As is appropriate with a final goodbye, this is more of a reflection than a recap. Like my dad's funeral, only different, because Matthew and Sybil and Matthew's first fiancee and a cousin on the Titanic and a horny Turk are dead, not my dad.
We get a great recap of what loose ends are left wafting in the breeze, like Henry's reluctance to continue to race cars, and his existential crisis.
And formerly mean Thomas' search for a job and his post-suicidal decision to turn over a new leaf.
And Mrs. Crawley's continued dilemma regarding
(Wherein the Dowager Countess tells her to "never let tenderness be a bar to a bit of snooping." A rule to live by, peeps.) And Mrs. Crawley admits her feelings for Lord Merton. even though they are "two old fuddy-duddies who can barely manage the stairs."
But of course, the moment of the evening is the reunion of Bertie (now a Marquess) and Edith, arranged by (are you ready for it?) Mary, who has apparently--like Thomas--turned over a new leaf.
Perhaps the most important things that this episode included were the things that let us know that all is as it should be...that everyone can move forward to new life experiences, and that even though we don't always realize it, we are more alike than we are different, whether we are upstairs or downstairs.
Carson and Mrs. Hughes-Carson are so like couples of a certain age--caring for each other in a time of transition. Do Carson and Thomas realize (before or after the transition) that they are more alike then they are different? Both want the way of life they know and love to continue...and it will, but perhaps not in the way they would have hoped.
Cora conjures up the spirit of Sybil and holds her own at a hospital meeting, and Lord Grantham is there to watch her take the helm as a thoroughly modern woman should. Add this to their witty repartee about Edith's re-engagement, and we are confident they'll be jolly empty-nesters.
Molesley is given the offer of picking up more classes and moving to a cottage that the school owns, and he takes it. For someone whose dream it was to be a valet...
Andy wants Daisy to give him the time of day, and it's a long time coming, but it'll be old home week at the Mason farm with the whole family (Mr. Mason, Daisy--and, eventually, Andy and Mrs. Patmore) just as I predicted last year. What began as a family of convenience when Daisy married Mr. Mason's son, becomes a REAL family, and Daisy learns it isn't blood that makes it so.
While Bertie Pelham's mother gives him crap for choosing Edith, Lord G (who has become Edith's biggest cheerleader--golly gumdrops!) tells her not to make Bertie choose between Edith and his mom. So, unbelievably, Mrs. Pelham not only changes her mind, but ends up in warm interaction with Marigold at the wedding, where Edith is a gorgeous bride.
Henry and everyone's favorite Tom decide to give the town its first used-car dealership, and it's a combination that cannot lose. Mary pretends that it's beneath him, but I think secretly, she's tickled. Especially now that she's pregnant.
Speaking of pregnant, Anna and John Bates have a son (in Mary's bedroom, no less) and they are thrilled, as are we all.
And at Downton (as everywhere else), life goes on. As the Dowager Countess says, "With any luck, they’ll be happy enough, which is the English version of a happy ending."
The show has captured our imaginations and we have invested in these characters for six seasons, through heartbreak and happiness. The characters have been multi-dimensional and intriguing (Spratt, anyone?), and we have been thrilled to see a wide variety of relationships. I will miss the show and subsequent recaps because they have given me the opportunity to connect with Downton lovers from all over, and that has truly been a treat. I hope that y'all who have followed this blog for the Downton recaps will stop back to see what else we have going on here at Brandywine Cottage.
Excuse me while I grab my hankie.