Downton Abbey‘s series finale aired Sunday night, sending off the Crawley family and those who worked at their estate by tying up all the loose ends, romantic and otherwise.

Downton Abbey Series Finale Recap

The sixth and final season finale opened with Edith (Laura Carmichael) announcing that she plans to move to London full time, where she can run her magazine and see that Marigold gets a good education. Having lost Bertie (Harry Hadden-Paton), Edith tells her family that she has more or less resigned to the life of a spinster. As for Mary (Michelle Dockery), she’s concerned about her new husband Henry (Matthew Goode), who has been in a bit of a depression since the racing accident that left Charlie dead and forced him to quit the risky profession.

Downstairs, Barrow (Rob James-Collier) gives his thanks to Andrew (Tim Drewe), Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) and Anna (Joanne Froggatt) for saving him from his attempted suicide. He also informs them that things are looking up for him, as he’s secured a job at a new home. Barrow is not the only one on the cusp of leaving Downton. Molesley (Kevin Doyle) is offered a full-time job by the school headmaster, who has also arranged for him to have a cottage. Things are looking less positive for Carson (Jim Carter), whose hands have started to noticeably shake. The tremble is so bad that while serving wine to Robert (Hugh Bonneville), he spills it all over the table. Carson also has to worry about running the household on the depleting staff.

Thankfully, Andrew doesn’t seem like he’s running off anywhere anytime soon. He’s still pining after Daisy (Sophie McShera), who has yet to reciprocate much interest. Andrew seeks advice on how to court Daisy from Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol). Mrs. Patmore seems unlikely to encourage Andrew to continue waiting around for Daisy, but she does talk to her, chastising her for being unwilling to entertain anyone who has feelings for her. Another unrequited love exists between Lord Merton (Douglas Reith) and Isobel (Penelope Wilton). When Isobel goes to visit the sickly Lord Merton, he informs her that he is dying of pernicious anemia – and suggests that his only regret in life was never having married her.

Part of the growing success of Edith’s Tim Tam is Spratt’s (Jeremy Swift) advice column, which Edith wants him to expand. As Edith praises him for his marriage and fashion advice, Miss Denker (Sue Johnston) listens at the door. Denker tells Violet (Maggie Smith) that Spratt is making side money with the writing, but to Denker’s surprise, Violet is a fan of his column. Later on in London, Edith receives an invitation for dinner at the Ritz from Rosamund. To Edith’s surprise, it’s Bertie, not Rosamund, who awaits her at the table. Edith soon learns that it was Mary who arranged the rendezvous and that Bertie wishes to marry her. With the engagement on, Robert and Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) plan to travel to Brancaster for the announcement.

At the announcement, there’s an awkward exchange between Edith’s and Bertie’s respective parents over how Brancaster will be run. Things get even more awkward when Edith, determined not to keep Marigold a secret, explains everything about her daughter to Bertie’s mother. In response, his mother insists that he call off the wedding, an order he chooses to ignore. Despite her lack of enthusiasm, Bertie’s mother manages to deliver the engagement announcement, chilly as it was. She warms up later, admitting that it was a good sign that Edith opted to tell the truth, even with the risk of losing the position she would get by marrying Bertie.

Barrow, who was once eager to leave Downton, finds himself missing the household upon beginning his new job serving merely a man and his wife. And, back at Downton, Carson is wishing for his return, admitting to Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) that he has palsy and that his career is just about over. When Robert and Mary go to speak with him about his health, Carson insists that he offer his resignation and leave, as he is no longer able to suitably do his job. Robert eventually decides to bring Barrow back as butler, and suggests that Carson continue to reside at Downton.

Isobel, upset about Lord Merton’s confession of love, goes to see the Dowager Countess and tell her that he’s terminally ill. The Dowager Countess wisely informs her that she’s only so distraught because she loves him too. Isobel initially protests, believing it’s impossible to be in love at such an age, but Violet tells her that it’s a good thing. Isobel decides that she will be at his side through his health battle, but Merton’s daughter-in-law Amelia has other plans. She tells Isobel to more or less back off and takes him away. Isobel eventually manages to save him from the poor care of his son and daughter-in-law, and declares that she will marry him. They marry – and then get the good news that Lord Merton isn’t going to die after all.

Henry’s spirits are lifted when he shows Mary his and Tom’s (Allen Leech) used car store project, aptly titled Talbot and Branson Motors, and Mary tells him that she’s proud of him. He’s made even more happy by the news that Mary is pregnant with their child. Robert, meanwhile, is proud of Cora for all of the hard work she’s been doing at the hospital. Though initially he resented it, now he realizes how lucky he is to have such a woman for a wife.

At Edith’s wedding to Bertie, Edith and Andrew seem to have finally paired off, as have Tom and Edith’s editor.  Baxter and Molesley, and Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason appear to have coupled up as well. More good news arrives during the party when Anna delivers her baby, making her and Bates (Brendon Coyle) happy first-time parents.

“Auld Lang Syne” played as the show came to and end and the wedding came to a close.


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