Saturday, December 26, 2015

Series Finale of Downton Abbey

After six amazing seasons Downton Abbey airs its finale episode, lucky for us it's their double long Christmas special. Here's a quick synopsis: Take place between August 29, 1925 - January 1, 1926: Mary endeavors to build bridges with her sister, but Edith's secret continues to pose a threat, even after she thought there was nothing left to lose. As Henry settles into the role of husband and stepfather, scars left by Charlie's tragic death are slow to heal fully, while Carson struggles to come to terms with developments which prove that even he is not invulnerable to change. Spratt's successful moonlighting venture is threatened by the continued conniving of Miss Denker, and Daisy may have missed her chance with an admirer. Isobel receives devastating news and when the young Greys' scheming takes a sinister turn, she and Violet join forces. Robert must learn the value of independence while the day that Anna and Bates have been waiting for finally arrives.

I've been a fan of Downton Abbey since season one, I was lucky enough to hear about it early on and managed to get copies of the first season. From the first episode I was hooked and I devoured every new episode. Now six years later this amazing series is coming to an end. I think they are ending to soon but contacts were up and the series creators wanted to end during their height of popularity.

I wasn't sure if they were going to tie up lose ends for every single persons storyline (a nearly impossible task) but I have to say they did an amazing job with what they did. I think one thing that this series does well is you truly never know the fate of anyone. One moment everything is great and then suddenly everything fall apart and you are devastated. This finale season has had some ups and down and I knew that not everyone was going to get a happy ending in this final episode. So I spent the entire time waiting for the other shoe to drop... well it never did. Everyone got a happy ending or at least started a path to a happy ending. I was to relived when it ended I was forsure expecting some one to die or a marriage to fall apart but nothing happening. It was the perfect ending (though I'll admit a bit unrealistic) but I didn't care... I love it.

So much happens in those 93 minutes. I think I'll go character by character and talk about how I felt their overall story went for the past six seasons and how they left it. 

Let's start with Robert Crawley, this character is one that has changed the most over the seasons. He had to learn how to change with the times and though he was dragged into the modern age kicking and screaming in the end he got there and became a better husband, father and person in the end.

Cora Crawley, like her husband she has gone through changes over the six seasons. She went from a doting wife and mother to this strong more independent women who know she can offer so much more then she has been allowed. It's great seeing her come into her own in the last season.

Mary Crawley (now Talbot), wow I've had a love hate relationship with this character. From her on and off again relationship with Mathew Crawley to her constant battles with younger sister Edith. Mary has grown, reverted back and grown again. Season six we saw the absolute worse of Mary which for me made me not like her in the end. I am happy that she found happiness finally, I think it's funny that she was so high and mighty about money and status but in the end she would up with a race car driver (now cars salesman). She started off as a privileged, close minded debutante but over the six seasons has soften a bit. She still can be a bitch but we get to see her softer side from time to time. She also doesn't care about status as much or money. She finally realizes that love is all she needs to be happy.

Edith Crawley (now Pelham) one of my favorite characters on the show has changed dramatically over the six seasons. She started off at your typical middle child, not as pretty as she older and younger sister and unlucky in love. She jilted at the alter by an older man, finds a new love and has sex for her first time with a married man (wife is insane and he can't divorce her), she finds out she's pregnant and that her new love has gone missing and is presumed dead (which we come to find out he actually is). She's bullied into giving up her daughter but later decides to get her back and give her to a local farmer to raise but then that falls apart. But during this entire time Edith is getting stronger. She takes over her dead lovers magazine business and starts running it herself. She finds love in season six but by her own doing and Mary's jealously loses the man only to get him back at the end of this episode to become a very powerful women in the country. So Edith went from the most unluckiest person in the world to one of the luckiest and I think she deserves every bit of it.

Violet Crawley is another favorite of mine. She starts off as this very stern matriarch, quick witted and always has an opinion and though she remained all of those things we got to see a softer side of her. She loves her family and they mean everything to her. I loved her relationship with Isobel, it's start off a bit rocky but turned into such a wonderful and loving relationship.

Isobel Crawley has had her ups and downs. With the death of her son her storyline dramatically changed. With this final episode we see her take control with help of Violet to rescue Mr. Grey from his horrible son and daughter-in-law. She marries him so she can help him during his terminal illness, but come to find out that he's not terminally ill. So She and Mr Grey get to spend the remainder of their lives together.

