(Blimey! This isn't even the entire cast!)
And so another exciting season of Downton Abbey comes to an end. I must say I thought this season was much stronger dramatically than the last one. We don't want Downton Abbey to be a convalescent home, we want it to be a grand estate that throws expensive weddings it can't possibly afford! Along with all the fantastic dinner parties we got a marriage, two births, two deaths, a guest spot by Shirley MacLaine, guy-on-guy kissing action, a cricket match, a carnival a trip to Scotland and endless quips from the Dowager Countess. But where's it all headed? Now that the dust from the season has settled, let's check in with the roughly 143 Upstairs and Downstairs characters and see where each one's fortune seams to be heading.
The Right Honourable Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham - Heading: Upstairs. It was a very difficult season for Daddy NoBucks. First he lost all his Money and Cora's Money because of bad investments. Then he broke up his middle daughter's marriage to a nice old dude. Then he lost control of Downton to Matthew and his multiple inheritances. THEN he brought in a fancy doctor that killed his pregnant daughter. THEN his wife froze him out. THEN his first grandchild was baptized Catholic. ALSO all the women in his household got served lunch by a former prostitute! Still, by the end of the season, Robert had shifted enough of his thinking to allow Downton to modernize in a respectable fashion, his wife and children warmed to him, and he made a strong ally in his widower son-in-law Branson. Considering where some other people wound up by the end, The Earl of Grantham came out okay.
The Right Honourable Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham - Heading: Upstairs. She was very gracious in finding out that Daddy NoBucks lost all her money, but had a much more difficult time forgiving him for Sybil's death. Her grief and anger kind of brought out the best of her though, as she eventually forgave her husband, vowed to fight for her son-in-law and granddaughter in Sybil's name and let her sensible voice be heard in the house.Also, she survived a visit from her own American Mom. Good work, Lady Cora.
The Right Honourable Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham - Heading: Upstairs. Pretty much every scheme she set her mind to worked out in her favor this year. The quips just keep coming. Even though she seems centuries old, she's got some modern ideas in that brain of hers and at this rate it looks like the Dowager is going to outlive them all. Nothing succeeds like excess!
Lady Mary Crawley - Heading: Downstairs. She got married and got to keep her name! Score! She got Matthew to invest his inheritance in Downton thus saving the house for generations. Double Score! She got pregnant and birthed an heir. Hat trick! But then the actor playing her husband felt he'd seen enough, his character got killed off and Mary is about to find out she's a widow with a newborn baby. Damn. Where does she go from here??
Mr Matthew Crawley - Heading: Downstairs. Got married to the love of his life. Saved and modernized Downton. Got to hold his baby son in his arms. And then immediately afterwards died in a car crash. He's not only heading downstairs, he's heading six feet under.
Lady Edith Crawley - Heading: Upstairs. She was left jilted at the altar by Old One Arm, her whole family views her as a disappointment and generally I've thought she was the WORST. BUT! She picked herself up nicely following public humiliation, took a job writing a newspaper column, made good friends with her brothers-in-law and is on her way to having an affair with a married man. As long as she doesn't catch a case of the Preggers Death that plagues Downton, I'd say everything coming up Edith!
Lady Sybil Branson (née Crawley) - Heading: Downstairs. She came back from Ireland with a cute new haircut and a baby bump, but caught the Downton Preggers Death Curse and shuffled off her beautiful mortal coil, halfway through the season. At least she is survived by her very handsome husband and her adorable baby girl. RIP, Hot Sister!
Tom Branson - Heading: Upstairs. It's been a tough year for Branson. Exiled from his beloved Ireland and widowed by his beloved Sybil. Tom spent most of the second half of the season in a fog of grief and shock but has no emerged with a new purpose in securing Downton's future. He's also taken a shine to being a part of the family even if he hates to admit it to himself. Thank god he didn't sleep with Slutsky The Maid 2.0. She was a horror.
Mrs Isobel Crawley - Heading: Downstairs? I'm not sure what's going to happen with Isobel, now that her son's dead. She had a solid year sparring with Dowager Maggie and rehabilitating Prostitute Ethel, but she's going to take her son's death extremely hard. I can imagine she'll be VERY invested in her grandson's future now. And maybe she'll reconsider Dr. Clarkson's romantic overtures.
Lady Rosamund Painswick - Heading: Upstairs? I hope we see a little more of Rosamund around Downton. The place could use some more cheer and she could come help out with her new grand nieces and nephews since so many of their parents wound up dead.
Mr. Carson - Heading: Upstairs. Carson loves to play the role of Fuddy Duddy and keeper of tradition and propriety, and though he was overly critical of Prostitute Ethel, he was gentler with Evil Gay Thomas.Plus Baby Sybil seems to have warmed his heart and I can only believe he'll have an even softer spot for Mary's little baby boy, especially since he'll grow up to be the heir of Downton... provided he lives that long. You never know on this show!
Mrs. Hughes - Heading: Upstairs. After surviving a cancer scare, Mrs. Hughes was putting out fires left and right. She helped out with Prostitute Ethel AND Evil Gay Thomas. She also put a quick end to Slutsky the Maid putting the moves on Branson and gave some straight talk to Mrs. Patmore. Plus the ongoing Who's The Boss? dance she does with Carson continues to entertain.
O'Brien - Heading: Upstairs. She got a new ally in her nephew Alfred and a new enemy in former ally Evil Gay Thomas. Her long con of getting Thomas in trouble for being an Evil Gay showed off her skills at playing people against each other, but she pushed her winning hand too hard and forgot there was one trump that could still beat her. She's still smart though. Karma's a bitch, but O'Brien's a bigger one.
Thomas Barrow - Heading: Upstairs. Evil Gay was heading down down down for most of the season, as he fell for all of O'Brien's traps, and he would've been sacked without a proper reference and left with nothing had it not been for the "Born The Way" sexual philosophy shared by Lord Grantham, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes. And though it took over a year of awkwardness in their timeline it looks like Evil Gay Thomas, might just become Gay Thomas and finally have a friend in the object of his affection Super Straight Jimmy James.
Mr. Bates - Heading: Upstairs. He's out of prison! He's Robert's Valet again! He's living in a cottage with Anna. What's the downside of any of that?
Anna Bates (née Smith) - Heading: Upstairs. Her husband's out of prison! She's Mary's proper Lady's Maid! She's living in a cottage with Bates. What's the downside of any of that?
Mrs. Patmore - Heading: Downstairs? This fat oaf only wanted her for her cooking when he went around courting her. She was goodnatured about it and is having a decent time of it right now, but that makes me think she is being set up for some bad news next season.
Daisy Mason (née Robinson) - Heading: Upstairs. She finally got that promotion and a new Kitchen maid and then was jealous and hated her. She likes cooking, but might leave it all behind to be a farmer at her Father-in-Law's property. Usually I think Daisy is the worst, but she kind of pulled it together in the second half of the season. Although it's been a year and we still don't know if she's given up the idea of moving out to that farm.
Ethel Parks - Heading: Upstairs. After prostitution, giving up her son and cooking for Isobel, is there really anywhere to go but up? Unless she manages to burn down her new boss's house in a baking accident, I'd say we've seen the last of Ethel showing up on Downton's doorstep.
Dr. Clarkson - Heading: Downstairs. He wasn't able to save Lavinia, then Sybil and soon won't be able to save Matthew. He also got shot down by Isobel for a little later-in-life marriage. Poor Clarkson has it tough in Downton.
Isis The Dog - Heading: Downstairs? Isis isn't getting any younger. Perhaps the next shocking death will be a doggy. If a litter of pups come along, I'd say the writing's on the wall..