Downton Abbey’s Finale
Noooo its over..!!! (until the Christmas Special)
- Downton Abbey ended its six-season run Sun night with an emotional finale
- Lady Mary Crawley, played by Michelle Dockery, had a surprise wedding
- But she also ruined her sister Lady Edith’s future by chasing off her fiance (HATE HER!)
- Outraged fans took to Twitter to unite behind ‘poor Edith’ and warn show creator Julian Fellowes to give her a happy ending in the Christmas special (HE BETTER!)
‘Julian Fellowes better sleep with one eye open’: Downton fans join #TeamEdith to demand Christmas happy ending for show’s middle sister after Lady Mary ruins Edith’s engagement and gets her own wedding
The final episode of Downton Abbey delivered a surprise wedding for Lady Mary Crawley but viewers were left outraged after her younger sister was denied her own happy ending.
Fan favourite Lady Edith, played by Laura Carmicahel, has seen more than her fair share of bad luck and heartache throughout the show’s six series.
And last night ‘poor Edith’ had her dreams shattered once again when her spiteful sister, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), ruined her chances with her beau by telling him about her secret lovechild.
The cruel turn of events angered viewers, prompting them to show their support on social media for the more good-hearted but permanently unlucky sibling by joining #teamedith.
(Not so) happily ever after: Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) married Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) in a surprise wedding… but only after she ruined her sister Lady Edith’s (Laura Carmichael) future happiness
Secret lovechild: Things came crashing down when a spiteful Lady Mary told Edith’s fiance Bertie Pelham about her sister’s illegitimate daughter, Marigold, pictured, who was fathered by Edith’s late lover
Threats: Outraged fans took to social media after Lady Edith was jilted once again in last night’s finale
The episode drew an overnight average of 8.9 million viewers on Sunday, securing its highest ratings of the series. The figure marks its largest audience since November 10 2013.
Scores of viewers took to Twitter within moments of the closing credits to warn creator Julian Fellowes to ‘sleep with one eye open’ if he does not give Edith a prince charming in the Christmas special.
One user said she would ‘rage’ if the character did not see a ‘gloriously happy ending’ in the bonus episode, while another called for a petition for ‘Edith to finally be happy with the man she loves’.
Things unravlled for Lady Edith when she decided not to tell her fiance, Bertie Pelham, who had inherited the title of Marquess of Hexham, about her illegitimate daughter, fearing he would leave.
Apparently out of spite towards her younger sister, who would outrank her as a marchioness, Lady Mary takes it upon herself to tell Bertie Pelham (Harry Hadden-Paton) about the secret lovechild.
Frustrated: Dozens of viewers expressed sympathy for Lady Edith, and blasted her sister’s callous actions
Upset that his wife-to-be did not trust him enough to share her burden, Mr Pelham (Harry Hadden-Paton) leaves Downton. In that moment, Edith loses her chance of happiness, wealth, and marriage.
The jilted woman gets her own back in a small way by calling her sister a ‘b****’ in a long-awaited argument, but it was not enough for viewers. (she deserved to be called that though!! ERGH she is so mean!!)
But it is Lady Mary who has the last laugh when her lover, Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) whom she had previously turned away, returns to Downton to propose, wedding licence in hand.
Off he goes: Bertie didn’t choose to sick around to see what married life with Edith would be like.. (what a fool!)
Despite their row, Lady Edith returns from London in time to see her sister tie the knot, saying that their shared memories are more important than their mutual dislike.
Social media users pointed out that the ending suggested the moral of the show was ‘bullies always win’, as Lady Mary triumphed despite her callous actions.
Meanwhile, hundreds of social media users posted about their grief about the show coming to an end.
Writing on Twitter, one said: ‘This show has been part of my life for years now. I feel like they are my family and I can’t bare to say goodbye.’
Another posted: ‘I think I might need a support group to help get me through this.’
Always overshadowed: Lady Edith’s tale of woe continued in the penultimate episode of Downton Abbey
Millions have been waiting fretfully for 51 episodes, since 1912, to see Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) find a husband and happiness. It’s true she did achieve it once, but the marriage didn’t last – a Christmas Day car crash saw to that.
Now it turns out that all she needed to make her life complete was a chap who wouldn’t take no for an answer, with a convenient bishop for an uncle to make an instant wedding all legal. Mary’s pet racing driver Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode), after being sent packing from the family estate with a flea in his ear, returned, brandishing a marriage licence like a cudgel.
