Film & Television

So Many Happy Endings at ‘Downton Abbey’

That pretty much takes care of the Crawleys, but fear not, in the Downton finale, happy endings aren’t reserved for the upper class alone. Thomas (reformed backstabber and another fan favorite) must leave Downton, but when Carson develops “the palsy,” a fortunately benign condition that unfortunately precludes his ability to run things anymore, Thomas becomes Butler at last. Redemption.

Daisy, with an adorable new hairdo after a mishap with an electric dryer, realizes that footman Andy isn’t such a bad egg after all. And while she begins to entertain his advances, her mother and father figures, Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason, progress on their own more mature romance. Mr. Molseley becomes a teacher but will certainly not lose touch with lady’s maid and ex-con Baxter (wink, wink). And Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson (that’s Elsie and Charlie now that he’s retiring) set off on their next adventure together with a pension, a cottage and the family’s eternal gratitude.

RELATED: Mrs. Patmore of ‘Downton Abbey’: Out of the Box

In the finale’s most dramatic turn, Anna’s water breaks on Lady Mary’s carpet (“Surely not!” Carson exclaims when he hears) and the Bates baby finally arrives. With their lamentable (and let’s face it, implausible) history, it’s a wonder the child wasn’t born with one or both of his parents incarcerated. But no, this is yet another happy ending. “I have a son,” Bates proudly tells Lord and Lady Grantham, “I am a father.” At this point, I was tempted to remind him that the first person plural would be more accurate and a more appropriate response to what poor Anna had just been through. Nevertheless, the baby is healthy, the new mother radiant, the constable nowhere in sight and there’s champagne to go around.

This leaves us with only one major character to bid adieu to. True to form, Fellowes gives Lady Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham the last word. She mentions that on New Year’s Eve, they always drink to the future. Isobel, ever the humanist philosopher, answers her, “Well, what else could we drink to? We’re going forward to the future, not back into the past.”

Without missing a beat, Violet responds, “If only we had the choice.”

Alas, we can’t go back to Downton Abbey. But, there are rumors that movies may be in the works. And, until then, we can always return to it on DVD.

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  • roz warren March 9, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    I’m with you, HillsMom. All of my favorite shows, from Dr. Who to Downton, are British.

    Reply
  • hillsmom March 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    It’s over…sigh. While tying up most of the loose ends did seem a tiny bit rushed, I’m still sorry that it’s over. Why is it that the Brits are able to make marvelous television programs, and movies, too, while we in the USA have so few? I guess there’s a market for un-dead and blowing up invading robots, but I’m not part of it. Perhaps Mr. Fellowes will soon start another mini-series, after he rests from his labors (should one say “labours”?) which kept us all enthralled.
    P.S. Excellent review Ms MacAaron…

    Reply