Fug the Show: The Downton Abbey Series Finale Recap


Many years ago, the final Harry Potter book came out, after much anticipation. I had pre-ordered it from Amazon, but then realized that my postman probably wouldn’t deliver it until 2pm, which absolutely would not do. (I didn’t need it at midnight, but I did need it at 10am.) So I got in the car and drove to Barnes & Noble and waited in a very long line and made friends with a totally charming nine-year-old boy, and drove home, and sat on my sofa and opened the book and burst into tears at the dedication. And that is how I knew I would be crying throughout that book. You may be wondering where I am going with this: The instant the Downton theme song kicked in, I started to cry.

So just be aware of how this is going to go. Although I mostly held it together until…okay, not really that long. Who am I kidding?

Before we get into the plot, I’d very very much like to thank everyone who’s been part of this community for so long who hasn’t spoiled ANY of us on anything. You guys are the best. And now I don’t have to add my usual disclaimer. Everything that needs knowing is known, and we have so much to discuss. I apologize for how long this recap is. I just….didn’t want to have to stop talking about Downton forever.

To the boot room — where, FOR ONCE, nothing horrible was revealed. (I really did think it was going to turn out that the Gutenberg Bible was stashed there, inside some discarded old shoe.)

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Comments (441):

  1. SandraR
    +5

    HOORAY!!! I spoiled myself a few weeks back by Googling “Edith’s wedding dress” because I’ve been rewatching previous seasons and it’s been agony waiting for the actual finale! And keeping quiet about what I knew. So excited to read this.

    • Lori
      +2

      I spoiled it for myself trying to Google which happened first, Mary chasing off Edith’s old guy or Edith spilling the beans about Mr. Pamuk. Also, it was spoiled in an issue of Us Weekly which… WTF?

      • LaLA
        0

        I still put the biggest Downton spoiler to an interview with Matthew Crawley with the New York Times, talking about how his character dies. Two weeks before the episode aired in the UK, much less US!

      •  MRC210
        +2

        Edith spilled the beans about Mr. Pamuk first.

  2. kates
    +112

    The only thing I will miss more than the show are these recaps. So, so, good, you guys.

    I love Mary. But I really love that in the end, all the drama around an heir and Mary’s marriage and the well-being of the estate – all the stuff we started off with – came down to Mary having married a used car salesman and Edith sailing off into the highest ranking position of all. Poetic justice.

    I can only wish that Spratt pushes Denker down a well PRONTO (to join Horrible Larry and Crookshanks).

    • Linda
      +20

      THIS times a jillion! I’ve been there in the Battle Royale of Sisters, Edith!! Hang in there and karma will take care of everything! I promise.

      Hopefully Daisy is down in the well with the hair dryer. Or at the shop buying a clue.

    •  GrandSophy
      +75

      A big round of applause Jessica- you really outdid yourself on these recaps , the love you have for the show shows through clearly – must be some of your best writing ever.
      SO many thoughts- will need to add to so many people’s comments..
      I love that the finale was Lady Edith’s wedding and Lady Mary’s wedding was like a footnote and quite shabby by comparison- also Edith’s dress- so GOOD!

    • DebMcC
      +45

      Jessica, I laughed and cried through the finale, and then again just now through your DIVINE recap. You. Are. A. TREASURE! Thank you for giving us so much fun, pleasure, TEAM arguments, Gutenburg references, passionate discussion, Bunting perjoratives, and so much more. Your recaps were Everything.

      Oh, I shall miss it all. Although, you once mentioned recapping the first three seasons? Hint, hint….

      • BigTex
        +13

        Oh, the masterful Bunting pejoratives. do we have a new literary term?

      • SconesForever
        +3

        I missed the episode third from the last–even though they’re online for two weeks–and was so glad to have the recap, especially in the case of the fiery car crash. A friend of mine died just a few months ago in an eerily similar way (car rally, hit by a fellow driver who was his friend), and I think I was better off not seeing it in action. I cry over this show enough as it is.

    • Lemora Martin
      +1

      As a member of Team Mary, I wish the last season had been plotted differently: The Mary/Edith cat fight would’ve been a good capper for about episode 2, earlier in the season. Then, in episodes 3, 4 or 5 Edith and Bertie could sort it all out, checkmate his latent fag-hag mum, and get hitched, with a semi-penitent Mary arranging the Ritz supper with pre-Dorchester china, etc. (I say ‘semi-penitent,’ because I don’t ever expect total contrition from Mary –EVER! Her secret motto, I suspect, is “Never Apologize.” She is astute enough to know when she has Really Stupendously Put A Foot Wrong, however, and she does efficient damage control.) Then, the Mary/Henry situation could play out over the rest of the season, culminating in their marriage as the centerpiece of the season finale. (Along the way, in episodes 6-8, we could get Anna giving birth in Mary’s bed; Violet and Isobel rescuing Bertie from Crooked Tail, with a possible poisoning aspect having enough time to play out; Daisy fulminating against the aristocracy whilst admiring Andy’s forearms; Thomas recovering some evil-butler panache during his stint with the stodgy old toffs; and whatever else went on.) As the heroine and pivotal character of Downton Abbey, Mary and her wedding to Henry deserved to be front and center in the series finale.

      • MBG
        +1

        I agree Lemora! Lady Mary IS Downton and I kind of wish they wouldn’t have shunted her to second fiddle in terms of the season’s timing. I was much more affected when Mary went to Matthew’s grave to confess that she was in love with and planning to marry another man than I was with ANY of Edith’s plot. I mean, good for her, but I certainly wasn’t as emotionally invested in how her story ended.

    • Brenda
      +6

      Think about it: Mary declared to Lady Gratham that she would be the Countess of Grantham one day, and the Countess of Grantham lives at Downton Abbey. Of course, she will never be the Countess of Grantham. She’s Lady Mary Talbot.

      Meanwhile, Edith never had such grand ambitions. She would have accepted Matthew right off, she dallied with a farmer, slept with an editor, was perfectly pleasant to Bertie when he had no prospects.

      Remember when the Dowager said, “If you have him when he is poor, he’ll love you forever when he is rich”? Edith did, and now she’s a marchioness.

  3.  Ellen
    +14

    Finally! i saw this at Christmas and haven’t trusted myself to comment for fear of accidentally giving something away.
    Heather and Jessica have done a brilliant job with these recaps and I’m going to miss the hell out of them (even though they were always a few months behind!). Many, many kudos ladies.
    And now, the $64k question…
    WHAT ARE Y’ALL RECAPPING IN ITS PLACE??

    • clinda
      +4

      I watched it at Christmas too and have been holding my tongue during the re-caps :) All I can say is…imagine if you combine CHRISTMAS and the finale, the holidays are emotional anyway…I sobbed for basically the entire finale.

      •  Erica_V
        +6

        I still can not get over that they killed Mathew on Christmas Day in the UK.

        • Brenfa
          +1

          I scooted home from my parents in time to watch the Christmas episode. I’ll never forget sitting in the dark gazing at my computer in shock when the truck hit Matthew’s car. That episode was so lovely and then splat!

      • fritanga
        +6

        Yes. The ending Auld Lang Syne was about 20 times more affecting last Christmas, with the dark and the cold and the sadness. I sobbed my eyes out.

        Thank you, Jessica, for these wonderful recaps. I truly feel you’re the only reviewer who really got the series, warts and all. I also loved that your reactions mirrored mine almost exactly – I too started crying when poor old Bertie said brokenly to Edith, “I’ve been doing a very bad job.” Sigh.

        All in all, it was a lovely ending. Thanks for recognizing that so beautifully.

    • Deborah
      +6

      It has been so difficult not commenting for this reason, right? It’s like commenting in past tense…I can’t trust myself to not spill the beans on some minor random point that I know turns major in the following episode, so I don’t comment at all.

      However: Edith….Huzzah!!!

    • Tina
      +6

      Me three, it has been so hard to refrain from commenting! The other thing to bear in mind is that this episode (and every final episode in each series) has always aired in the evening of Christmas Day, and so many of us (ahem) have often consumed rather a lot of booze. So the emotions are already naturally heightened, and then Uncle Julian either gives us what we want (this) or brings us down to earth with a bump (Matthew’s death).

      But not this time – great show, and great recaps!

    • Goopy Preserves
      +12

      They missed a bunch of seasons , they could start at the beginning :)

      Hint hint ladies!

    • AJ
      0

      What was the hardest part to bite your tongue? I’m trying to think back to our impressions as we watched and how I would have read them had I already seen it.

      • Shannon
        +2

        For me it would have been Lord G vomiting all over the dessert table. That was by far the most surprising thing that has happened on this show since Matthew’s death.

        • Brenda
          +1

          I would have been so mad at the way Mary treated Henry. And that Edith was having the rug pulled out from under her yet again.

  4.  Cheryl
    +37

    When the Dowager Countess comments about one of the only questions she answers directly is whether or not she needs a rug – I believe she is talking about needing something warm (“a rug”) to cover her legs in the carriage or the motorcar.

    • Lori
      +40

      You are probably right, but I instantly thought of the ongoing GFY joke about QEII hating that one rug in KP.

      • Shannon
        +9

        I thought about that too. My exact thought: “Violet should go advise someone at Buckingham about which rugs to buy so that we don’t have a problem in the future.” So many great ongoing GFY jokes.

      • Shannon
        +2

        I thought about that too. My exact thought: “Violet should go advise someone at Buckingham about which rugs to buy so that we don’t have a problem in the future.” So many great ongoing GFY jokes.

    • DebMcC
      +12

      To the British, rugs are blankets.

      •  tygerstripes
        +2

        Ahhh, thanks so much for clearing this up! I love Britspeak.

    • msb
      +5

      Hence the admonition to “rug up well” when sending someone off into the cold.

    • notemily
      0

      For some reason my mind went to door-to-door rug salesmen. Like “may I interest you in one of these fine rugs?” Hee.

  5. Sloan
    +35

    The only thing I will miss more than your recaps is the show itself. Bravo.

    And I, too, was very happy that the final scene ended with Violet and Isobel. Very fitting.

  6. lilagrey
    +6

    WEEP. I miss Downton already.

    Heaven help me, I even miss Sarah Bunting: Infected Hangnail.

  7. Ashley R.
    +15

    Jessica,

    I FEEL YOU on the mourning of the End Of Things. I haven’t watched most of this season because I am so sad it’s the last one. (And, candidly, I waited two years to read the last Harry Potter book after it released for the same reason.). Hell, Mythbusters aired its last episode on Sunday and I cried through the WHOLE THING. And that’s a show primarily about blowing shit up!

    So no comment per the recap, but I wanted to commiserate about being super heavily invested in the stories we love.

  8. Looly
    +16

    Brava, Jessica, Brava! You have outdone yourself with this recap.

    Last night I laughed and cried and offered up thanks to Uncle Julian for wrapping the series up nicely in a beautiful bow.

    • Meghan
      +8

      Yes, indeed. I cried when I watched and got teary eyed reading the re-cap. After the final scene went dark I literally said to my TV, “well done!”. I’m a sucker for a happy ending.

  9. Linda
    +12

    I started crying at the opening theme too Jessica. And I cried at the end. And told the dog, no more Downton Abbey while we eat breakfast on Mondays.

  10. rachelee
    +19

    You have to hand it to Julian Fellowes – that man knows how to tie everything up with a beautiful, giant, red bow. I was so happy with this season and how it ended. It brought much-needed closure.

    While there were many parts of this series that deserve a great deal of credit (writing, acting, directing, etc.), one consistently fantastic aspect of this show was the scenery and costumes. Just incredible.

    Thank you, Fug Girls, for your awesome recaps!!

    • Maria
      +51

      I also thought the ending was perfection. I love that Thomas will be butler and has a special bond with Mary’s son, which was a circle of life moment (continuing the tradition of Mary having a special bond with Carson). I couldn’t have asked for a better ending for all of them….

  11. RunsInPink
    +23

    I also wept throughout – Edith looked beautiful! And poor old Carson’s palsy… my mom was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and she hasn’t wanted to tell anyone, and I knew that she was watching at a party with several close friends (and my dad, too), and… floods of tears. Still.

    • Lori
      +13

      I’m so sorry about your mom. My grandmother had Parkinson’s, and that bit really got to me too. The good news is that there are a lot of really promising treatments. All the best to your family.

    • DebMcC
      +5

      My heart went out to Carson. I have mild shaking in my hands due to a medication snafu a decade ago and it can be frustrating. All the best to your mother.

  12.  Leeann
    +1

    Thank god you’re finished – I also held back from commenting for fear I would give something away! I’ve really enjoyed re-living it through the re-caps though. Thank you!

  13.  Laura E.
    +30

    So many feelings! I think this season was a marked improvement over the previous one. Downton is much more enjoyable when no one is getting accused of murder.

    My favorite line was Daisy commenting how she’s “looked the same the past 10 years.” I think that was very meta of Julian Fellowes.

    The scene of the wedding vows and the panning around the church reminded me of the end of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice.

    So glad that Isabel got her happy ending with Dickie. Though should a man his age be calling himself Dickie?

    •  Rowynn
      +52

      Dickie might seem a little undignified for a man of his age, but it’s still better than Shrimpie.

    • DebMcC
      +6

      Ah, the upper class nicknames in Britain and America.

    • Entry Level Cartier
      +2

      Aww, my beloved grandpa was Dickie, and I am therefore so, so fond of it as a name for an old man. (He also had extremely large ears and has left me with a giant soft spot for big ears, much to my big-eared husband’s bemusement after years of being self-conscious about them.)

  14. Noreen
    +77

    I just want to say that these recaps ending makes me kind of feel like I’m losing a group of “friends”. I think I have a lot of kindred spirits among these commentators. Thanks to everyone for the witty, clever, discussions on Mondays.

    Also if anyone sees my lost book please drop a line. It’s large, antique, heavy and has “BIBLE” on the cover. #neverforget

  15.  KLeewrite
    +4

    I have never watched this show, but I have always devoured your recaps, and this one does not disappoint. Thank you so much for all the work you’ve done.

    •  Jen from Cincy
      +16

      Now is your chance to start at season 1 and watch it all! You won’t be sorry.

  16.  Jen from Cincy
    +6

    I have been worried about Carson and his Palsy all morning, no joke. My mother-in-law has advanced Parkinson’s and I’ve watched her battle for years – with all the best medicines and treatments. And as there was no name – or treatment – in Carson’s day, I’m super worried, you guys.

    Otherwise, I enjoyed the thoroughly happy endings for all, with hope for new romances and babies and fancy used car salesmen. Loved it, start to finish.

    *contented sigh*

    • Sally
      +25

      Carson has an essential tremor; one of the tells is that with Parkinsons, there are tremors when the body is at rest (think hands in lap) and it involves the entire body. Essential tremors, while they do progress and get to be more severe, usually just involve the hands and forearms and the tremors present when the arms are outstretched. Carson has the tremors when he reaches for the tea cup, is pouring the wine, etc. It is often familial, so not surprising that Carson’s father and grandfather both had it. It usually does not progress as quickly as Carson’s did (my sister has it and for years it is has only been noticeable when she drinks coffee or tea) but then, time lines have never been a strong suit for Mr. Fellows.

