Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Downton Abbey Season 3 Finale (UK Christmas Special)

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!


  1. "Nooooooo! Not Matthew!" - these were the words from your 11 year old niece during the last scene of tonight's episode. Julia said that it was terrible to have two deaths in one season, and how awful it was they they followed two births. The baby doesn't even have a name yet, and has already lost his father ... thus, I had to explain yet another grim fact of life: writing an actor out of a part when he wants to leave a successful television series!
    And now, my loving husband (who has seen all 3 seasons of Downton Abbey since Christmastime) has expressed a bit of relief that we will have to wait until 2014 until we have another installment of Downton Abbey on this side of the pond. Perhaps seeing 3 seasons in seven weeks or so was too much! He's OD'd a bit on Julian Fellowes world ...
    It was a fabulous episode, however. Loved the costumes (now that we're getting into the 1920's) and the fabulous travel shots of Scotland were breathtaking! A virtual vacation tonight!
    Until Season 4 ...
    Love, Big Sister

    1. Oh, poor Julia! Or should I say rather poor Paul! They both have a very long wait until we get more Downton. Has Julia seen Northanger Abbey or the new Emma yet? I think she might like those. Her Auntie will have to think of other films to keep her going until next January.
      It does make you want to go to Scotland doesn't it? Mmmmmmmmmm! Yes, and what will the baby be named? Please, not Matthew. Can't we call him little Robert? Robbie? Robert Matthew?
      And if they don't start a traveling show of those costumes soon, I will be very displeased!

  2. When I saw this episode on Christmas Day, I was so sad and cross at the ending! I loved Dan Stevens as Matthew! IMO, Mary and Matthew weren't together long enough before Matthew died. Finally after 2 Series of 'will they/won't they' they get married and have a baby boy then Matthew dies. My parents said, 'No one will die. It's Christmas Day.' I then had a rant after the show, Jenny. xx

    1. I am not surprised at your reaction. I know you were a Mary and Matthew fan. We can't blame Julian Fellowes, but I suppose he could have waited to kill him off next season. Terrible timing for Christmas. At least it was mid Feb for us!
      I am glad we get at least one more season. Do you think Edith will live in sin with her editor? I kind of hope so! And maybe Mary will be kinder now that she has lost her love. I can't believe we have to wait again now. Time to buy the DVD I suppose!

    2. I am looking forward to Series 4. Maybe Mary will have a new suitor and become nicer to everyone? I also really hope that Edith is happy next series and gets married to the editor somehow? At least we can watch the wonderful and romantic proposal between Matthew and Mary again and again! ;) I recommend buying the DVD then you can have a Downton fix whenever you like. xx

  3. Despite trying to avoid spoilers I came across a headline of something in the Telegraph or Guardian so I knew Matthew was going to die this season. But did that stop me from tearing up at his death? Of course not. Admittedly I cried more when Branson burst into tears. I love that Julian Fellowes isn't afraid of letting his men cry.
    I was delighted to see 'Oscar Wilde' (from Lillie) as Shrimpie.

    1. I kind of lost it when the baby grabbed Mary's finger at the end. And Mrs. Hughes is really holding things together at Downton isn't she? That was a moving scene with her and Tom Branson. I loved Carson and baby Sybil too.

      I haven't seen Peter Egan/Shrimpie as Oscar Wilde (sounds good) but I did see him in Death at a Funeral. :)

  4. I have just discovered your have I missed it before? New follower here!

    I avoided all spoilers from the UK for season three (although I did get a hint about Sybil) so Matthew's demise was a shock. Of course, I had to research. It seems he told them from the outset that he would do three, and only three, seasons. Still, it makes me so sad he's gone. I think, knowing Dan Stevens was leaving at the end of the season, they could have spared Sybil. But, I do love what they're doing with Branson's character. He will have to be the man to carry out Matthew's vision for Downton. Right now, I have no heart for Season 4 but I'm sure it will return as the time gets nearer. I've decided, however, that I'm not averse to spoilers for this show. I need fair warning next time! I agree with you about the costuming for this season. Emmy Awards all around!

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