List of Downton Abbey episodes

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Downton Abbey is a British period drama television series created by Julian Fellowes and co-produced by Carnival Films and Masterpiece.[1] It first aired on ITV in the United Kingdom on 26 September 2010, and on PBS in the United States on 9 January 2011, as part of the Masterpiece Classic anthology. Six series have been made, the sixth airing in the autumn of 2015 in the UK and Ireland, and in January 2016 in the United States. On 26 March 2015, the sixth series was confirmed to be the final series,[2] with the final episode airing in the UK on 25 December 2015 on ITV. During the course of the programme 52 episodes of Downton Abbey aired over six series.

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired Ave. UK viewers
(millions)[3]
First aired Last aired
1 7 26 September 2010 (2010-09-26) 7 November 2010 (2010-11-07) 9.70
2 8 (+1) 18 September 2011 (2011-09-18) 6 November 2011 (2011-11-06)
25 December 2011 (special)
11.68
3 8 (+1) 16 September 2012 (2012-09-16) 4 November 2012 (2012-11-04)
25 December 2012 (special)
11.91
4 8 (+1) 22 September 2013 (2013-09-22) 10 November 2013 (2013-11-10)
25 December 2013 (special)
11.84
5 8 (+1) 21 September 2014 (2014-09-21) 9 November 2014 (2014-11-09)
25 December 2014 (special)
10.40
6 8 (+1) 20 September 2015 (2015-09-20) 8 November 2015 (2015-11-08)
25 December 2015 (special)
10.42

Episode list[edit]

Series 1 (2010)[edit]

Series 1
No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
1 1 "Episode One" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 26 September 2010 (2010-09-26) 9.25
2 2 "Episode Two" Ben Bolt Julian Fellowes 3 October 2010 (2010-10-03) 9.97
3 3 "Episode Three" Ben Bolt Julian Fellowes 10 October 2010 (2010-10-10) 8.97
4 4 "Episode Four" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes, Shelagh Stephenson 17 October 2010 (2010-10-17) 9.70
5 5 "Episode Five" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes 24 October 2010 (2010-10-24) 9.40
6 6 "Episode Six" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes, Tina Pepler 31 October 2010 (2010-10-31) 9.84
7 7 "Episode Seven" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 7 November 2010 (2010-11-07) 10.77

Series 2 (2011)[edit]

Series 2
No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
8 1 "Episode One" Ashley Pearce Julian Fellowes 18 September 2011 (2011-09-18) 11.41
9 2 "Episode Two" Ashley Pearce Julian Fellowes 25 September 2011 (2011-09-25) 11.77[nb 1]
10 3 "Episode Three" Andy Goddard Julian Fellowes 2 October 2011 (2011-10-02) 11.33[nb 2]
11 4 "Episode Four" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes 9 October 2011 (2011-10-09) 11.30[nb 3]
12 5 "Episode Five" Brian Kelly Julian Fellowes 16 October 2011 (2011-10-16) 11.59[nb 4]
13 6 "Episode Six" Andy Goddard Julian Fellowes 23 October 2011 (2011-10-23) 11.33[nb 5]
14 7 "Episode Seven" James Strong Julian Fellowes 30 October 2011 (2011-10-30) 12.26[nb 6]
15 8 "Episode Eight" James Strong Julian Fellowes 6 November 2011 (2011-11-06) 12.45[nb 7]
Christmas special
No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
16 "Christmas at Downton Abbey" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 25 December 2011 (2011-12-25) 12.11[nb 8]

Series 3 (2012)[edit]

