[Warning: Spoilers for Season 5 of Downton Abbey, which just ended in the U.K., follow. If you'd rather wait for Season 5 to air in the U.S. (beginning Jan. 4) and watch them unspoiled, then get out of here.]
The Downton Abbey Christmas special was unwrapped in the U.K. on Christmas Day, and along with the expected revelations and thrills came one of the biggest Downton surprises of all in the form of a surprising but long overdue engagement.
Let's get right to the big finale. At the end of the episode, the curmudgeonly Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) were looking into fulfilling their dream of opening up a bed and breakfast by visiting potential properties, Mashablereports. When Hughes admitted she couldn't put up her share of the money to invest in a property because she spent it all caring for her ailing sister, Carson put up all his money for the both of them. But that wasn't the big surprise gesture.
Soon after, the grumpy badger Carson said, "Well that's the point, I do want to be stuck with you," and then finally asked Hughes to marry him, to which she replied, "Of course I'll marry you, you old booby. I thought you'd never ask." Yeah, us too! Finally, some Downton downstairs happiness.
Elsewhere in the episode:
- Lord Sinderby's mistress and illegitimate son showed up unexpectedly (thanks to the scheming Thomas), nearly sending the man into cardiac arrest. However, Rose stepped in to save the day for her father-in-law before Lady Sinderby could fully understand the evidence of infidelity that stood before her. Isn't it great that Rose is always on hand to cover up for randy older men?
- Lady Mary was introduced to a new potential love interest: guest star Matthew Goode, who played the flirtatious and dashing Mr. Talbot. Please, Julian Fellowes, have him return in Season 6! Gillingham and Blake are such snores.
- Bates confessed to the murder of Mr. Green in order to free Anna from suspicion, but Molesley and Baxter find evidence to counter his false confession. Their futures in doubt, Bates and Anna would reunite in the episode's final moments and worry about that whole murder thing later. Honestly, we're done with this plot, which has been wretched from the start. No wonder Carson and Hughes had to get engaged after this romance got ruined!
- Tom confirmed that he's leaving for America with Sybbie, much to the chagrin of Mary.
- Cousin Isobel broke off her engagement to Lord Merton, because his sons were opposed to their marriage. Meanwhile, the Dowager Countess is also left without romance after having reunited her Russian silver fox with his estranged wife. So now Isobel and Violet can continue their Statler and Waldorf widow-mance.
The rest of the episode's spoilers can be read here.
What did you think of the Christmas special?
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