To those that missed last night’s episode of Downton Abbey; fret not. The best is still to come next weekend with the season finale that is bound to be a tear-jerker, with last night’s episode setting the scene for a truly spectacular conclusion to the season, in true Downton style.
The finale has already aired quite some time ago overseas, so some are already aware of the tragic ending of the third season of this wonderfully dramatic period piece. But we won’t give away too much of what the few of us already know about the season finale just yet, for the sake of those who still thrill in the excitement of the unknown (and people without decent internet access!)
Last night’s episode saw the staff of Downton pack up their masters and send them off to the Highlands of Scotland, leaving poor ole Tom Branson back at home to watch the house with his young daughter named after her deceased mother Sybil. He is somewhat interrogated by a cheeky new maid in the manor, Edna, resulting in Tom questioning who he is now that he is seen as a Lord of the house and no longer a valet. In Scotland, Lord Grantham has gathered together fishing nets and hunting rifles for a pleasant trip in the Highlands to visit the MacClare family as men did in those days. Lady Susan, otherwise known as Mrs MacClare, is the niece of Lady Violet Crawley (played by Maggie Smith), and so the two families are linked. Little drama occurs at all with respect to the Lords, who seem cut off from it all during their day trips out in the wild.
And oh how the time flies; Lady Mary is shown to be very pregnant at the start of the episode – eight months in fact. Quite a leap in time since the last episode, as is Downton convention, and the episode warns viewers at the beginning of the episode that we are now 1 year further along in the story. Her pregnancy doesn’t stop Mary from continuing her snide jests at Edith, who is joined by her magazine editor, Mr Michael Gregson, who of course seeks her hand in marriage. Edith generates much sympathy, particularly in this season, and especially when compared to the much crueller example she played in season one. Viewers can expect to again be rooting for the underdog in Edith. There is perhaps less sympathy to be felt for Rose MacClare who has become a constant within the show, and is trying to cope with the somewhat angsty issue of being a teenager. She is helped by the fan-favourites Anna and Bates who accompanied the family into Scotland. Can’t forget to pack your maid and footman for a hunting trip, apparently.
Meanwhile back at Downton, the servants are left to their own devices somewhat, though remain under the watchful eye of Carson who insists upon continuing work while the family is away. This doesn’t stop some playful drama from unfolding, with Mrs Patmore attracting a rough-around-the-edges bloke from town, and a certain kind of tension held between the still-employed Thomas and Jimmy. The drama surrounding Thomas and his homosexuality appears to have died down somewhat, and the tension that remains doesn’t appear hostile at all; if anything, it seems quite the contrary between the two men. Nothing in impossible at Downton. The episode ends with a plan for the house staff to go to a local fair, to be joined by poor widowed Tom. It’s also interesting to note that the kind-hearted and liberal Mrs Crawley will also attend the fair, escorted by the equally kind Dr Clarkson. Fingers crossed a romance is blooming between these two well-meaning characters!
Downton Abbey is advertising a life and a death for next week’s season finale. Of course we can expect that Lady Mary will give birth to her child, but the death still raises some questions. Here at TVBloggers we are already aware of what’s to come, and can promise a bitter-sweet ending to the season. We can confirm for you that a character does indeed die, and for the sake of your sanity it won’t be Mary to die as a result of childbirth. Unlike her sister Sybil who tragically died after the birth of her daughter only a few episodes ago. If that episode had you sniffling but still composed, then be prepared to blubber next week. Have some tissues ready, as Downton says goodbye to a much loved character. It’s certainly not to be missed!
Stay tuned for more reviews and TV gossip, and don’t forget to tune in tonight for Game of Thrones!
~ Written by Jessica Sheridan.
Downton Family Tree info: Downton Abbey Wiki