I know I keep saying these characters had some major changes but Tom Branson has really changed. He changed status.. went from a servant to a member of the Crawley family. He was an Irish rebel and slowly changes his ways. We watched him deal with the death of his wife (the youngest Crawley sister) and raise their daughter. He's gone away but came back for the final season. We saw hints of flirting with Edith's magazine editor so who know what will happen with them. He also went into business with Mary's husband Henry which seemed like perfect match. Very happy with his overall story.

Atticus and Rose show up in this final episode but really don't contribute much. They are living happily in the US with their new baby daughter. Life is pretty good for this young family.

Rosamund Painswick is pretty much the same that she has been in all six seasons, she continue to live her spinster life.

Mr Carson pretty much stayed the same through out the series. By the book, set in his ways and behind the family 100%. I like that he and Mrs Hughes finally get together and marry. And with this last episode we see him come down with a medical condition that will prevent him from being butler, at least the main butler, but things are resolved for him with the help of Thomas (who's been his enemy most of the series).

I've always loved Mrs Hughes, the was Mr. Carson's partner when it came to the help but she was also the motherly type. Unlike Mr Carson who was the stern father type. So happy that she and Mr Carson got together and glad she's not letting is "old" ways control her. Very happy with how they ended her story.

The Bates, Anna and John.. I think their ups and downs have been the focus of many seasons. John "killing" his wife, Anna being raped by Mr. Green and then accused of his murder, then John being accused on his murder and then later admitting to his murder (to get Anna out of jail). This couple was not meant to be happy.. but with this finale episode Anne and John finally get their happy ending by having a healthy baby boy.

Mr. Molesley is probably one of the most unlucky guys on the planet. In the beginning he just couldn't catch a break. But slowly and surely his luck was changing.. first my meeting Mrs Baxter. There was always a connection with those two, they never got together but I can see that happening in the near future. Mr. Molesley also got out of servitude to become a teacher in the final season leave the Crawleys to become a full time teacher in the finale episode.. finally a happy ending for Mr. Molesley.

Mrs Baxter was an interesting character.. started off as this scared person hiding part of her life. We slowly find out what she had done and slowly she becomes a much stronger women until the final episode where she finally takes back her life and puts the past in the past. I do hope one day her and Mr. Molesley get married.. they would make a wonderful couple.

Mrs Patmore has had her ups and down, eye surgery and a short romance but she really has remained the same throughout the series. I will say that she has had some great lines and scenes this final season. I also like the budding relationship with Mr. Mason. I can imagine them getting married in the future and living happily ever after.

Daisy has changed quite a bit from season one to season six. She went from this meek, soft spoken girl to this educated, political very strong women. She had bad timing with romance or falling for the wrong person at the wrong time. But it looks like things might be on track for her and Andy.

Speaking of Andy he was a late comer to the series and really hasn't had much of a storyline.. that was until season six. We falls for Daisy and we find out he's illiterate. He joins Mr Mason on the farm and will probably one day take over that farm. And as I said above it looks like Daisy and Andy are finally one the same page for romance.

And then we have Thomas or as he's called Mr. Barrow. He was the bad guy of the group, always skimming and trying to get others in trouble. He was the character that you loved to hate. I took an extra interest in him because he was the only gay character. He had many storylines of his bad deeds and occasionally had one dealing with his sexuality. Over the past few seasons they have slowly been making his character less skimming but the things he had done in his past was hard to over come. But in the final episode we see Mr. Barrow leave Downton and work for an old couple where you can tell he is bored out of his mind. In the final scenes we see Thomas become the new Butler of Downton with Mr. Carson there to see oversee large events. I am disappointed that Thomas never found love. That is all he ever truly wanted. I think the way people treated him made him into this bitter, conniving person that he is.

Doctor Clarkson, he was more of a presents in the earlier seasons but really wasn't been in much of the later episodes. He was a love interest for Isobel at one point (he even asked her to marry him.. well kind of) but not much more really happen to the character.

Then we have Spratt and Denker, We learn a bit about Denker but no really storyline for her, Spratt has a bit of a storyline this last season.. we find out he's the amazing columnist on fashion in Edith's magazine. But really these characters were more background dressing.

This series will be missed. I loved/hated every character in it. I looked forward to new seasons, so much so that I couldn't wait for new episodes to air here in the US. I invested a lot of time and thought into this series and I would do it all over again. I have re-watched the first few seasons over and over again waiting for new seasons. I'll be doing a complete re-watch of the entire series soon. I'm sad that they only did six seasons as I could have watched this for many more. But that's how British TV works, it's very different then the US. There are rumors that they might do a Downton Abbey movie and I will gladly see it if it happens but for now I will cherish the six amazing seasons of one of my all time favorite TV series.

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