Downton Abbey S02E08: Season Finale

Ah, the season finale! It looks like our time with Downton Abbey, for now, has come to a close. Unless we want to watch the Christmas Special. Do we want to? I hate watching Christmas specials when it’s not Christmas. Are there singing raisins? Is Pee-Wee there for dinner, with Frankie and Annette? Does Bates, the murderer, come back in a Santa Claus costume and murder everyone else in the house? I’m open to watching it, IF WE MUST, but let me know. I’ll take your silence as a “no thank you, we’re saving it.” Anyway, so let’s get to this finale. It was a billion years long and lots of things happened!

The episode opens with Lavinia and Matthew and everyone else getting ready for the wedding. Lavinia says, “I can’t bare the disruption we seem to have brought down on your heads,” which is a bit much and she should definitely relax and not make everyone apologize to HER for how they are throwing her a wedding. And then Cora says “Don’t be silly,” which is bullshit because remember how mad Cora was that they were going to have the wedding there? CORA! You should’ve said, “You’re being incredibly difficult and I don’t feel like reassuring you about your garbage right now.” AND THEN Matthew is bitching because he doesn’t want to have to use a cane to walk down the aisle. Uhhhhhh, hey Matthew, REMEMBER WHEN YOU COULDN’T EVEN WALK ONE EPISODE AGO? Jeepers creepers. Somebody take his legs away, he doesn’t deserve them. Nobody deserves them. Take everyone’s legs.

Downstairs, Hughes has gotten a letter from the Mrs. Bryant saying that she and her husband DO want to see that baby the maid had, and Thomas is trying to get Carson to let him stay at Downton for free because he doesn’t have any money because he had to get what he deserved at some point. Carson says no, but then Thomas still stays! He seems great.

Elsewhere, Sybil is talking to Mary, Edith, and Anna about how she and Branson want to announce their engagement tonight and then leave for Ireland — where Branson has gotten a job as a journalist — after Matthew’s wedding. Nobody agrees that that’s what they should do, but Sybil doesn’t care and she’s going to do it anyway. Great! Ok! That night when they plan to announce it to the family, Branson walks into the living room (or whatever) (one of the rooms where they sit on couches) and says, “I’m here.” Hahahaha. Uh yeah, Branson. We can see that you’re here. So WHAT? Sybil says, “I don’t think this is such a good idea, we mustn’t worry Granny,” which is odd because I don’t know when she changed her mind, but then it doesn’t even matter because no doy, everyone is watching them have this conversation. Sybil explains her plan and everyone is very stunned and very mad.


Then Branson goes down to the basement to tell the help about their engagement, and interrupts O’Brien as she was telling Thomas to get a job. (Thomas says lots of people are looking for jobs now and it’s not that easy and he sounds like a real HANNAH, if you know what I mean. Get a job, Thomas! Take off your fancy suit and get a fucking job!) Carson gets just as upset as everyone else at the news of their engagement and fires Branson, which is whatever because Branson already got that sweet Ireland journalist gig. Upstairs, Sybil is talking to her father about it alone. He’s all, “no no no!” and she’s all, “yes yes yes!” And the OLG comes in and is reasonable about it, kind of, and then the Lord says, “no more money” and Sybil says “WELL OL’ BUDGY AND LORRIES THEN” and the end.

Oh, and then everyone is sick. Hughes walks in on Carson being sick, so Molesley has to do the dinner service or whatever,and then Lavinia get sick, and during dinner Molesley gets sick Cora gets sick. Sick sick sick sick sick sick sick. Except Molelesy’s not sick, he’s just drunk. BOIYOYOYOYOYYOING!

Ugh, SO MANY MORE THINGS. Ok, so, Anna — inspired by Sybil — tells Bates that they’re going to get married. Bates puts up a little bit of a fight because Bates is kind of awful and weak and definitely not good enough for Anna, but he cracks eventually. She tells him to go make an appointment for them to get married. He says, “UGH BUT MY WIFE JUST DIED AND WE CAN’T AND BUT–” and the Anna says, “SHUT UP AND DO IT YOU COWARD” and Bates says, “ok.”

Upstairs, Matthew is listening to a record and Mary is watching him like a creep.

