Downton Abbey Season 3, Episode 7 Recap: The End

Everything was great! Until it wasn't.
Publish date:
February 20, 2013
british tv, recaps, Downton Abbey

I would like to start this recap by stating for the record that I am officially mad at Julian Fellows. How dare you lead us through 87 minutes of pure, period piece bliss, where the worst thing that happens is Mrs. Patmore almost getting conned by a scum bag and Thomas getting beat up under a bridge, and then leave us with three minutes left of the season finale, with a dead Matthew.

Really, how dare you sir? We’ve had no time to contemplate this tragedy! I went from writing down in my recap notes, “Having a baby is the most romantic thing in the world!” (no, I was not being sarcastic) to a blood-dripping, car crashed Matthew. And then, roll credits! Until god knows when! 2014!?! How, dare you, sir?

Alright, enough. Once again, I’ve gotten ahead of myself, and this being the final recap of the season, I’d really like to savor every moment, so let’s start from the beginning and try to enjoy the 87 minutes of bliss that we’ve got.

We start this episode “one year later” and is that Brason checking out a new maid? Actually I think she is checking him out. Either way, I DO NOT APPROVE! It may be one year later for him, but for us it’s still too soon.

Also, it’s one year later and Lord G is still annoyed at the mere thought of Edith having an editor. She’s been putting up with him rolling his eyes for over a year now? Man, Edith’s life is the pits.

Since the entire family is about to board a train and can’t laze around eating breakfast in bed all morning, everyone is having breakfast together and discussing their upcoming trip to Scotland, where they will visit Shrimpie, Rose and Susan, Rose’s mother and Shrimipe’s wife.

The family will be spending 9 days stalking (deer hunting), fishing and going to balls in Scotland sans Branson, who apparently isn’t invited. Everyone is worried about pregnant Mary coming along since there will be a lot of different jostling situations, and she’s 8 months along, but she is stubborn and keeps telling everyone to stop being spoilsports.

Also, Edith’s editor has invited himself in a way by claiming he’s going to be in the area, so Edith is excited despite knowing about his lunatic wife. Side note: during this breakfast conversation the origin of Shrimpie’s nickname is revealed, and it’s not that exciting. It goes back to a nursery game. Oh well, I still love hearing Maggie Smith say “Shrimpie.”

Anna, Bates, O’Brien and Moseley go along with the family on the trip and downstairs James and Alfred AKA the no-work-ethic-youngins think they’re going to have time off! Carson sets them straight then and there with some silver polishing plans! But you can tell that Mrs. Hughes hopes to let them have a tiny bit of fun at least, because Hughes is the best.

The family is off on the train and the new maid Edna is already being much too forward, looking at pictures of Sybil and asking Mrs. Hughes about Branson. Girl, we are all still really sad about Sybil so please, shut the fuck up.

And then we see what a real castle looks like. Nicely done Shrimpie!

I like how Rose is like your average hyper teenager grabbing Edith and Mary as soon as they arrive. And as soon as we see her schlumpy frizzy haired mother, who starts scolding her for nothing, “Rose, don’t wear them out!” I feel for lonely teenage Rose.

Back at the baby sized castle that is Downton, a stranger has shown up in the kitchen. A new distributor and he’s flirting with Mrs. Patmore! I am storing Mrs. Patmore’s response to use in future flirting situations, unwanted or not: “be off with you ya cheeky devil!” #Patmorewisom.

Downstairs at the castle, the different downstairs staffs are getting to know each other and it appears that O’Brien has a “kindred spirit” with Susan’s lady’s maid, Miss Wilkens. The staff is a little bit like bizarro world downstairs. Here is bizarro world carson:

In keeping with some sort of Scottish tradition, a bagpiper parades through the dining room during dinner and no one seems to care for him.

Dinner reveals that the bagpipe parade happens again at 8AM and also that Shrimpie and his wife seem to hate each other.

Moving on. The next morning, we learn that Matthew is a horrible hunter but none of that really seems to matter in the beautiful Highlands setting, now does it?

Also Shrimpie’s hunting guide or “gilly,” has the most quintessential Scottish accent and everyone loves it. “His Lordship was born with a rod in one hand and gun in the other.”

