Crikey! Thoughts on the Season 2 Finale of DOWNTON ABBEY.

DOWNTON ABBEY has taken America by storm. After decades of Americans stealing/retooling British shows, we finally found one that we couldn’t make “better.” The past 7 weeks, the ITV/PBS hit Downton Abbey has been everywhere. It’s everything that everyone who’s anyone is talking about. And last night, Season 2 ended with a Christmas miracle. Here’s what went “down” in Downton.

Season 2 showed us the events of World War I. While the cheese factor was pretty high this season, the finale didn’t disappoint.
8 months after poor Lavinia’s death from the Spanish Flu, the family reconvenes at Downton to celebrate Christmas. But most of the family isn’t quite in the Christmas-y mood. Mary and Sir Richard still aren’t married which, Sir Richard isn’t okay with that. But Mary isn’t one to be convinced of anything. In fact, it’s becoming more and more difficult for her to even tolerate him. And a few people are taking notice.

Bates is on trial for the murder of the former Mrs. Bates and man, what a motley crew he has mounting his defense. Mrs. O’Brien, Mrs. Hughes and Lord Grantham seem like a trustworthy bunch but unfortunately his lawyer is incompetent (I’m almost positive Matthew could’ve done a better job) and Mrs. O’Brien suddenly has morals. Nobody is willing to freaking lie under oath for this dude? Well, he’s found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. What a Christmas present for Anna…

Meanwhile, everyone seems to be trying to convince Matthew that Lavinia would’ve wanted him to be happy despite his emo declaration that she died of a broken heart. But there’s something he can’t figure out. Mary is so obviously not in love (let alone LIKE) with Sir Richard. So what’s the deal? When he confronts her, she finally gets it off of her chest. The big secret she’s been hiding for YEARS and Matthew is literally the last person to know.

Lord Grantham makes up for his indiscretions with the maid earlier in the year by giving Mary the speech that every daughter wants from her father. Complete acceptance and forgiveness with a dose of humor and list of traits she deserves in a man. Father of the Year award, 1920. So Mary is off to New York to visit her grandmother. Anna wants to go to since she’s about to be a widow. And Matthew just wants Mary to “bag Carlisle.”

The biggest star of the episode may be Isis, the missing dog. In order to get the attention of Lord G, Thomas hides his best friend in a shed only to go “find” him later. But his scheming fails, only to further prove how off his game Thomas is. His apparent care for the dog ends up helping him a bit anyway when Lord G decides to let Thomas give the position of Valet a shot.

Mary decides that after dragging this thing out for years, it’s time to let Sir Richard go. Honestly, I can’t blame him for being angry but I loved seeing him and Matthew get in a tussle over Mary. Who looked shocked to cover her happiness…in case you’ve forgotten what her smile looks like. Carlisle leaves Downton, once and for all but not before he tells Mary that he did in fact love her. In what world does blackmail equate to a romantic gesture?

The annual Servants’ Ball is cancelled because of the Bates situation. But when his sentence is reduced to life in prison, it’s time to celebrate. Anna decides to stay at Downton, leaving Mary to travel to New York alone. But Matthew isn’t so happy about it. After another dance between the two, they stand out in the snow without coats. Mary is pensive. Matthew is finally over the whole “heartbroken dead fiancee”-thing but Mary fears her past with a certain Turk will keep them from being happy. Like a true gentleman, Matthew admits that he doesn’t care about their pasts but wants them to start a new life together. Despite Matthew laying it on the line and asking Mary to stay, she makes him kneel in the cold snow for a “real” proposal.

A twirl in the snow as we see gorgeous Downton Abbey in the background is all we could really hope for at the end of such a tumultuous season. So Merry Christmas and Happy 1920 to you.

Until Season 3…

Heather is a recent West Coast transplant and can't remember what humidity feels like. She spends most of her time (& money) watching movies, marathoning TV shows on DVD, attending concerts, reading, eating vegetables, attending conventions (San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, Dragon*Con so far!), blogging about her quarter-life crisis, downing coffee and traveling the world. She likes comic books, photography, reading on the Metro bus and wearing cold weather clothes despite the actual temperature in Southern California.

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