      So, sad for Carson in that the unusually rapid progression means retirement for him but I don’t think we need to be concerned about Parkinson’s. That’s my interpretation and I’m sticking to it.

      •  Kristin
        +10

        My grandmother had shaky hands, but no other symptoms, for over 40 years and lived in excellent health to age 97, so I’ve made up my mind that will be Carson’s fate.

      • Shannon
        +3

        My aunt also has tremors, but not Parkinson’s. They started out like Carson’s, just when she held things but they’ve gotten worse over the past 20 or so years. She’s in her mid 80′s now.

      •  Jen from Cincy
        +3

        Phew! I choose to believe his tremor is not a terminal condition, then. Now I feel better.

      • Leigh Ann
        +1

        Right. My dad has essential tremor. He’s like Carson: he’s fine at rest, but he can have problems with his hand and arm extended to do something.

    • shebrihart
      +5

      My family has the same type of tremors as Carson. My dad and two of his brothers have it pretty significantly…and they’re all very skilled carpenters so I worry about their abilities as they get older. I’ve found that I can’t do any type of fine detail work (drawing, cake-decorating, etc.) because of slight tremors, and I’m in my mid-30s. My 29 year-old cousin has them as well but hers are worse than mine. So, not gonna lie, when I saw Carson’s hands shaking I felt a kinship with him…but then he didn’t tell Mrs. Hughes and I was frustrated with him again.

      • Sally
        +1

        Yeah, my sister has gone from mugs to lighter, smaller china cups. That is really the only time it is really noticeable. She still has beautiful penmanship (Catholic school/Palmer method) and she has never had a problem with a wine glass! Well, she has but that is one of our jokes.

      • Alisa
        +7

        I’m in my mid-30′s and have tremors, so I feel ya and I could relate to Carson as I can’t pour anything without spillage.
        Anyway, my GP and Neurologist both tell me it isn’t Parkinson’s, MS or Pre-cursor to either so there’s that. Here’s to shaky hands and having a sense of humour about it :)

  17. Lori
    +43

    I seriously burst into tears when Edith walked down the stairs in her wedding dress. Like, as-if-she-were-my-best-friend crying. I had the wedding spoiled for me, so I only got misty when Bertie wanted her back, but I sobbed when she came down in the dress. She really did look great in most of this episode, but man… I knew I wanted Edith to be happy, but I had no idea I was that invested. I’m also SUPER proud of her for telling Ma Bertie. (And that dress she was wearing… I need something in that pattern, STAT.) We’ll just ignore how Ma Bertie was proud that Edith told Bertie even though it could cost her everything when in fact Mary told Bertie. Details…

    When else did I sob? When the children came down to say “goodbye mister bawwow.” Oh, my heart! I also giggled when he told them to be good and Sybbie basically said they wouldn’t be. Oh, Sybbie, I see so much of your parents in you.

    I unabashedly love a neatly wrapped up happy ending on TV shows, so I was thrilled with this. Even if we didn’t get 100% payoff (OMG Baxter and Mosely, kiss already!), everyone was headed in the right direction. I was pleased that I didn’t have to hunt down Fellowes and lock him in the boot room; Anna and Bates were delivered of a healthy baby and are happy FINALLY. I had to laugh because after the show, PBS was trying to get donations and talking about things that happened in the various seasons. “Remember when… Bates went to prison in season 2?” In my head I added “and 3 and 4 and 5….” (because Anna counts as a Bates).

    I laughed at the intro when Tom flat-out said they were giving the rundown of what happened. It’s like saying, “Yes, we know we do this every episode, and this is the last time. Revel in it.”

    I am so going to miss the broads of Downton: Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Patmore, Isobel, and our queen Violet. However will I get on without them? I have a Downton coffee cup that says “What is a weekend?” I’m happy to be rid of Daisy, though; irritating almost to the very end. I wish Anna had made her live with her hair mistake.

    I still wish EvilButler.com had run off to America and made his fortune and met a lovely man to live his life with. I love you, you jerk (probably because Rob James-Collier is SO GOOD). At least he finally got what he always wanted and he is no longer either evil or, even worse for a soapy TV show, a sad sack.

    I’m happy for Dickie and Isobel, although I feel for Dr. Clarkson. When Crookshanks shut the door on Isobel, I actually yelled “GO GET VIOLET.” Thanks for listening, Isobel! Violet fixes everything. I hope Terrible Larry and Terrible Crookshanks have the terrible life they deserve and I hope that house falls down around their ears! (No, I don’t; I can’t wish ill on a beautiful building. Forgive me, house.)

    I still love Rose and Atticus and love that they have a baby and still seem delighted with each other. Also, I am so glad Rose took Robert to see Cora talk/get his head out of his rear end. You can be happy for Edith working; be happy for Cora too!

    I totally called Mary being pregnant in this episode; I’m glad she was adult enough not to spoil Edith’s moment in the sun. For a second I thought Henry would, and I was legitimately angry. Edith deserved her moment and she and Henry seemed good together. I don’t want that ruined. (Also, I loved Henry’s line in the car: “Your Mary is not my Mary.” Hopefully Edith’s Mary can come a little closer to Henry’s.)

    Also, I was planning to go to the UK in 2 years but I think I might need to go now because all I want in life is to stroll around lovely grounds of a lovely house in a lovely dress.

    And finally, I just finished reading the recap (typing my million words as I went) and I want to start crying all over again.

    • Katrina
      +3

      If you want to go to Highclere, book those tickets NOW, if they’re still available. They sell out SO FAST. I was in the UK from March to mid-May two years ago and could not find tickets. I started looking in February.

      • Lori
        +1

        I don’t actually know when I’m going; I hope that if I do go in 2 years, tickets will be easier to get because Downton will have been off the air. If not, I’m sure I’ll find something else lovely to see.

      •  Amelia Peabody
        +1

        Just a tip: the in advance tickets do sell out fast but if you show up early on days the house is open, you can buy a ticket at the gate.

    •  Ang
      +2

      “GO GET VIOLET” Thanks for the laugh on that!

  18. kristina
    +22

    NO ONE EVER HUGS ON THIS SHOW AND IT IS DETRIMENTAL TO MY HEALTH.

    •  Rowynn
      +6

      You are so right! I particularly noticed it when Edith was leaving to go on her honeymoon. She was saying goodbye to everyone, and all Cora got was a perfunctory little kiss – almost an air kiss. It just seemed way too impersonal for a farewell between mother and daughter. I thought a hug was definitely called for.

    • Sue R
      +19

      You need to watch The Manners of Downton Abbey, STAT. Hugging is VERBOTEN

      • kristina
        +3

        I’m going to have to because I was in actual physical pain with all the not-hugging. ONE HUG. Would one hug have killed anyone?

      • Persephone Mulberry
        +38

        Yes. Hell, one (two) of my very favorite acting moments in this entire episode is when Lord G shook hands with Thomas as he was leaving for the new job and then with Carson toward the end. Both Thomas and Carson did masterful jobs of having a split second of surprise/hesitation play across their faces at the idea of Shaking Hands with The Boss.

        • BigTex
          +5

          Absolutely, great job from both. Loved this.

        •  Rowynn
          +3

          When Thomas was outside saying goodbye to everyone, and Anna kissed him, he then turned to Mr Bates, and I so wanted Bates to shake his hand and say, “But I’m not going to kiss you.” Maybe in an outtake, he did.

    • One of the Claires
      +14

      Hugging is an American thing. My husband is French, and he is always trying to avoid the inevitable hugging at dinner parties, holiday get-togethers, and family events. Of course, he tries to kiss people on the cheek repeatedly, and that freaks everyone out too!

      •  Laura W.
        +17

        I’m an American and I am unabashedly not a hugger. For me, hugs are a form of affection and intimacy, and I prefer to reserve them for people I really care about. I detest the forced hugging-as-greeting among casual acquaintances (or even strangers, sometimes). I think I must be part British.

        • Shannon
          +9

          Second American non-hugger. There are lots of people in my world who are way too huggy for me. I would simply adore living in a less hands on country, although the kiss greetings would be too much for me as well.

          •  Ashley
            +5

            Another American non-hugger and I’m totally jealous of the non-hugging on the show. I don’t mind hugging my husband or dear friends I don’t see often, but that’s it. Whenever I’m leaving or arriving somewhere where I know there will be hugging, I make sure to hold a lot of things so no one can get to me.

            • Visa Diva
              +6

              Non hugger too. I need three feet of personal space at all times.
              Except at sporting events, where I will hug strangers in joy.

      • Suzy Q
        +5

        I am a hugger and kisser of people I love. I am not so down the the kissy greetings that go on everywhere I live (So Florida), even in business situations. We are here for a meeting; WHY are you kissing me?!

        • Sally
          +2

          I have worked for 2 Italian wine companies. EVERYONE does a hands on shoulders, double cheek kiss ALL the time – boss, suppliers, everyone in the office. When it gets too much I plead the old “coming down with something” excuse.

      • Meghan
        +5

        As an anti-hugger, I totally get it. Also, it would not have been done in this period in Britain. I’ve often said I should move to Japan where they bow, instead of hug. I hate hugging. My family is Hispanic and we joke about never having been a hugging family until one of my uncles married my aunt (a white woman) who brought in the start of it all. My other uncle will actually squirm if you try to hug him. We all love our aunt and openly tease her about forced hugs!

        • totesShosh
          +1

          I thought Lady G and Edith couldn’t get any closer for that air kiss because of their hats. It would have mussed their hair!

  19. al
    +3

    I have relied solely on these recaps for a few seasons now – I got too invested in the Marigold storyline when she wasn’t yet with Edith and couldn’t handle watching it – and I couldn’t wait for this recap. Thank you so much for always such a thoughtful discussion. I will miss them!

  20. Liane
    +63

    Well done, Jessica! I started watching Downton because you ladies were recapping it and since I’m incapable of staying up until 11 pm on a Sunday, I got up at 4 am this morning to watch so I could read the recap today (what can I say, I’m an early bird).

    You hit on everything that I loved about this episode, but most especially that they ended on Isobel and Violet. Their friendship is my favorite part of Downton. I wish for all of Fug Nation that we go into our golden years with friends that love us, laugh with us, cry with us, and aren’t afraid to tell us to get a grip.

    • StrictTime
      +9

      That’s so sweet! I wish that, too :D

    • Lori
      +7

      I wish my best friend watched Downton so that it would make sense when I tell her she’s the Isobel to my Violet. (She totally gets that she’s the Ann Perkins to my Leslie Knope, though.)

      • Katesspy
        +2

        Lori, your comment made me teary. I do have a best friend who watches Downton (our teenage daughters watch it too) and we watched it together last night with a few other people. It was so much fun to watch with others. it that way, we paused it so many times as we all had to stop for comments and really bouts of very loud laughter (when Andy asked Mrs P if Daisy was interested in men). I’ll have to

      • LaLA
        +3

        LOL- I love that you say you’re the Violet!

  21.  D.
    +29

    Jessica–THANK YOU SO MUCH for these recaps. They enhance my enjoyment of the show IMMENSELY. I will miss the show AND your wonderful, funny, astute recaps. You rule.

    Debbie

  22. MaryoMary 
    +44

    Everyone got to be with their own true love including Thomas, who if you think about it, loves Downton passionately.

    • DebMcC
      +4

      That’s an intriguing way to look at it and I think it’s true. He craved respect and the position that would supply it. He indicated in an earlier season that he had a difficult relationship with his father and wasn’t sad when his father died. I suppose that was because gay son was a disappointment and a revulsion, and son was poorly treated. Rising to the pinnacle of his (servant) class in the place he loved, with those he considered family (both up- and downstairs), was a dream come true.

      •  Nina2
        +3

        IA except for one point; I don’t think Thomas’ father is dead. He just used the “sick parent” excuse when he went to London to get that quack anti-gay treatment. And when he was job hunting near Ripon, Baxter asked Thomas if he was going to ring “them”. I assumed she meant his parents.

        Also, I think Thomas has learned to love Downton, and has a greater respect for what he does. Earlier, he was trying to get out of it through not-so-good methods, like faking his way as an army medic, or selling bogus stuff on the black market. For better or worse, he’s good at what he does and being butler will let him really take charge and use all his skills.

        • Leigh Ann
          +4

          I thought for several years that Thomas and Baxter were secretly brother and sister. I think she once said she had known Thomas when he was young, and that she knew his father, who was “a hard man.” She was kind to Thomas too, and seemed to look out for him. (Though off course, Baxter is kind to everyone.) Right up to the end I kept expecting a sibling relationship to be revealed. But that was one of those plot devices that went nowhere, so I guess not.

    • Julia
      +10

      I literally yelled at my tv at this part – I think it was Mary or Lord G who asked him “do you want to be butler at Downton” or similar (too many tears to remember exactly) – “he’s wanted that since day one of the show!!!!”

      i mean, yes, he’s been terrible, but it’s because he wanted to be the top dog. Now he will be, but with more humility (let’s hope).

      • DebMcC
        0

        And, in view of “changing times,” now top dog butler Thomas will be a known gay top dog butler. Very progressive of the Crawleys!

    • NumberSix
      +7

      My contribution to Downton fanfic will be an alternate universe story where Thomas and Bertie’s Cousin Peter meet and live happily (if secretly) ever after. It will involve a beautiful painting of a man who no one ever identifies as Peter’s incredibly loyal servant Thomas Barrow. I adore Peter and we never even met him. I totally attribute that to Harry Hadden-Paton’s performance. His affection for his cousin was so touching.

      I am so, so glad Thomas finally came around and got what he’s always wanted without pushing someone in front of the metaphorical bus to get it. Thomas has always been my favorite character, even though I’ve been frustrated with him making the same mistakes over and over. I think Julian Fellowes set him up brilliantly: we see him being all plotty with O’Brien and taking against Bates (clearly set up as a protagonist from the get-go) immediately, but then he’s devastated when his lover spurns him and burns his letters. I’ve had a soft spot for Thomas since that very first episode. I want good things for him. In future, his scheming will be only for sport!

    •  Caitlin M
      +1

      As soon as Carson said he’d step down but only hire a replacement he could trust, I knew Thomas would end up back at Downton as butler, in the position he’d always wanted.

  23. Chasmosaur
    +26

    I also loved that the show ended with Violet and Isobel. It was so satisfying. But not as satisfying as both of them storming the castle to rescue Dickie. That, I think, was my absolute favorite moment in the entire run of the series.

    I know they couldn’t tie everything up with a bow, but I did really hope to see something more concrete than “of course we’ll be seeing more of each other” vis-à-vis Baxter and Molesley. But for them, I think that’s about as racy as it could get, I guess. ;)

    Daisy also gave me so much rage this season, and I didn’t figure out the point of her getting a diploma if she was just going to stay as the under-cook (or whatever her title was).

    Anyway – I’ve been done for a few weeks now, so I am very relieved I didn’t spoil anything for anyone! (I had to stop myself from commenting on the Downton bingo card – so much of it on there happened!)

    • LaLA
      +14

      They have to save something for the movie! Which will clearly be “Mosely and Baxter, after their success exonerating Bates, put their sleuthing talents to the missing Gutenberg Bible. Laughs and romance follow.”

  24.  Alison
    +26

    Jessica, I took a pause at slide 12: “HIDEOUS!” to say thank you for saying it one last time. I was hoping you would. Your recaps have been so beautifully hilarious. I will miss them more than I miss the show itself since they never caused me to gnash my teeth; they were ever only pure fun and delight.

