downton abbey christmas ep 'Downton Abbey' finale: Season 3 gives us much to look forward toWhile “Downton Abbey” Season 2 may have been a bit uneven for our liking, we sure thought it went out on a high note. The Christmas special was delightful all around, even the sad things. Check out this gallery of our “Downton” Season 3 character wish list.


The big news is that Mary and Matthew finally got together. The show really did right by them – they teased the relationship with realistic obstacles, but didn’t drag it on so long that by the time they got together nobody cared anymore. We cannot wait to see their wedding.

Along the way, Sir Richard was even more of a jerk than usual. He was so jealous of Matthew and Mary’s attention paid to Matthew, but it wasn’t about love – it was about possession. Mary was his and he didn’t like her doting on Matthew. He claimed that he loved her when he left and while we do believe he loved her in some way, he certainly didn’t love her in the unconditional way a man should love the woman he wants to marry. At least he didn’t act like it.

The Mr. Pamuk scandal finally being revealed to Lord Grantham and Matthew was well handled. Robert was right – Cora picked her moment to tell him and it was so wonderful the way he reacted. We all kind of figured he would react that way, right? But we weren’t sure.

Lady Rosamund’s visit was a welcome surprise. We definitely don’t see enough of her on the show. It was a shame about Lord Hepworth’s machinations, and also very sad that Rosamund was willing to put up with the fortune-hunting because she’s so lonely. Poor Rosa. She should come live at Downton and meet a nice man in York.

Speaking of welcome returns, it was wonderful to see Lord Anthony Strallen come back and thankfully he is straightened out as to Mary’s cruel remark to him at the end of Season 1. We hope Edith can convince him to be with her – “If you think I’m going to give up on someone who calls me lovely…”  Oh, Lady Edith.

We’re so disappointed there was no Sybil and Branson in the Christmas special. It makes complete sense that her wedding would happen off-screen and that only her sisters would attend, but it still sucks. We would’ve really liked to see their wedding in Dublin and we think Robert and Cora really regret not attending.

But she’s pregnant! We cannot wait for them to come visit. The thought of the first formal dinner, with Branson eating with the Crawley family and being waited on by his former colleagues is just ridiculously delicious to imagine.


Mr. Bates is found guilty and sentenced to hang, in a horrific trial scene where Lord Grantham, Mrs. Hughes and O’Brien are all called to testify. The evidence is pretty much entirely circumstantial, but it gives quite the view into “justice” in days gone by.

Joanne Froggatt (Anna) has always been one of our favorite actresses on the show, but she really knocked her scenes out of the park in this episode. Thankfully, Matthew and Murray get Bates’ sentence commuted to life in prison, but we will all breathe easier when he’s back at Downton (surely he will eventually be freed and come back).

The only good thing to come out of Lady Rosamund’s lady’s maid Shore was that she really gave Daisy some wonderful advice about how advanced she is as a cook now. That, and Daisy’s trip to Mr. Mason’s farm made for a lovely episode for Daisy. It’s nice to see her get more to do than just whine about being false to William. Her scene with Lady Violet was pretty awesome.

Silly Thomas – when he dognapped Isis, we thought to ourselves, “If something happens to that dog, there is no coming back from that.” We hope Thomas gets his tryout as valet – just in time for Mr. Bates to return. Heh.

The Ouija board thing was a little silly for our taste, though assuming those things do sometimes work – it was a nice moment when Lavinia gave her blessing for Mary and Matthew.

The Servants Ball was a wonderful way to cap off the season and left us feeling so full of joy and love for the show. Well done, “Downton Abbey.”

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • Lord Grantham’s speech to Mary after they discuss Mr. Pamuk had us teary-eyed: “I don’t want my daughter to be married to a man who threatens her with
    ruin. I want a good man for you. A brave man. Find a cowboy in the
    middle West and bring him back to shake us up a bit.”
  • Speaking of good lines, Lady Violet’s response of “Do you promise?” to Sir Richard announcing they will never see one another again was amazing. Probably our favorite line she’s ever uttered and that is saying something. We laughed for a solid minute and had to pause the DVD.
  • It’s so great that the Crawleys play Charades on Christmas Eve. Oh, excuse us – “The Game.”
  • Lady Violet once again had a great line with Daisy, “”Well, forgive me, but that doesn’t sound unloving. To me, that sounds as if you loved him a great deal.”
  • It was revealed a while back that Season 3 will feature two weddings. We’ve been keeping quiet (because we’d already seen to the end of Season 2), but now we can safely say – we hope the two weddings in question are Mary’s to Matthew and Edith’s to Anthony!

What did you think, “Downton Abbey” fans? And for those of you wondering – Season 3 begins airing in the U.K. in September (they just began filming last week). It won’t air in the U.S. until next year at this time.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."