Did you see Downton Abbey season finale?

March 3, 2015

Pardon me while I dry my tears. I just finished the two-hour Season 5 finale of Downton Abbey and it was everything I’d hoped it would be.  I’ll label spoilers later on so you can skip through them, but first, a few other words.

Maggie Smith is 80 now and this week said that next season will be her last on the show. Lady Violet is the most beloved figure on the program and although she must be more than 100 years old by now, I don’t want her to go!

The Dowager has taught us the value of wisdom that comes from age.  Notice that when her granddaughters got in trouble, Lady Violet often had the best counsel. And as the years (and seasons) passed, we saw depth of character that wasn’t revealed in the early years of the program.

Spoiler Alert…starts here…

In the season closer she tells Isobel that she almost abandoned her husband, the late Lord Grantham, to run off with a Russian prince. Can you even imagine? Wouldn’t those grand-girls be shocked! The princess (his wife)  intervened, pulling her out of the coach by her hair, it seems. And in one of those touching scenes between friends, Lady Violet confides to Isobel that she has no regrets about how it ended up, just gratitude for having been saved from a life in the shadows.  It would have been disastrous. Ah, the mistakes of the young!

And as we look around Downton Abbey in the final scene, we see that she was right. In sacrificing the love affair of the moment, she invested in a life that had more staying power. Something to think about as it relates to our own lives.

And speaking of staying power…

Carson finally proposed to Mrs Hughes, and it was a long time coming. Smiles all around at this happy news.  And didn’t Mrs. Patmore seem very chipper these last few episodes? And as much as I was glad to see Bates return, the shadow hanging over Anna is still there, but will have to wait until next season for resolution. Here’s hoping those two lovebirds get a break.

And as I expected, Tom will be gone when the new season begins a year from now: January 2016.  The writers did it right–Tom is held in great affection by the family and they let us see every tear-jerking moment of it.

End of spoilers

So much else happened in the two-hour finale, including some priceless scenes with Rose and her new father-in-law.

I love how Fellowes gave us so much of the Dowager this season. I suppose he was preparing us for her departure.  We’re told that Season 6 will be the last one; the Downton actors are anxious to cash in on their well-earned reputations and don’t want to be tied down. I can’t blame them.

We can’t hold these wonderful characters forever. But I wish we could.

I’m dying to know what you thought of the season finale.

41 comments on “Did you see Downton Abbey season finale?
  1. I too, loved it. This season has been so good. The clothes have been out of this world, the scenes and sets have been stunning, the story line has been fun and interesting and quirky and the characters have developed in ways I wouldn’t have expected. I’m sooooo glad that Edith has finally (I hope) caught a break and can now be with her lovely daughter. And I’m glad that Mary might be embarking on a new relationship with that handsome man who drove off in that racy car (although why she’d be enamored of a man who likes to race after what happened to her husband I can not fathom). As you point out, Maggie Smith had some of the best lines (again) ever. The show is a treasure and always reminds me of my childhood when I used to watch Upstairs, Downstairs with my mother, so brings back lots of wonderful memories. It’s a great series, I’ll miss it terribly, can’t wait until Jan. 2016!

  2. I thought it was lovely and wrapped up many stories. I especially liked how Lord Grantham gave his blessing to Edith and Marigold.

    I will miss the show when it’s over, but I’ve heard there may be a prequel series in development – going back to when Cora and Lord Grantham met.

  3. Hi Carol! I’m a new one to Downton Abby and didn’t start watching it until last December. This was my first official “season” and seemed far too short! Does it ALWAYS feel that way. Loved a couple of the surprises in the show including Edith’s chance to “come out” as Marigold’s mother in a bigger way. She seemed SO much happier and even had a conversation with a man!!!! Who knows? The writers might actually give her a happy life for a change but we’ll have to wait a year to find out. And yes to Mrs. Hughes and Carson. That was unexpected too! Anyway, a fun show with enough twists to keep us all interested. Looking forward to next year. ~Kathy

    • They are mini-series, or what we used to call mini-series. Just half a dozen or so episodes a year. But it sure goes by quickly! We are all rooting for Edith, aren’t we?

  4. We don’t get it here, Carol. But I’m now scanning the internet to see if I can get hold of the series.

  5. I’ll miss DA as I miss any show that goes off the air. Heck, MASH was on for 11 years but the war only lasted for 3! I enjoyed DA, binge watched it, so I might watch the last season all over again. I figured they’d write Tom out because he’s getting good movie roles now (as are a few of them – Lord G was in Monuments Men), plus it’s time for him to discover his own life with Sybbie.

    I love Maggie! She’s the best and steals every scene she’s in. I’ll miss her when she’s gone..

  6. I keep seeing these graphics with quotes from that lady – the Dowager? And I love them. We don’t have television, but this makes me think I should look for the DVD set when it comes out.