    I’m on a deadline and saving the rest until I’ve done some substantial work.

    • StrictTime
      +5

      I LOLed! I actually stopped my DVR to look at those gorgeous clouds over those green, sheep-dotted fields. Truly HIDEOUS!

    • Shannon
      +14

      When the Crawley’s came into Brancaster Castle, it was like I could hear Jessica in my ear, “What, this old dump again?”

    • Lori
      +12

      I heard “HIDEOUS” in my head so many times last night.

      •  Laura W.
        +6

        Me too! When they showed the outside of Brancaster Castle, I said “hideous!”

        • totesShosh
          +3

          Me too! Who else grew up with a crush on Christian Slater and watched a lot of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and recognized Alnwick Castle from Edith’s gazing over the battlements?

    • Judith in Ottawa
      +1

      I accidentally used “Hideous” IRL once and received a look of pure horror from my companion as in “How. Rude.”

  25. Chasmosaur
    +12

    Oh – and I thought Edith’s wedding dress was the best of ALL the wedding dresses between her and Mary. I think arguments might be made for Hughes’ fabulous coat, though. ;)

    • Lena
      +14

      Though for me, Rose’s wedding dress was the loveliest of all the Downton wedding dresses.

      • Chasmosaur
        +15

        Hmm, yes, I’d forgotten about hers, mostly because I think of that episode and mostly think of “Get down, you cat!” Also an awesome moment.

        But going back – yes, both Rose’s registry suit and her reception dress were fabulous. Actually, Mary’s two dresses were my least favorite. I loved Edith’s first dress as well.

        http://www.peoplestylewatch.com/downton-abbey-wedding-gown-photos#2016/03/07/photo/mary-1-downton-weddings-style-gallery-3203301

      •  Jodi
        +1

        Did we ever see a wedding for Sybil?

        • Lori
          +2

          Sadly, no. It happened off screen unless I’m misremembering.

          •  Magenta
            +1

            I think they got married in Ireland, no? And probably in a Roman Catholic church, which none of the Crawleys would be caught dead in at that time. Sybbie’s baptism was “scandalous” enough for them. #yikes

          • DebMcC
            0

            The scandal of Lady/chauffeur was too much for Robert. He gave them only a portion of Sybil’s dowry/inheritance and the two lovebirds married elsewhere. When Sybil was pregnant, Cora was irked at Robert not wanting to go to Ireland for their first grandchild’s birth, insisting she would do so.

    • Jemma
      +2

      I loved Edith’s first tiara / veil the best and her second the least. As for dress – Mary’s first is my favorite and Edith’s first bouquet is my favorite.

      • Chasmosaur
        +2

        The tiara was the same for both of their first weddings, actually.

        But you made me go back and look at flowers! Yes, Edith’s small bouquet was really, really lovely. Mrs. Hughes’ was actually really nice. Edith’s second bouquet was obviously meant to be seasonal with the red and white flowers and all that greenery.

        • LaLA
          +6

          It’s supposed to be the family tiara, wasn’t it? Edith’s tiara for her second wedding was a big disappointment. What’s the good of marrying a fancy man like that if you don’t get to wear Serious Diamonds. The family that lives in Alnwick Castle has some magnificent tiaras, surely she could have borrowed one!

          •  Magenta
            +1

            But I thought her headpiece for her “second” wedding was lovely too.

          •  tygerstripes
            +3

            I noticed that Edith’s wedding tiara in this ep had a similar design to the lace around the neckline of her wedding dress.

  26. StrictTime
    +12

    Jessica- because of these recaps, you are on my list of “Fabulous Fantasy Dinner” guests. You and Jane Austen, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Oscar Wilde, my friend Matt H., so far)

    One of the only things that bugged me with this episode was the amount of CGI (and the quality of it) and digital color filters. Especially noticeable in the hospital meeting scene, where all the common people were washed in this horrible, cold, grey mist, and when the camera would switch back to Lord G and Rose, it would be all toasty warm again. It was really hard for me to even watch the meeting scene, because that gray filter was so unpleasant.
    Oh, and I also wanted to see the scene with Edith spilling the truth about Marigold to Brunhilda. But of course, Fellowes.

    The cocktails on the lawn scene was hilarious. Just because we can/have servants to make it happen with no effort whatsoever on our parts.

    I will miss you, DA. You were wonderful eye-candy and your WTFery challenged my plot-structure OCD.

    • Lori
      +14

      The CGI snow seemed particularly overdone to me.

      • DebMcC
        +6

        I think the admittedly animated looking snow at the end was meant to recall Matthew’s proposal in the season 2 finale. There was also an unfortunate snow globe feel to it. Watch the camera pull back and we see it in Marigold’s hands (a la St. Elsewhere).

        I thought the evening dress—even long gloves—for picnic-y cocktails on the lawn was too funny.

  27. Katrina
    +6

    Awwww, shucks! I’m lucky enough to live where they show DA within hours of the UK airing, and while I was also in tears when I watched the Christmas episode, I feel like these recaps sort of extended the life of the show for me. But now it really, really, REALLY is over. And while there were times when Julian Fellowes made me want to throw the remote at the TV, I still love this show and will dearly miss it. I already want to binge watch all 6 seasons!

    Now on to my finale notes…

    Like you, I did NOT get Brunhilda at all. I don’t understand where her whole “the Marquess and his family should be the morally unimpeachable” position is coming from, especially since Bertie became Marquess a mere 10 minutes ago. And is that even a realistic position? I’m pretty sure tenants and estate employees did not look to the aristocracy for moral guidance, everyone would gamble/invest away their money (ehem, Robert) and have mistresses and secret love children if they did.

    And while I understand that they did it that way to have another “Edith is a badass” moment, it didn’t sit well with me that Bertie was so afraid of his mother to begin with. Thank goodness he stood up to her eventually, but he should never have put Edith in the position where she had to tell Brunhilda by herself. At the very least, she should have done it with Bertie at her side. Bertie is lovely overall, but he really needs to be less scared of his mother and grow a pair.

    Alnwick is just so, so, pretty. And it really does look like how you imagine a castle to look like, with the stone walls and battlements. I felt a rush of excitement when I realized I may have walked the same castle walls as Lord G and Edith.

    I was always #TeamClarkson, but credit to Julian Fellowes for converting me to #TeamMerton by way of the horrid Miss Cruikshanks. I may also have clapped my hands in delight with Dickie’s “…marvelous” line. That was some good writing right there.

    Another piece of good writing was the Anna/Mary role reversal, with Mary assisting Anna as the latter was about to give birth. I was confused, though, that they brought up champagne to Anna AND Mary. One was a new mother who was likely about to breastfeed while the other was newly pregnant. Were they not strict about alcohol consumption for breastfeeding/pregnant women back then?

    And yes, I do like the dynamic between Henry and Edith, and I agree that it bodes well for Edith and Mary’s relationship. There’s a rapport there that wasn’t as easygoing and comfortable between Matthew and Edith. I like the idea that Henry would help bridge the gap between the Crawley girls. And of course he goes full circle since he has his bromance with Sybil’s husband.

    Also, George + Henry = OVARY EXPLOSION.

    •  Sarah S
      +5

      The drinking while pregnant thing must have been more recent than that, though a feeble Google search hasn’t been very helpful to me in determining when it became commonplace to quit during pregnancy. I feel like the pregnant women in Mad Men were shown drinking and smoking, so if we’re basing knowledge on historical TV dramas I’d say that it was the 50s or 60s before that particular restriction became common for pregnant women.

      • Sally
        +10

        It was later than that, more like late 70′s, early 80′s.

        • Sally
          +7

          My mother drank with all of us (late 50s to late 60s), usually a cocktail every night, although not first trimester when she had all-day morning sickness. She would joke that it was a good thing she drank, what would the world do with 4 more Einsteins?
          A scientist who was studying FAS addressed a Women in Wine seminar I attended in the mid-90s and her research at that point was the alcohol effects were cumulative (stronger showing of FAS with each subsequent pregnancy) and heavy drinking (a qt. of Jack Daniels a day). Recommendations now range from ‘an occasional drink won’t harm you’ to ‘NO, NEVER, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES.’

          •  Colleen
            +10

            It’s a hard thing to study since you have to rely on self-reported statistics and people aren’t always truthful. Basically, the data we do have shows that an occasional drink won’t harm the baby but binge/heavy drinking will. And you can’t very well set up an experiment to figure out where the line is between the two. So many (mostly American?) doctors have decided to tell their patients to just not drink at all.

            This is also exacerbated by the gulf of misunderstanding between light and heavy drinkers. Some people can make a single bottle of wine last all week. Others can’t make it last day. And those two types of people have a hard time understanding the other’s relationship to alcohol. But the rules and guidelines have to apply to everyone, so they err on the side of caution.

            Some doctors (like my cousin’s) will tell their patients that anywhere from a single drink a day to a single drink a week is OK, but I’m guessing that these are doctors that know their patients well enough to trust them to not overdo it.

        • Liane
          +3

          It wasn’t until the 70s, I think that women were discouraged from drinking while pregnant and probably the late-70s at that. Perhaps one of our European members of Fug Nation can chime in here. I think over there they are still not as strict about total abstinence while pregnant as we are here in the US.

        • DebMcC
          0

          Not only that, in earlier decades it was thought wine was good for pregnant women. Or so I understand.

    • LaLA
      +8

      If I popped one out on New Years, I would want a glass of champagne! I have a friend who had her husband sneak in champagne (and sushi) when she had her baby a year ago. A little sip is not bad!

    •  Jodi
      +6

      It seemed to me the whole Brunhilda reaction was a way to control Bertie. Brunhilda probably didn’t care so much about “morals” as she did about the fact that her son was now the Marquess, and she was going to have a say in how he (and his new wife) did things. She grabbed onto morality because it was a thorny subject, and her claws could get purchase. Bertie had to grow a spine, but instead he married one :)

    • Melissa
      +1

      As has been said, limiting/forbidding alcohol for pregnant and breastfeeding women is a relatively new idea. In fact, when my grandma was a new mother, she was encouraged to drink beer to boost her milk supply!

  28. Lynne
    +16

    Said it on Twitter and I’ll say it again. This ending perfectly sets up a post WWII sequel. I assume Julian Fellowes has had his vacation already and can therefore get to work on this. Sit back and imagine the 1940s costuming we could enjoy.

    I can’t believe how invested I was in the happiness of Thomas. You could see that development coming a mile away and it still made me really happy. I did a full on ugly cry when he said goodbye to the Crawley children.

    • DebMcC
      +3

      There’s talk of a movie. That would perfectly transition the story. Mary’s, Edith’s, Tom’s, Rose’s, the Bates’, Daisy’s children and more in WW II.

      • Shannon
        +5

        I hope they don’t do that. Little Baby Bates would be just the right age to be off at War and I don’t like the thought of them having any more sorrow. I would love more than anything to have a sequel with Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason running the bed and breakfast and having Fawlty Towers type shenanigans.

      •  Jodi
        +4

        This is the very subject I came here to discuss! I can’t accept that this is the end, I want more, pronto! I would like JF to do a movie (or even a TV special, I’m not going to the movie theater to watch this, so what does it matter?) I’d like to see more of how Thomas and Carson navigate running the house between them. It promises to be an epic battle, and I’d like to see Thomas employ his EvilButler.com skills, honed over many years, to help the estate out of a bind, and see him and Carson work together (however reluctantly) for the greater good.

        I wouldn’t mind a yearly Christmas special, just to keep us all updated on the Crawleys.

        What do you want to see more of?

    •  Magenta
      0

      I TOTALLY BAWLED during the goodbye scene with the children. The look on Rob-James Collier’s face. What an actor.

  29.  Tania
    +5

    I’ve cried at the beginning of the episode, a bunch of times throughout,I cried at your recap and I’m crying at the comments of the recap. Jesus. I love the show, Violet and Isobel are my absolute favourite and I’m glad it ended on these two wonderful ladies.

  30. Rebecca
    +6

    Thank you for yet another lovely and hilarious recap, Jessica! I think like others I may miss your recaps just as much as the actual show! It was so fun to watch these past few seasons and think ‘Oh I wonder what Fug Nation will say about this!’ or ‘This will make Jessica so happy!’.

    I’m so, so happy with the finale and that everything was wrapped up so well. I do wish we could have gotten some closure on Baxter/Molesley, Branson/Editrix, Daisy/Andy, Mrs.Pattmore/Mr. Mason, but I think it was all implied enough and it’s not like EVERYONE could decide to all get coupled up at the same time at the last minute. In my mind they all end up happily ever after so I’ll be happy with that.

    Seriously, what show are we going to get our beautiful English countrysides/gorgeous (most of the time) period clothes fix from now?

    • DebMcC
      +7

      There were not two things I missed in this lovely pair ‘em up finale:

      Molesley saying to Baxter that, settled as a teacher, he could ask for her hand.

      Edith saying to Marigold, “Come to Mummy!” Or Marigold calling Edith Mummy. I can’t say HOW MUCH I wanted this one to happen!

  31. alh
    +12

    I haven’t been on board for all the plot/character developments over the seasons (why did getting an education make Daisy MORE of an idiot? Why did getting married turn Carson into a grumpy old grump?) but the acting and costuming/sets have been fabulous throughout. I have loved this show, and I have loved these recaps — funny and not hesitating to point out plot holes or character issues, but always with affection for the show and the actors. Some might say that the series finale was a little too neatly wrapped up with a happy ending for everyone, but I like it. Real life is messy enough, I like thinking the Crawleys and their associates lived happily ever after. Thanks for the recaps, Jessica. I’ve really enjoyed sharing the experience with Fug Nation.

    • Shannon
      +15

      I have a theory on the Carson grumpiness. First, Jessica nailed part of it. It’s hard for a person who has been not married for so long to settle into a marriage. I don’t think he could really see what he was doing. Secondly, I’ve had the sad experience to know a few people who have long term illnesses and have become incapacitated by those illnesses. In the case of one of them, he suspected the diagnosis (Alzheimer’s) before he was officially diagnosed. He became impossible to be around, grumpy and demanding. It was like he was so distraught at the though of it, he couldn’t be happy in any way and took it out on everyone. Carson might have been suspecting that the thing that had plauged his father and grandfather was hitting him long before he showed any outward signs. I have a soft spot for Carson and was glad that he redeemed himself a bit there towards the end.

    • BigTex
      +2

      Yes, I’m so grateful to have these recaps and Fug Nation!

      • Cking
        +2

        Or maybe he was grumpy because they hadn’t invented Viagra yet for men his age. ;)

    •  Jodi
      +5

      And I have a theory about Daisy. When she saw Andy in his undershirt, is that the most naked she had ever seen a man?

  32. Kris
    +12

    We must carry on by watching Outlander when it returns next month! I also think Downton: the World War II years would be amazing! Imagine Maggie Smith recast as Rosmund; Samantha Bond as older Edith; and Edith as Marigold. The Abbey will be a haven for the children of London who are evacuated due to the Blitz. Please make it so Julian Fellows!

