new beginnings. We get one last, snow-covered shot of the abbey, and that's it. It's over.
I don't know if I can actually form words to adequately express my feelings right now, but I do have an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. I do truly feel that every single character's story was wrapped up perfectly.
And so what if it was all happy? Have we become so terribly jaded and pessimistic to not believe in a simple happy ending these days!? Let's celebrate the fact that there are still shows on TV that allow their characters to have them.
I hope you've enjoyed the final season of Downton Abbey as much as I have. Let's just all keep our fingers crossed that a movie (or 3) really is in our future. More Crawleys is never a problem.