  7. Hi Carol,

    Great post 🙂 I am not a fan of Downtown Abby, but it sounds like it is a good show! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. The entire series has been brilliant. I will grieve the close of the series next year. Here’s how I want it to end: we see Tom in America as a successful businessman (With Sybbie). Lord & Lady Grantham watch and guide the modern development of the village. Edith goes to London (with Marigold) and runs the newspaper- a very modern woman indeed. Mary never remarries just has a series of lovers. Isobel marries the doctor and they start a free clinic together, and Violet enjoys her days with the Prince. Can you make all of this happen Carol? Please.

  9. Oops- I forgot DOWNSTAIRS. Here’s how I want THAT to end: Bates and Anna FINALLY catch a break and have a child. Mrs. Patmore and the older gentleman that is Daisy’s FIL get together and Daisy continues her studies and they ALL run his farm together turning the farm into a modern agracorp. Bates and Mrs. Hughes enjoy married life and running their B&B. Mr. Barrow finds his heart. And boy, I’d really like to see Paul Giamatti back (Mr. Harold Levinson) in some happy storyline. Make that happen too.

  10. Tina says:

    I love Down Town Carol.

  11. I didn’t see the finale. I have watched seasons 1 – 4 on my Kindle and plan to buy season 5 as well.

  12. Kungphoo says:

    I have never heard of this show! It looks very good though I might have to give it a try

  13. So let’s take this a bit farther… the Depression hits. Downton, and the village, and Daisy’s farm are all self sufficient. Edith’s newspaper is THE paper of the People and the paper survives. WWII begins. Edith won’t leave London but does send Marigold back to Downton for safety. In fact, Lord and Lady Grantham take in many refuges from London in their home (again- remember WWI and the home hospital?). Tom’s manufacturing business, in America, begins to retrofit machinery for the US Army. Mary becomes a spy for the British and Mr. Barrow becomes the top recruiter for the Crown. Bates and Anna continue to live in the cottage on the Abby property raising their family, but, the now retired Carson and Mrs. Hughes find they have taken in a German spy. What to do? OMG! It Must Happen!!!

  14. Andi says:

    I haven’t seen any yet, I am holding the series in reserve for next winter!

  15. Kim says:

    I have not seen one episode of Downtown Abbey yet but it is on my must watch list.

  16. Again, I’m still behind (am watching the finale this evening) but must say that Maggie Smith is amazing. I just got a press release regarding a new movie of hers that comes out in December. Something based on a true story of a woman in Britain who lived in a van (called The Woman in the Van, I think). I’ve not read the release closely, but I’m just floored the woman is still making movies, still going strong.

  17. Britney says:

    I need to catch up on that show. I kind of fizzled out when I heard Matthew was leaving.

  18. I loved loved loved Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes. I think the Bates story is enough already. Anna should be done with jail (ridiculous!) and they should have ended the season with her telling Bates that she’s pregnant 🙂

  19. Sheryl says:

    I’m almost embarrassed to admit this…but here goes…I’ve never watched the show. And to catch up after all these seasons would be a big challenge, since I’m having a hard enough time dealing with catching up on Season 3 of Breaking Bad! Maybe I’ll catch the next show-everyone-is-talking-about.

    • Roz Warren says:

      Not to worry. I didn’t start watching until I broke my toe two summers ago and had to stay off my feet. I needed something to do and watching DA from Season One onward was just the ticket.

  20. paula schuck says:

    I have never ever seen this show! I don’t watch much TV actually. But I hear great things about this and I am a fan of Dame.

  21. Myke Todd says:

    I have never seen this program, but it is Wifey’s favorite. I know to not speak in passing, when an episode is being viewed. I show her the same respect she shows me, when I am watching an episode of Dr. Who.

  22. Stephanie says:

    I’ve never seen Downtown Abbey. Great post. I’m going to have to start watching this show.

  23. BIG fan of Downtown Abbey I am going to miss it!

  24. Erin P says:

    Love this. Too many people are too scared to post regarding a spoiler and those that normally do don’t warn you. This was quite pleasant and greatly constructed. Never seen the show but now I want to stream them, thanks!

  25. Bismah says:

    I have not seen any of the series! It does sound very interesting though!

  26. I haven’t watched this, but I think after reading this I will. Even though I read the spoilers 🙂 They are why I want to watch.

  27. I don’t watch Downton Abbey. But I am glad you enjoyed it.

  28. I finally had the chance to watch the season finale and am so sad that we need to wait almost a year for the next season. I know they say it is the last, but I’m hoping they take it through WWII – another time of great change in Britain. I’m sure they could do a lot with that especially with family on both sides of the pond. I loved the old “Upstairs, Downstairs” and am delighted that they carried on the same fine writing into this series. I, for one, will miss all of my television friends once Downton Abbey goes off the air!

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