  33. needascreenname
    +4

    So… I loved the episode, but have one major quibble…. while I am thrilled that Dickie and Isobel wound up together, I thought there was a much more historically accurate and compelling way to have done it. According to my husband, who is a doctor and would watch Downton with me only when forced and to make notes on the medical history of the show, pernicious anemia was fatal until about 1920 when a doctor in the US discovered a treatment (the treatment was gross… don’t ask). Given that this was 1925, you could have Dr Clarkson show up the fancy doctors in London yet again by discovering this treatment and saving the day. He may not get Isobel, but he deserved better than going out on “oops… made a mistake!”
    Also… minor quibble… Tom’s last line to Lady Editrix was sort of skeezy dude at the bar around closing time.

    •  Beth
      +7

      I SUPER thought that it was going to turn out that Crookshanks and Horrible Larry were poisoning Dickie in order to get him out of the way and have the estate to themselves. I’m still not entirely convinced there weren’t some shenanigans that got cut for time or plot reasons, seeing as how he immediately got better after going to Isobel’s, and then miraculously the first tests were wrong.

      • library_girl
        +2

        I thought that too!

      • GrandSophy
        +6

        I thought the same- they were feeding him arsenic – its used by gardeners in England I know-that’s from reading all of Agatha Christie’s mysteries!

      • Lori
        +1

        If that were true, though, they came up with it pretty quickly. They’d invited Isobel up for a “take the old man off our hands lunch” but then cancelled after the doctor’s appointment, so I don’t think they were the cause of the illness.

        I do think, however, that they were trying to hurry it along by keeping him locked away.

    • lsaspacey
      +1

      The cure was a pound of raw liver, or the drinking of raw liver juice a day!

  34. GeoDiva
    +2

    It ended perfectly. I hate when show try and pull a twist. I want my happy endings. I cried, I laughed, I clapped with glee. It was a great ride.

  35. CDB
    +11

    Jessica, I was also anticipating Michael Gregson jumping out at the wedding. (Actually, I was anticipating his return from the dead ALL EPISODE and the wedding was the last logical moment and when it passed without him appearing, I was minorly disappointed. I am glad Edith got her happy ending, I was just hoping it would be achieved in a less predictable manner. But I guess Downton used up its shock value for the season with Lord Grantham’s projectile blood vomiting.)

    •  Alison
      +4

      I was actually worried up until slide 50 or so where Edith says she feels completely happy, something she’s never felt before (Oh Edith!) I was bracing for the door to burst open. The foreshadowing in Robert’s line last episode about Edith bringing him the most surprises, and maybe there was one more was so heavy handed I have been worrying about Gregson for two weeks. I never believed that love affair. I truly believe Edith and Bertie and, despite her nearly driving the farmer’s wife insane, I’m happy for this story line.

      • Leigh Ann
        +4

        I kept thinking Michael Greyson would turn up at the wedding, at the back of the church, having just returned to England and learned that Edith was marrying Bertie. I thought he would catch a glimpse of her radiant face, and slip away to a new life incognito, leaving her to be happy (and unaware that he was still alive). But…that didn’t happen.

    •  Katrina
      0

      Both me and my mom thought he paused a bit too long at ‘are they any objections’ and had a mini-freak out lol

  36.  Anne Marie
    +10

    I loved it! So happy that Edith got a happy ending. I held my breath a bit when the priest asked “if anyone has just cause that these two should not be wed…” But thankfully no one did. Her dress was lovely.

    I loved that the final scene was Violet and Isobel and Violet had the last line. Perfect! (Though my all-time favorite line of the series is “What is a week-end?”)

    I do wish we had seen Tom find a woman in this season, instead of spending so much time getting Mary and Henry together. I know it’s implied that he and the Edatrix will get together, but he’s such a good character, it would have been nice to see that play out.

    I know it was a small scene, but I loved Henry and Edith’s conversation in the car. Even they seemed to have more chemistry than Henry and Mary.

    • DebMcC
      +14

      I read a few weeks ago that Allan Leech was very unhappy with his arc this season and if he’d known it, wouldn’t have returned. I pretty much agree. His hovering matchmaker role seemed ill fitting for Tom. Although Leech certainly made the best of it and gave us a lovely, personable portrayal.

      •  Anne Marie
        +3

        Aww, that’s too bad. I remember reading earlier (a few seasons ago) that Allan Leech was very grateful for the role in DA and how it opened other doors to him for his career in acting

      • Lemora Martin
        0

        I completely agree. Tom Branson was turned into a plot device, with almost nothing to do except be good natured and spout platitudes. Fellowes did the same thing with the excellent Julian Ovenden, who played match maker between Tony Gillingham and Mabel Lane Fox. I suspect he initially thought his role would be more complex and substantial. Maybe he asked to be written out, who knows? This is a waste of two excellent actors. And will we ever learn why Tom’s stint in Boston didn’t work out? I guess that’s another dangling plot thread, like Gregson’s crazy wife.

    •  Anne Marie
      +12

      I just re-watched and when Henry takes Edith to her London flat, he calls her Edie. He says, “oh this is lovely, Edie.” I thought it was sweet. He has a nickname for her

    • Carol Fusco
      +4

      I so wish that we had gotten a lot less Daisy being stupid and a whole lot more of Tom Branson getting together with the editrix!

      Thank you so very much for all the wonderful recaps. Reading them and the comments has been an integral part of my Downton Abbey viewing (and Agent Carter) ever since I first discovered them. What shall we do now!? Waaahhhhhh.

    • lsaspacey
      +1

      Maybe he and Henry can take out ads in Edith’s magazine, inviting women to make their own automobile buying decisions.

  37.  Sarah S
    +8

    Brava on your amazing recaps throughout the series, Downton wouldn’t have been the same without them!!

    My favorite part was probably Mary taking Anna’s shoes off and ushering her into her own bed. The turnabout on that one was lovely. Oh and Violet and Dowager Countess giving the brats what for about their father was excellent. All and all a very fulfilling finale.

    As soon as I’m done with my current watch through of Gilmore Girls I’ll be watching Downton again from start to finish.

  38. CassandraMortmain
    +13

    Oh, the episode was so satisfying and the recap even more satisfying. Sniffle. I cried through the whole thing and told my husband this was my Super Bowl and to just leave me, the big TV and my vodka tonic in piece so I could pause and rewind to my heart’s content. Loved it all. Jessica, you’re the best!

    • library_girl
      +7

      My husband came and sat next to me rustling a bag of chips for the last 10 minutes. Gah!

  39.  Anne Marie
    +2

    Oh, and the final recap was perfect too! I will miss these recaps and discussions. I love that you named Bertie’s mom Brunhilda!

  40. MaryoMary 
    +18

    I have a confession. We had friends staying in the area the last two weeks, and yesterday was their last day, with their flight home at 11pm. I invited them over for a big lovely dinner with the stipulation that at 8pm I was going to ignore them completely and utterly henceforth. They were terribly understanding and tiptoed out at exactly 7:50. It was pretty awesome and explains why we’re all still friends.

    • Persephone Mulberry
      +18

      Not nearly as dramatic, but my mother in law invited us over for an early dinner yesterday, and I told my husband, “sure, as long as we’re home by 8.” My MIL watches Downton, too, so DH was all “we could stay and you and my mom can bond over the last episode,” to which I replied “No, thank you, I’d prefer to bawl my eyes out in the privacy of my own living room.”

  41. library_girl
    +24

    I laughed so hard when Robert told Cora that Edith had telephoned, and Cora’s first assumption was that Edith was pregnant again.

    And I’m SURE that Larry and Crookshanks were slowly poisoning Lord Merton with something that mimicked pernicious anemia and that’s why he got better after he moved in with Isobel.

    Lady Rose’s pale pink dinner dress was so pretty! And Edith had a blue one that was amazing, too. However, Anna’s and Daisy’s dresses for the wedding were pretty awful.

    • Shannon
      +11

      My word, I never thought that Awful Larry and Awful Larry In Woman Form were doing something to hasten his demise, but that totally makes sense. He looked awful the day that Isobel and Violet came to rescue him, but much better at the wedding.

      • DebMcC
        0

        It occurred to me as I thought about Dickie, Larry and Crookshanks this week, that The shameless, larcenous pair may have been given Chez Merton, but that confrontation with Violet and Isobel happened, loudly, right in the front hall, surely overheard by nearby servants…who would regale their servant friends with the juicy tale, who who would tell their own employers.

        Thus, they got the house, but likely became social pariahs (apart from Larry’s general nastiness). The people they craved social acceptance from would shun them, a la Violet and the Crawleys.

        • Judith in Ottawa
          0

          I am postulating in my own “What Happened Next” that Dickie’s will stipulates that the Awful Brats inherit the house but no cash. He leaves all the rest of his estate to Isobel, should she survive him, and if not to the Downton Village Hospital. Crookshanks will have to take in laundry if she wants to keep that lovely roof over her head.

    • Katesspy
      +3

      I was thinking that they had the original tests in London altered somehow to show he had that fatal anemia. But then if he didn’t die what was the points… so I too thought they were going to slowly poison him and nobody would question it.

      • Amy
        +3

        He got much better when he was with Isobel so my mother and I are assuming horrible Larry and Crookshanks were poisoning him as well. I miss Downton and the recaps already! I actually went on to imdb last week to see if Michael Gregson was in the episode because I couldn’t bear waiting to see if he was going to pop up. What a great season!

      •  Beth
        0

        ME TOO!!!!

    • Danielle W.
      +12

      My favorite quote from Cora in the entire series: “Is she pregnant again?” I burst out laughing, so funny.

    •  Sue C
      +3

      I also let out a sharp bark of laughter when Cora’s first guess was that Edith was pregnant again. ZING, Cora!

    • DebMcC
      +10

      Daisy’s new bob was so pretty and flattering, though. Too bad it didn’t change her personality, too.

      • Leigh Ann
        +5

        I loved Daisy’s bob haircut! She looked really cute. It didn’t make her any less annoying, however.

    • Rebecca
      +3

      OMG I never would have thought of the poisoning thing but you really might be right. He looked awful at his house but so much better once he moved in with Isobel.

      • Shannon
        +3

        That might be attributed to him being able to rest in pajamas instead of the button up shirt and tie that he was wearing at his own house.

    •  DianeN
      +2

      If the show had gone on for another season, I assume that Baxter and Molesley would have cracked the Merton poisoning case in plenty of time to save Dickie’s life. I was always Team Clarkson, but I will admit that Dickie grew on me. I think I finally realized it when Isobel announced that she was kidnapping him, and I found myself fist pumping through my tears.

      I haven’t been around Fug Nation for very long, but I do have to say that one of the reasons I started following closely was when I realized that Heather and Jessica recap some of my favorite shows. I’m so glad I was here for Downton’s final season.

  42.  Sarah S
    +13

    This is apparently the day when we all learn who has Pernicious Anemia!! I give myself the B12 shots every month too, Jessica!

    • Jessica
      +6

      Oh, you do them yourself? I go into the doctor and have them shoot me up. Honestly, I would LOVE to do it myself if I could, it would be so much more convenient. (I guess I could ask my doc about it.)

      •  Sarah S
        +3

        I do! It takes some getting used to but it isn’t too bad

      • Lori
        +1

        I’m not sure what it’s for, but my dad takes B12 shots. My mom gives them to him.

      • Shannon
        +9

        And I know what you mean about a Downton ailment hitting close to home. I had pre -ecclampsia when I was pregnant with my daughter, which is what killed Sybil. Imagine watching that play out knowing that under different circumstances it’s what would have happened to me. It was awful to think about. All of the medical issues the Crawleys have faced have probably made those with similar ailments grateful to live in the modern day.

        •  Kristin
          +4

          About 20 years ago a neighbor of mine died of eclampsia because for some reason no one at the hospital checked her blood pressure for eight hours after delivery. It can still be terribly dangerous.

          • Chasmosaur
            +1

            Absolutely. My Dad (a physician) watched that episode and said the exact same thing.

          • Shannon
            +3

            Yes, it can still be terribly dangerous. There are still mistakes that are made and physicians who don’t know what to watch for. It is still the number one cause of maternal death worldwide. According to the last numbers I read (I work with women in birth crisis) there are still over 20,000 women per year who die from it, so it’s by no means something to not be worried about anymore. After I delivered my baby, I was still critically ill for several days while the drugs they put you on worked their way through my system. A good friend of mine who delivered at the same time went into liver failure, but fortunately it reversed. It is scary, scary stuff.

      • TaraMisu
        +3

        I do my own as well!

      • Jenny N
        0

        I administer them at home too. SO much more convenient. Your doc shouldn’t have a problem prescribing you the needles and B12.

    • Persephone Mulberry
      +5

      I actually Googled this mid show because it sounds so old-timey, I figured they can’t possibly call it that anymore.

  43. Tricia
    +6

    Loved the episode, and adored your recap!! I don’t know what I’m going to do now that both are over. Seriously – is there like a 12 step program or something? I’m so happy that Julian wrapped it up neatly without being too sappy. LOVED that he chose to end with Violet and Isobel. I think Mary and Edith will be those two in 40 years. Can’t wait for the movie. Please tell me there will be a movie.

  44.  FootprintsAndFotos
    +2

    Lovely recap, thank you! So sad to see the show ending. :( It wasn’t perfect, but it was so so pretty!

  45. Leia
    +10

    Le Sigh. The curtain falls on Downton delights. And the best recaps of a bygone era. Y’all were the very best of friends to ‘watch’ with, wine cardigans and tiaras for all.

    Very neat tidying up of loose ends…a bit too trite, some say, but then that’s what we were hoping for.

    Happily ever afters, all around!

    Cheers, fug friends!

  46. Nina
    +6

    Full on ugly cry. What am I going to dooooo?

  47. Al
    +2

    Thank you so much for these recaps, Jessica! Perfect, always, in the face of a very imperfect show.

    I will quibble that, having not been given time to play out to fruition, Tom’s flirtation with the editor felt tacked on and unnecessary. Whether by design or accident, Tom’s mentions of Sybil after he death were almost always in the present tense (i.e. not immediately obvious out of context that he was talking about someone who died) , so it could have easily followed that in the end he decided to live out his life happily raising Sybbie and being Henry and Mary’s third wheel and honoring Sybil’s memory as a single man. Would have preferred a scene of him talking to Sybil at her grave over the hamfisted scene of him watching her catch the bouquet.

    • maryloubethune
      +3

      The editorix is quite lovely and smart. Perfect for Tom.

      And I think the Crawlyes and the Hexhams(?) will freeze out the horrible Larry and Crookshanks and their name will be mud in the county!

      Henry Haddon -P was very dear in this role which as you said could have been wet willy or horray henry or whatever they call it.
      Everyone was wonderful and I shall miss it so very much.

      • Al
        +8

        Nothing against the editrix, who I liked. But she had all of three (I think?) scenes with Tom. Not enough for me to choose to infer anything meaningful. It was a very clumsy, unsatisfying ending for Tom, a character who was so fiery and promising at the start.

  48. Magdalen
    +3

    About the pernicious anemia. While we watched the episode, my husband researched the condition and learned that they “cured” it in the 1920s when they discovered that eating raw liver (ugh, but better than dying) was the trick. We assumed that Dr. Clarkson might have shared that bit of information BUT possibly the crack team of researchers figured out that the raw liver cure wasn’t discovered until after 1925. Oh, and I have to get B-12 shots every month, too, so solidarity with you there. I self-administer them because it’s just so much easier than finding a doctor in my backwater corner of Pennsylvania.

