×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Preview: Who Will Live Happily Ever After?

After six seasons of countless weddings, heartbreaks, tragic deaths, and illicit secrets, the series finale of “Downton Abbey” finally arrives this Sunday on PBS. The residents of the stately home, both upstairs and downstairs, are set on a path for the future, some decidedly happier than others.

“It’s very much a season of resolution,” series creator Julian Fellowes told Variety at the start of the season. “The way of life the house has been built for is coming to an end, and the survivors are going to be the ones who adapted to the new world.”

In the penultimate episode, after resisting him for weeks, the ever-more stubborn Mary finally got over her snobbery — and accepted that she’s in love with her persistent suitor Henry Talbot, thanks to Branson’s equally persistent interventions. He called in the big gun: The dowager countess. Try saying no to her.

Her advice to Mary: “I believe in love. Rich lives are seldom led without an element of love.” With that blessing, Mary summoned Talbot back, and took a second trip down the aisle.

Things, however, are not looking as good for Edith in the happily-ever-after department, after her romance with Bertie hit a major roadblock courtesy of (who else?) Mary. A war of words between the sisters escalated into Mary blurting out the truth about Marigold: “I admire you Bertie; not every man would accept Edith’s past.”

Bertie rejected Edith not just because of the secret, but because she didn’t confide in him. “I don’t feel I can spend my life with someone I don’t trust and who didn’t trust me,” he told her.

The rift between Mary and Edith went nuclear (Edith even used the “b” word!), but in the end, Edith returned home for Mary’s wedding. “Because you’re my sister,” she said. “And one day only we will remember Sibyl… And our shared memories will mean more than our mutual dislike.” (Cue waterworks.)

At least Anna and Bates have put their tortured past behind them; now it’s just a matter of parenthood. Given all the drama they’ve endured, one can only hope the delivery goes smoothly in the series finale.

And will there be wedding bells in Isobel Crawley’s future? She’s reached out to Lord Merton’s daughter-in-law, making it clear that if his son finally accepts her, she’ll accept the marriage proposal.

Meanwhile, others are planning a life after service: Mr. Molesley has found success as a teacher; the dowager countess’s butler, Sprat, has been unmasked as advice columnist Miss Jones. And we saw the family come to Mrs. Patmore’s rescue, rescuing her boardinghouse’s reputation.

But Barrow’s attempts to find another job proved fruitless, leading him to take desperate action. Luckily Miss Baxter figured it out in time and rescued him. Riddled with guilt, Carson agreed to extend his stay: “I thought he was a man without a heart,” Carson told Lord Grantham.

But it’s Edith’s fate that’s weighing on everyone’s mind heading into the finale. As Mary rode off into the sunset, her father intoned, “Of all my children, Edith has given me the most surprises…And I’m sure we haven’t seen the last one yet.” Indeed.

As executive producer Gareth Neame told Variety at the start of the season, the finale is “going to be crammed full of narrative, as our episodes always are. It will have a beat of every single one of our characters. And it will have some real, tear-jerking moments.”

More TV

  • Supergirl -- "Elseworlds, Part 3" --

    'Elseworlds, Part 3' Recap: 2019 ‘Arrowverse’ Crossover Theme Revealed

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 2,” the final part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 11. After John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) got another go at using the Book of Destiny to rewrite reality, the “Elseworlds” finale saw Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephan Amell) facing [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    TV Roundup: Netflix Orders Ted Bundy Docu-Series

    In today’s TV roundup, Netflix has ordered a docu-series on serial killer Ted Bundy and “Love, Gilda” sets a premiere date on CNN FIRST LOOKS Variety has obtained an exclusive clip of “Into the Okavango,” the upcoming National Geographic film. Premiering Dec. 14 on Nat Geo, the film, six years in the making, follows a [...]

  • Amy Poehler Is Ready for a

    Amy Poehler Is Ready for a 'Parks and Rec' Reunion

    Is Amy Poehler just getting our hopes up? We hope not, because the funny lady tells Variety that she’s ready for a “Parks and Recreation” reunion. “I am technically available,” Poehler said on Monday at Smart Girls’ 10th anniversary celebration dinner. “I have like six of Leslie’s blazers in my closet, so anytime.” “Parks and Recreation” [...]

  • Liz Meriwether Lake Bell

    Lake Bell, Liz Meriwether Comedy 'Bless This Mess' Moves From Fox to ABC With Series Order

    “Bless This Mess,” the single-camera comedy co-created by Lake Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether, has been ordered to series at ABC, Variety has learned. The series had previously been in contention at Fox and is a co-production between 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios. Bell also stars in the series alongside Dax Shepard. In the series, a [...]

  • 'Get Shorty' Renewed for Season 3

    'Get Shorty' Renewed for Season 3 at Epix

    Epix has renewed “Get Shorty” for Season 3. The loose adaptation of the 1990 Elmore Leonard novel and subsequent film stars Chris O’Dowd, Ray Romano, Lidio Porto, Megan Stevenson, Sean Bridgers, and Carolyn Dodd. In the series, O’Dowd plays a hitman from Nevada who struggles to shed his criminal past after he moves to Hollywood to [...]

  • Goliath Season 2 Amazon

    Amazon Renews 'Goliath' for Season 3

    Amazon has renewed legal drama “Goliath” for a third season. “Goliath” centers on washed-up lawyer Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who has one shot at redemption after a client he successfully defended from a murder charge went on to slaughter a family. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance in 2017. “Our [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content