Downton Abbey

‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: The Series Finale

The "Downton Abbey" cast, together one last time. (Photo: Courtesy of (C) Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey:  Bertie’s cousin dies, and suddenly he’s a Marquess. This is great news for Edith, or at least it is until Mary drops the bombshell about her sister’s illegitimate daughter. Bertie’s shocked that Edith didn’t trust him with the truth and breaks things off with her. Everyone’s furious with Mary (and deservedly so) and she gets a lot of lectures from everyone in her family, before realizing that her shoddy behavior is because she’s upset about breaking up with her boyfriend. Thanks to a final pep talk from Violet, Mary finally admits that she wants to marry Henry and, after a quick detour by Matthew’s grave, the two arrange the world’s fastest wedding ceremony.  Elsewhere, Molesley discovers that he’s actually a pretty great teacher when he just acts like himself, and Thomas’ depression over not being able to find a new job reaches such a low point that he tries to kill himself.

(If you need a more in-depth refresher, last week's recap is right this way.)

‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 8

Oh, Mary. (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: Mary’s boyfriend Henry Talbot invites the whole Crawley clan and their various hangers on down to the Brooklands race track to watch him and his friend Charlie Rogers drive. They all go and make a day of it, but, sadly, there’s a terrible accident during the race, a car catches fire and Charlie is killed. Henry is devastated, and somehow this is enough of an emotional catalyst to convince Mary that the two of them have to break up, because their lives are too different or some dumb reason. Tom, who has apparently been spending most of his free time writing Henry/Mary fanfiction, is pretty upset about this, and repeatedly attempts to mansplain to Mary that she’s making a terrible choice with her dumb female emotions that are blinding her to Henry’s perfection. (Shut up, Tom. We all know he’s right about Henry, but he could stand to not be such a jerk about it.) In happier news, Molesley passes his special exam, and is offered a job as a teacher at the village school (YAY!), Bertie Pelham proposes to Edith (even though she hasn’t technically said yes yet) and Mrs. Hughes teaches Carson a lesson about his constant complaining regarding her cooking. Oh, and ROBERT GOT A NEW PUPPY OMG.

(If you need a more in-depth refresher, last week's recap is right this way.)

‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 7

Racetrack chic looks super great on Lady Mary. (Photo:  Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: The Board of Governors decides to turn the village hospital over to the larger institution in York, and proceeds to nominate Cora to replace Violet as President of the local board. Violet is furious and feels betrayed, and everyone around her decides that the best plan of action is just to act like she’s a doddering idiot. Daisy, who is jealous of the attention Mr. Mason’s paying Mrs. Patmore, decides to continue her new role as The Ultimate Worst, by acting out towards both of them and sabotaging their friendship. Carson is something of a disappointment as a husband, Mary and Henry Talbot finally kiss and Robert decides that it’s time to finally start cutting the staff, so Thomas is basically fired. Thomas cries about this, because somehow the writers think that we feel bad for him, despite them doing nothing to show us how the character has changed or grown in the past three years. And the Crawleys open Downton Abbey to the public for a day to raise money for the hospital, and are quite surprised to learn that a lot of people are super (grossly) curious about how the other half lives.  

(If you need a more in-depth refresher, last week's recap is right this way.)

‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 6

So Lady Mary and Henry Talbot are kind of adorable together, yeah? (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: The Dowager Countess manages to invite the Minister of Health to dinner at Downton, ostensibly to get him to crush the hospital takeover plan by means of government interference. Unfortunately before Violet can make her case, Robert’s ulcer bursts and he spews blood all over the table and guests in a violent and disgusting fashion vaguely reminiscent of that creature bursting out of people’s chests in Alien. It’s nasty. Robert survives, but the entire Crawley clan is shaken.

In other news, Mary goes to watch Henry Talbot try out racing cars, and Tom comes along, because he has a mancrush on Henry and turns into a huge cheerleader for his relationship with Mary. Edith goes on a date with Bertie Pelham while she’ s in London, and they kiss and it’s all very sweet, particularly because he actually seems to like her and doesn’t have any deep dark secrets (that we are aware of, anyway.) Oh and Thomas promises to help Andy learn to read, because he’s suddenly decided he wants to be a pig farmer for some reason, and they both need storylines for the series’ final four episodes.

 (If you need a more in-depth refresher, last week's recap is right this way.)

'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season 6, Episode 5

Maggie Smith, looking appropriately judgy as the Dowager Countess. (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: Tom returns home to Downton, but finds that he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself now he’s back. The cops want Baxter to testify against the man who helped turn her into a jewel thief and got her arrested years ago and she’s kind of anxious about it.  Gwen Dawson – now married and on a mission to improve the working lives of middle class women – returns to Downton for a surprise lunch visit and she tells the family how Sybil changed her life. (We all cried.) Despite Daisy’s increasingly terrible behavior over everything concerning Mr. Mason, the Crawleys decide to give him the tenancy at Yew Tree Farm anyway. Anna has a pregnancy scare, but ultimately the baby is saved and her prognosis looks good for the moment. She tells Mr. Bates they’re going to be parents, and he’s perfectly adorable about it, reminding us all why we used to love these two so much.