  49. BigTex
    +10

    (1) I’m so happy this is here – I kept refreshing the gfy page all morning, so I could finally “talk” to someone about Downton, because none of my family or friends watch the show WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM HOW CAN THEY BE MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS!?

    (2) The “Daisy gets a new haircut” plotline may have been a waste of time, but anyone who didn’t watch the show should Google her new bob – she looks enchanting; I think the haircut came with new and improved makeup, amiright?

    (3) It was a little frustrating that the Barrow-replaces-Carson development was telegraphed so far in advance – what a genius, Lord G, to come up with that plan, we all thought of it over an hour ago (with the benefit of better information, to be fair) – but I guess with Fellowes in charge, we should be glad this wasn’t stretched out over four episodes.

    (4) I’ve been a little bemused at all the talk of weeping through recent episodes – I just don’t cry or laugh out loud much at TV shows – but I did well up in the Lord G/Carson gratitude and handshaking moment. That was far and away the most moving moment for me. Carson!

    (5) I share the love for Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton as our final “couple”, and for Julian Fellowes’s treatment of the middle-aged and older generally. So satisfying.

    (6) Of course Maggie Smith got the final line, but Ms. Wilton STOLE THE SCENE with her reaction. We barely glimpsed her facial expression before the cut to the back of her head, where we barely glimpsed her patented shruggy tilt of the head, but she (silently) said so much! And this is the one moment where I laughed out loud. Loved, loved, loved it.

    • Sally
      +14

      Oh, YES! Penelope Wilton’s expression made me laugh out loud. Way to upstage Maggie Smith.

  50. Sally
    +23

    I read somewhere that in the “Goodbye, Mr. Bawwow” scene, the hug from the little girl who plays Sybbie was unscripted. Watch Thomas’s face and you you can see his surprised delight.
    I was hoping that poor, mute Marigold might get to say something in the final episode (was she even one of the flowergirls at the wedding?) Ah, well.

    Echoing everyone above in giving thanks for the wonderful recaps and also thanks to Fug Nation for wonderful discussions.

    •  Nina2
      +3

      I should have known that hug wasn’t scripted, because no one hugs at Downton!
      Marigold staying put kind of makes sense to me since she won’t be staying at Downton anyway, isn’t she going to boarding school?

      That said, thinking of that scene has me bawling again.

  51.  attica
    +11

    I WILL MISS ALL THE HATS! I WANT MORE HATS!

    (ahem) You guys, Isobel’s hats were everything in the finale. So good, I want them all. Followed by Violet’s. I haven’t worn any hats this year, due to what my GYN hilariously calls my “heat intolerance”, but I’m optimistic for next year’s hattitude! (I am told Heat Intolerance does not last forever; I cling to this.)

    Bertie’s mom was played by the great Patricia Hodge, who played in the movie version of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal. So good.

    Okay, show of hands: When Rose and Isobel were discussing the book she’d given the new couple, how many of you bet that the book in question was War and Peace?

    • BigTex
      +11

      Ooh! Maybe the fuggirls could do a retrospective of “Best Downton Hats”. Or gowns. Or rooms. Ladies?

      •  Magenta
        +1

        YES! YES! Please, fuggirls, please do a retrospective! When you said “don’t judge me” for your long recaps, I thought I had read it wrong. I am so sad every time I get to end of one – they are so glorious, I want them to go on and on forever!

    • Sally
      +1

      It does not. You will be wearing hats in no time.

    •  Rowynn
      +4

      Patricia Hodge was marvelous in Rumpole of the Bailey years ago, too.

      Cora’s hat in the car going to Brancaster was lovely, I thought. I’m not usually much of a hat person, but that one really caught my fancy and it looked so pretty on her!

      • BigTex
        +1

        Oh, THAT’s where I know her from! Thanks!

      • abbe
        0

        She was also fantastic in the film of Tom Stoppard’s Betrayal –now long ago in the 80′s. I had to go to IMDB to get it –also in the great British version of Lives and Loves of a She-Devil. She has such a wonderful face that looks as if it could change reality just by how she casts her eyes.

    • DebMcC
      +4

      Ah! Maybe Rose stole the Gutenburg and was giving it to Edith to make up for Edith’s shabby treatment.

    •  Nina2
      +7

      My mother got so into the hats, she made me get her old hat from storage so she could wear it during the finale! All while sipping a wine spritzer, lol.

  52. Susan
    +10

    Oh, Jess! Thank you for these wonderful recaps. I’m sitting at my desk, crying all over again. For me, Downton was really, really over until I finished reading your final recap. I’m as sad to finish reading this post as I was when the show finished last night.

  53. austex99
    +13

    1. Did anyone else totally think they were going in a “Dickie is being poisoned by Larry and Cruickshanks” direction? I mean, he mysteriously got better as soon as he was freed!
    2. The loooong pause on “speak now or forever hold your peace” (and I swear Edith looked a bit jumpy) absolutely cracked me up. Cut to reception. Whew! Dodged one last bullet.
    3. I suppose Edith can never just announce to the world that Marigold is hers, right? Which is sad. But in my mind, she drops juicy hints in her old age (and everyone has kind of figured it out anyway) and in the 2000s, Marigold’s kids/grandkids get together with Sybbie and George’s for a DNA test and a sweet family reunion where they acknowledge how hard it must’ve been for poor old Edith. I really wish we had seen Marigold this ep, btw.

    • BigTex
      +5

      She is frolicking in the VERY opening scene, looking her liveliest yet. No lines, though.

      • Sally
        +5

        And she is being held by one of the nannies in the Goodbye, Mr. Bawwow scene.

        • lsaspacey
          +4

          She is being cuddled by her new grannie (Brunhilda) later in the ep. after the wedding too! That surprised me. They were in the foreground of the scene while other characters were having a conversation behind them.

    • austex99
      0

      I obviously need to watch again. I mean. Obviously.

    •  Rowynn
      +20

      I thought maybe Edith and Bertie could formally adopt Marigold, and then she would be able to call them Mommy and Daddy, and no one would question it.

    •  Genevieve
      +1

      She was one of the flower girls.

  54. Amy S.
    +13

    I wonder why Elizabeth McGovern didn’t tell Julian Fellowes that the Gettysburg Address was a completely wrong reference for that scene between Lord and Lady G. Maybe “reading the riot act” felt too modern (even though it’s from 1714)? At any rate, that totally took me out of that scene.

    And count me among those who was puzzled by Brunhilda’s concern that Bertie be a paragon of morality. I get she wants that simply for the family reputation, but it’s not as if he can be voted out of the marquessate. It’s his for life. Though I wish we’d had a scene where he and Edith were introduced by their titles in front of Mary. I’d’ve loved to see her face.

    •  Magenta
      +2

      That Gettysburg Address thing was so bizarre. Does JF not realize it was a 2-minute speech???? It’s usually cited for its brevity, not its long-windedness!

  55. austex99
    +14

    Also. Amid a sea of glorious acting and directing, the fabulously understated moment between Carson and Lord Grantham really stood out. The composition of the shot, exactly eye-to-eye, and Carson’s soberly dignified Happy New Year, just struck to the heart the idea that all of this upstairs-downstairs stuff is just a coincidence of birth, and Carson had as much dignity and gravitas as any earl. Even if he used to be a vaudevillian names Cheerful Charlie.

  56. Katesspy
    +5

    Thank you Jessica for your much anticipated recaps. I’ve watched DA since the beginning but just found your recaps a few months ago, I will have to go back and binge read them all!
    Seriously, I cannot get any work done today as I troll Twitter to read every recap, rehash and review of yesterday’s episode. Unfortunately I read a spoiler so I knew about Edith becoming a Marchioness but it was still a great ending to a great show.

  57. needascreenname
    +3

    question… does Isobel not know about Marigold or has she not figured it out? I guess I assumed she had, she’s very intuitive, but at the beginning of the episode she asks whether she has any relations that need to be notified of the plan to send her to school. That confused me, particularly in light of the “everyone knows and/or will figure it out eventually” talk.

    • Jessica
      +11

      She doesn’t know. I agree that she seems like a character who would have figured it out.

    • Lori
      +3

      That really threw me because I thought SURELY she knew. Here’s hoping Violet tells her over drinks sometime.

      • Shannon
        +3

        And I totally took that as a “we know everyone knows but we’re still talking like we don’t to be polite” comment. However, Isobel isn’t at the house much anymore, so maybe she really wouldn’t have any reason to suspect.

    • Leigh Ann
      +2

      At the time, I thought Isobel meant “Are there any relations on Marigold’s dad’s side that should know about her going to school?” But thinking back, I don’t think she does know. Though you’d think she’d have figured it out.

    • Squirrel!
      +4

      “They don’t know we know they know we know!” Oh wait, wrong show.

  58. Eliza Bennett
    +6

    I greatly resent Daisy’s storyline–Why was Mrs Patmore on her like she was 42 and had a growing cat-themed fleece throw collection? She’s like 20, she doesn’t have to jump on her bucktoofed coworker who breaks into stress sweat every time he sees her. Let a bish live, dang.
    Also, Edith:Unexplained Patch of Dermatitis probably shouldn’t get as many honesty points as she did. She didn’t tell Bertie about Marigold being the fruit of her looms until absolutely forced, and except for Brunhilda, everybody and their dog knew about it already. Props to her for ripping the bandaid off quickly and telling his mom, but “strong and unimpeachably honest” is…a bit much.
    Also I cried and squealed and clapped and will miss this show GFY’s recaps terribly.

    •  Sarah S
      +6

      I think by the final episode Daisy would be at the least 28 (this would assume she was 14 during the first episode) and at the most 32… which makes me wonder if there’s a list somewhere of the approximate ages of the characters…

      • Eliza Bennett
        +3

        oh lord, if Daisy’s nearly 30, she really ought to pout less. I came to the series late and was only going by how old she looked and acted.

      • Leigh Ann
        +6

        Yeah, I think she’s about 27 or 28, chronologically. Emotionally, she acts like she’s about 12.

    •  Anne Marie
      +10

      I get what you’re say about Mrs. Patmore and Daisy, but since the series started in 1912 and ended in 1925, Daisy is likely older than 20. But JF is not known for consistency on these points.

      As for Edith, I do believe she was going to tell Bertie about Marigold but she needed to work herself up to it, because she had such poor luck in love/relationships.

    • BigTex
      +6

      Right, but as far as Brunhilde knows, Edith IS “strong and unimpeachable honest”.

    • Lori
      +6

      Dang.

      As people noted, Daisy is somewhere around 30, which is way too old for her to be acting like she does. (I will never forgive her for being such a brat to Mrs. Patmore). Also, Andy is nervous but a good guy. She doesn’t have to like him, but she also shouldn’t be such a snot to him. And Mrs. Patmore was right on the money when she said Daisy only liked guys who didn’t like her.

      • DebMcC
        +3

        Mrs Patmore said Daisly had a thing for Alfred, but only after dismissing his interest. I don’t recall Alfred ever having a thing for Daisy. Downton: where plotlines go down the well (i.e., Cheerful Charlie).

        • Shannon
          +7

          We have a list as long as your arm of the people Daisy has been horrible to for no reason at all. Honestly, I think she’s got some mental disorder.

        • lsaspacey
          0

          After he left to be a chef, he showed interest but she wasn’t having it.

      •  Jodi
        +15

        Daisy hasn’t grown up because she’s never really been out of the kitchen. Like Mrs Patmore, she has no experience with men. She protested mightily about being a “war widow” and that’s what I read between the lines, she felt she wasn’t married, because she and William never consummated the marriage. Even everyone assuring her that the marriage gave solace to William during his last days didn’t convince her that she had actually been married, and wasn’t still essentially a child. I think when she saw Andy in his undershirt working on the roof it gave her some new ideas…I doubt she’d seen a man that undressed before.

    •  Elise
      +1

      OK – Edith:Unexplained Patch of Dermatitis made me laugh out loud, as did “fruit of her looms”! You are too funny.

  59. Jenny Smith
    +9

    These recaps always made my Monday morning. I am as sad to lose them as I am the show. That said, we are all down for “The Gilded Age,” right?
    http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2016-01-21/julian-fellowes-nbc-period-drama-the-gilded-age-will-start-filming-this-year

  60. Sally
    +6

    I need that dining room, you guys, I NEED THAT DINING ROOM! I’m having 22 for Easter dinner and my entire apartment could fit into the back corner of that dining room.

  61.  Laura W.
    +11

    That scene where Henry was making cocktails on the lawn in a tuxedo made me swoon. *sigh* I want that to be my life.

  62. SandraR
    +7

    I loved, loved Cora’s line when Robert comes back in their bedroom announcing it was Edith on the phone with the most outrageous news and Cora’s immediate reaction was: She’s pregnant again??

    Clearly unplanned pregnancy is Cora’s worst nightmare for her middle, spinster, unwed-mother of a daughter.

  63.  attica
    +7

    I nearly fainted at the Brancaster Library. They have their own card catalogue! Swoon!

    •  KarenG958
      +1

      Seriously, what a room!

    • SandraR
      +3

      There’s actually a scene in DA where Robert is kneeling in front of a little drawer in his library, inserting a card. I said the same thing! Card catalog!!

  64. Rika
    +2

    I cried my way through the second half of the episode, and then I cried my way through this wonderful recap.

    Thank you so much for all the recaps over the years, and the great screen caps, and photos of various characters’ caps (well, okay, hats, but I’ve got a “caps” thing going – work with me here). I shall miss the recaps almost as much as the show itself.

  65.  Bajada
    +3

    Thank you, Jessica; the recaps are almost better than the show. I laugh at every “Hideous”!

    I do think the Wardrobe Department outdid themselves for this episode; the dresses, the men’s outfits, the hats all absolutely stunning.

    • Jnell
      +8

      Agreed! While watching, I wondered if they had consciously saved their most spectacular dresses for the finale. Edith’s red dress in the opening scene made me gasp, especially in contrast to the toned-down neutrals on everyone else. I think it’s my favorite thing she’s ever worn.

  66. TaraMisu
    +5

    I want to live in those houses and wear those fab clothes *cries* but as I too have Pernicious Anemia, I would wither away and die because there is no way I’d eat raw liver. Yay for injections.
    Thank you ladies for these recaps, they have been awesome! I will miss this show so much and I hope you can find a new show to recap :)

    •  Kristin
      +2

      I had no idea Pernicious Anemia was so common! I’m so glad it can be treated relatively easily!

  67. AJ
    +9

    As soon as I saw this was posted I grabbed a bag of Cheetos and cracked open a fresh Diet Coke. The best Monday treat.

    Favorite lines/moments among the many:
    -Merton’s “marvelous” acceptance of his kidnapping and marriage. So awesome.
    -Bertie’s choked up delivery of “I’ve been doing a bad job.” The sweetest.
    -”We like strong women here.”
    -When Rose was the one to help Lord and Lady G patch things up. It was like a gift from her to them to thank them for taking her in and being the loving model of marriage she never had.

    As it panned out at the end I said “no, no, no.” I wasn’t ready for it to be over!

    … but was that really Miss Bunting?

