Brace yourself for shocks, surprises and guttural, shaking sobs. The final episode of Downton Abbey season six is upon us.
Last week’s episode set up a few cracking storylines. Robert finally got out of his sick bed while the Dowager Countess planned an impromptu holiday in the wake of the hospital drama. Bertie asked Edith to marry him and Lary Mary broke off her romance with the dashing Henry Talbot after a day at the races ended in tragedy.
Meanwhile Daisy sat her long-anticipated exams, Moseley’s time in service ended when he was offered a position at the village school and Mrs Patmore welcomed the first visitors to her new B&B. Add to that Thomas Barrow’s deepening depression, Anna’s pregnancy and a new puppy and we’re set to have one corker of a series finale.
But what’s going to happen on Sunday? Time to make some stupid, silly and spurious suggestions…
Someone telegram the social services. The Crawley children are running feral around the village. Edith’s torn about telling Bertie the truth about Marigold’s parentage, Mary’s fighting with Henry on the phone, Donk’s distracted by the family’s furry new addition and no one has noticed them slip out of the front door. They’ve trotted down to the village and ended up in the Downton graveyard, with their many deceased parents for company. Poor lambs.
The world is Mrs Patmore’s scalloped oyster. Remember when she was terrified of touching the electric mixer? Well, she’s seen the error of her ways. Not only has the Crawleys’ cook installed her very own fancy pants phone line at her fancy pants B&B, she’s also recruited this friendly young chap to take a few snaps of the place for a glossy brochure. Change is afoot. She’s spied what that Mr Hilton is up to in America and quite fancies a hotel chain of her own. In fact, now she thinks of it, the Abbey would make a nice second branch…
That smile is soon wiped of her face. Patmore has been given the ol’ heave ho. A letter has arrived at the Abbey from legal ace Murray. It seems that, by cooking breakfasts for her B&B guests, the chef has breached her employment contract. If she’d read the small print (and there’s no pretending she can’t; they paid for that cataract operation after all) she’d have known that her Full English has been copyrighted. It’s actually the sole property of the Crawleys. No one, spits Robert, can eat sample her supreme sausages or brilliant black pudding apart from him.
Golly moses. Mary couldn’t have been clearer on the phone last Sunday, but Henry Talbot is one determined chap. He thinks he’s being terribly romantic by turning up at the Abbey uninvited, but if Mary’s mind was wavering it’s been made up now. She could never be with a man who’d come down for dinner with a collar as crumpled as that. She’s so disgusted, she can’t even look at him.
Times are hard at the Abbey. To make up for abandoning them earlier, the Crawleys put on a Punch and Judy show for the children. But they can’t afford expensive puppetry anymore so Bertie and Branson must stand in for the violent Punch and his abused Mrs. Sadly the show has barely got started when the play is interrupted by some real-life drama. It’s a) Lady Rose arriving at the Abbey, her fledgling marriage in tatters, b) another of Robert’s ulcers bursting all over the writing desk, c) Micheal Gregson returning from the dead, or d) the Dowager Countess back from Saint-Tropez sporting a shocking shade of bronze.
Compared to the bright lights, theatres and clubs of the capital, the countryside has always seemed rather dull to Aunt Rosamund. She’s tried to liven things up a little this time, so she’s holding a hat party in Cora’s bedroom. If you’ve never heard of a hat party, we’ll have you know it was the 1925 equivalent of an Ann Summers party. Just not quite so racy. It’s essentially a gaggle of ladies trying on fancy hats and maybe buying them. Luckily they are all already upstairs, so they can take them on and off with ease…
Bertie and Henry have seen the light. Bromance is the new romance – and those Crawley women are too complicated any how. There’s only so many cat fights, rejections, illegitimate children and resurrected lovers one can bear before you have to stand up and walk away. These two have spied a simpler, better life on the horizon and they are are leaving Mary and Edith to bicker their way into middle age. The End.
Downton Abbey series 6 concludes on Sunday at 9:00pm on ITV
Order a copy of Downton Abbey: A Celebration, the official companion to the complete six series