ITV confirmed the commissioning of a third series on 3 November 2011.[29] It entered production in early 2012, and began airing 16 September 2012 on ITV[29] and aired in the United States beginning 6 January 2013.[30]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
17 1 "Episode One" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 16 September 2012 (2012-09-16) 11.43[nb 9]
7.9 (PBS)[34]
March/April 1920. Cora's mother, Martha Levinson, sweeps into Downton for Matthew and Mary's wedding, aggravating the Dowager Countess (among others) with her critical and "revolutionary" American way of seeing things. Lord Grantham learns that his massive investment of Cora's fortune in the Grand Trunk Railway has failed, leaving the estate near bankrupt. Salvation is possible, as Matthew is entitled to inherit a large amount of money from Lavinia's father, but his scruples will not let him keep the money, feeling it a betrayal to Lavinia and her father since he believes her father died thinking he loved Lavinia; whereas Lavinia knew of his love for Mary just before she died. Meanwhile, O'Brien's nephew Alfred joins the staff downstairs and struggles to satisfy Carson's high standards, made worse by Thomas's jealous behaviour. Sybil and her husband, Tom Branson, return to Downton to a muted response, particularly as Branson remains highly vocal about his political beliefs. Matthew repairs things when he chooses Branson to be his best man, and despite hesitance the night before, Matthew and Mary are married.
18 2 "Episode Two" Brian Percival Julian Fellowes 23 September 2012 (2012-09-23) 12.08[nb 10]
April 1920. With the future of Downton hanging in the balance, Mary and the Dowager Countess conspire to show Downton at its grandest to persuade Mrs Levinson to give Downton more money and save them from financial ruin. Their attempts are impeded by the oven breaking down, giving Mrs Levinson a chance to take over running the party herself in radical fashion. She reveals, when finally asked for help, that though she will "entertain them in New York" she cannot provide them with money, as her own late husband tied it up in the estate, much as Violet's did. She tells them they have to adapt to the changing world, and states her intent to return to America. Meanwhile downstairs, O'Brien and Thomas wage war against one another due to Alfred's recent promotion to valet to Matthew, whilst Mrs Levinson's maid takes a shine to Alfred. Mrs Hughes faces a cancer scare that she shares only with Mrs Patmore and Doctor Clarkson, and Isobel Crawley finds that Ethel has become a prostitute. Edith actively pursues Anthony Strallan as a potential husband and he proposes, despite the reservations of the other family members that he is too old.
19 3 "Episode Three" Andy Goddard Julian Fellowes 30 September 2012 (2012-09-30) 11.96[nb 11]
May 1920. Matthew receives a letter that Lavinia's late father left for him. He writes that he knew how Matthew broke Lavinia's heart and still wants him to have his money. Matthew finally agrees to accept it, saving Downton. Lord Grantham refuses to accept the money as a gift, instead insisting that he and Matthew become joint masters of Downton. Edith's wedding day arrives and Downton Abbey makes preparations to host a lavish reception, but as Edith reaches the altar Strallan changes his mind and calls off the wedding; his reasons are never fully explained. Mrs Hughes finally receives the news that she does not have cancer, which visibly relieves both Mr Carson and Mrs Patmore. Thomas tries to get revenge on O'Brien by spreading a rumour to the family that she will be leaving Downton. Bates's cellmate tries to get him into trouble by planting drugs in his bunk, but Bates is warned in time by another inmate.
20 4 "Episode Four" Andy Goddard Julian Fellowes 7 October 2012 (2012-10-07) 11.83[nb 12]
May 1920. When an aristocrat's home in Ireland is burned to the ground, Branson is found to have been at the burning and is wanted by the police. He escapes to Downton Abbey without Sybil, and the Crawleys are outraged. Sybil eventually returns to Downton safely, and Lord Grantham is able to convince the Home Secretary to allow Branson to remain in England, though he will be arrested if he returns to Ireland. Anna has not received any letters from Bates and is no longer allowed to visit; similarly Bates wonders why Anna's letters and visits have stopped. When Bates falls back into the prison guards' favour, he and Anna receive their missing letters. Ethel decides to let her son live with his grandparents so he can have a better life. Carson recruits a new footman, Jimmy Kent, who attracts the attention of the female staff and Thomas. Ivy Stuart, the new kitchen maid, draws Alfred's attention away from Daisy. Edith writes to the newspaper supporting more widespread women's suffrage.
21 5 "Episode Five" Jeremy Webb Julian Fellowes 14 October 2012 (2012-10-14) 11.93[nb 13]
May 1920. Edith is asked to write a regular newspaper column. She is excited about the opportunity, but most of the family is not supportive. Isobel helps Ethel by offering her a job as a servant; however, Mrs Bird refuses to work with Ethel and consequently leaves. The new maid Ivy draws Alfred's interest and receives Daisy's resentment. Matthew believes that Robert has been mismanaging the estate and finds an ally in George Murray, the family solicitor. Mary is angry when she discovers that Matthew has been discussing this without her father, Lord Grantham, present. Sybil goes into labour and Lord Grantham hires a famous obstetrician, Sir Philip Tapsel, upsetting Dr Clarkson and Cora. The two doctors disagree over Sybil's care, Dr Clarkson insisting that Sybil is suffering from eclampsia and should be taken to hospital but Sir Philip arguing that Sybil is fit and healthy. Despite the disagreement Sybil delivers a girl and all seems well; however, during the night she goes into convulsions and dies. The next day Cora seems to blame her husband for the death, because of his refusal to accept Dr Clarkson's argument that Sybil was ill.
22 6 "Episode Six" Jeremy Webb Julian Fellowes 21 October 2012 (2012-10-21) 12.06[nb 14]
May/June 1920. Branson decides to name his daughter Sybil and wants to baptise her as a Catholic, to both of which Lord Grantham is firmly opposed. However, Mary and the rest of the family defend Branson's decision. To repair Cora and Robert's marriage, Violet pressures Dr Clarkson into retracting his assertion that Sybil might have survived had she undergone a Caesarean section; he tells Cora and Robert that Sybil would have died either way, and Cora forgives Robert. Anna finds evidence that might prove Bates innocent, but another prisoner threatens his chances of freedom, after Bates threatens the inmate. Nevertheless, George Murray is able to get Bates a release date. Daisy is upset that Alfred is paying a lot of attention to Ivy. Ethel prepares a luncheon for the Crawley women and gets Mrs Patmore to help. When Lord Grantham finds out about the luncheon, he is outraged that Isobel would let a former prostitute serve lunch to his family. However, Cora and the women ignore his protests.
23 7 "Episode Seven" David Evans Julian Fellowes 28 October 2012 (2012-10-28) 11.82[nb 15]
July 1920. Bates is freed from prison, to the resentment of Thomas. Persuaded by O'Brien that Jimmy likes him, Thomas makes a midnight visit to Jimmy's room. He kisses him as he sleeps—just as Alfred enters the room after coming from a date with Ivy. Jimmy is outraged and disgusted; so is Alfred. Branson plans to baptise baby Sybil a Catholic. While Lord Grantham discourages Edith's desire to become a journalist, Violet supports her granddaughter. Edith goes to London to meet a magazine editor, and accepts his offer for a weekly column. Branson's drunkard brother comes to Downton. Matthew continues to confront Lord Grantham about the estate's mismanagement, leading to the resignation of the family's long time agent Jarvis. Tom is appointed as the new family agent at Violet's suggestion. Miss Sybil Branson is baptised at a Catholic Church in Ripon with the whole Crawley family in attendance.
24 8 "Episode Eight" David Evans Julian Fellowes 4 November 2012 (2012-11-04) 12.15[nb 16]
Before 11 August 1920. Downton Abbey's annual cricket match with the village takes place, bringing out Lord Grantham's competitive side. Everyone persuades Jimmy not to complain to the police, but Alfred, who witnessed the incident, does so, and CID officers arrive to see him; Lord Grantham gets Alfred to back down, and uses his authority to persuade the police that it was all a misunderstanding. Violet's great niece, Lady Rose MacClare—the daughter of Violet's niece, Susan, Marchioness of Flintshire and her husband, Hugh, Marquess of Flintshire—visits. A trip to London reveals that there is more to Rose than meets the eye: she's a wild girl who likes to drink and party. Mary and Matthew discover they have separately been visiting a London doctor to find out why they have had no children; Mary reveals she has had a small operation, and they now look forward to starting a family.

2012 Christmas special[edit]

No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
25 "A Journey to the Highlands" Andy Goddard Julian Fellowes 25 December 2012 (2012-12-25) 10.28[nb 17]

August 1921. The Crawley family heads north, to Duneagle Castle in Scotland, the ancestral home of the MacClare family, to visit Lady Rose and her warring parents, Hugh ("Shrimpy") and Susan, the Marquess and Marchioness of Flintshire. Bates, Anna, Molesley, and O'Brien also make the trip. Michael Gregson, the man who hired Lady Edith on at the newspaper, tells her that he is going to be in Scotland as well. After Edith informs her family of this, Mary and Matthew disagree about Gregson's motives. Gregson later declares his feelings for Edith and hopes to find an ally in Matthew. Shrimpy tells Lord Grantham that he will have to sell his estate because he did not modernise it like Downton and now the money is all gone. Tom remains at Downton with one-year-old Sybbie. The staff looks forward to the approaching country fair, and Carson struggles to keep them concentrating on work.