    •  Anne Marie
      +9

      I love the notion that Rose helping Lord and Lady G was a thank you gift to them for taking Rose in and being a model of a loving marriage.

    • Sally
      +11

      At their 25th anniversary party, a cousin and her husband gave a speech thanking 8 “role model” couples for lessons that they took to their own marriage: from mom and dad, the necessity of a sense of humor; from aunt and uncle, taking a date night and trips away from their kids; from cousins, encouraging each other to follow dreams, from old family friends, keeping their home open to kids’ friends etc. It was quite moving and I like that you think Rose was thanking the Gs.

    • Lisa
      0

      I’m pretty convinced it wasn’t Sarah Bunting. She doesn’t look like her to my eyes and SB “despised” their whole class. Even if she would have deigned to show up, why would she have ever been invited in the first place?

  68. Libby J
    +15

    The Violet and Isobel exchange at the end, I thought, really beautifully encapsulated their characters: Violet, so staunchly in the camp of tradition and history, and Isobel, with her progressive and optimistic nature. Ever tense and at odds, but also, ever in love and friendship. Really, for me, that captures the whole show. I have rarely commented here, but I have read every recap, and cried and laughed with you through them all. I have missed Gabe’s recaps at videogum, and your writing here has filled that void for me. I don’t have anything witty to say, but just, thank you so much.

  69. Danielle W.
    +36

    I find out the gender of my baby next week and if it is a girl I’m naming her Maggie. Maggie Smith has given me the perfect McGonagall and Violet, the least I can do is name my child after her.

    • Melissa
      +4

      Congratulations! That’s a wonderful idea. My youngest daughter is named Violet, and yes, that’s due to my love of Dame Maggie and the Dowager.

  70. Kate
    +16

    I must confess I enjoyed the penultimate episode more, as my favorite character is and always will be Mary. The ridiculous focus on Daisy, my least favorite of all the characters — since the beginning — really did infringe my enjoyment of the finale. That said, I was thrilled when Bertie was waiting at the Ritz for Edith. I cheered when Isobel and Violet stormed Dickie Merton’s home. I cried when the kids said goodbye to Thomas. But the most moving scene to me was Lord G thanking Carson for all that he had done. Carson is Downton.

    Thanks for your recaps Jessica. They were as enjoyable as the show itself. There should be a Pulitzer category for recaps! I will miss all of it terribly.

  71. Corley
    +7

    Jessica, when I binge-watch Downton in the future, can I call you so we can discuss?
    1. I am satisfied with how things were left and even how things were implied, most of all with Mrs Patmore and Mr Mason
    2. I too loved the moment where Mary cared for Anna instead of the other way around
    3. I cried at that moment in the hallway between Cora/Lord G where they agreed they would enjoy their family for the rest of their days
    4. I ugly cried during Auld Lang Syne. Ugly. Cried.
    5. I want to be Violet and Isobel’s third wheel. I want it so bad. I’m going to miss them terribly.
    6. My final comment on the final DA recap of the final show has to be about Carson. He is eternal in my mind, and a picture of dignity, goodness, and a little softness underneath. He made this show so great.
    Thanks, Jessica, for giving us a place to talk about our love for the Crawleys.

  72. T_Genese
    +1

    Yay! I was waiting all morning for this, and you did an excellent recap. I had almost the exact same reactions, down to the wondering if Gregson was going to walk in during the wedding. At some point during the episodes, I think I just said out loud “Daisy is such a b****!” I’m glad her mother and father figure helped her get her head out of her rear end. Overall, I loved it and am so glad they let us end in a pink bubble of love.

  73.  Legally_blonde
    +2

    Thank you so much for the recap pulling it all together! The LA Times picked up your tweet: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-downton-abbey-series-finale-recap-shiny-happy-people-20160306-htmlstory.html

  74. Julia (Another one!)
    +1

    My husband and I got distracted by the first scene at Alnwick Castle because we’ve been there (in 1999, before it got quite so famous), so we kept pointing out what parts of the Castle we’d been in (it’s not a National Trust property, so the open rooms shift about). Our son, who was 13 at the time, walked all the way around the curtain wall. I want to go back to see the new gardens, but wonder if I’ll outlive the HP and DA fandom invasions.

    In any case- having Downton Abbey end is rather like coming home from a long residence abroad, in both space and time, and I’m going to miss it but rejoice in the memories.

    •  lilywise
      +5

      I was just at Alnwick a couple of months ago, and there was not much fandom invasion to speak of. It was pleasant, not crowded at all. The Duke and Duchess have redone many of the interiors — except for the library, they look for the most part like they did on Downton Abbey.

      And Jessica, if you’re looking for a title and grand English house to swan about, both sons of the Duke of Northumberland were single as of last October.

      • msb
        +5

        !!!

        “Earl Percy studied geography at the University of Edinburgh, specialising in sustainable development and renewable energy. He graduated in 2008, having shared a house with Pippa Middleton, with whom he has been linked since.”

      • Julia (Another one!)
        +1

        Northumberland has a self-editing function, I expect: remote, cold (we were there the first time in August, and slept under four woolen blankets!) and just a bit too far from Edinburgh or London for a day trip.

    • Anne
      0

      “Like coming home from abroad… ” I feel the same way. Beautifully said.

  75. sandra
    +6

    arrrgh! i have so much to say after seeing this finale and reading this recap, and i don’t know how to say it all! suffice to say, i will miss this show greatly. there were so many wonderful moments last night. i too wondered if michael gregson would pop up at edith’s wedding (i actually held my breath during that minute of silence), but thank goodness julian fellowes decided to dispense with any big surprises.

    yay for edith’s happy ending! if the show did nothing else but resolve that, i would have been happy.

    i’m still a bit annoyed at dickie merton though…he should have been able to stand up to his own horrible children without needing violet and isobel to rescue him. i’m not convinced he deserves isobel to be honest. penelope wilton was SO GOOD in the scene where she tells violet she can’t stop crying. they are my favorite thing about this show by far.

    • Leigh Ann
      +10

      I think Penelope Wilton is WONDERFUL. When she said that line about love being for young people, not for “two old people who can barely manage the stairs,” she nearly did me in. I was almost in tears, right there.

  76.  KarenG958
    +6

    Yes, I was nearly in tears just at the opening theme song. I started watching this morning (in the tub – very decadently), but had to leave for work, so finished the last half hour on my lunch break here at work with earbuds in, trying not to bawl conspicuously at my desk.

    The bits that really got to me were the FormerlyEvilButler.com bits. I cried when the children said goodbye to Mr. Barrow, and even though I knew as soon as I saw Carson’s palsy that Thomas would be back, I still cried with joy when Lord G suggested it. Speaking of Lord G, his obvious pride at his wife’s speech was so lovely.

    I was so, so afraid that something dreadful would happen. Like the farmer’s wife would pop up when “Does anyone here know of any …” during the wedding. Or that Edith & Matthew Goode would die in a car crash on the way to London, or that Anna would bleed out while baby Bates was being delivered, or that Daisy would blow a fuse trying to blow dry her hair and DA would be in the dark the day of the wedding, or… I’m just so glad I don’t have to kill JF for doing something horrible this last episode.

    So, good bye to Downton Abbey, and all the characters I’ve grown to know and care about. I’ll miss you so.

    •  Nina2
      +2

      I was mostly OK until Thomas’ departure. Then it was the waterworks. Thomas breaking down while thanking Carson, him kissing Mrs. Hughes on the cheek, picking up little George, Sybbie’s hug…I was done for! Even Rob James-Collier cries pretty.

  77. Jenn
    +7

    Your recaps are a treasure! This show is so dear to me — and so are your recaps. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I’d LOVE to suggest a post featuring your favorite Downtown outfits from the past 6 seasons. It would help soften the blow of no more new episodes :-(

  78. One of the Claires
    +5

    Highlight: Thomas taking over as Butler, and Isobel finally going for it in love with Dickie. My two favorite characters finding peace. Excellent.

    Lowlight: Edith getting all kinds of praise for ignoring Bertie’s reputation, family relationships, and blatant request that they not tell his mother about Marigold. He specifically asked that that they not tell her, and then she just goes ahead and does it. She doesn’t even know these people all that well, for chrissake…

    But even that lame Edith point didn’t ruin it for me. I will miss this show so much!

    •  Karen
      +15

      I think Edith has realized that keeping secrets will ruin you just as much as telling them, and she’s tired of having this one hang over her head. I understand Bertie’s reasoning for not wanting to tell his mother, but no one acknowledged that it was rather hypocritical of him to have this position after being so upset that Edith didn’t tell him the truth.

      • One of the Claires
        +2

        Oh, I agree that she should have been told; Bertie was wrong. But in grand Julian Fellows style, we never got to see a conversation between Edith and Bertie where she says, “look, I’m so glad you took me back, and I’m thrilled that my daughter is going to grow up well cared for, and I understand all to well your fear of losing it all by telling the truth, but you really have to, and I will help you do it.” Instead, she just does it without paying attention to his earlier concerns. You’re in a marriage now, Edith…

        • DebMcC
          +9

          Edith was done with secrets. I suspect Bertie’s mother came to appreciate the honesty greatly. Bertie was wrong. He wanted to deceive his mother as he had felt deceived. This was Edith’s shining moment to me.

  79. AnnieH
    0

    I’ll miss your recaps as much as the show. I can’t believe its over. :(

  80. Elizabeth K. Mahon
    +3

    I loved watching the BAFTA special before the series finale, particularly the scene between Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville where they talked about how Bates saved Robert during the Boer War, and how it was a secret because Julian Fellowes hadn’t made it up. Also loved Jim Carter (Carson) talking about how “You don’t want to see Maggie on the Merlot at 8 in the morning.’ I hope you recap Grantchester series 2, Jessica, pretty clothes, hot vicar, murder in the 1950′s. Or Mr. Selfridge, although I can’t stand Jeremy Piven.

    •  Alison
      +6

      I tried Mr. Selfridge but my assessment was too much Jeremy Piven.

    • Melissa
      0

      Oooh, several days late, but I second the idea of Grantchester recaps! I only recently discovered this show and I love it! It’s like Murder She Wrote, but instead of grandmotherly Angela Lansbury, it has Vicar James Norton, being Handsome and Tortured by War and Romantical Problems and Solving Murders and also Handsome, which I know is relevant to your interests, Jessica.

      • Eleanor
        0

        Call the Midwife would be a good one, too – the clothes are fabulous!

  81. Danielle W.
    +8

    I loved the finale. BUT what will happen to Matthew Goode and Branson’s business during the Great Depression? Did it hurt England as badly as it did the US? Am I going to have to actually learn history instead of this show telling me what is happening in the time period? Fingers crossed for a movie that covers this.

    • Cking
      0

      I’m glad you raised the question. You made me look:

      “A final response to the Depression was welfare capitalism, which could be found in countries including Canada, Great Britain, and France. Under welfare capitalism, government assumed ultimate responsibility for promoting a reasonably fair distribution of wealth and power and for providing security against the risks of bankruptcy, unemployment, and destitution.”

      http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=2&psid=3433

      Seems to me it would have had a huge impact on the likes of Downton.

  82.  Karen
    +20

    Harry Hadden-Patton is the BEST at looking like he is about to cry and just barely holding it together.

    I love that George will have Thomas as he’s growing up just as Mary had Carson.

    • Sally
      +3

      I was shouting, “DON’T CRY! DO NOT CRY IN THE RITZ! DO NOT!” at H H-P when I saw his red rimmed eyes.

    • Caroline
      +8

      Isn’t he just? He came from nowhere to being my favourite character in the episode where he talked about what a good and kind man the previous Marquess was. I blubber. And then again in the Ritz.

    •  Nina2
      +3

      Oh, yes. Brokenhearted Bertie practically had me in tears!

  83. Chrissy
    +2

    I have loved these recaps just as much as the show – thank you for your funny and clever writing! I will miss these recaps and the show so much.

  84. Jennifer
    +9

    Just saw that Edith and Andy are dating in real life!!?!

  85. Linda
    +7

    Great interview with Hugh on dailybeast.com.

    Spills the beans on Maggie Smith running the set like a BOSS, she even tells the camera operators where to stand sometimes to get the best shot.

    And she is super close with Michelle & Laura. Hugh said he’s seen her laughing hysterically at the cat videos on you tube that Laura shows her.

  86. Liz
    +7

    Am I the only one who was holding their breath when the minister is pronouncing the “Forever hold your peace” part? It seemed very drawn out, like “something” was going to happen. Like a surprisingly alive Micheal Gregson or “Patrick” was going to explode through the doors. I must have developed Edith’s personality and was forever expecting something to muck up her day the whole time.

  87. Mon
    +1

    Thank You so much for the wonderful job you did with these recaps, I’ve actually stopped watching the show after season 2 or 3 and was just reading about it here.
    Julian Fellowes has a new show based on Anthony Trollope’s ” dr Thorne” and it looks brilliant, also Grantchester’s main character is the Hot Sad Prince Andrew….

  88. Karen
    +7

    Whoa… never expected Essential Tremor to show up in Downton Abbey (or much of anywhere on TV). I have it, and most people have never heard of it and think I’m nervous (or dying of Parkinson’s). Daddy has it too, so did Grandma. And I kept wondering why “pernicious anemia” sounded so familiar, but apparently fatal… and then I realized, I have that too. (B12 tablets keep it in check.) So, lots of familiar health stuff among the gorgeous clothing and settings. (I want Edith’s re-engagement dress SO MUCH.)

    • Lori
      +4

      I know you didn’t mean anything by it, but you might want to watch your phrasing when you say stuff like “dying from Parkinson’s” to refer to someone who has it.

      • lsaspacey
        +1

        I agree!

      • Karen
        0

        I’m sorry to have offended – all I meant is that people *do* think I’m dying – they think I have Parkinson’s and that it’s fatal and I’m ignoring it. Didn’t mean to imply that Parkinson’s = dying IRL, and I apologize.

  89.  Anne Marie
    +11

    I forgot to mention how much I loved the scene where the DC cracks up at Spratt’s advice column. Priceless!

  90. cs
    +18

    Couple of moments I looved:

    Bertie just barely keeping it together in front of the waiter and ordering for them while almost ready to burst in tears. Aw.

    Anna unpacking the hairdryer, Carson coming to ask very suspiciously what infernal thing that is again. He’s got this priceless shift in expression when Anna answers “A hairdryer… (Carson still looks disapproving) …for lady Mary” and suddenly Carson is all “ah, oh, that’s totally all right then”. :-D

    • Shannon
      +9

      Other things Carson would approve if told they were for Lady Mary:
      - Anthrax tablets to be distributed to enemies
      - Newfangled birth control devices
      - Gutenberg Bible Paper Airplanes
      - Library Orgy

      •  JJJ
        +1

        “Newfangled birth control devices” reminds me of “That Dutch Thingamajig” – one of my favorite DA lines ever.

  91.  Erica_V
    +2

    I thought I’d never cry harder while watching DA then I did when Sybil died but during that last scene of them all singing…. STAAAAAPPH!!!! I lost it.

    I’m crying now at my desk too.

  92. Rachel D
    +19

    I liked how the show started with a death in Mary’s bed and ended with a baby being born!

  93. ella09
    +1

    Wonderful farewell recap, thank you.

