SPOILER ALERT! This post is intended for those who have already seen Season 3 Episode 7 Finale!
Fare thee well Matthew Crawley! You have provided a male heir for Downton Abbey and now the actor who portrays you (Dan Stevens) wants to cross the pond and take his chances in Hollywood, so there was no other option for Julian Fellowes. We really can't blame him after all. What other options were there? And perhaps it was for the best. Now Mary can get another great story line (more along the Pamuk line, less along the gotta get preggers line) and we can shake things up at the Abbey. She'll be like a Princess Regent for her little baby boy and now she'll be locking horns with Lord Grantham herself!
But I have to say, other than the ending, I really enjoyed this episode. We finally got to meet the wonderfully named "Shrimpie" and his dour wife, "Snarkie" (OK, I can't remember her name offhand). We got to travel to Scotland and pretend we were stalking deer with the Royal Family at Balmoral. To be honest, one of the reasons we love this show is because it's like spying on the friends and family of the British Royals, right?
We got to see the downstairs crowd kick up their heels once the family left (and once Carson calmed down and let up on the silver polishing). Mrs. Patmore's lecherous suitor made a hilarious change this week and I am really enjoying the camaraderie between Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughs. Nothing like a cancer scare to cement a friendship! And even Daisy and Ivy might be BFFs too after this week. However, good riddance to the new chamber maid Edna. Her teeth were too big anyway!
Poor Molesley was the goofball again in this episode, however I did really enjoy O'Brien's line about Shrimpie's wife Susan (just remembered it!) needing more body and volume. But did Ms.Vidal Sassoon bring some mousse or a hair dryer?
Certainly, Lord Grantham was looking at Cora with a bit more respect and admiration after hanging at Shrimpie's for a weekend.
Hugh 'Shrimpie' MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire: Love is like riding or speaking French: if you don't learn it young, it's hard to get the trick of it later.
At least we had a normal birth (you were holding your breath too, weren't you?) and Matthew and Mary got one lovely scene as a family with their new little Lord G. Sigh! I do like the maternity wear on Mary too. Actually the costumes and the photography in this last installment for Season 3 were breathtaking. Sigh!
Countess Violet: Edith dear, stop fascinating that young man and come make a four at bridge.
Michael Gregson: Ediith, my basic fact is that I'm in love with you. You know that already.
Shrimpie's Man Neald: His lordship was born with a rod in one hand and a gun in the other.
Shrimpie: That sounds rather uncomfortable.
Mrs. Patmore: No man has wanted to squire me since the Golden Jubilee. Even then, he expected me to buy the drinks.
Joss Tufton: I love to be in love Mrs. Hughs. I'll not deny it. Anytime. Anyplace. I love to be in love.
Countess Violet: That is the thing about nature. There is so much of it.
Lady Flincher: She looks like a slut.
Countess Violet: Heavens, that's not a word you often hear among the heather.
Countess Violet: Poor soul. It's bad enough parenting a child when you like each other.
Countess Violet: No one can accuse me of being modern, but even I can see it's no crime to be young.
Mr. Bates: Beer? That's very racy of you!
Anna Bates: I am racy.
Lord Grantham: They do say there's a wild man inside all of us.
Countess Violet: If only he would stay inside.
Matthew: I feel like I swallowed a box of fireworks.
And here is a wonderful interview with Maggie Smith on 60 minutes tonight. I laughed through the whole thing!