“If Reason Fails, Try Force”

First of all, y’all are awesome. Thanks for that.

Second of all, this was the first weekend in forever where our schedule wasn’t at the mercy of a practice and/or game schedule. IT WAS DELIGHTFUL. We’re about to be full speed ahead with lacrosse season, so it’s been nice to have a weekend that felt more like an actual pause between weeks. Those are increasingly rare, as evidenced by the backlog of quality TV programming that’s currently hanging out on our DVR. But this past weekend, at least, was utterly refreshing. I got to see a couple of friends who were in town, I got to cook, I got to spend an inordinate amount of time in pajamas, and I got to hang out with my people.

The only tough thing, really, was that I had to say good-bye to the Crawleys.

Let’s talk about that for a second.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

*BEWARE OF MANY SPOILERS*

*SO MANY SPOILERS*

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Y’all, it was everything I hoped it would be.

The Dowager Countess had some of her best lines ever, and the sight of her laughing over Spratt’s column brought me untold joy. Plus, at the end, when she affirmed Cora in the kindest, most tender way, it was almost more than my heart could take. Such genuine affection there.

And then – AND THEN – Edith. Oh my goodness. For her to end up as the highest-ranking Crawley, for her to be so completely adored by her new husband, and for her to be courageous enough to shoot straight with her mother-in-law – I was just so proud of her. It was like watching a little sister grow up and come into her own, and it was about time, you know?

More than anything, I think, the final episode made me think that watching six seasons of Downton was absolutely worth it. Barrow was entrusted with what he’d always wanted but hadn’t dared to dream he was capable of doing. Mrs. Crawley took a chance on love – and it paid off. Bates and Anna FINALLY enjoyed some happiness. Mary and Talbot had a whole new life ahead of them in more ways than one. Lord Grantham stepped out of his comfort zone to support and affirm Cora. Even Daisy, Molseley, and Mrs. Patmore seemed to have brighter days in store.

Probably the biggest thing that struck me last night was how the Crawleys and the people who worked for them ultimately became one big family. The lines between the aristocratic class and the service class were much blurrier than in season one. Rose wanted to go downstairs and show the maids pictures of her baby. Mary and Lord Grantham went downstairs to talk to Carson. Anna had her baby upstairs in Mary’s bedroom (and Daisy even snuck upstairs to borrow Mary’s hairdryer – with no repercussions). Tom and Talbot opened a car dealership – which would have been borderline scandalous ten years prior. Lord Grantham shook Barrow’s hand and Carson’s hand (and I cried both times – because Barrow and Carson were so taken aback by it).

(I can’t even talk about the staff singing “Auld Lang Syne” – just suffice it to say that I had to press pause so that I could try to compose myself.)

All in all, it was an utterly satisfying, totally enjoyable end to a series that made Sunday night television fun again.

We’re gonna miss it so much, aren’t we?

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Comments

  1. Yes and amen. I was so pleased with all the happy endings! It was such a bittersweet end, but it was perfect. What will we do with Sunday nights now?!

  2. The best ending ever. I will miss it so much though.

  3. Jennifer S says:

    I’ve been behind all season because I was scared of something dreadful happening, but I got all caught up yesterday and like you, was thrilled with the end. I just can’t believe it’s over! :'(

  4. votemom says:

    ** mr. molesely! i mean – MR MOSELY!!
    ** mrs. patmore & mr. mason
    ** master george riding on henry’s shoulders
    ** tom being genuinely happy as he was getting to know edith’s editor
    ** the yellow lab puppy tiaa featured in so many scenes and being loved on by robert
    ** violet and isobel joining forces to stand up to lord merton’s horrible family
    ** bertie growing a pair
    ** bertie’s mother’s surprise toast
    ** lady mary’s sincere compassion and love for mr carson
    ** andy on the roof looking quiet delicious while daisy observes and considers
    ** anna giving birth in mary’s room – perfection! after all the years of serving lady mary, anna gets to be served by the royal family
    ** rose returning home and being so, so, so happily married
    ** miss denker getting burned again
    ** spratt!
    ** the dowager countess in a fit of laughter
    ** the dowager countess and robert being truly proud of cora
    ** edith…. obviously.
    ** henry and edith forging a friendship which will be the bridge keeping mary & edith on the path of being loving, supportive sisters.

    and……..

    BARROW! what an amazing way to end the show — redemption, forgiveness, grace, and new beginnings! what a great actor – remember how much we hated him in the early years — his face in this last episode was so different – so gentle and humble and kind.

    loved it!

  5. Jennifer says:

    This was by far the best season ever. The writing was amazing and I will truly miss this family!

  6. Downton Abbey last night was so fabulous and affirming–I went to bed with my heart full (difficult for me to parse out that this is in fact a TV show). My only quibble is that i would have liked to have found out what Lady Edith’s intentions were regarding her newspaper.

    Liz familyoffoley.wordpress.com

  7. I tell ya, when Sybie gave Barrow a goodbye hug, I ’bout lost it! I saw on Twitter later that the hug was unscripted, the little actress just did it! You can tell by Barrow’s reaction that he’s a little taken aback but just goes with it.