    I don’t know if Fellowes’ adaptation of “Doctor Thorne” will show up in the US (first episode last night, Sunday, here in the UK) but , even if you don’t like the story, it certainly fills the need for glorious country houses, scenery, interiors to die for, and costumes to drool over.

  94. maryloubethune
    +12

    I know they had to end it before the dreary 30′s and the lead up to the horrendous war. Master George would have had to fight, of course and none of us want to think about that and no one wants to see Maggie Smith off either. It can be frozen in amber for us and that is what art does. So heartfelt thanks to al the Downtown Abbey people and to Jessica andHearther for being a beacon of sassy fun and wit in this brave new world.

    •  MRC210
      +3

      I so agree, it would have been difficult to watch once the 30s came along, knowing that so many people were living in poverty. And the WW II and post-war years would have been another story, given the era of clothes rationing and coupons. Series like Foyles’ War (the latter episodes set after the war ended), Call the Midwife et al can seem so drab with all the women wearing shapeless short skirts and dowdy hand-knitted sweaters. Just as well to call it a day in 1923.

      • Trace
        0

        Call the Midwife is set in a very working class area though, I’m sure the aristocracy of the time were still living it up in their finery!

  95. The Zulk
    0

    I had an alternate dark finale in mind where we speed ahead to WWII and the Crowleys departing the Abbey. But this was also pretty good. My favorite moment was that little awkward laugh Thomas made when he got kissed during his goodbyes.

  96.  SharonCville
    0

    I confess: I’ve never watched the show, but I have LOVED your recaps! Great ending to a great series! I’m sure you’ll find the crunchy gravel of your dreams! Cheers!

  97. Jessica
    +46

    Thank you all so much for your lovely compliments about these recaps. It means a lot to me — I really, really appreciate it. I’ve loved writing them.

    • Lori
      +1

      I didn’t start watching until after season 5 had ended. I binge watched the first 5 seasons and then came back and read your recaps because I knew I’d love them. I was right. It was fun to keep up in real time this season!

    •  Mrs. Han Solo
      +4

      Thank you, so, so much, Jessica. You have such a gift for writing. A real pleasure to read. I will sincerely miss your recaps as much as I do the show.

  98. Roberta Johnson
    +12

    How many of us now look at a beautiful landscape and cry, “Hideous!” Or thought when we saw Bertie’s library, “I bet those are Gutenbergs”. Or refer to annoying people as Sarah Bunting; Broken Shoelace. Or say out loud, evilbutler.com when we mean that poor fellow Thomas.

    I will miss Maggie Smith in my living room every Sunday, true, but even when the show was ridiculous, these recaps were SUBLIME.

  99. Sylvia
    +4

    No one seems to mention this. Mary wears a red authentic Mariano Fortuny dress.

    • Sally
      0

      Really? How did I miss that? I love Fortuny. Thanks for the heads up; I will be on the lookout during the rewatch.

    • Jackie
      0

      Rose’s coat was Fortuny as well

    • Lemora Martin
      +1

      Since you noted this, I was on the lookout for Fortuny dresses during my re-watch last night. I had completely missed it upon first viewing. Mary looks absolutely stunning in it. I hoped to see her in a full length, medium distance shot, walking in it, but alas. Unless I missed that. This is another reason I will miss this discussion forum. Also, thanks Jackie for noting Rose’s coat as Fortuny. I’m afraid one of my unrealized ambitions in life is to wear a Fortuny dress at least once before I’m gone. I suspect I’m among kindred spirits here.

  100. gpleigh
    +5

    Thanks so much for this incredible recap. I’m so sad that one of my very favorite shows EVAH is over. It was a wonderful finale, full of great clothes and gorgeous settings. My first cry was when Baxter kissed Thomas Barrow goodbye. So incredibly touching. Waaaaaaaah.

    ICYMI, this is a really lovely interview with the director of the finale. He shares little vignettes of some really beautiful behind-the-scenes emotional moments with the cast. It will probably not surprise you that Edith and Lord G cried when shooting the pre-wedding scene on the staircase.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/08/arts/television/downton-abbey-edith-bertie-dinner-director-interview.html

    •  Anne Marie
      +4

      Thank you for that link!! My favorite parts were the story of Penelope Wilton and Maggie Smith’s final scene, and the filming at The Ritz.

      The analogy of the swan is a great description of the upstairs vs downstairs action.

    • CassandraMortmain
      +3

      Love that part about the music! It’s so moving and specific in DA, not just different settings but different couples have their own themes. The music is one of my favorite aspects of the series, at times it’s like another character.

    • Lori
      +13

      “The last scene that Maggie Smith filmed was with Penelope Wilton, and afterward Penelope said, “When I was younger, Maggie Smith was my hero and now she is my friend,” and everyone cried.”

      *sob*

  101.  MRC210
    +6

    Did you notice that almost everyone found their mate, except for Rosamund? Couldn’t she and Shrimpy have ended up together? He is such a darling and had such a terrible marriage with Lady Shrimpy that surely he deserves to be happy. I know they’re cousins but that doesn’t seem to have mattered in Downton-world.

    Having valiantly avoided spoilers, I was convinced that Edith wouldn’t make it to the altar. Even when she was at the altar, I kept expecting that Bertie would die on the spot.

    • library_girl
      +7

      I often wondered if Edith were actually Rosamund’s daughter, especially since there’s quite a resemblance between them and they seem to connect better with each other than anyone else in the family. Not to mention Rosamund’s support with Edith turned up pregnant.

      • Shannon
        +18

        I’ve always looked at Rosamund as the cool, childless aunt that every kid deserves to have. The one you go to with problems you’d never talk to your mom about, because she’ll be all judgy, but your aunt give you good solid advice over ice cream and sends you on your way. Rosamund doesn’t need anyone. I actually suspect she’s got a string of young lovers and is way more discreet about it than that hussy Lady Anstruther.

        • LuLu
          +6

          Here, here! I love Rosamund as the cool, unattached aunt to swoop in and advise her nieces. I also love when she and Lord G get to bickering just like the brother and sister they are, especially when Cora is all, “Stop it, you two!”

        • Lemora Martin
          +3

          W-a-a-i-t a minute! Rosamund advised Mary not to marry Matthew, pending the arrival of Cora’s (possibly future male heir) baby. Her stalling him caused Matthew to go off and hook up with the sweet milk-sop Lavinia. While that made for some soulful pining on both their parts (and a nice inheritance from Lavinia that saved everybody’s bacon) it shows that Aunt Rosamund does not always have the greatest advice. But with Edith she was excellent.

    • Lori
      +6

      I believe it’s Shrimpie’s ex-wife who is Rosamund’s cousin, so it should be all clear. (Unless I’m misremembering.)

    • Veritas
      +1

      Lady Shrimpie was played by the same actress who played Cordelia in Brideshead Revisited?

    • Lemora Martin
      0

      Yeah, of Patrician anemia.

  102. Suzy Q
    +2

    Oh, ALL THE FEELS. FOR EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING.

    Thank you, Jessica, for being as dedicated to this show (and your recaps) as the rest of us. You have done yourself proud!

  103. Caz
    +1

    I love your recaps. I finally got around to binge-watching this last season a few weeks ago and I too had a good cry! Geez I’m going to miss this show.

    (And yes, Auld Lang Syne is very emotionally manipulative, up there with Amazing Grace.)

  104. Bella
    +2

    It’s over. And it’s a big sad. Thank you, Jessica, for all the wonderful recaps.

    I am satisfied at the endings of all, but I have one quibble. Cora and Robert talk about raising their children, blah, blah, but no mention of Sybil. I would think that someone would have brought her up.

  105. jillaurellia
    +3

    So how did they miss place their Gutenberg Bible? Those things were not small. Pages roughly 12 x 16 inches and in 2 volumes. Later printings were smaller and some are incorrectly referred to as Gutenbergs. I am going to credit their librarian with keeping it in some obscure storage place, under lock and key. “Did I not mention this to you, my Lord? Excuse my oversight but it is safe and future generations will thank us!”

  106. Kristy
    +4

    I watched in the fall AND had already seen the BAFTA thing they re-aired last night before the finale and I still started crying at…nothing while watching it. Hugh Bonneville thanking the crew? Tears. How they make a wig? Tears!

    Thanks for these recaps! They are not only insightful, and hilarious, but I love any place where we can gush about Matthew Goode. (He called Edith “Edi” last night and I thought it was the CUTEST THING EVER). I also said “the way MG closes a book is SO HOT.”

  107. Kiki
    +2

    Thanks for the beautiful recaps. Am already re-watching.
    My only addition: When Lord and Lady G drove up to Brancaster and it was so like when the Banks’ drove to the McKenzie’s in Father of the Bride….

  108. stephanie c
    +5

    I was hoping that the dog would be nibbling on the Bible…

  109. LuLu
    +4

    It’s been months since I saw the Downton finale (yes, I’m one of THOSE people) but you just made me cry all over again!

    One thing I’d like to note that I don’t think was mentioned; I thought the scene where Lord Merton tells Cousin Isobel about his pernicious anemia and you see Isobel’s face crumble in devastation was the best little bit of acting Penelope Wilton did all season. I had no idea what pernicious anemia was but the look on her face told me everything I needed to know. So well done, Ms. Milton, and a character I’ve grown to really love over the years.

    P.S. I immediately googled pernicious anemia when I saw the finale (literally paused the show and looked it up) and Jessica, I’m so sorry to learn today that you have it too. It’s super great it’s no longer a death sentence, but I imagine it’s no picnic either.

    And finally (jeez I’m long winded tonight. Sorry, the finale has me all emotional) thank you, thank you, GFY, for another fantastic TV series recap. I look forward to them every week and you guys never disappoint. xoxo!

    • Jessica
      +5

      Thank you! It’s not so bad. It DOES cause increased chance of stomach cancer, which is not so great, but what can you do? Everyone’s got something.

      • Lemora Martin
        0

        Jessica, this just in: both Lord Merton’s schmancy London doctors and Dr. Clarkson were wrong. Dickie has PATRICIAN anemia, not pernicious anemia. Treatment requires extra servings of caviar and champagne to maintain healthy iron and hemoglobin blood levels. Also, extra teas-and-cocktails-on-the-lawn. You should get a second opinion.

  110. Cking
    +2

    Haven’t been able to get through all the wonderful comments yet, but will hopefully get back to them in the next couple of days. First off, thank you to all for making Downton even more enjoyable over the past few years. Particularly to Jessica.

    I need to watch this episode again. I cried more at the end of the recap than the show. I think it’s because my “man friend” had left but had to return to my house due to a broken down vehicle. So I didn’t watch it alone as planned, and I think that took away from my emotional investment. I cried more at the Thomas exit and rehire than anything else.

    I will rewatch within the next few days and revist the posts.

    In the meantime, you are all wonderful. Thank you!

  111.  TL
    +4

    I thought for sure Dickie’s children were poisoning him and making anemia look like it was pernicious, or had paid off a doctor to say so. I’m not fond of Dickie, not just because of his terrible nickname, and would rule in favor of Dr. Clarkson, but the rest of the episode was great so I’ll let this one go.

    •  TL
      +1

      Whoops, I got carried away and forgot I came to write THANK YOU for all the marvelous recaps!! I shall miss them far more than the show itself. And although at first I thought pernicious anemia was a made up thing, I hope you continue to overcome whatever symptoms it brings!!!

  112. The1MeowQueen
    +4

    I’m waiting for the sequel when we return to Downton in 20 years to find the Bates’ son in love with Mary and Henry’s daughter.

  113. Shannon
    +7

    There’s no way Sarah Bunting: Ingrown Ass Hair was at the wedding reception, much less cheering Edith’s happiness and good fortune. If she had been there, she would have worked her way to the front and given a speech about the evil aristocratic lifestyle to rival that of the old hag who told people to bow to the Queen of Slime from Buttercup’s dream in The Princess Bride.

  114. Sharon
    +5

    Thank you so much for your wonderful recaps. I don’t think I ever joined in on the conversation at all for this show, but I loved reading these every Monday. I will miss this show so terribly.

    I cried like crazy every few seconds it seems, but mostly I was just so happy that Edith got her happy ending. The rest of it was fabulous, but Edith being happy at last made my heart so full.

  115. Lemora Martin
    +2

    I also need to be having cocktails on the lawn of an English estate, with cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon on dark rye bread, and scones with clotted cream. Wearing late 1920′s chic clothes, and on an early spring day. And martinis. Lots of them. But, here’s who I want to be having them with: Vivien Forbes Adam; Betty Morton; Katharine, Vicountess MacMillan; Sir Martyn Beckett; Lady Bowman; Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland; Lady Rose McLaren; and the eleventh Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Andrew and Deborah. Sir Josslyn Gore-Booth would also be a lovely addition., as would Lady Dorothy Lygon. Everyone suffering from DA withdrawal needs to see the documentary, “Debutantes” which is on YouTube. Give yourselves a treat. These lovely old dears, filmed in the 1990′s, talk about their youth on the 1930′s English aristocratic party circuit. Complete with archival footage. And wonderful “Violet-like” quotes. You owe it to yourselves.

  116. Tracey
    0

    Oh you made me cry…I will miss your recaps just as much as the show itself. From the bottom of my heart…thank you

    • Lemora Martin
      +2

      Yes, Jessica, Thank You! That screen capture of Edith, Rosamund, and Cora in evening dress, lit by a soft amber glow in sumptuous surroundings is a honey. For some reason, I didn’t cry. I was just grinning like a Cheshire Cat the entire time, feeling like I needed to be there at that cocktail party on the lawn, and the grand engagement dinner at Brancaster, and I just drank it all in.

  117. Andrew C. Blume
    0

    Hi! I’ve loved your Downton recaps this season. Thanks!!!

    I wanted to mention that I kept getting thrown off the site and redirected to various adds when looking at it on my iPhone this week. Thought you should know.

    Thanks again. I love your perspectives!

    • Jessica
      0

      Thank you for letting us know — and for the kind words! If you could email us about that at fuggingitup AT gmail, that would be so helpful. Thank you!!

  118. Emster
    +1

    I blathered like a baby at that scene in the Ritz, even though I knew it was coming. Except *posh nerd alert* the china looked remarkably like the tea service at The Dorchester, which I remember because I wanted to pocket it but the service staff was far too attentive of a lonely single enjoying fancy tea by herself.

    • Jessica
      +2

      I had the exact same thought about the Dorchester!

    • Sally
      +1

      They definitely filmed at the Ritz but maybe when the Ritz got new china sometime after 1925, the Dorchester bought the remains? I’ve had tea at both but do not remember the china at either, only the rooms and the experiences.

      • Lemora Martin
        +1

        This is why I will miss this discussion forum so much! Where else can we go to find out about the Ritz’ china in 1925 and whether or not the Dorchester purchased it? Now I have a new research project! I wish I had had all the knowledge and perspective of English history back when I was 20 and hitchhiking around Europe. I envy you having tea at the Ritz and the Dorch. I wish that I had done that, but I only knew about the Ritz in Paris, way beyond my budget and too intimidating, and I was vaguely aware that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had stayed at the Dorchester. I didn’t know its glamorous WWII history.

  119. Beth
    +2

    Did anyone else expect to find out that Crookshanks was poisoning Dickie? Especially since his started to seemingly after he moved in with Isobel. I almost think this was part of the story and it was scrapped for time.

