TV Reviews

Why Downton Abbey’s series finale was the perfect sendoff

This blog post contains spoilers about the last two episodes of Downton Abbey.  If you have not watched, please don’t read on.

Downton Abbey has been on the air for 6 years.  I’ve been watching the show for less than 6 months, and it’s already one of my all time favorites.

Last week’s penultimate episode was one of the best episodes of the entire series.  Edith was happily in love with Bertie Pelham, but there was still a lingering issue – Marigold.  Bertie knew that Marigold was the Crawleys’ “ward”, but didn’t know the true story of where she came from.

Mary had decided that she couldn’t deal with Henry’s car racing, and ended their relationship.  Everyone knows that an unhappy Mary is one raging bitch.  Mary proved just what a raging bitch she is when she announced, in front of Bertie, that Marigold is Edith’s daughter with Michael Gregson.  Bertie is upset and walks out of the room, then tells Edith he can’t be with someone who didn’t trust him to know the truth.  Tom, god love him, went ape shit on Mary and told her that she needed to get her shit together (more or less) and to apologize to Edith.  Mary went to see Edith.  It didn’t go well.  Edith told Mary that she “is a bitch, a scheming bitch.”  Edith is right.  I can’t believe Mary went that far.

Devastated, Edith leaves for London.  Talbot comes back and Mary professes her love for him, and they marry at once.  Edith, being the much better person, comes back for the wedding, telling Mary that they are “blood, and soon the only people who will remember Sybill.”  I was so proud of Edith in that moment.  She proved that she is the better person.  Lucky for Mary, she ended up with the insanely gorgeous Henry Talbot.

In the series finale, Edith is contemplating a permanent move to London with Marigold, and goes to London with Talbot, who drives her.  They speak of Mary, and Talbot tells Edith that “his Mary is not her Mary.”  Truer words have never been spoken.  I have never  understood why Mary was such a bitch to Edith.  Mary was very sweet to Sybill, and she is great friends with Tom, but she’s awful to Edith.

Mary, however, proved me wrong.  Mary, not believing that Bertie and Edith were done, arranged for them to meet for dinner in London, where Bertie told Edith that he made a mistake and wants her back, and to marry her.  Edith, at first, is baffled and doesn’t know how to feel.  Bertie convinces Edith that they should be together, and she contacts her family to let them know of her upcoming wedding.  At this point, the show jumps to New Years Eve, many months later.edith weddingBack at Downton, Henry is struggling with what to do now that he is no longer racing cars.  He and Tom come up with a business idea, and run with it.  They decide to open Talbot & Branson Cars.  Henry is going to sell cars and Tom is going to be a mechanic.  Henry worries that Mary is disappointed in his choice, but it turns out she’s very proud.  It also turns out that Mary has a surprise for Henry – she’s pregnant.

Mary does something else that is uncharacteristic – she doesn’t tell anyone that she’s pregnant because she doesn’t want to steal Edith’s thunder (she tells Hmary & talbotenry the days before Edith’s wedding).  I have never been prouder of Mary.  She put Edith first for the first time ever.  It was a really great moment.

There were many things happening below stairs as well.  Thomas found employment elsewhere, working for a couple (and seemingly hating it).  Anna is very pregnant, due any minute.  Andy is tired of waiting on Daisy, and stops paying attention to her.  This, of course, gets Daisy’s attention.  Daisy goes to the farm and sees Andy doing some manual labor, and gets hot and bothered.  Daisy has never had good taste in men (Thomas, Jimmy), but she has found a gem in Andy.  He’s a hard worker who very much likes Daisy.  I’m glad Daisy finally get her head out of her ass.

Mr. Carson has been struggling with medical issues; he has been shaking, like his grandfather and father before him.  He had hoped it would pass him, this unnamed ailment (which is clearly Parkinson’s).  It gets to the point that Carson can’t pour wine anymore.  Lord Crawley comes up with a solution – bring Thomas on as butler so that Carson can semi-retire.  Thomas is thrilled.

Watching Thomas’s character evolve has been very interesting.  He started off as a schemer always looking to make trouble with O’Brien, and he’s turned into a nice man who is fantastic with the children.  I was really happy that Thomas was asked to be the butler.

Mr. Moseley was offered a full time position as a teacher at the school in town, which he took.  Daisy decided to move to the farm with Mr. Mason.  Lastly, Anna goes into labor on New Year’s Eve in Mary’s bedroom of all places, and gives birth to a son.  I’m so happy that Anna and Bates story had a happy ending.  After all they have been through, they deserve a happy ending.

Cousin Isobel finally decided to marry Dickie Merton, much to the chagrin of this horrible children.  Denker told the Dowager that Spratt is a journalist working for Edith’s magazine, and showed her an article written by Spratt – which the Dowager heartily enjoyed.  Denker was someone who was annoying – kind of like Thomas from a few years ago.  I was glad to see Spratt get the better of her:)

I wasn’t happy that Tom was left with no ending.  They seemed to be leading to Tom ending up with the editor from Edith’s magazine (she even caught Edith’s bouquet), but it was left unresolved.  It also seemed that Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason were going to end up together, but that didn’t happen.  And I really wanted to see Mr. Moseley and Baxter get together – they seemed perfect together.

Overall, it was a perfect finale for a new perfect show.  I will miss Downton Abbey terribly and have enjoyed having the Crawley’s in my life, for even this short time. downtonabbey

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