As usual, this recap contains spoilers. If you have not watched the episode, read at your own risk. This recap also contains tears as this was the final episode of Downton Abbey.
Here we go.
The final episode can be summed up in one word: love.
Edith finally got her happy ending. After years of playing second fiddle to Mary, Lady Edith Crawley (now known as Lady Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham), Edith has it all. A loving husband, a beautiful little girl and a solid career. We all should be so lucky.
Edith is one of those characters that has the ability to bounce back from tragedy. Lesser women would have resigned themselves to their fate, but Edith took her life in her own hands and found her way to a happy ending. Bravo girl, you rock, may we all learn from you.
I am not the only one who found it ironic that at the end of the series, it is Edith who is grand lady of the county while Mary’s husband sells used cars. Who could have guessed back in series 1 that this would be the fates of these characters?
The love was not just between the sisters, who found a way to peacefully co-exist.
Robert finally understood Cora’s devotion to the hospital and began once more to appreciate his wife. Rose and Atticus came back for the wedding and to introduce their daughter (via pictures) to the family. Mary will be a mother once more. A hint of a future pairing existed between Tom and Edith’s editor, which might have been an interesting plot line to see in series 7, but alas, we will never know (that is, unless the rumored movie does one day hit the theaters, fingers crossed). Isobel not only rescued Lord Merton from imprisonment by his son and new daughter in law, the Downton equivalent of Sense and Sensibility’s John and Fanny Dashwood, but she also finally said yes to him.
Downstairs, like upstairs change is happening,
After years of nothing but heartache, Anna and Bates are now parents. Baby boy Bates (whose first name the viewer is not privy to) came into the world in Lady Mary’s bedroom of all places. Welcome to the world, young man, you are blessed to have Anna and John Bates as your parents.
As much as I would have liked to see a Baxter/Molesley romance, it appears that this relationship is squarely set in the friend zone. But that does not mean that Molesley is without prospects, his career options exploded. He can now call himself a teacher. Good for him, the downstairs Edith has a bright future.
There was some romance or at least the possibility of romance downstairs. The potential Daisy/Andy relationship is interesting, but it’s development remains strictly in the imagination of the fans and again, the possible Downton Abbey movie.
Thomas, this episode was like a boomerang. After spending most of the season looking for other employment, he found it, only to find that he hated it and returned to Downton. He has perfect timing, because Mr. Carson is afflicted with Parkinsons and retires with a generous pension from his employers. Thomas is now butler.
Am I the only one who noticed that first time in the series, both Anna and Mrs. Hughes referred to their husbands by their first names?
So that’s it folks. Downton Abbey is over. When they announced that the sixth series would be its last, I don’t think any of us to expect it come as quickly as it did.
As both a die-hard fan and a writer, I am satisfied. Everyone had an ending, happy or semi happy. But there is also enough room for new plots and characters down the road.
Sunday nights at 9 in the winter will never feel the same again.