    • Lemora Martin
      +3

      I thought Crookshanks was poisoning him; that Vi and Izzy would rescue him just in time; that Dr. Clarkson would confirm it; and that the ubiquitous policeman (I forget his name) would show up at Merton Heights (or whatever Dickie’s estate is called) and lead Crookey away in handcuffs. I like to think that in the future, Dickie will disentail Larry and Crookey. I hope the movie will deal with the 1930′s rather than the war years, because the clothes are better. I don’t want to see Mary and Edith with piled high Hair Horns, bullet proof brassieres, and padded shoulders. Larry will get involved with Sir Oswald Moseley’s Black Shirts and Larry and Crookey will wind up in Holloway Prison as traitors. Violet will turn into something good to eat. Robert and Cora will visit Brancaster with Thomas Barrow in tow (Julian F. can invent a plausible explanation, like if Bertie’s butler gets pneumonia or something) and, coincidentally, some of the former Marquess’ buddies from Tangier show up, ruffling the feathers of Bertie Pelham’s mother. They just happen to have Noel Coward and the Duke of Kent in tow. This could get interesting.

  120.  Steph in Oz
    +1

    I will join in the chorus thanking you for your amazing and hilarious recaps. I’ve loved watching this show and then picking it to bits afterward (in the best way possible) while reading your recaps. I don’t know which I’ll miss more!

  121.  JJJ
    +9

    Did you notice that Alastair Bruce (DA’s historical advisor, who hosted “The Manners of DA” special) was the butler at Brancaster castle? A few seasons ago her also turned up as the footman who announced Lady Rose when she “came out” and was presented to the king. Fun to give him a small role!

  122. Jeanette
    +4

    Jessica, I heart this recap so much!
    I am also very pleased that Edith gets her happy ending. She is my namesake (Edith is my middle name) and although I’ve never been in love with Mr Rochester or ditched at the alter by a pensioner, I feel like our love lives are equally dismal. Not that I live vicariously through tv shows or anything crosses fingers for a man with a castle. Or just a nice man.

  123.  Alexandra
    0

    and now i need to go read the last harry potter book again :) thanks.

  124. daphne
    +2

    wow, 350+ posts, so far– I must make the time to scroll through, sometime soon–

    THANK YOU very much, Jessica! for adding an entirely endearing- and enduring (in our minds, here in Fug Nation!)- hilarious, addictively charming, whole ‘nother layer to our enjoyment of DA.

    your ‘voice’.. has been the perfect underlining of humor!
    highlighting the elegance and beauty of the manymanymany episodes while triumphantly preventing the 7 seasons from gradually turning into a blurry haze of MUSH, for me!

    just like Violet did for the show!
    YOU were our post-almost-soap-overload bracing breath of funny/fresh air.. THANKS!

  125. daphne
    +1

    (p.s. take care of that p.anemia! we, too, are glad you’re in 2016, instead of a hundred years earlier, despite the sartorial wishful thinking. glorious medicine VS glorious vestments is a choice we in FUG nation do not want ever to have to make! ha. (obviously, partially/mostly/completely kidding)

    bad metaphor but irresistible
    Thief: Your money or your life (growled)
    Jack Benny: ..
    Thief: YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE! (growl-yelled)
    Jack Benny: .. I’m thinking, I’m thinking!

  126. Linda
    +7

    Have we discussed Daisy sneaking into Mary’s bedroom and taking her hair dryer?

    I was rewatching last night and caught that and was shocked. I can’t believe Anna didn’t call her out on that. Cora gave Anna, Mrs Hughes and Mrs Patmore seven kinds of it for trying on her clothes, and they had Mary’s permission, and Daisy just takes it upon herself to waltz into Mary’s room and take something? Like at least ask Anna, you twit.

    Carson would have drug her out of the castle by whatever was left of her hair.

  127. Melissa
    +2

    What can I say? I loved this show, even when I hated it and I loved the recaps, especially when I hated the show. Y’all have given me hours of pleasure and I want to say thank you.

  128. birdy
    +1

    Just as a point of interest, Violet’s “happy enough,” comment was actually recycled from Julian Fellow’s novel SNOBS. It’s Edith’s last line. She asks the narrator if he isn’t going to ask her if she’s happy with her choices in life, which he declines to do. So Edith says, “Well, I’ll tell you anyway. I’m happy enough.”

  129. Babsie
    +2

    I’ll miss the recaps! It was a lovely finale with everyone finding some kind of peace. What got me was that SUDDENLY Mr. Carson’s asshattiness this season made sense. That whole thing with the walking stick, and his need to see Barrow out of there – I saw that as he knew he was having issues and feared Barrow might scheme to replace him. That speech he gave about Barrow being a relic of the past was a great example of pride goeth before the fall.

    This is where I share my unpopular opinion that I didn’t like Moseley. If we were to be treated to someone leaving through education, I would have rather it been Daisy – especially since she was the youngest. I really didn’t care that Moseley got to be a teacher, and I really didn’t care about his romance with Baxter. (I would have liked her to done better as I loved her.)

    And yay for Edith getting her happy ending. I’m still a little miffed that Mary got to be a complete mean girl and still get Matthew Goode, but at least she helped make up for it in this episode.

    Finally – We need a screen cap of Barrow and Master George! I envision Barrow doing evil butler things on behalf of him and Lady Mary for the rest of his life. (I fear for the parents of any child who shoves George on the playground!)

    Thanks again for the recaps. They were a highlight of my week. Looking forward to Empire starting soon.

  130. WendyD
    0

    Reading your fantastic recap made me cry all over again. I will miss your recaps as much as I will miss the show!

  131. Jackie
    0

    Thank you Jessica – your recaps are the best – other sites just don’t come close to your writing.

    I was not prepared for just how emotional and sobby I was – Bertie at the Ritz kicked it off and it was just floods from there on.

    I think Carson has not only had a hard time adjusting to being married but also dealing with the massive social and cultural changes happening around him over the past few years – “only Andy between me and Armageddon” pretty much summed it up. I have not been able to find any such sympathy for Daisie, However.

    I would not put poisoning past Crookedshanks – Dickie certainly perked up after his rescue.

    I do love that Maggie Smith got on so well with Michelle and Laura, and that Laura and Andy the servant are a couple IRL.

  132. Veritas
    +1

    Bertie’s mother was played by Patricia Hodge, who played Phillipa (“our chamber’s Portia”) on Rumpole of the Bailey. I have no idea why I would remember her name, particularly when I think of all the names I can’t remember, such as the first name of Matthew’s mother, who is always simply Mrs. Crawley to me.

    •  Marie
      +1

      I actually called out “My God, that’s Portia!” when I first saw her on the screen.

  133. Squirrel!
    +3

    “Happy New Year, Charlie.”
    “Happy New Year, Elsie.”

    I think that may have been the only time –including their exchange of wedding vows — we’ve heard these two address each other by first name! I do recall Mrs Hughes’ telling Carson once that he could call her Elsie, but he replied, “Not at work.”

  134. Ashley
    +4

    I have to tell you guys that I was laid up at home with a bum knee on Monday and my boyfriend came over to bring me groceries, and when we settled in with dinner he offered to watch anything I wanted. So I told him I was going to watch the Downton Abbey finale and he agreed to watch with me even though HE’S NEVER SEEN A SINGLE EPISODE. He was pretty enthralled, especially with all the fashions, which was hilarious to me. There’s one scene where Cora is all dolled up and he said “LOOK AT THAT! How did that ever go out of style?” It was awesome :)

  135. Elizabeth
    +1

    What a fabulous recap, Jessica!! I’ll have to go back and read your old ones now. I’ve been reading this at work and trying SO hard not to bust out laughing like an idiot! Thank you for the wonderfully sentimental and humorous ode to this wonderful finale. I agree with everything and couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion :) I really love Mary and Henry together. They are so in love and have a bright future ahead! Thrilled that Mary got pregnant before the end! And Anna’s water breaking in Mary’s room was PERFECT. There is literally nothing those two wouldn’t do for each other and I love it. Edith’s wedding was SO sweet, and it was wonderful to have Rose and Atticus back! I’d missed them. And I’m with you on Isobel and Lord Merton and Violet. I really appreciate too how Isobel and Dickie’s love story was so essential, and I was cheering too when they escaped his awful children. And it couldn’t have been more fitting to give Isobel and Violet the last words before that gorgeous shot of the castle in the snow. “Auld Lang Syne” made me cry too… so much depth and meaning!! Such a perfect, joyous, hopeful farewell :)

  136. Lemora Martin
    +1

    I love when I see a Downton Abbey actress in a role that is completely different from how they appear on the show. Here are some: Phoebe Nichols, the vicious Marchioness of Flintshire, aka Lady Shrimpy, starred in a Foyle’s War episode, “The Funk Hole.” It dealt with dubious denizens of a semi-notorious English country hotel during WWII, i.e. all the residents were on the down-low for reasons that wouldn’t hold up under close investigation. Phoebe’s character was a columnist for a London newspaper, supposedly writing about the challenges and terrors of daily life during the Battle of Britain, dodging doodle bugs whilst grocery shopping, etc. In reality, she was secretly safe in the countryside, a fact of which her readers were unaware. The contrast is in her working class origins as compared with her aristocratic ones on DA –no contrast as far as shady moral values and prejudices go. Phyllis Logan, that pillar of fortitude, conscientiousness, and compassion in DA, was in Dalziel and Pascoe about 10-12 years ago. She played the controlling, ruthless mother of a twenty something heroin addict son who lives with her: Phyllis scores his drugs, making sure he stays addicted, turning tricks to pay for the heroin. Shame on you, Mrs. Hughes! Michelle Dockery starred as the doomed governess in a chilling TV movie of “Turn Of The Screw” with Dan Stevens in about 2006. She was excellent as an ordinary woman of no means, family, or powerful connections at the mercy of malevolent supernatural forces. (It’s interesting that some scenes from this have been mis-identified on You Tube as being Downton Abbey “deleted scenes!”) I recently saw a series about WWI nurses in Europe where Kevin Doyle plays a Colonel (I think), with an aristocratic background and cut-glass accent, in charge of the field hospital. He wears an easy air of authority, in contrast to the often put-upon Molesley. I think it is called “The Crimson Field.” Now, if Carson would only star in a film biography of Jimmy Saville!

    • Lemora Martin
      0

      Oops! Phyllis Logan played the Mom From Hell on “Vera,” Season 2, episode 3, “A Certain Samaritan.”

  137.  juliannarose
    0

    i am late to the party here because i didn’t get a chance to watch until last night, but did anyone else think maybe lord merton’s kid was poisoning him? it just all seemed rather suspect!

    •  Earthgirl
      0

      Ha, I was thinking the same thing! Just commented that below before scrolling up to read yours.

  138. Jenny N
    0

    So, if pernicious anemia is going to kill Dickie, how does Robert live without a stomach? I looked it up and B12 was invented in 1948 and I have to have monthly B12 shots because I don’t have a stomach/instrinsic factor to absorb B12. Anyway, just interesting.

  139.  tygerstripes
    +2

    I had a friend over to watch, and he noted even before the show’s mention of them that Rolls and Royce were respectively, a lord and a racing champion, which I had never known.
    I will miss Downton, and Jessica’s recaps — can’t see a nice pic of Highclere anymore without thinking “HIDEOUS” –, and commenting with the good company here! If Jessica wants to recap the missed years, I’m all in.
    What a lovely last episode. Auld Lang Syne, indeed.

  140. Laura M
    0

    What a wonderful recap — you should honestly go back and do one for each episode! Sunday nights loom large and empty on my horizon now that Downton is done. What a glorious ride — can’t wait to see what Julian Fellowes is working on next!

  141. Kate
    0

    Hasn’t finished in Australia so spoilt for us

    • Jessica
      +4

      There are no spoilers in the introduction to this recap. If you chose to click through to read something called “The Downton Abbey Series Finale Recap,” being spoiled on what happened in the finale of Downton Abbey is a foregone conclusion, no?

  142. SallyT
    0

    JESSICA, thank you for your wonderful fantastic hilarious recaps that allowed me to re-experience DA…. They will be missed!

  143.  Earthgirl
    0

    Ok, who else is CERTAIN that Awful Crookshanks and Awful Larry were poisoning Lord Merton? Because that seems like the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from his “oops j/k” diagnosis. Or maybe I just think that because I recently saw an episode of the Doctor Blake Mysteries where that exact thing happened.

  144. Whitney
    0

    Totally random tiny thought: Violet’s comment about not answering questions any more incriminating than whether she needs a new rug reminded me of episode 2 of Grantchester–which everyone should watch (season 2 premieres in 2 weeks!!!). The incredibly hot James Norton grumps that all rich people ever talk about is carpets and his sister asks, “Why is it the well-to-do always talk of carpets?”

    That is all.

  145. MK
    0

    Thank you Jessica for a lovely final recap. It was not too long at all; I enjoyed every shot and screen grab. I’m very sad too that the series is ending, because it was so good and because it was the last show that my mother and I watched together before she died last month.

  146. Sarah
    0

    Thank you Jessica for the wonderful recaps. Like everyone else I looked forward to them as much as the show itself. Reliving the episodes but with tea-spitting humor is the best way to start the day. Thank you to everyone on this forum as well. I love nothing more than discussing and dissecting books, movies, and TV shows I love – you are my people!
    I have watched the finale 4 times now and I thought it as a perfect way to end. Too much time on Daisy for my taste but that was a tiny quibble.
    My list of favorite moments:
    1. The whole scene at the Ritz. Especially Bertie just barely holding it together. “I’ve been doing a very bad job.” – I could cry again just thinking about it. This and his scene in the penultimate episode in the library talking about Cousin Peter ere excellent. He is a fantastic actor.
    2. Speaking of fantastic actors, Penelope Wilton and the scene with Lord Merton. Her face falling was devastating. “I should have liked to have been married to you” – crying again!
    3. I’m glad Barrow was asked to come back.
    4. Sybbie and George were the cutest this episode.
    Barrow: You behave when I’m gone now
    Sybbie: No we won’t
    ***
    Tom or Henry say they have to get back to the house
    George: I’m working!
    Sybbie: Me too!
    5. The storming of Caverndom (? – Lord Merton’s hideous shack) to rescue him. That whole scene is hilarious and touching. I just loved it.
    I could go on but these are the shining moments. I think everything wrapped up nicely. I want to start from the beginning again too.
    Last little note – I was re-watching the finale for the second time and my husband came in and looked at the TV then looked at me quizzically and I replied, “It isn’t over for me!” I stand by that.

  147.  Fifie
    0

    I am just back from vacation in South America (where I COULD NOT find it on any channel) and watched the finale last night. I love your recaps of this show. For me, it ended as it should have, although frankly I was surprised that Julian Fellowes didn’t kill somebody off. At any rate, I loved it, but the only quibble I have is that the camerawork seemed off. In some scenes, it looked liked it was filmed and I felt like I was totally “in” the story (if that makes any sense), while in others it kind of looked like a cheap video cam recording and I felt like I was watching a “making of” show. Don’t really know how to explain it except that in the latter case, I was very aware that I was watching actors on a set while in the former case, I was immersed in the story and it felt like I was watching real people.

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