Obsessed With PBS: Downton Abbey, S6, Series Finale

Pernicious Anemia. 

I’ve heard of each word before but never together. But it’s a thing. Lord Merton is diagnosed with it. He tells Isobel that it is terminal and he will die soon but he feels fine. Isobel goes to visit him and is denied entry by the conniving daughter-in-law. Since Merton is about to kick the proverbial bucket, she doesn’t want Isobel mucking up the heritance plans. “Oh no, she didn’t,” says the Dowager Countess (paraphrase) and accompanies Isobel on her Grand Romantic Gesture usually reserved for romantic comedies. Isobel tells the mean son and d-in-law that she will take care of Lord Merton AND marry him. Merton runs away with her. Then later Doctor Clarkson tells the couple that Merton was misdiagnosed and it’s a non-Pernicious Anemia. To which Isobel replies, “Oh man, he’s going to live?  I thought my good deed was temporary!” (paraphrase)(didn’t actually happen)(she was happy with the news because she loves him)

So Merton’s illness improves, what about the other Downton Abbey conditions from the finale?

Like Carson’s bout of Convenient Palsy.

Was this ever telegraphed and I missed it? Suddenly, Carson’s hands are shaking constantly. He reveals that both his father and grandfather had it. What’s he going to do? No Under Butler to cover him because Barrow’s got a great new job watching a really old couple eat in silence.  Carson hides it from the family for a while until his spills champagne! Barrow steps in and offers to pour for him. This gives Lord Grantham (“Donk!”) the idea to offer the job of butler to Barrow while Carson stays on as consultant. Barrow has to think about it. I mean, would you give up listening to masticating elderly people in an almost empty house? Especially after you realized how much you’ll miss everyone at Downton and left on good terms with them all? With Master George saying “Don’t go, Mr. Barrow”? Even shaking hands with Bates? Well, in spite of all that, Barrow accepted the job. He is finally recovering from his Aggressive Redemption Arc.

(Side note: I do love the subtle casting of Barrow and Master George as the new Carson and Mary. As things change, more stay the same.)

Speaking of staying the same…Edith’s battle with Regressive Progress. At the start of the episode, Edith is feeling OK with her life. The magazine’s going well. She’s enrolls Marigold in a London school. A Single Mom with a Career setting a great example for her daughter that she doesn’t need a man to move up in the world. And Mary ruins her life again! She arranges to have Bertie meet Edith at The Ritz. They get back together. Donk and Cora meet Bertie’s “Morality Is Everything” Mom. Edith tells Morality Mom about Marigold. That’s it, right? “Edith is damaged goods,” MM says. That means Edith and Bertie break up again so Edith goes back to being an independent modern woman, right? Oh no, the Regressive Progress is terminal in this case. Morality Mom praises Edith for her honesty and the marriage moves forward. Edith says, “It’s so strange. I feel so completely happy.” But then during the wedding ceremony, Gregson bursts in and yells, “I’M STILL ALIVE!” (didn’t happen)(my dark side wishes it did)(keep being an editor, Edith)

Other cases of the Chronic Coupling Plague include Daisy and Andy. He starts flirting with her but she does her “mean to boys who like her” thing. Naturally, Andy takes the hint. But when Daisy sees Andy doing physical labor at Mr. Mason’s farm, she changes her tune. Suddenly, she wants to live on the Mason farm. Imagine that. She even changes her hair. Andy tells her she looks like Clara Bow and grabs a lock of her hair. Aw. The Mason Farm has a new couple…but not the only one. Mr. Mason tells Mrs. Patmore that he hopes she comes to visit a lot. She blushes and says she will. It then cuts to Sgt. Willis crying onto his empty desk. (didn’t happen)(it should have)(Willis needs the work)

Other allusions to love: Moseley and Baxter but we knew this for a long time. (Oh yeah, Baxter finally decided not to see Coyle in prison. Why did she ever consider it in the first place? Dark Side Me wanted her to go and tell Coyle, “No one will believe you that this was all part of my diabolical plan to get with a super smart footman! Bwahahaha!”  Alas.)  Also, Branson has a few conversations with Miss Edmonds, Edith’s editor. She even catches the bouquet at the wedding. Hmm. This comes as a blow to all the Branson/Henry shippers out there. (me)

Speaking of Branson and Henry, they caught the Acute Culmination flu.               Otherwise known in the layman’s terms “The Tidy Bow Syndrome” (Symptoms include “Well, that worked out”, “How lucky” and flare-ups of Fan Service). See Henry doesn’t want to race anymore because he learned that people can die in a fiery crash so he needs to find something to do.  The result: Branson & Talbot’s Motors! They are literally used car salesmen. Mary is thrilled. Because there aren’t any more episodes for her to not be.

Mary is also pregnant. And in case she is ever worried about having to give birth in her bed, Anna has taken care of testing that out. Batesby arrives! Anna’s water breaks in Mary’s bedroom so she gives birth right there. Bates runs up to meet his new baby son. Weirdly, the baby was born with prison tats. (not true)

More “Tidy Bow” victims are Donk and Cora. See Lord Grantham thinks the hospital is taking advantage of his wife with all these meetings. It couldn’t be that she enjoys her work and wants to be this involved. No way! She’s a Lady. She doesn’t need a vocation. Enter Lady Rose. (Yeah! Rose and Atticus arrive to attend the wedding. They had a baby, too. Later her dad, Shrimpie, makes a toast at the reception. Sadly, the baby was a girl and not named Shrimpie.) Rose drags Donk to a hospital meeting so he can see Cora in action. He’s proud of her. They’re happy. Tidy Bow.

The schoolmaster, Mr. Dawes, trips Sgt. Willis on his way to the set and has his one scene where he offers Moseley a full time job and a cottage. Instead of immediately accepting, Moseley thinks about it. Then he accepts but says he will help out at Downton when needed. He also promises to keep in touch with Baxter. We know that she fully intends to make that happen.

Denker finds out about Spratt’s column in Edith’s magazine and lords it over him. She then “innocently” tells the Dowager Countess about it. DC loves it! Spratt then drops the line that sums up DC, “She never likes to be predictable.”  Exactly. (This is where I take a break to see if there is a “YAS QUEEN” meme with the Dowager Countess. There’s not. Internet, I’m so disappointed.)

And finally, Lady Rosamund slips Doctor Clarkson her number.

(that didn’t happen) (it should have)

So there you have it. The series is over. Rumors persist that there will be a Downton Abbey movie. If so then it needs open like this:

Dowager Countess:  I think you’re ready.

Sybbie: Yes. Teach me your Quippy Ways.

Dowager Countess: Let us begin.

DOWNTON ABBEY: 2017 starring Maggie Smith as Sybbie.

Make it happen, Fellowes.

(Last parenthetical: Thanks to everyone who has read these recaps over the years and have taken to my snarky tone. I snark because I love. I’m going to miss the DA. Until the next British Period Piece!)