Only one regular season episode left on “Downton Abbey,” plus the annual Christmas special. On the latest episode, a tragic death derails some romantic plans. Read on to find out what happened, but be warned: spoilers ahead.
The Crawleys take off for the Brooklands racing track, a real racing circuit and aerodrome that operated from 1907 to 1939. Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) is racing and invites Mary (Michelle Dockery) and her family to come watch.
Unfortunately, late in the race Talbot’s teammate and good friend Charlie Rogers (Sebastian Dunn) crashes and dies. It not only devastates Henry, but brings back too many painful memories and a look at what a life with Henry might be like for Mary. She later breaks his heart by saying they can’t be together.
In happier news, Edith (Laura Carmichael) fields a proposal from Bertie Pelham (Harry Hadden-Paton). She almost brings herself to tell him who Marigold really is, but can’t — and she doesn’t accept the proposal right away. Undoubtedly it’s because she knows she must be honest with him before agreeing to marry him.
Also in happy news, Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) gets a new puppy, courtesy of his mother. It’s a goodbye gift, as the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) decides to go away for a while, sailing to the South of France to lick her wounds after the hospital debacle.
However, in true Lady Violet fashion, she doesn’t leave before she gives Larry Grey’s (Charlie Anson) fiancee Amelia Cruikshank (Phoebe Sparrow) a piece of her mind regarding Amelia’s suspicious friendship with Isobel (Penelope Wilton).
“You want a free nurse to take a tiresome old man off your hands. You’re a cool little miss, aren’t you? I’d feel sorrier for Larry if I didn’t dislike him so much,” says Violet. Boom!
Hopefully that’s not the last viewers have seen of Violet in the series. Surely she’ll be back next episode, or at least for the Christmas special.
One last little tidbit — it might be nothing, but Tom (Allen Leech) sure seemed to hit it off with Edith’s editor, Laura Edmunds (Antonia Bernath).
Andy’s (Michael Fox) secret comes out — he can’t read. There’s no vindication yet for Thomas (Rob James-Collier), though, whom Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) thought was doing something nefarious (read: gay) with Andy. An apology better be forthcoming. Thomas absolutely deserves one.
Meanwhile, Molesley (Kevin Doyle) passes his exam with flying colors and is offered a job at the village school by the headmaster. He’s overjoyed, it’s very sweet to see. And perhaps this means he and Baxter can live happily ever after together.