Even the Dowager thinks that Susan is being a frizzy haired curmudgeon and tells her when speaking of Rose that “It’s no crime to be young.” I agree Dowager, but have we all completely forgotten about the jazz club/sleeping with her father’s friend incident? I thought that was considered high scandal stuff in 1920!

Meanwhile, it appears that O'Brien has found a BFF in Bizzaro World O’Brien aka Miss Wilkens. Can someone with such a severe lack of bangs become besties with O’Brien? I highly doubt it.

Back at Downton, Alfred and Jimmy don’t know the value of hard work and it’s really starting to annoy me! This James character is such a dud. I had high hopes when he first arrived on the scene but he’s just so boring and unlikable. Dud city.

Also, Edna, the new maid has gone to the pub on her own because she knew Branson would be there! Too cheeky! She asks Tom to join the downstairs staff for dinner one night if he really still is “the same man inside,” referring to his chauffeur roots. Listen Edna, Tom has nothing to prove to you!

Speaking of cheeky, the new distributor has sent Mrs. Patmore a love note asking her to go to the fair with him and she is falling for it! I want her to find love but something seems off. Like Mrs. Hughes, I am suspicious, but not worried because no one can pull the wool over Patmore’s eyes! Especially after her successful eye surgery! #Patmorewisdomforever.

In other plot news, it appears that Dr. Clarkson is falling in love with Cousin Crawley. Where the heck did that come from? He asks her to the fair too. All the single old ladies are going on dates! Patmore, Isobel and Edith!

Everyone but Carson end up going to the fair and Mrs. Patmore even wears a girly outfit for it. When she asks Mrs. Hughes if it’s too girly, Hughes says, “What’s the matter with being girlish once in a while?” Also, Mrs. P says, “No man’s wanted to squire me since the golden jubilee!”

Lord G tries to ask Shrimpie if everything is all right with his marriage even though that’s “impertinent to ask!” Shrimpie says no but there’s nothing they can do. Even though those modern Marlboroughs got a divorce.

The men go hunting separately and while Lord G and Shrimpie do well, it’s not so easy for the “young lads” Matthew and The Editor. Who cares though? Scotland is a magical place!

Meanwhile, Mary keeps getting “shaken about like dice in a cup.” I originally wrote down, “if something happens to this baby, I swear to god...” but we all know now that something happens to Matthew. And it’s so terrible and tragic that it is anger inducing. WTF, Jullian Fellows. No one wanted this. Yes, we all know that Dan Stevens did not want to be on the show anymore and that something terrible was probably going to happen. But I’m still mad about it.

Sidenote, pregs Mary in her nightgown is adorable.

Anna tells Mary that she’s planning a surprise for Mary and Bates that she will reveal at the ball. And that’s the kind of Downton plotline that I like. None of this dying crap. Remember when it was all garden shows or Turkish royalty that we didn’t care about were they only ones dying? Remember? Those were the days.

Looks like Rose is teaching Anna to dance. This scene is too cute, I wish it would last forever.

We keep going back to examples of Alfred and Jimmy having no work ethic, and Jimmy always starts it. Here they are sitting in the drawing room. What is wrong with these two?

Edna will not let up with coming on to Branson and while he’s not starting it, he’s not running away from it either. If Branson married Edna everyone would FREAK, including me. Here is Mrs. Hughes kind of figuring out what’s going on, and she is not amused.

It looks like Daisy and Ivy are friends now. Here they are with the rest of the Downton crew at the fair. Daisy is kind of turning into a mini Mrs. P this season. Finally, she’s not annoying and lovable anymore, just lovable!

The Downton men compete in the tug of war with the rough hooligan townies and they win! Only because after raising the bet at the last minute, Jimmy gets Mrs. Patmore’s beau to join the team. Mrs. Hughes keeps noticing Mrs. P’s supposed beau flirting with everyone and their mother at the fair and once again, she is not amused.

The hooligans feel swindled and when Jimmy flashes around the money that they win, on top of getting drunk with it, we all hate him even more. Except for Thomas, who is still blinded by dumb love.

Back in Scotland, Matthew and the Editor go fishing together and the Editor confides his tragic lunatic wife story to Matthew. Matthew is all like, that’s sad dude, but you have to stop seeing Edith, it’s just that simple. Get on with your sad life, and get out of here, we don’t need that kind of dramz. Ugh, Edith’s life really is the pits.