Then she goes downstairs and they dance. “Can you manage without a stick?” she asks. “You are my stick,” he responds. “I’M BARFING” says everyone else. They talk about about what the song is and Matthew says he thinks it’s from a show that flopped, and then Mary says that THEY were a show that flopped, which is terrible. If I were Matthew I would’ve said, “The thing you just said was stupid, but I’m still in love with you. It was stupid, though. Just so you’re aware. But I’m still in love with you.” Then he explains the conversation he had with OLG, and that he couldn’t marry her (Mary) (not OLG) no matter how much he wants to, and then THEY KISS:

AND THEN LAVINIA WALKS DOWN OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE DOWNTON ABBEY. She’s heard and seen everything, but pretends that she hasn’t because she is meek and kind or whatever. Mary tells her that she’s staying there for the night, and then Lavinia says, “Don’t ever let me be a nuisance. Don’t ever let me get in the way, please.” Oh, Lavinia. How are you so quiet and nice at this moment? Because you really love Matthew? Is that how love works? Or do you just not have any self respect? I’m leaning towards the no self respect, but correct me if I’m wrong!

Oh yuck, and then upstairs the maid the Lord is in love with tells him that her son got into school, and then asks the Lord how he is, “really.” He says he’s wretched and she says that she wishes he knew how much she wanted to help him, and then he says “do you” and then she says “I think you know I do” and then they GO INTO A ROOM, PRESUMABLY TO DO IT. They don’t do it, though; they just kiss. And while they’re kissing, because, again, Downton Abbey, Bates knocks on the door and pops his head in.

OOPS! Hellooooo Bates nothing to see here nope ok thanks yes yep ok all right thank you goodbye goodbye Bates!

After Bates leaves, the Lord and the maid go back and forth saying like, “I can’t,” “but I need you to,” “but I can’t,” “but you CAN,” etc. The Lord says he wants the maid with every fiber of his being and that he wished everything were different. Barf. It’s all kind of annoying because I don’t even really understand why he wants the maid, other than that Cora was being a bitch lately and they need to set up a reason for him to forgive Sybil at the end, spoiler alert. What’s so good about this maid? That she loves her son? That she’s not Cora? WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT HER? Speaking of Cora, SHE IS SO GROSS LOOKING NOW:


My goodness, there is so much episode left. Let’s zoom through a few things. The Lord visits Branson and tries to offer him money, which he declines, no duh, and then tells him to get out of town. Branson tells him as soon as he gets out of town Sybil will be getting out of town with him, soooooo. The Lord is foiled yet again. The wedding has to be postponed because everyone is very sick with Spanish flu and Cora is breathing like a demon. Bates did he marriage thing and he and Anna are going to be married Friday afternoon. O’Brien wants to confess to Cora that she is the reason why Cora lost her baby, FOR WHATEVER REASON, THAT WILL DO NO ONE ANY GOOD, O’BRIEN, but she never does. The Bryants come to Downton to see the maid’s baby, and they tell the maid that they’ll support the baby but only if she gives the baby to them and never sees him again. It’s horrible! The wife doesn’t seem to support this idea, but the mean mustache husband does. Also: the baby is INCREDIBLY cute:

R U KIDDING ME WITH THAT BABY? No wonder why they want to have him all to themselves! What a fat little sweet pea! Anyway, though, Ms. Maid doesn’t agree to give her son up, probably because he is so cute. Smoogiewoogiesmoochiwoochie.

Lavinia is sick in bed and Matthew comes in to see her. She confesses to him that she saw and heard everything when she came down and interrupted him and Mary (“Oh really? When you were standing right there? You actually saw everything? NO WAY I CAN’T BELIEVE IT.”) She calmly tells him that it’s good they had to postpone the wedding, because now they have a second chance to make sure it’s really what they want to be doing. And then she tells him that what they really want to be doing is breaking up because he is clearly still in love with Mary and she doesn’t want to stand in their way. OOPS. YA BURNT, SOMEBODY! It is sweet, I GUESS. And loving, I GUESS. But lady, you should’ve at least included a part about how you don’t want to be married to some jerk who is in love with someone else and KISSES THEM AND DANCES WITH THEM, WHILE YOU ARE SICK IN BED WITH SPANISH FLU. Anyway, whatever. TTYSoon Lavinia, when you die.

