Downton Abbey Season 5 Finale: Old People Romance

By Bijaya Shrestha on

About Bijaya Shrestha

Managing Editor | TV/Movie Editor | @ethnicninja on Twitter

I am the Stampede of Meanness.


This episode doe.  Old people romance errwhere.  One turned down a proposition.  One broke off an engagement.  One liked it so he put a ring on it.  If you don’t watch this episode at least twice (or at least re-watch some of the scenes), you are a monster.


Mary goes to visit Anna in prison, to which later Violet says “um girl no”.  Anna is concerned that the fact that Mary is visiting her will get out to the papers and besmirch Mary’s good name.  Carson is also worried about this because the newspaper is always up in their business.  Uff.  But it was nice of Mary to go visit Anna – I don’t know if she would’ve gone to visit Edith in prison – even though her visit meant that Bates couldn’t go visit Anna. Bates does go visit her later and Anna tells him something that happened in her childhood that she has kept from him: her father died when she was young and her family was destitute, until her stepfather came into the picture.  But he was a terrible person and molested her.  One night, in order to stop him, she stabbed him. The police came and, even though no charges were filed, the report of the stabbing was still on her record and now she’s afraid that they will use that in order to prove she is guilty of killing Mr. Green.  The lawyer, Mr. Murray, is like “look imma do everything I can but who knows what will happen.”  Typical lawyer talk, amiright?  Later, Bates gets a telegram from Murray saying Anna’s trial has been set and he goes fucking nuts.  He leaves a note with Carson confessing to killing Green when he didn’t do it.  He leaves info with Robert about getting word to him in Ireland – which is where he has fled to.  Anna comes back home – released on bail.  Molesley feels really bad for Bates and starts looking for a way to clear his name.  Him and Baxter walk around York, visiting various pubs with a picture of Bates in order to find that ONE pub he ate at but didn’t remember the name.  They find it FINALLY and tell Robert about it.  I guess this clears Bates, because he surprises Anna during the Christmas celebration.


I had several problems with this whole story line.  I guess they felt the need to hurry along this whole Anna being in prison thing and not make it the same length as when Bates was in prison – but the whole Bates confessing and taking off…really?  Why couldn’t they have gone with the story line that just proved Anna’s innocence instead of it refocusing on Bates and his innocence?  Are they really taking THIS long to resolve the whole who-killed-Green thing?  Do not want.

The whole family is going away to Brancaster Castle, which is being rented by the Sinderbys (how much does it cost to rent a damn castle??).  Because of the whole Anna thing, Thomas is going with the family instead of Bates.  Once the family departs, the staff works on closing the house up.  Daisy is questioning her decision to keep up with her studies AGAIN.  She is questioning whether her dreams and goals are realistic.  Chill girl.  You just need to keep studying.  Carson and Mrs. Hughes be drankin on some wine the family opened but didn’t finish before they left – and you know you don’t let alcohol go to waste.  They talk about getting that house they’ve been talking about and go looking at houses on a different day.  Carson comes back to Mrs. Hughes’ study one night with MORE alcohol and tells her they should get the house that they liked.  Mrs. Hughes finally breaks down and tells him that she can’t get the house with him because she has no savings.  She has been spending all of her earnings for the care of her handicapped sister and that she will have to work till she can’t work anymore.  Carson is pretty sad and embarrassed that he pushed her into looking at the houses but she tells him that it was nice to dream that dream for a while.

At Brancaster Castle, it is clear that Sinderby’s butler, Stowell, is a super snob and does not like Tom, which makes me hate him immediately.  He says pretty rude things about Tom that makes even Thomas defend Tom and the family slightly.  Stowell also demotes Thomas to a footman, which he should not have done.  You done messed with the wrong person, brah.  Rose and Atticus are back from their honeymoon in Venice and Atticus is already making dad jokes – “there was water all over the streets!”  They all go shooting and Mary is trying to talk Sinderby into inviting Rose’s parents to stay and he is like “meh I’ll pass.  I’m not down with the D-word.”  We all know how much he is into the sanctity of marriage, y’all.  *Ahem*

Pretty much everyone notices how shitty Stowell is to Tom so Mary asks Baxter to tell Thomas to do something – he always has something up his sleeve.  Thomas delivers a letter to a maid saying its for the cook.  At dinner, Sinderby is mad hangry and all he’s getting is stupid food like plain chicken.  He damn near flips the table and says “what da faq is this?”  Stowell says “um its what you ordered bc otherwise the cook would obvi not have made yours separate…duh.”  Sinderby is not having that and tells Stowell to not contradict him, to get him some damn food, and to be nice to Tom.  He also calls Thomas a stupid fool – wrong move brah.  While Stowell is licking his wounds downstairs, Thomas pops in and tries to get info out of Stowell about Sinderby by commiserating with him.

Some of them go for a walk and Rose tells them that Atticus got a job in New York.  Mary is still in denial about Tom moving to Boston – not because she doesn’t want people to move on but because she doesn’t want to be left there with Edith.  Smh.  They go for another day of hunt and Mary is quite upset that Atticus’ friend brought his friends and now Atticus has to sit out.  How rude.  She tells this to the friend’s friend, Henry Talbot.  They seem to get along – both are pretty witty when it comes to conversation.  He even slips the ol’ “so is your boyfriend here too” line in order to figure out whether or not she’s single.  Clever clever.  Meanwhile, Edith is chatting up the agent of Brancaster Castle, Mr. Pelham.  She seems happy for the first time in forever, and she says so.  Are these the dudes that the sisters are going to be romantically linked with in the next season??