    And the hand shaking! I just couldn’t even. My poor husband was sitting with me and he didn’t know whether to cry or comfort me or both.

    Well, it’s something I’m going to have to watch again, just to catch it all.

    Sigh….

  8. Robin Ivey says:

    Rewatched it from my DVR recording immediately after it ended last night, and will again a FEW times this week I imagine…….then get on with ordering my Season 6 DVDs!

  9. it was a wonderful evening of grandeur. edith’s clothing was on point last night. loved it all. i gathered some of my friends who also love the show and we all watched the finale together complete with snacks.

  10. Other than the finale of Parenthood and Friday Night Lights, I have not cried as I did watching the ending of Downton. I cried for Parenthood because, well, the ending was amazing. I cried for Friday Night Lights because I didn’t want it to end and I couldn’t believe Tammy Taylor was in some strange place other than Texas (and now she’s a singer in Nashville! Oh, and Faye Resnick!?) But, I sobbed from the point Rose came back to Downton until the very, very end. I think because there will NEVER be another show like it. It was a perfect ending, but I’m still so so sad.

  11. It was a wonderful ending. I know people have talked a little of a movie, but honestly I don’t think it would do justice. After all, what would Downton Abbey be without the Dowager? Do we really need to have to worry about George making it through WWII? The answer to the latter is of course, no. Downton Abbey has been something to look forward to for the past several winters. I was written far better than pretty much anything else on TV these days. Now I worry that Agent Carter won’t be renewed for a third season, so I’m at a loss.

  12. I couldn’t help thinking that Barrow will have the same affection for Sybie and George as Carson had for Mary and that it will be returned. Wonderful to think of the continuation of a family relationship between upstairs and downstairs. Such a great show. I’ll miss it.

  13. C Smart says:

    “Don’t be mysterious-it’s the last resort of people with no secrets.” Thank you, Violet, for all of your wit & charm!!!

  14. I’m so glad it ended on a high note for everyone. Maybe not real life, but it was time for the happy ending.

  15. Yes and yes! I agree on all the levels. It really did tie everything up in the best kind of way. I’m all for happy endings!!! I don’t necessarily want “real” when I sit down to relax and watch a good show.

    I have to confess to tears as well! Just so good!

  16. I think it might be one of my favorite shows ever. Period. That may be in part because they always left us wanting more (a characteristic so rare in anything this generation).

    Also, and I think we’ve talked about this, but the brilliance of the writing is shown best in the fact that they trick you into loving and rooting for the mean one (Mary). As awful as she could be, she still might be my favorite TV character of all time.

  17. It was everything I’d hoped for–and more. :) At the point ugly cry was about to happen, I consoled myself with the thought that quality television (and bonus eye candy) would continue with the new season of Poldark.

  18. Oh How I hated to say “good-bye” last night!! What do we have to look forward to come January 2017?? Sophie, as a writer, couldn’t you think of hundreds of different story lines for almost any of the characters of DA? It could be like “Days of our Lives” and go on for years!!!!

  19. Mandy M. says:

    Wasn’t it so wonderful?!? Mary is my very favorite TV character of all time. I even have the super dorky “I’m a Mary” t-shirt. I’m going to miss is so very much.

    If you love Downton, you’d probably also love the other Masterpiece series. The hubs & I are huge fans of Grantchester and Poldark. I’d highly recommend both!

  20. LeAnn Myers says:

    Glorious evening! I’m hoping for some spinoff short series with some of the characters. I can’t help myself, I won’t let them go ! What a story teller is Mr Fellows!

  21. Kristen says:

    Absolutely loved it! I just can’t believe it’s over.

  22. I loved every single bit of it. Not one complaint. I told my mother in law that Julian Fellowes had obviously crawled into my brain b/c I’m pretty sure he made every one of my DA dreams come true!!! I squealed out loud when Rose walked in! And what about Isobel and Violet sitting together at the end? Commenting on the whole thing??? It’s just all too much! I am devastated that it’s over but so very thankful for the journey! I was invited to a friend house to watch but I declined. I prefer to do my ugly crying in private!

  23. Just reading this entry and all the comments made me cry again. What a perfect ending.

  24. Bravo! to all of the actors and actresses on Downton Abbey. Farewell to this most marvelous example of excellent British television drama!

  25. Molly P. says:

    What a great recap and these comments have made me emotional again! I have decided that I am going to watch every season again because it is JUST THAT GOOD!

  26. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Ahem… I loved this drama from episode 1 to the bitter end. Don’t be made with me, BUT I would have like a little bittersweet sadness at the end. It was just a little too neatly wrapped up with a pretty bow on top. The reason I liked it over these years, was that it had sadness but was charming at the same time. Maybe Daisy could have slipped and bumped her head and been amnestic, something.. (not a fan of the new and improved Daisy). And it was indeed predictable that Barrow should end up as the butler (saw that coming from a mile), but I did have to laugh at the frozen tundra that was his new position. Any-who, it’s done. “It’s a wrap.” Gonna miss my t.v. British “cultured” family.