A new housemaid, Edna, joins the staff and is quickly fired after Mrs Hughes discovers her getting too close to Tom. Mrs Patmore becomes involved in a budding romance, but unfortunately it does not last as she realises he is only interested in her cooking. At the country fair, the Downton staff win the tug of war. Jimmy is nearly robbed after winning money from betting on the tug of war, but is saved by Thomas, who was following him and is robbed and beaten in his place. They later agree just to be friends. Lady Mary returns early from Scotland and goes into labour, rushing to Cottage Hospital to deliver her healthy baby. Matthew soon joins her and meets his son and heir, but after he leaves the hospital to drive back to Downton Abbey, he is killed in a car accident.[56][57][58]

Series 4 (2013)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
26 1 "Episode One" David Evans Julian Fellowes 22 September 2013 (2013-09-22) 11.96[nb 18]

February 1922. Six months on, a distraught Lady Mary mourns Matthew, and feels little motherly love for baby George, now six months old. Lord Grantham and Branson dispute the management of the estate and struggle to pay death duties. Miss O'Brien suddenly leaves to serve Lady Flintshire, on her way to India. Needing a maid in a hurry, Cora hires former maid Edna, who has trained as a lady's maid, on the strength of the reference which Tom persuaded Mrs Hughes to give her; Carson and Mrs Hughes see trouble ahead, and warn Tom to keep his distance.

Miss West, the nanny of George and Sybbie, Mary's son and Tom's daughter, respectively, acts insolently with Thomas, and the underbutler lets Cora know of her tendency to leave them to their own devices. When she overhears Miss West insulting Sybbie by calling her a "chauffeur's daughter" and a "wicked little cross-breed", Cora fires her on the spot. Cora later praises Thomas for bringing the issue to her attention.