Also, how sweet is Robert’s talk with Edith about Marigold?  I thought it was really well done and it was good to see someone being nice to Edith for a change.  She obviously was feeling immense guilt about having a child out of wedlock even if she and Michael loved each other and to had her father tell her that he was okay with it. Made my heart happy.

Back at the castle, they are all milling around, drinking tea when they get new visitors, a woman and a child.  Seeing them, Sinderby damn near faints.  Rose, seeing his reaction, asks for the woman’s name (Diana Clark) and goes to greet her as if they were old friends.  Saved your ass, Sinderby.  This is the information that Thomas used to embarrass both Sinderby and Stowell – two birds, one stone.  The woman is the mother of Sinderby’s illegitimate son – info Stowell divulged while talking to Thomas the night before.  With the help of Mary and Robert, Rose quells what could’ve been an embarrassing situation for Sinderby.  They bid farewell to Diana.  Later, Sinderby thanks them for their tact and says that he will invite Rose’s parents to visit.  He finally gets why Rose is the bomb dot com.  Robert tells him “she will love you forever, if you let her.”  So sweet.  Rose also uses this embarrassing moment for Stowell to tell him to consider being nicer to Tom, advice he takes to heart.


Meanwhile, Princess Kuragin has arrived in England and will be staying with Violet.  Violet invites Prince Kuragin for dinner to meet the Princess for the first time in 5 years.  She buys the Princess a new dress for the occasion and seems nervous about the whole thing.  The Princess comes downstairs to meet them and is pretty bitchy – but then I probably would be too if I had gone through everything she has been through.  Isobel tells her that she would love to visit Russia and she replies “well you’ve missed it.”  She throws shade at the Prince and Violet, talks about wanting to die, and is a real Debbie Downer in general.  Finally, she says she’s going to bed and leaves.  Prince Kuragin asks Violet again to run away with him, which she turns down.  Isobel tries to console Violet, because she does seem sad – she says she is sad because she will never again receive an immoral proposition from a man.  Oh Violet.  Later, Violet finally tells Isobel about herself and the Prince: they had fallen in love with each other over balls and midnight skating and decided to elope.  They had a date and time picked and were on their way in a carriage to the Prince’s yacht, when they were betrayed by Violet’s maid.  The maid told the Princess, who followed them and pulled Violet out of the carriage and sent her back to her husband.  Violet says she came back to her senses a couple of days later and was grateful that the Princess saved her – Violet saved the Princess in turn.  Isobel remarks that Violet has never strayed since and sassy Violet says she’s never risked everything again but she won’t say whether she has strayed.  Such sass.  Can we get a spin off of Violet’s younger years.  KTHANXBYE.

Lord Merton is trying to get Isobel to change her mind about calling off the engagement but she tells him that the only way she will do that is if his terrible sons don’t hate her anymore because she’s not going to make a rift between father and sons and she’s definitely NOT going to deal with their shit in her late years.  Merton talks to his sons, which leads Terrible Larry to write a letter to Isobel basically telling her he hasn’t changed his mind and he’s still as terrible as ever.  Finally, Isobel calls off the engagement for sure and Merton is super sad.  Violet quips that Dr. Clarkson is the one person who will happy to hear this news.  Sassy Violet strikes again.


Christmas festivities are upon the house.  Decorations and cooking what looks like a delicious meal – Mrs. Hughes tells Daisy that maybe she should write a cookbook.  I would buy dat.  Robert is drunk and wants everyone to TURN UP.  He’s trying to give speeches – but Tom cuts him off and makes Mary sing a weird ass version of Silent Night.  Later that night, Robert does tell Tom that he has grown very fond of Tom and that he always has a home at Downton.  Who would’ve thunk Lord Grantham would come to say this to the chauffeur that ran away with his daughter!  It was a very sweet moment between the two.

Carson steals Mrs. Hughes away to tell her something: he has bought the house and registered it in both of their names.  Mrs. Hughes starts to protest saying they don’t know where they will end up in the future and Carson is like “girl what I’m trying to say is that I wanna marry you.”  AHHHHHH WHAT?  I’ve been waiting for these two crazy kids to get together since they went to the beach.  They got mad chemistry and are obviously fond of each other.   She finally says “of course I will, you booby.”  THEY ARE GETTING MARRIED.  BEST. THING. EVER.  This wedding is going to top Will and Kate’s wedding.  No doubt.  I literally squealed out loud at work (if you missed it, I watched these shows at work) when this scene came on and I went back and watched this scene over.  I loved it that much.  LOVE IT.


Shorter notes/observations:

  • Denker and Spratt are hilarious.  The whole broth thing was so funny sprinkled in between all the other heavy scenes.  We also got sassy Violet again, when she tells Spratt that there’s a point when malice ceases to be amusing.  BOOM.
  • Did Robert really need to hide whatever was wrong with him?  Turns out, its not angina – its an ulcer.  Loved how incredulous he was when Cora suggested he stop drinking alcohol.  Girl, I understand – that would my exact sentiment also.
  • Tom gets Edith to admit what he had suspected about Marigold.  Now, only Mary doesn’t know and, honestly, I do not think she cares.
  • How about Mary saying goodbye to Talbot and admiring his car?  She was like “we totally should hang out sometime”.
  • Andy the footman is back.  Thomas should be happy; he seems fond of Andy, but why?  Suspicious.

All in all, I liked this episode/season.  Now that Rose and Tom are gone and Dame Maggie Smith isn’t coming back for a 7th season, will the next series be the end of the show?  Will we get a Carson/Hughes wedding?  Will there be a new dog?  Will Mary and Edith find new love?  Will Mary finally be nicer to Edith?  See ya next season!

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