Downton Abbey Final Season Premiere: Warts and All

First and foremost, after we lost Isis (the dog, not the terrorist organization) last season, I thought I’d never recover. 

But, alas, the creators of Downton have decided to make it up to me by casting thirty-some-odd dogs and a bunch of horses in this season’s opening scene…I’m still healing, but this helps.

Lord Grantham is finally catching up to the times and is quickly realizing that the aristocratic way of life for ladies and lords is becoming a thing of the past. Robert questions whether they should live differently and change before it’s too late and they are forced to auction off their land and possessions because of debt, like so many others are doing around them.

Lady Mary’s “week in sin” with Lord Gillingham is finally catching up with her after Ms. Bevans, a chambermaid from the hotel they stayed at, decides to blackmail Mary into giving her money or else she will divulge her knowledge to the local papers, ruining Lady Mary’s reputation. 

Did I mention Ms. Bevans is also incredibly rude and annoying? I spent the entire episode glaring at her through the screen.

Luckily, Lord Grantham swooped in and saved the day, forcing the woman off with a meager sum, taking from her a signed confession that would land her in jail should she release the information about Mary.

How exactly he was able to do that still evades me, but it appears the incident did bring some good. Rather than be disappointed, Lord Grantham saw a strength and independence in Mary that encouraged him to allow her to be the new land agent now that Tom is away.

Tom Branson and Little Sybil are now in Boston, while Rose and her new hubby, Mr. Alderidge, are galavanting around New York City. I hope they show their storylines in the coming episodes. Not only do I want to see resolution for their characters, but I think it would be an interesting juxtaposition to see the lives of everyday people and wealthy in America with that of the upper-crust in England.

Mr. Bates and Anna FINALLY got good news after being dumped on season after season. A woman confessed to murdering Mr. Green and witnesses confirmed seeing the two. 

THEY’RE FREE!! THEY CAN FINALLY BE HAPPY TOGETHER!!

But, this wouldn’t be Downton if they didn’t pull a Debbie Downer and celebrate new-found happiness with a depressing disclaimer. 

Anna has miscarried a third child and fears she will not be able to give Mr. Bates and herself a family. 

WHY DOWNTON?! WHY MUST YOU TORTURE THEM?!

Those in favor of a petition to stop Julian Fellowes from victimizing Anna and Mr. Bates say, “Aye!”

I daresay Lady Edith is quite a ray of sunshine in this new season compared to most. She seems very optimistic and ready for a change. I believe her biggest challenge before the show’s end will be making some personal choices about what to do with her future. Edith is now the controlling owner of Mr. Gregson’s paper and in possession of his London apartment. While Edith seems eager to move to the city, Aunt Rosamund reminds her that she has a child to consider and raising a child in the country is the only suitable solution. After saying this, Edith appears conflicted.

I wonder if there’s a reason Anna and Mr. Bates’ infertility comes at the same moment Edith feels on the precipice of starting fresh and being an independent female newspaper owner. I wonder if Marigold will be adopted by Anna and Bates, be afforded wealth and opportunity by the Crawleys and Edith from a distance, and still see her mom occasionally. The arrangement would work much better than the last one did and give Edith a chance at a future with a new man or as a working girl.

Either this, or Downton plans on finally giving Edith a bit of happiness and brings Gregson back for her to ride off into the sunset with, child in hand.

Just a few theories I have…

Violet and Isobel had a cat fight over the hospital. Ahhh, smell the Season 1 nostalgia!

Just when I thought Thomas was softening a bit with his doting on the Crawley children, stupid Ms. Denker comes in messing with people’s minds and warning everyone of a staff downsizing that’s about to occur. Now it seems Thomas is back to his paranoid self and on the warpath. 

Oh, by the way, Ms. Denker:

Daisy being a badass and standing up for Mr. Mason like…

And by far the most adorable storyline of the episode goes to Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes who seem to be having trouble setting a date for the wedding.

Mrs. Hughes tasked Mrs. Patmore with with the job of finding out what Mr. Carson’s “expectations” are for their marriage and whether she will have to “perform her wifely duties.”

And as you can imagine things got awkward rather quickly…

But, Mr. Carson, in THE CUTEST WAY POSSIBLE, assured them both that he doesn’t care how Mrs. Hughes thinks she looks or her amount of experience because to him she is beautiful and could never disappoint him. He went on to say:

I am happy and tickled and bursting with pride that she would agree to be my wife and I want us to live as closely as two people can for the time that remains on Earth.

The Best Dowager Countess One-Liners of The Episode:

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