Mr Molesley has lost his job following Matthew's death; the Dowager Countess tries to help him by letting him serve at a luncheon for a friend who needs a butler, but her own butler, fearing he is to be replaced, sabotages his efforts, making him appear clumsy and inexperienced. The servants are excited by Valentine's Day, and Mrs Patmore struggles to deal with an electric whisk. Tom asks Carson to talk to Mary to bring her out of her shell, to help him implement the changes Matthew started; he does, but she regards it as impertinence. She later apologises to Carson, has a good cry in his arms, and the episode ends with her joining the tenants' luncheon, no longer dressed in black, ready to tackle the problems of the estate.
27 2 "Episode Two" David Evans Julian Fellowes 29 September 2013 (2013-09-29) 12.10[nb 19]
March 1922. A letter is found from Matthew, appointing Mary his sole heir; Lord Grantham is displeased by this, and prefers Mary be uninvolved in managing the estate – he wants sole charge. Violet secretly supports Mary, and urges her to learn the business from Tom. Discovering that Molesley has fallen on hard times, is working as a labourer, and has debts, Bates gets money from the Dowager Countess, and pretends he is paying back Molesley for an earlier loan. Lady Rose and Anna attend a tea dance in York that is for the servant class; Rose dances with an under-gardener, but when another man tries to cut in, a fight ensues; Rose and Anna quickly exit. Lord Grantham announces that his solicitor has confirmed that Matthew's letter is as good as a Will, and everyone urges him to include Mary in running the estate.
28 3 "Episode Three" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 6 October 2013 (2013-10-06) 11.86[nb 20]
April 1922. A house party is held, including a performance by Dame Nellie Melba (Kiri Te Kanawa). Carson feels it is inappropriate for an 'Australian singer' – however eminent – to dine with the family, and proposes to serve her dinner in her bedroom; Cora is outraged, and insists Dame Nellie join them. Lady Mary renews an acquaintance with the suave Lord Gillingham, who flirts with her. Lord Gillingham's valet Mr Green is overly-familiar with Anna, and during Dame Nellie's performance he violently assaults and rapes her in the servants' hall. Another guest, Lord Sampson, wins heavily at poker; Mr Gregson, Edith's publisher friend, believes him to be a card sharp, and uses his own poker skills to win back everyone's money. Tom feels uncomfortable amongst all the toffs; Edna takes advantage by getting him drunk and sneaking into his bedroom afterwards. Anna makes Mrs Hughes promise to tell no one, including Bates, about the rape, fearing Bates will kill Green and be hanged for it.
29 4 "Episode Four" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 13 October 2013 (2013-10-13) 11.75[nb 21]
April 1922. Tom regrets his dalliance with Edna, who now claims she could be pregnant and wants him to marry her. He asks Mrs Hughes for help; she discovers Edna used contraception and confronts her. Her plot foiled, Edna leaves Downton. Lady Rose accompanies Mary and Tom to London where they stay with Lady Rosamund, who has sneakily invited Lord Gillingham and Bullock to join them. They go to a jazz club, where Bullock gets drunk and abandons Rose on the dance floor. Jack Ross, the club's black singer, rescues Rose and dances with her, to others' discomfort. Anna, feeling unworthy of Bates, grows distant and moves back into the main house, leaving him bewildered. Michael Gregson is about to depart for Germany; if he becomes a German citizen, he may be able to divorce his insane wife. Lady Rosamund discovers that Edith spent the night with Gregson, and warns her about damaging her reputation. Lord Gillingham follows Mary back from London and proposes marriage. She refuses, saying she is still grieving Matthew's death.
30 5 "Episode Five" Philip John Julian Fellowes 20 October 2013 (2013-10-20) 11.39[nb 22]
May 1922. Alfred applies to a chef training program at The Ritz, under Escoffier, but is turned down. Carson considers re-hiring Mr Molesley if Alfred leaves, but Molesley, unhappy at being demoted to a footman, dithers too long over the offer, and loses the opportunity. Thomas pressures Cora's new lady's maid, Baxter, to spy on everyone for him. When a tenant farmer dies owing significant back rent, Mary and Tom want to end the lease and run the farm themselves. The farmer's son appeals directly to Lord Grantham, who agrees he can continue to farm. Cora has to persuade a nervous Mrs Patmore to exchange their ice-box for a refrigerator. Edith visits a London doctor. Tom considers moving to America. Bates continues to pressure Anna to explain her behavior. He tells Mrs Hughes he will resign if she refuses to tell him the truth about Anna; Mrs Hughes tells him that a stranger broke into the servants' hall and raped Anna. Bates tells Anna that he loves her more than ever, and they reconcile. When Mrs Hughes tells him she is happy the matter is all over, Bates makes it clear that it is not – he suspects Green committed the crime. The Dowager Countess employs a new gardener as a favour to Mrs Crawley but suspects that he stole items while working inside the house.
31 6 "Episode Six" Philip John Julian Fellowes 27 October 2013 (2013-10-27) 11.54
June 1922. Alfred leaves Downton when he wins a place for the Ritz chef training after another candidate drops out. Carson is not keen for Molesley to replace Alfred, even when Molesley begs for his job back; Mrs Hughes convinces Carson, and Molesley is re-hired. Edith, worried over no news of Gregson, also learns she is pregnant. Bates and Anna go to dinner at a posh hotel where a snooty maître d' tries to bar them; fortunately, Cora is there, and ensures they are admitted. Isobel finds the item the Dowager Countess thought the gardener had stolen; Isobel is ready to continue berating her about it until the Dowager reveals that she has already apologised to the young man and re-hired him. Rose arranges for the jazz club band to play at Robert's birthday. Carson is scandalised to see Jack, the black singer, at Downton Abbey, but later calms down. Lord Grantham and the family are also surprised to varying degrees. After the party, Mary sees Rose and Jack kissing in the servants' hall. Government inspectors arrive to inspect the estate: Mr Napier, an old friend of Lady Mary, and Mr Blake, an acerbic liberal who politely clashes with her.
32 7 "Episode Seven" Ed Hall Julian Fellowes 3 November 2013 (2013-11-03) 11.93
July 1922. Robert leaves for America to bail Cora's playboy brother out of trouble. Mary, told by Mrs Hughes about what happened to Anna, persuades Robert to take Thomas with him as his valet instead of Bates, leaving Bates to support Anna. The Dowager Countess falls ill with bronchitis, and is nursed by a selfless Isobel, who cheerfully ignores her patient's snippy comments. Tom attends a council meeting to pursue his passion for politics, and meets a chirpy young woman. Mary and Mr Blake inspect the newly arrived pigs; finding them dehydrated and near death, they haul buckets of water together, getting muddy and exhausted, though rather enjoying it. Edith and Rose go to London, where Rose continues to pursue her romantic relationship with Jack, the black nightclub singer; Edith decides to have an abortion, but backs out at the last minute. Lord Gillingham and his valet Green arrive at Downton, and Mrs Hughes tells Green that she knows what he did and warns him to stay clear of Anna whilst there. During the servants' dinner, Green is rash enough to reveal that he went to the servants' hall during Dame Nellie's recital, earning him a menacing stare from Bates.
33 8 "Episode Eight" Ed Hall Julian Fellowes 10 November 2013 (2013-11-10) 12.16
August 1922. Edith wants a tenant farmer and his wife to care for her baby, but Lady Rosamund suggests she go abroad to Switzerland, and give up the baby there instead. The Dowager Countess learns the truth, and offers Edith money. Tom sees Rose and Jack in a tea-shop in the village: worried about the potential fallout, informs Mary. She warns Rose off, and then goes to see Jack in London; he already decided to break off the relationship, to spare Rose future trouble and embarrassment. Alfred proposes to Ivy, but begins appreciating Daisy's loyalty after Ivy refuses him. Daisy is confused over her feelings, but gives Alfred up, and he leaves for good. Miss Baxter befriends the lugubrious Molesley, seeking information for Thomas, but they begin to like each other. Lord Gillingham, who is ending his engagement – but has not yet told his fiancée – visits briefly, still pursuing Mary; she has learned about Green's crime and wants Gillingham to dismiss the valet, which he agrees to do. The church bazaar is held, organised by Cora; during it, Lord Grantham arrives unexpectedly, as does Lord Gillingham, to tell Mary that Green was killed in a road accident in Piccadilly. Anna realizes that Bates had the same day off, supposedly to go to York, and he will not say what he was doing there.

2013 Christmas special[edit]

No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
34 "The London Season" Jon East Julian Fellowes 25 December 2013 (2013-12-25) 9.4[nb 23]

August 1923: The Granthams move to their London residence for Rose's debutante ball and presentation at court, bringing most servants. They are joined by Cora's brother, Harold, and mother, Martha, from the United States. Lord Gillingham and Mr Blake attend, both still courting Mary, and mutually antagonistic. Tom and Thomas initially remain at Downton. Tom unexpectedly meets with Sarah Bunting, who asks for a tour of Downton Abbey. When they go to the upstairs gallery, Thomas sees them and later in London tells Lord Grantham about the incident, insinuating Tom took Sarah to a bedroom. Tom later tells Lord Grantham the truth of the matter.

At a party, Rose's indiscretion leads to card-sharp, Mr Sampson, stealing a letter from the Prince of Wales to his mistress, Freda Dudley Ward, from her handbag. Rose tells Lord Grantham, who asks the family to retrieve it and prevent scandal. He invites Sampson to a poker party, and asks Bates if he knows a forger who could fake a note from Sampson to his building's porter granting admission to his flat. Bates forges it himself, and Mary, Rose, and Charles Blake search his flat, but cannot find the letter. As the players leave, Bates picks Sampson's coat pocket and retrieves it. Mrs Hughes finds a train ticket in Bates's coat for York to London on the day Green died. She tells Mary, and they agree to keep quiet; later Mary has an attack of conscience, and burns the ticket. At the ball, Gillingham surprises Mary by revealing Mr Blake is actually cousin and heir to a very wealthy baronet with a large estate, and thus the more eligible bachelor. Mary confronts Blake about this; he replies that he wanted to win her by himself—it will be a fair fight with Gillingham. Edith has given birth to a girl. Rosamund arranged the child's adoption in Switzerland, but against Rosamund's protestations, Edith reverts to her original plan and arranges the baby girl's placement with a tenant farmer, Mr Drewe of Yew Tree Farm, keeping her parentage secret, due to the girl's illegitimacy. It is reported that Gregson was last seen confronting political thugs in brown shirts. Harold is impressed by the food served and requests his valet Ethan find an English cook for his American household. Attracted to Daisy, Ethan offers her the job, but she declines; Ivy volunteers instead. The Countess offers the servants a fun day out; Carson is persuaded by Mrs Hughes to choose a day at the seaside. Thomas makes a last effort to squeeze Miss Baxter for scandal but, encouraged by Molesley's support, she defies him. Mrs Hughes entices Carson to go wading in the surf, holding her hand for support.