Oh and the never-ending debate over the future of the hospital continues, but the upside is that at least it brings the dishy Henry Talbot to Downton (he’s Lady Shackleton’s nephew), and back into Mary’s life. (If you need a more in-depth refresher, last week's recap is right this way.)

'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season 6, Episode 4

The only good part about a "Final Season" is seeing old favorites again. Rose Leslie is back as Gwen! (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: After various disasters involving everything from the reception location to wedding attire, Carson and Mrs. Hughes finally tie the knot and everything is perfect forever and I can basically just stop watching this show now. Oh, wait, there are like five more episodes to go? What? In other news, Anna thinks she might be pregnant, Daisy is convinced Cora has a secret plan to rescue Mr. Mason, Edith has to pull an all nighter to get an issue of her magazine to press, but gets to spend it with a nice man, and Branson comes back from America.

Oh, and that hospital storyline no one cares about is still happening despite no one actually caring about it. (If you need more info, you can check out last week's recap right this way.) 

.Guys, our last ever Downton Episode 4 recap is here. (Sniff.) 

Let’s get it started. 

'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season 6, Episode 3

This is the greatest episode. Obviously. (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: Carson and Mrs. Hughes have a disagreement about what kind of wedding (and reception) they’d like to have. Mrs. Drewe continues to have a lot of emotional issues as s result of Edith reclaiming Marigold, and literally everyone on the show basically refuses to acknowledge the wrong that they’ve all done this woman. After Mrs. Drewe basically kidnaps Marigold, the family is basically forced to give up their tenancy on the farm they’ve worked for generations. Thomas starts looking for a new job. The fight over the future of the hospital continues; no one cares.  

If you missed last week’s recap, you still have time to stop by and check it out. As far as this week’s episode goes, I’m still smiling, so that seems like a pretty good sign, yeah?

Downton Abbey Recap: Season 6, Episode 2

Carson and Mrs. Hughes NOT arguing over their wedding planning - how cute!  Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE

Previously on Downton Abbey: Lady Mary faced a blackmail threat over her previous dalliance with Tony Gillingham and was saved at the last minute by the intervention of Robert, who decided to believe in his daughter for once. Carson and Mrs. Hughes realize that they are MFEO and finally decide to set a wedding date. A pointless fight is brewing between Violet and Isobel over the future of the village hospital. Daisy did something stupid and irritating. Violet’s ladies’ maid it the worst person on the show. And Anna and Bates are cleared of the various threats of murder charges hanging over them but are still miserable because Anna is now convinced she can’t have children. This show hates them. 

Onward to this week, our last ever Downton Episode 2. 

(Sniff.) 

'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season 6, Episode 1

Time to start saying our goodbyes to Highclere Castle (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Downton Abbey: There is too much. Go visit the Season 5 recaps for a bit if you need a refresher on all the things that went down last year.

Y’all: It’s finally happening: The end of Downton is here. And no matter how much we may wish that weren’t true, it’s time to start getting a handle on our emotions about it. (JK, we’re basically going cry straight through the next eight weeks, right? It’s cool. We’re all friends here.)

Anyway, there’s a lot to discuss (surprise, surprise) and some of it’s incredible and some of it’s not, and some of it’s the televisual equivalent of the shrug emoji (¯\_(ツ)_/¯), so, you know, prepare yourselves. 

In short: We have a lot to talk about. 

Celebrate the End of an Era with Ten of ‘Downton Abbey's' Best Moments

Matthew and Mary finally get their act together and it's perfect. (Photo: ITV)

 As we prepare to officially kick off the end of an era this weekend– otherwise known as the US premiere of the final season of Downton Abbey – it seemed appropriate to take a moment to really wallow in our heart-bursting nostalgia before the new episodes start.

Downton Abbey has been many things to many people – a game-changing, global ratings smash, a revitalizing reminder that no one does period dramas like the British, a regular source of devastating Maggie Smith quips. But, at its heart, Downton is about people, and the relationships between them, and despite its occasionally overly-soapy missteps (remember that time Matthew’s paralysis was cured because it just turned out his doctor was wrong?), it has always gotten the emotional beats of its story right. And from upstairs to down, from servants to aristocrats, it’s the characters who make up the heart of Downton Abbey, and the reason why, even when the storylines were almost too stupid to be believed, we still loved every silly, soapy, overly dramatic moment.

So, let’s celebrate the beginning of the end with a look back at some of the show’s great moments (or at least yours truly’s favorite moments) and remember all the reasons that our Sunday nights will feel a bit emptier next year once Downton is gone.

 (You will absolutely have deletions or additions to this list – so make sure you hit the comments to share your favorites!) 

 

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