Wedding bells: It turns out all Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) needed was a man who wouldn’t take no for an answer, in the guise of Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode)
He bashed Mary over the head with it, seized her by her bobbed hair and dragged her off to church – proving what the feminists will never admit: Every strong woman craves a stronger man.
It was a satisfying, if very abrupt, climax to the poshest soap opera in telly history. Every storyline was tidied away, like toys swept off the table into their box at bedtime.
Every storyline, that is, that really mattered. It’s true we don’t know what will become of ‘poor old Edith’ (Laura Carmichael), who was jilted once more, or of the suicidal Barrow (Rob James-Collier), who was kept on as under-butler out of pity.
Furthermore, Fleet Street has been shaken by the revelation that top agony aunt Cassandra Jones is actually Spratt the butler (a plot twist swiped shamelessly from PG Wodehouse).
But these are details, easily left to the imagination. Downton Abbey has always been the tale of Lady Mary and her lovers, and now that is done, and she has ridden away in her carriage amid butterfly clouds of confetti, there is nothing more to see. She is gone to the land of Happily Ever After.
It’s a surprise to realise how important her romance was to the success of the series. Her often scandalous love life, belying her chilly exterior, kept us hooked, whether she was smuggling the body of a dead Turkish lover out of her bedroom or shamelessly despatching her maid to purchase contraceptives, prior to a dirty weekend with a suitor in Liverpool.
Downton has often been compared, and not always favourably, to Upstairs Downstairs – the great ITV series that ran from 1971 to 1975 and starred Gordon Jackson as the butler of a grand London house before World War One.
But these two serials were very different, because no character was indispensible in Upstairs Downstairs. The toffs-and-servants situation was bigger than any one storyline.
Downton was different. Lady Sybil, the youngest of the Crawley sisters, died, and so did Lady Mary’s first husband, Cousin Matthew – yet the show went on.
When the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) exploded so gorily over dinner a fortnight ago, we were afraid he wouldn’t survive but no one thought that would mean the death of Downton. But Downton without Mary is unthinkable. Downton with Mary living in wedded bliss is just as impractical.
Downton Abbey has always been the tale of Lady Mary and her lovers, and now that is done, and she has ridden away in her carriage amid butterfly clouds of confetti, there is nothing more to see
There will be one last Christmas special, and a cinema film is promised, but to all intents and purposes the show ended in a peal of church bells at 10.37pm last night.
And if we didn’t see it coming, perhaps we should have. Things were being said that characters had waited years to splutter out.
After Mary, in a fit of cold-blooded spite, wrecked Edith’s engagement, the two sisters’ animosity finally bubbled over – and it was waffly, mumbly Edith who let rip with the choicest insults. ‘I know you to be a nasty, scheming b*tch,’ she snapped.
Everyone had lost patience with the Ice Princess. Her brother-in-law, Irish Tom, called her a cowardly bully, and even her father dared stand up to her. When she taunted him about Barrow, lying upstairs all but dead from a suicide attempt, the Earl told her: ‘That’s rather below the belt, even for you.’
But Mary has never been likeable, and that’s what made Downton so addictive. We could see exactly where she got her vicious streak from – her Granny, the Dowager Countess Violet (Dame Maggie Smith).
The Dowager had a warm heart, behind all those layers of plate armour, and so did Mary. We saw it in a gloriously touching scene, as good as anything the series has ever given us.
Dame Maggie, who was absent for most of the episode, descended for a cameo, in which she scolded, mocked, lectured and finally pleaded, until her granddaughter revealed her own repressed emotions.
Between angry sobs, Mary admitted she was terrified of falling for another man, especially one who might die in a car accident. Any viewer who has ever loved the show must have watched through tears.
Downton Abbey has been a colossal success, not only here but in America, because it did so many things so well. It took the costume drama format of Brideshead Revisited or Pride And Prejudice, and turned the speed up to maximum. This was history on fast-forward, for a TV audience with attention deficit syndrome.
Each scene rattled past in 40 seconds, or a minute at most – and yet the actors were so skilful, and the dialogue so artful, that it never seemed to hurry.
That’s why six series have gone so quickly. Downton Abbey set a new standard, and it’s probable that in 20 or 50 years critics will look back and say that this was period drama at its very best, often imitated but never bettered.
It’s true that we have Christmas still to come, and the film. But don’t believe anyone who tells you Downton isn’t over. It ended the moment that a racing driver kissed his selfish, spoiled, lovable bride. 😦
Lets hope Edith’s happy ending is only a month away.. and Anna’s baby!