Series 5 (2014)[edit]

The fifth series began airing on ITV in the United Kingdom on 21 September 2014 and on PBS in the United States on 4 January 2015.[80]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
35 1 "Episode One" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 21 September 2014 (2014-09-21) 10.71

February 1924: Both Robert and Carson are upset by the election of a Labour government (22 January 1924). The villagers want to build a war memorial, and ask Carson to head the committee; he accepts, on condition that Robert is made patron. Lady Edith has had no word from Michael Gregson for several months, which upsets her further at being unable to participate in the life of her one/two-year-old illegitimate daughter Marigold, who is being raised by a tenant farmer's family at Yew Tree Farm. Tom Branson grows closer to school-teacher Sarah Bunting, which displeases Robert, who resents her vocal liberal political views. Daisy studies mathematics to improve herself, to Carson's disapproval. Lord Merton pursues Isobel, who is uninterested. Violet organises tea with Lord Merton and Isobel, but when she realises Isobel marrying Lord Merton would mean a shift in their social status, she also invites the widowed Lady Shackleton and Dr Clarkson in an attempt to separate Lord Merton and Isobel. During luncheon she rebukes her pompous butler, Spratt, for refusing to serve coffee to Dr Clarkson.

Molesley dyes his hair to appear more attractive to Miss Baxter. When under-butler Thomas attempts to blackmail Miss Baxter, Molesley advises her to tell Lady Cora about her past; Baxter reveals that she was sentenced for her stealing from a previous employer. When the thwarted Thomas tries to expose Baxter to Cora, she rebuffs him. Miss Bunting is invited to Robert and Cora's 34th wedding anniversary, but causes dissent with her anti-aristocracy comments. Lady Mary agrees to have a secret affair with Lord Gillingham. Thomas rescues Lady Edith from a fire in her bedroom, restoring him to Cora's good graces. While checking the bedrooms, Robert discovers Jimmy in bed with Lady Anstruther, who leaves before morning; Robert instructs Carson to dismiss Jimmy, but with a good reference to avoid scandal.
36 2 "Episode Two" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 28 September 2014 (2014-09-28) 10.46

April 1924: After Jimmy's departure, Molesley is the only footman. Thomas reveals Miss Baxter's crime to Molesley; Baxter confirms everything, but withholds the reason for her theft. She had not told Cora either, leaving Cora undecided about Baxter. Suave art historian Simon Bricker (Richard E. Grant) arrives to view a painting. He flirts with Cora, and Robert considers him a bounder. Bricker is accompanied by Charles Blake, who concedes that Mary prefers Tony Gillingham. There is disagreement over where to place a village war memorial, but after an encounter with a local war widow and her son, Carson concedes to Lord Grantham that a cross in the village green is more appropriate than his own proposal. Mary asks Anna to procure her a birth control device for her tryst with Gillingham. Tenant farmer Mr Drewe suggests Edith become Marigold's patroness, allowing her to visit her daughter more often. However, Mrs Drewe, unaware of Marigold's parentage, resents Edith's interference.

Mrs Patmore asks Miss Bunting to tutor Daisy. Violet and Isobel visit Lord Merton's country estate, and genteelly snipe at each other. Robert opposes getting a wireless, but he rents one when King George V (voiced by Jon Glover) broadcasts a speech from the British Empire Exhibition (23 April 1924) so that everyone can listen. The local police Sergeant arrives, and tells Carson and Mrs Hughes that inquiries must be made, as there was a witness to Green's death in London.
37 3 "Episode Three" Catherine Morshead Julian Fellowes 5 October 2014 (2014-10-05) 10.15

May 1924: Sergeant Willis reveals that a witness overheard Green talking to someone on the pavement moments before his death. Green had told others he had been badly treated at Downton and disliked Bates. Willis seems satisfied after interviewing Bates, though Anna is worried. Violet's butler Spratt spots Mary and Gillingham leaving a hotel in Liverpool; he informs Violet, who quickly contrives an explanation about a farming conference. She later tells Mary she disapproves of her behaviour, but Mary stands up to her. Miss Baxter tells Cora that an abusive and manipulative male servant forced her to steal jewellery from her former employer; Cora allows her to stay at Downton.

Mrs Patmore is distressed that her nephew, Archie, who was shot for cowardice during the war, has been excluded from his home village war memorial. She enlists Mrs Hughes's help to have his name included in theirs, but Carson refuses. Edith's constant visits to see Marigold are upsetting Mrs Drewe, and Mr Drewe asks Edith to temporarily stay away. A developer wants to build fifty houses near the village, but Robert refuses to sell the land. A group of Russian aristocrats arrives for tea; one of them, Prince Kuragin (Rade Šerbedžija), knew the Dowager Countess when she was in Russia. Isobel teases Violet by implying a romantic encounter with the prince. Lord Gillingham is eager to wed Mary quickly, but she doubts he is the right man for her.
38 4 "Episode Four" Minkie Spiro Julian Fellowes 12 October 2014 (2014-10-12) 10.25

May 1924: Violet takes Isobel to visit the Russian aristocrats, now living in poverty. Tom and Mary push the housing development, but Robert rejects it as too big, and wants a smaller project. Rose's father, Lord Flintshire (Shrimpy) announces that he and his wife are divorcing. Edith asks if he can discover what happened to Michael Gregson, who apparently got involved with Nazi thugs. Lord Merton tells Isobel he truly loves her and proposes; taken aback, she says she needs time to consider.

