TV: Downton Abbey S3 – Episode 8 Series Finale Summary + Review

“Everyone must play cricket”

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(“I take all complaints seriously, Thomas. “)

Airing on: ITV

Genre: Family, Slice of Life, Drama, Age: All ages

Released: 16th September 2012 – onwards (UK Version)

From the previous episode, Thomas is facing a short couple of weeks before he is sent packing after the night scandal between him and James. Mr Carson feels sorry that Thomas must leave discretely after a decade of loyal service, but in these times the punishment for such acts is usually prison. Thomas’s only choice may be to leave the country…

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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A distant relative makes an appearance at Downton Abbey. Lady Rose MacClare is a peppy young girl, full of life, and makes the rest of the ladies at Downton despair at her spontaneous ways. Finding out that Edith is heading down to London to meet her newspaper editor, Rose wants to come along.

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(“Oh, have my skimpy outfits arrived yet?”)

Lady Crawley gives Ethel the letters for all the potential candidates that have applied for the maid’s job. Ethel chooses to move into her young son’s grandparent’s house. Although her identity will not be revealed as the real mother to Charlie, Ethel is grateful for the chance to see her sons grow up.

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(The cruelest punishment is picking your own replacement.)

Mr Carson is confronted by Mrs Hughes about Thomas’s abrupt dismissal. This is not the first time she has come across men of Thomas’s nature, and she claims that it was never a big secret anyway.

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(“You know other single men that have liked men before? Who?”)

Mr Bates notices that James is being purposely malicious to Thomas, and wants to know why. James is asking for an immediate dismissal for Thomas, with no reference, effectively making Thomas unemployable.

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(“If you’re being bullied, you should tell someone you trust.”)

Rose’s scandals with married man highlight the kind of inappropriate behaviour she is secretly engaging in, and she is isolated with other distant cousins.

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(“Talk to the hand, cause the face ain’t listening.”)

Thomas gives a secret to Mr Bates which helps convince the person behind James’s string, O’Brien, a chance to reverse her actions. O’Brien convinces James to back down from the Thomas’s dismissal.

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(“Maybe time in prison won’t be so bad….”)

Tom Matthew are stuck for how to manage the estate affairs, and both are finding themselves facing an irritate Lord Grantham. With the local cricket match looming, this might be the time for the three men to bond over the game.

Mary and Matthew see each other at a health clinic, both discussing their fertility, which the doctor’s reassure them is perfectly fine.

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(This is what Matthew gets for saving Downton. Nothing.)

James may have backed down at the recommendation of O’Brien, but Alfred can’t forgive the horrors that he encountered.

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(“What? You trying to hit on me too? I’m telling Mr Carson, I’m not having this!”)

Tom practices cricket seemingly for the first time in his life, in a bid to win over Lord Grantham.

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(Tom is pretty poor at hitting the ball)

Edith meanwhile find out that her flirtatious newspaper editor is also married, although he’s still putting the moves on. Edith finds herself caught unaware, and has to end this relationship.

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(Everyone faces grass stains on their bums)

At the cricket match, things are going well for the house team, with Lord Grantham congratulating Thomas on his cricket skills. Tom is also making great progress in Lord Grantham’s eyes.

The fun is cut short when policemen arrive to speak to Thomas, about his illegal affairs. Lord Grantham immediately comes up with the plan to make Alfred apologise and say that he was mistaken. James is promoted to First Footman for his silence. The policemen leave.

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(“‘Ello ‘ello ‘ello! We’re here to arrest the gay man…”)

The cricket match ends well, and there is a sense of comradely between the members of Downtom Abbey. Whatever obstacles they have faced in recent times, they have overcome.

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(“Good work everyone. The poor village stood no chance against us. Till next year…”)

Overall, the final episode of this series went out with a floppy, wet trail.The whole episode starts off with cricket, and ends with a match that the viewer will never see. It has little-to-nothing to do with the character issues as a whole, but Lord Grantham spoke as if it was the event of the century.

As controversial as Thomas’s situation was, I felt rather annoyed that everyone was very understanding and modern. In a way, it heartened me to hear that Mrs Hughes and Lord Grantham were very compassionate, and fully understood that Thomas couldn’t help his sexuality. However, it didn’t really add to dramatic tension or anything. It felt like Alfred and James were pushing against a brick wall at many points.

Just to make matters worse, several stories seemed ripped out of other classic books. Particularly, Lady Edith and the newspaper Editor, Michael Gregson seemed a copy and paste act from Jane Eyre. Let me see, plain old Edith (a.k.a Jane) finds a rich older man, Michael (a.k.a Mr Rochester), who is married. But wait! He has a crazy wife, who he loves dearly, but hasn’t been in a right stare of mind for a couple of years, so he keeps her locked away…

Lady Rose, who I have never remembered as a character if she’s graced the stories of Downton before, is seriously one of the most annoying girls I can imagine. Just when you think her gaping grin can’t annoy you enough, she turns out to have less moral standards too. The ladies at Downton are so refined, and it felt icky to come across Rose grinding with a man in a hazy, jazzy club.

The list of complaints for this episode may be too long, but I did genuinely enjoy this series. The third series has more shallower plots, and seemed to be grasping for new material at some points, but I do love these characters.

I’m not sure what will happen with series four, or if there is even going to be a series four… Dan Steven, a.k.a Matthew Crawley, has decided that he wishes to exit the show. Will he around for connecting episode, or will he just be excused. Killed off in come accident? After he’s survived the war? Surely not.

Rated 3.5/5 – Sloppy end to an otherwise satisfying series.

— THIS SERIES HAS ENDED

See the previous episode!

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