Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Downton Abbey Series Finale

We can't believe it's over! How can there be no more Downton Abbey? But they did wrap up the series pretty definitively in the final episode. Rather than our normal sort of general back and forth we thought we'd talk a little bit about each couple or character so we don't miss anything and so we can send off the series in a fitting way.

Robert & Cora:

Jenn:  I'm glad that Robert's health crisis seems to be over.  Fortunately for Cora, Rose returned just in time to help Robert see that Cora needs a little freedom and is doing an amazing job with her new hospital board duties.

Rebecca: It was so great to see Rose again! And I was so glad Robert finally got a chance to really understand how much this means to Cora. I love that, even with all the ups and downs of their relationship, they've managed to stay committed to each other and still love each other.

Mary & Henry:

Rebecca: I still have a hard time seeing them together - there are just so many differences between them! I really kind of think they'll drift apart as time goes on, not in animosity, but just living different lives. I'm glad Henry helped give Tom the nudge he needed, though.

Jenn: I still don't see it myself.  It's not that he isn't attractive; he's cute and I loved the actor (Matthew Goode) on "The Good Wife," but I just don't see what Henry and Mary have in common other than physical attraction.  All we seemed to learn about him is that he loves cars and was determined to get Mary to be his wife.  It was nice to see him interact with George though.  A lot of Mary's suitors seemed to overlook the fact that they'd have to take on step-father duties as well as husband duties. 

Edith & Bertie:

Jenn: I was thrilled, absolutely thrilled, that things worked out for them. I actually teared up while watching their wedding.  Edith has been through a lot of misery.  Remember that time that she almost got married and then Sir Anthony stood her up at the wedding?  So, I was ecstatic that not only did she find an even better match for herself, and father for Marigold; Bertie comes with a fancy title to one-up Mary after all these years. 

Rebecca: I know Edith has been just as nasty as Mary in the past, but I think she has grown so much and has lost so much, so I was also really happy to see her finally get some happiness. Bertie is wonderful and she even managed to win over Bertie's mother! I can just picture them with a big, lively family.


Jenn: While I don't see what Mary & Henry have in common, I can certainly see why Tom and Henry have become not just brother in laws but good friends.  Tom's business sense and passion for cars is a perfect for Henry's racing experience and I'm sure there business will be a huge success. 

Rebecca: I was really happy that Tom was able to find something constructive that he really loved to do. And, though I sort of despised the attempts at pairing everyone off, I really like the woman at the newspaper and could see the two of them hitting it off even more in future.


Rebecca: Violet made it to the end of the series! There were a few moments I was a little concerned, even though Maggie Smith said she would keep going to the end. I will miss her sassiness the most, I think. And it was nice to see her affirm Cora in that last moment.

Jenn:  It was nice to see Violet pass the torch to Cora, "It's your kingdom now..."  

Isobel & Richard:

Rebecca: I cannot believe how foul Dickie's son and daughter-in-law continue to be. And I am so happy he and Isobel have a chance for further happiness together.

Jenn: One of my favorite parts of the episode was when Isobel and Violent stormed in to Lord Merton's manor to rescue him.  What a shame that his son is so greedy and interested only in the house and material possessions.  I looked up that condition that Lord Merton was originally diagnosed with; it's a vitamin B-12 deficiency.  I have that myself and I'm relieved they can fix that now with supplements.  I was glad my suspicion that he was misdiagnosed proved true.
Amelia: “Mrs. Crawley wants to take you away from your son and your family and kidnap you into marriage. What do you say?”
Lord Merton: “How perfectly marvelous.”
Carson & Elsie:

Jenn:  I'm looking at this character prompt and I'm thinking who is Elsie?  LOL Carson seemed to get the only bad news in the finale.  His job was his whole life and now in addition to adjusting to married life, he will have to adjust to reduced job duties and dealing with his shaky hands condition.  At least Elsie will take good care of her "curmudgeon."  And how funny was it when Carson got upset that Anna was giving birth in Lady Mary's bed?!!