Thomas appears to be ill, and Miss Baxter witnesses him self-medicating. Molesley feels overworked, with Carson and Mrs Hughes teasing him about being the "first footman"; he agrees to forgo the title so that the work can be parcelled out. Mary tells Lord Gillingham she will not marry him; however, he refuses to accept her decision. Mr Bricker visits again, to Robert's disapproval, since he dislikes the attention Bricker is paying to Cora. Miss Bunting goes too far in goading Robert with her left-wing views, and is ordered to leave the house. Sergeant Willis returns to Downton; whilst in London with Mary, Anna was observed by an undercover officer visiting Lord Gillingham's flat in Albany. This is explained as her delivering a letter to Gillingham from Mary. However, she then went to Piccadilly, where Green was killed, making the police suspicious.
39 5 "Episode Five" Minkie Spiro Julian Fellowes 19 October 2014 (2014-10-19) 10.39

1924: Inspector Vyner of Scotland Yard interviews Mary and Anna about Mr Green, and appears suspicious of their answers. Mrs Patmore decides to buy a cottage with her inheritance money and rent it out. Lady Rosamund accompanies Edith to see Marigold. Mrs Drewe tells her husband to forbid further contact with Edith. Violet gets the entire story from Rosamund; they advise Edith to take the child to France. Sarah Bunting gets a new job, and moves away; Tom remains at Downton. Bates is concerned over the matter concerning his wife and the police. He reassures her that nothing bad will ever again happen to her and vows to keep her safe.

Charles Blake invites Mary to lunch, along with Tony Gillingham's ex-fiancée, Mabel Lane Fox; he has a cunning plan to reunite Gillingham and Mabel, leaving him free to court Mary, but Mabel flounces out. Thomas is looking increasingly ill, but still hints to Mrs Hughes and Miss Baxter that he can cause trouble for Bates with the police. With Robert away, Mr Bricker visits again and sneaks uninvited to Cora's bedroom—to her chagrin and protest. Robert arrives back early and discovers them. Insulted by Bricker, who says he ignores Cora, Robert hits Bricker, who leaves. Robert remains distant with Cora, believing she is also at fault.
40 6 "Episode Six" Philip John Julian Fellowes 26 October 2014 (2014-10-26) 9.87

1924: Violet visits Prince Kuragin on her own, and some of their story is revealed. Edith learns that Michael was killed during Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch (8–9 November 1923). She inherits his publishing company and removes Marigold from the Drewes (revealing her true relationship with Marigold to Mrs Drewe) and goes to London. In response to an anonymous letter about Green's death, the police return. They interview Miss Baxter, threatening to return her to prison if she is uncooperative. She admits to some suspicions about Bates and Green. Bates discovers Mary's contraceptive device hidden in Anna's drawer. He wrongly accuses Anna of not wanting his child because she believes him a murderer. He claims he knew about Green but did not murder him. He intended to go to London to kill Green but knew it would cause Anna more trauma. His unused train ticket would have proved he had never gone there, but Mary burned it, believing she was protecting him. Anna and Bates reconcile.

Thomas becomes so ill that Baxter takes him to Dr Clarkson. Thomas admits he was attempting to "cure" his homosexuality; Doctor Clarkson advises him to accept who he is. The Dowager Countess gets a feisty new lady's maid, Denker, who falls out with pompous butler, Spratt; Isobel enjoys the resulting spats. Cora and Robert reconcile. At a point-to-point, Mary (who got a daringly modern bob cut earlier in York) encounters Gillingham and his ex-fiancée, Mabel Lane Fox, and Charles Blake, whose plan to reunite Gillingham and Mabel seems to be working. After visiting Mrs Patmore's cottage, Carson rather nervously asks Mrs Hughes if she would be interested in investing in a property with him. Robert's dog, Isis, appears to be unwell.
41 7 "Episode Seven" Philip John Julian Fellowes 2 November 2014 (2014-11-02) 10.77

1924: Rose introduces her new friend Atticus Aldridge and his parents, Lord and Lady Sinderby, to the family. Isobel announces her engagement to Lord Merton; later Violet tells Mary she is not jealous that Isobel will socially outrank her, but is sad to lose her companionship. Rosamund and Violet prepare to reveal Edith's secret to Cora, but an upset Mrs Drewe tells her first. Cora is angry that they withheld the news of her granddaughter, and goes with Rosamund to see Edith in London. She suggests that Edith return home and pretend to adopt Marigold. Edith reluctantly agrees, as do the family. Tony Gillingham believes Mary loves him, so Charles arranges for him and Mary to kiss in public in front of Tony and Mabel, ending Gillingham's pursuit for good. Charles is going abroad for some months, so is also out. Baxter overhears Mrs Hughes asking Mary about the train ticket, and informs Bates that she can swear it was unused. Bates is hostile to her for talking to the police – even though she explains she was in an adverse position.

Bates and Anna plan their future, and contemplate selling Bates's mother's house in London and buying a house or hotel nearby to let out. Daisy feels let down by the Labour government, and is no longer keen to continue studying, but Molesley and Mr Mason persuade her otherwise. Tom has written to his cousin in Boston about moving to the United States. Lord Merton's two sons are rude and insolent to Isobel during dinner; Larry, who had at an earlier dinner insulted Tom and drugged his drink, sneers that Isobel is a middle-class woman who cannot possibly succeed in her public role as his father's wife. His angry father orders him to leave. Atticus proposes to Rose. Robert's beloved dog Isis is ill with cancer. He and Cora take her into their bed to comfort her in her final hours.
42 8 "Episode Eight" Michael Engler Julian Fellowes 9 November 2014 (2014-11-09) 10.44

1924: Everyone is in London for Rose and Atticus's wedding, but the atmosphere is awkward; Rose's mother, Lady Flintshire, disapproves because Atticus is Jewish, while Atticus's father does not approve of his son marrying outside the faith. Lady Flintshire is especially antagonistic and unpleasant to everyone, including her husband, whom she is divorcing. She attempts to sabotage the wedding with staged photographs of Atticus with a prostitute, whose advances he actually refused. On the wedding day, Lady Flintshire informs Atticus's father of her divorce, but Atticus's mother intervenes, warning her husband to stay silent. Inspector Vyner calls Anna to take part in an identity parade at Scotland Yard, and it is at first unclear whether she has been picked out by a witness.