Cousin Crawley and Dr. Clarkson are on their date and Isobel is either totally oblivious to what Dr. Clarkson wants (which is to suddenly marry her, which is so weird) or she’s the queen of letting guys off easy. Either way, they decide to just be friends and that’s that.

The hooligans try to beat up Jimmy for being a braggy pretty boy but Thomas saves the day even though he ends up getting beat up pretty badly himself. Kind of weird that he just comes out of nowhere, but at least that keeps in character with his creepiness. Thomas tells Jimmy to run and instead of fighting with him he actually runs! Ugh, I hate you Jimmy.

Meanwhile in Scotland, Susan calls her own daughter a slut for wearing this! 

Isn’t saying “slut” like way worse than “prostitute?”

Sheesh Susan, no one likes you if you act like that! Calm your frizzy hair and be nice to your daughter for once! Rose is showing a little bit of sideboob though. Which we all know is slutty.

Carson, home alone, hears baby Sybie crying and when he picks her up, it is the cutest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. This baby is playing tricks on my uterus, I swear to god.

The ball is going on in Scotland and O’Brien’s new BFF might be just as evil as O’Brien. She’s mad at her because Susan thinks O’Brien does hair better than Miss Wilkens, so to pay her back she spikes her drink. O’Brien’s too smart for those kind of amatur tricks! She tastes it right away, but Moseley doesn’t. Gulps...Here is the face of O’Brien’s evil BFF being evil.

Anna’s sweet surprise is finally revealed - she’s learned how to reel and isn’t she marvelous! But why is she wearing the frock of a child? I don’t get it.

Poor Mrs. Patmore. After they are home safe and sound, Mrs. Hughes is all like, “I have to tell you something, and you’re not going to like it.” She tells her about all of the “what the fuck” moments she witnessed at the fair. Mrs. P feels embarrassed but also relieved that she won’t have to slave away at the stove for a husband, and they both have a good laugh about it in the end.

The Editor tries to end things with Edith and in true Edith fashion, she won’t let him end it.

Annnnnnd Moseley is drunk and making a fool of himself now. We all saw that one coming, didn’t we?

More Edna and Branson nonsense ensues. The only thing worth mentioning is this:

All that jostling has jostled that baby all around and Mary decides to leave early because she feels weird. She insists on going back alone with just Anna because she doesn’t want to be a spoilsport I suppose, and as soon as they get off the train they go to the hospital! It looks like they are just going to the hospital to have the baby in the new modern way and also because Sybil is at the back of everyone’s mind. But of course we’re all so worried.

Susan and Cora have a heart to heart about the craziness of raising teenage girls and they agree to let Rose stay with the Crawleys while they are away in India. I finally feel for Susan here because moms always get blamed for being cranky curmudgeons when they’re just worried about their little girls growing up.

So yay, looks like Rose will be a main character next season, I totally like her now.

Back at Downton, Edna gets fired for being a hussy and Branson has a little meltdown about missing Sybil. And of course, Mrs. Hughes is so wise through it all. 

The entire family rushes home to Downton now that Mary is in labor and at the hospital. Carson is all atwitter! I wonder if they’ll have to pull over the car so that Moseley can puke.

Now Jimmy’s knocking on Thomas’s door? Jimmy feels bad and even when Thomas admits that he was following him (because he noticed he was drunk and wanted to keep an eye on him...actually, I buy that) he decided that they can be friends. So then they read the paper together and all is well. How nice. My least favorite characters have a happy ending. I wish this episode would end and with all being well with Mary and Matthew but it doesn’t.

Carson gets the news that baby and Mary are healthy and happy but he forgets to ask if it’s a boy or a girl. Men! Matthew and Mary get to be alone in the hospital room with their new son. Dearest little chap! And it is the most romantic scene in the history of the world. Having a baby is so romantic you guys!

And then...I can’t even type it out. Honestly when I saw Matthew speeding down the country road so Gatsby-esque, I just knew something bad was going to happen.

I can’t even. Poor Mary! Poor Matthew! Poor baby Matthew! Poor us as viewers of this crazy ass show!


Thanks for reading everyone, writing these recaps this season was as much fun as a viking river cruise vacation and dancing the reel at a ball all rolled into one. I’m going to go cry on the bed now, like Edith did after being jilted at the altar and then get super drunk like Moseley just did to drown my Matthew sorrows.

I’ll meet you all in the comments.