Rebecca: It was so sad to see Carson this way. He's always been so strong and confident. But he has so much wisdom to share (if he can deal with the fact that the world is changing!). I hope he's able to work congenially with Thomas. And Elsie (or Mrs. Hughes haha) may find him a bit difficult to deal with, especially if she keeps working as housekeeper. I could see that being really hard for Carson, to sit on the sidelines while she keeps going. I hope their love will continue to grow and help them over the difficult transition.

Bates & Anna:

Jenn:  For the first time, we hear Anna call Bates by his first name! Next to Edith, these two were the most deserving of a Happily Ever After and I'm glad they got it.

Rebecca: Yay for babies! I love them and am so glad their story ended on such a high note.


Rebecca: If you had told me even a few episodes ago that I would be happy he is coming back to Downton and that I would actually be cheering for it to happen I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have believed you. I'm still not entirely sure how they managed to turn me around so completely on this character, but it is nice not despising any of the main characters at the end of the series.

Jenn:  Same here!  I hated Thomas for 5 seasons and I also cheered when he got his job back at Downton and not just any job but the job he's longed for since the show began.

Daisy & Andy:

Rebecca: Meh. I do think Daisy has a tendency to push away anyone who shows interest in her, but I'm not entirely sure that simply pairing her off with Andy is satisfying. I am glad she's going to move to the farm with Mr. Mason, though. I'd love it if she decided to go off and further her education or travel or something. Andy is a sweet guy and I think it would be amazing if he took over for Mr. Mason eventually; I'm just not sure it's best for him to be paired with Daisy. (the pairing off of everyone is my main pet peeve for the finale)

Jenn:  Andy doesn't seem like the type of guy to hold Daisy back.  She can put her education to work on the business end of the farm.  I don't think Mr. Mason would let Andy hold her back in anyway.  Also, I loved that new haircut!

Mrs. Patmore:

Jenn:  I wish we could've seen a little more of her B&B.  I'm sure she'll continue to be the mother figure Daisy needs and maybe pursue something with Mr. Mason that would make them a nice big happy family.

Rebecca: I love Mrs. Patmore so much. I hope her B&B goes on to be a rousing success and that she goes on to inspire many more young girls like Daisy and Ivy.

Mr. Molesley:

Jenn:  Another character who I was thrilled to see great things happen to.   I would've like to have seen him get together with Baxter who he is obviously keen on but at least they remained good friends so I see potential there.

Rebecca: Baxter's and Molesley's friendship is so sweet. I don't know if it would go romantic or not, and I don't think it really matters. They've supported each other beautifully and I'm so happy for Molesley to move on to amazing things with his teaching.

Mrs. Baxter:

Rebecca: I do wish we'd gotten just a little bit more about her, but I feel like hers is the least developed character in the series. By the time she came on board there was just so much else going on that there simply wasn't time to give her much screen time. But she's put her past to rest and I think she has a chance at being really happy and content for a while, which is good for her.

Jenn:  I agree.  I feel we never got to know who she was aside from her unfortunate past.  


Jenn:  Can we talk about how awesome it is that he's the woman behind the advice column?  And Denker's plan to ruin him failed and Violet loves the column? Ha!

Rebecca: I had completely forgotten about this (how could I?!) This was the funniest twist of the whole season and I adored it and the way he finally got a one-up on Denker.

What you thought about the finale overall:

Jenn:  I loved the finale, I loved that everyone got a happy ending even if it did seem a tad forced in some aspects.  I hate series finales that leave you with loose ends or disappointing endings.   I know it's not realistic but to me great television is about escapism.  I have loved all the years with the Crawley family.  I am so sad to see them go but at least we left them all on good terms.

Rebecca: Yes. I was glad that they ended it on a very high note. Each of these people have gone through many trials and tribulations (and have more in front of them as Europe begins to head toward what will be World War II). There are many who didn't make it to the finale (some of whom we miss more than others). But for those who remain, it did the series well to end with a bit of "and they all lived happily ever after." It made for a satisfying ending with a real feeling of closure.

So what did you think? What were your favorite moments from the finale or the series? Should we start a rewatch next year to revisit our friends?

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