Denker shows a different side to her character by taking young temporary footman Andy to a gambling club where she gets free drinks in exchange for bringing novice gamblers (expected to lose money). Thomas realises what has been happening and joins their next visit, winning back Andy's money and informing the club manager that Denker gleefully enjoyed the free drinks and figured to humiliate the manager. Enraged, the manager confronts Denker and demands that she pay for all her three nights' drinks. Tom shares with his sisters-in-law that he plans to move to Boston and become partners with his cousin. Inspector Vyner turns up unexpectedly and arrests Anna on suspicion of Green's murder, as she was identified by the witness as having been on the pavement near Green just before the accident. The war memorial is unveiled, and Robert unveils a separate stone which he ordered that honours Mrs Patmore's late nephew. Robert comes to the realisation that Marigold is Edith and the late Michael Gregson's daughter.

2014 Christmas special[edit]

No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
43 "A Moorland Holiday" Minkie Spiro Julian Fellowes 25 December 2014 (2014-12-25) 7.99

September and December 1924. Lord and Lady Sinderby invite the Granthams to the country estate they have hired for driven grouse shooting; their snobbish butler Stowell (Alun Armstrong) resents serving Tom and ignores him. He is also rude to the other servants, who conspire to take revenge. When an irate Lord Sinderby insults Stowell and then Thomas at the dinner table, Thomas learns a dangerous secret from a tipsy Stowell and arranges for his lordship's mistress and illegitimate child to arrive. Rose defuses the situation, earning her father-in-law's gratitude and respect. The Dowager Countess reunites Prince Kuragin and his estranged wife; she also negotiates the continuing sparring between Spratt and Denker. Carson and Mrs Hughes search for a house as an investment together, but Mrs Hughes reveals she has no money and cannot retire: she must pay for her mentally disabled younger sister Becky's care. Carson reveals he has bought a property in both their names. He then proposes marriage to Mrs Hughes, and she accepts. Isobel declines Lord Merton's earlier marriage proposal, not wanting to come between him and his sons.

A second footman is engaged: Andy, the temporary one they had in London, much to Thomas's delight. Robert learns he has a stomach ulcer. He agrees to stop drinking, so that he will be able to drink at the family's annual Christmas party. Robert learns from Edith that Marigold is his granddaughter and agrees to continue the charade that she has been adopted by Edith. Tom, meanwhile, guesses the truth about Marigold and agrees to keep it a secret from the oblivious Mary. To absolve Anna, Bates writes a letter confessing to having attempted to kill Mr Green, and disappears, apparently to Ireland. Molesley and Baxter take a photo of Bates to different pubs in York, and find the one where he had lunch on the day in question, proving he was not in London when Green was killed. The witness who identified Anna becomes uncertain, and she is released on bail. A big Christmas party is held for the Downton household. It also serves as a goodbye party for Tom, who has found work as a writer in America and will be taking his daughter Sybbie with him. Bates returns and enjoys a tender reunion with Anna. During a private break, Violet confesses to Isobel that she and Prince Kuragan had attempted to run away together.

Series 6 (2015)[edit]

The sixth series premiered on 20 September 2015 in the UK and on 3 January 2016 in the United States. This series was the last, the 2015 Christmas special titled "The Finale". Due to increasingly popular ratings worldwide, a film is said to be in production.

Series 6
No.
overall
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
44 1 "Episode One" Minkie Spiro Julian Fellowes 20 September 2015 (2015-09-20) 10.32

April 1925. Big changes are afoot. Robert anticipates having to cut costs and reduce staff, worrying Carson. Mrs Hughes, nervous she will be embarrassed when performing her wifely duties after marrying Carson, asks Mrs Patmore to sound him out; after much embarrassment, Carson says he expects them to have a full marriage, which reassures Mrs Hughes. The local hospital is threatened with a take-over by the larger County Hospital; the board is split, with Violet objecting, and Isobel approving in the name of efficiency. Rita Bevan, a former chambermaid at the hotel where Mary and Lord Gillingham stayed, attempts to blackmail Mary by exposing their tryst. Mary refuses to pay, but Rita confronts Robert, who buys her off with £50 instead of the £1,000 she demanded, and gets her signed confession to prevent future blackmail. He admires Mary's pluck, and approves of her succeeding Tom as the estate's Agent.

Sergeant Willis informs Bates and Anna that a woman has confessed to murdering Green, and the case is closed. Anna is upset at not having had a child; twice she conceived, but miscarried both times. Edith plans to spend more time in London and be more hands-on with the magazine. The family attend an auction at a neighbouring estate which is being sold to pay off debts. Daisy unwisely confronts the new owner because her father-in-law, Mr Mason, a tenant farmer, may lose his farm. Her attempt backfires, and she angers the new owner. Although she is liable to be dismissed, Cora keeps her on. The former owner tells Robert that great estates like theirs are obsolete, and advises him to sell up too.
45 2 "Episode Two" Minkie Spiro Julian Fellowes 27 September 2015 (2015-09-27) 10.04

April 1925. The conflict between Violet and Isobel over the hospital continues to escalate, with Cora siding with Isobel. Mary chides Robert for offering Carson the servants' hall for his and Mrs Hughes' wedding reception, and offers the upstairs instead; Mrs Hughes insists on a separate venue which better represents who they are, which leads to friction between the couple. Thomas interviews for another job, believing everyone wants him gone. Edith argues vehemently with Mr Skinner, the magazine's publisher, whom she believes dislikes all her ideas because she is a woman. Mary takes Anna to a Harley Street doctor, who proposes minor surgery during her next pregnancy to prevent another miscarriage.

Mary arranges for the estate's pigs to be entered in the local livestock show competition, but she unwisely takes Marigold with her and little George when she goes to inspect the animals at the farm. Seeing Marigold upsets Mrs Drewe, prompting her to kidnap the girl during the show; her husband persuades her to return Marigold, and then decides it would be best if they moved away. Robert is distressed, because of their long and loyal service, but he reluctantly agrees.
46 3 "Episode Three" Philip John Julian Fellowes 4 October 2015 (2015-10-04) 10.04

May 1925. Mrs Patmore tells Cora that Mrs Hughes is unhappy with having her wedding breakfast in Downton's hall. Cora forces a meeting with the family so that Mrs Hughes can explain. Cora supports her, so Carson relents. Violet tries to get Robert to support her view on the hospital merger; things get nasty at a Board meeting, and an annoyed Isobel is rude to Dr Clarkson. Edith and her editor continue to argue; she dismisses him after she can no longer tolerate his insults. Fortunately, she meets an old acquaintance, Bertie Pelham, who suggests he help her and her staff finish the issue which is due the next morning. Anna is pregnant, so Mary plans to take her to the doctor in three months' time. Thomas is interviewed by an eccentric widower, Sir Michael Reresby (Ronald Pickup) for a position in decrepit Dryden Park, but he declines the offer.