Sir Richard gets there and Mary figures out that he’s only there in case Lavinia dies, because he wants to keep Matthew from boning Mary on her deathbed or whatever. Cool. Cool d00d. Then when they’re all having dinner together, or something, I forget what was going on at this moment, FORGIVE ME, but Edith comes down and says “it’s Lavinia” and Richard tries to keep Mary from going up to see her but Mary breaks away and then ahhhh, she’s dying! Matthew gets close to her and she says, “Isn’t this better, really. You won’t have to make a hard decision.” Guilting people EVEN IN DEATH. (But really, like, uh, yes I guess it is better. It’s better FOR THE WRITERS, WHO DON’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT HOW TO MAKE THE MATTHEW AND MARY RELATIONSHIP WORK ANY OTHER WAY NOW THAT THEY’VE KILLED YOU OFF!) (Sorry for the yelling!) Then she tells him that she just wants him to be happy. Then she dies. R.I.P. Lavinia.

And then Bates and Anna get married.

And then the Lord and the maid break up 4 realz. She quits and he gives her money to give to her son, saying that giving him a start in life would make him very happy. She asks if he’s REALLY happy, and he says this quote that I love: “I have no right to be unhappy, which is almost the same.” Ahhhhh! GOOD QUOTE! Haven’t we all felt the same. (Though that girl just died and his wife was about to die a few seconds ago and also the war and also his daughter is leaving and he’ll maybe never see her again, so I think maybe he does have some reasons to be unhappy?) (Whatev.) Then they kiss and she goes. Bye, lady!

In Mary’s room, Anna is talking to her about how she and Bates are going to have to wait for a while to do whatever, and then Mary’s like “come with me” and shows Anna a secret sex lair that she’s set up for them. Gross. Then they do it.


At the funeral, Daisy sees William’s father — who had been sending her letters — and talks with him. It’s sweet and sad because Daisy never loved William and his father thinks that she did and young people keep dying and Daisy is still a baby even though the span of time on this show has been like 15 years and ahhhhh. Then we see Matthew talking to Mary about everything Lavinia said before she died, and how he believes she died of a broken heart. Aww. Jeeze. I think maybe she died of Spanish Flu, though, actually! Check with the doctor, but then DEFINITELY check with another doctor because the doctor you use all the time never has any idea of what he’s doing. But because Lavinia died that way, Matthew says he and Mary could never be together. (Ugh.) (Gimme a break.) So he says, “Let’s accept that this is the end.” And Mary says, “Of course it’s the end. How could it not be.” Then Sir Richard takes her back to the house. Blah blah blah. Get married already, you two!

Later, Branson shows up and Sybil announces that they’ll be leaving for Dublin in two days. She says to the Lord that she wishes they could be parting as friends, and he asks Branson if he feels the same way. Branson, SURPRISINGLY, honestly, says that he does wish the same. So the Lord says — because of how he liked making out with that maid — that if he can’t stop them, he sees no profit in a quarrel. He gives them his blessing and even tells them that he’ll give them some money. Great. Amen.

Finally, in the last scenes of the episode, Bates is arrested for the murder of his wife. AHHHHHHHH!

And you just have to think, though, that if he didn’t want to be arrested for the murder of his wife, he probably shouldn’t have MURDERED HIS WIFE? Who knows, though. We’ll see. What a season. I know that people didn’t like this season as much as the first season, and it was CERTAINLY more soap-opera-y and less nuanced and quiet, but I have to say — I kind of liked it more? In a different way. Closer to the way I enjoy Gossip Girl than the way I enjoy something like Breaking Bad, or Mad Men (which I don’t actually enjoy too much) (let’s not get into it). It was a lot more fun! Death! Betrayal! So many stupid villains! Love that makes no sense! Though I could certainly see why people would have a problem with it. (All those things I just said.) Buuuuuuuuuuut. What do you think? Hate it? Love it? Tell me tell me tell me.

Next Season: Matthew and Mary make eyes at each other! Edith learns how to mow the lawn! The Lord does something reasonable, and Cora does reasonable things sometimes but not other times! The old lady says something bitchy but then says a nice thing every once in a while! Thomas NEVER LEAVES!