Violet's butler, Spratt, is behaving strangely, which Denker notices. When Sergeant Willis reveals that Spratt's nephew has escaped from prison, Denker is certain that Spratt has helped him, and can now hold that over him. Daisy hopes that Mr Mason can take over the Drewes' farm. She mistakenly believes that Cora has already arranged it. Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes are married in the church. During the wedding breakfast at the village school, Tom Branson and his daughter, Sybbie, unexpectedly arrive from Boston; he announces he feels Downton is his home and wants to stay.
47 4 "Episode Four" Philip John Julian Fellowes 11 October 2015 (2015-10-11) 10.39

May 1925. Lady Shackleton visits, with her nephew, Henry Talbot, who races cars and is an acquaintance of Mary's. Lady Violet wants Lady Shackleton's support in the dispute over the hospital and explains that she opposes the merger because she resents the government's increasing control over regional institutions rather than the locals being in charge. This helps mollify Isobel. Lady Rosamund also arrives, and Downton is visited by Mr and Mrs Harding in connection with a women's college of which Lady Rosamund is a trustee. Anna recognizes and greets Mrs Harding as Gwen, the former Downton housemaid who left service to better herself in a new career. Thomas attempts to embarrass Gwen by mentioning in front of the family that she is a former servant. When Gwen explains that it was the late Lady Sybil who had encouraged and helped her find a job as a secretary, the family is pleased and touched by her story. Robert later chastises Thomas for his behavior. Sergeant Willis asks Baxter to testify against the man with whom she was involved when she stole from a previous employer. She is reluctant but finally agrees after Molesley encourages her. Daisy is upset that Mr Mason is unlikely to get Yew Tree Farm, and she prepares to angrily confront Cora, believing Cora was deceitful; the staff en masse warn her she is about to commit a terrible offense which will result in Daisy losing her job. However, Cora has already persuaded Robert and Mary to lease Mason the farm, which Daisy fortunately learns from Robert as she is about to confront Cora.

Lady Mary rushes Anna to London where the doctor performs the promised surgery, saving the baby. Bates is delighted to learn that Anna is pregnant. Robert continues to experience stomach pain but dismisses it as indigestion. Mary meets Henry in London and tells him that his making a pass will not work. Mr Carson and his bride, still to be known as Mrs Hughes, return from their Scarborough honeymoon and move into a cottage. Edith announces plans to appoint a woman as editor to her magazine.
48 5 "Episode Five" Philip John Julian Fellowes 18 October 2015 (2015-10-18) 10.60

May 1925. Mrs Patmore, Daisy, and Andy help Mr Mason move into the farm; Daisy is upset when she realises that Mr Mason and Mrs Patmore are becoming friendly. Andy offers to learn about farming, and Mason hands him several books to begin his farming education. Thomas, whom he has been avoiding, keenly notices Andy's frustration with the books, and Andy confesses that he is illiterate. He accepts Thomas's offer to teach him in secret. Edith hires Laura Edmunds as her editor, and Edith also becomes romantic with Bertie Pelham. Molesley accompanies Baxter to the trial, but she is not called upon to testify as Coyle accepts a plea. Carson, used to perfect meals and service in the servants' hall, makes innocent but continual complaints about Mrs Hughes' cooking, annoying her—especially when he dares to ask Mrs Patmore to help his wife with her cooking skills. Passing each other walking in the village, Denker rudely confronts Dr Clarkson about opposing Lady Violet regarding the hospital. He sends a note of complaint to Violet, who quickly fires her, but Denker blackmails Spratt (regarding his assisting a criminal nephew) into supporting her, and Denker is allowed to remain.

Violet persuades Minister of Health Neville Chamberlain to attend dinner at Downton, and she harangues everyone about the hospital. Robert suddenly vomits blood over the dinner table, collapses, and is rushed to hospital. He has a burst ulcer and survives surgery, but Mary tells Tom that the two of them must take over running the estate, as her father must not be stressed further. Mary becomes suspicious about Marigold's birth, after hearing a puzzling remark about the child between Cora and Violet.
49 6 "Episode Six" Michael Engler Julian Fellowes 25 October 2015 (2015-10-25) 10.31

Early June 1925. Carson continues to criticize Mrs Hughes' housekeeping practices at the cottage not being 'up to standard' (as in, the standards of the Abbey), to her increasing annoyance. He even complains about how she makes the bed, and suggests she get some cooking pointers from Mrs Patmore. The Board of the Downton Cottage Hospital decides to approve its merger with the Royal Yorkshire Hospital and invites Cora to be their new president, replacing Lady Violet to avoid similar situations in the future. Daisy continues to sabotage the growing relationship between Mrs Patmore and Mr Mason, but is too blatant, and both realise what she is doing. Mary takes Tom to London, where they meet Henry, who invites them to a motor-car race at the Brooklands circuit. Henry tells Mary he is falling in love with her.

Mary and Tom open the house to the public for a day to raise funds for the hospital. Edith's beau, Bertie, persuades Cora, Mary, and Edith to act as guides, but they are woefully ignorant about the house's history and its contents. Violet, learning about her demotion, arrives in a frightful temper, imperiously sweeping aside the hoi polloi and berating both Cora and Robert for their perceived treachery. Carson questions Thomas about his meetings with Andy, causing him more distress and reducing him to tears of self-pity.
50 7 "Episode Seven" David Evans Julian Fellowes 1 November 2015 (2015-11-01) 10.49

July 1925. Isobel is puzzled to receive an invitation to the wedding for Lord Merton's son, Larry and Amelia Cruikshank. Larry had once insulted Isobel by calling her a middle-class gold digger when she was briefly engaged to Lord Merton, subsequently resulting in Isobel ending their engagement. A suspicious Violet confronts Amelia and accuses her of wanting Isobel to marry Lord Merton only to care for him in his old age. The family watch Henry Talbot drive in a motor car race, but his friend, Charlie, is killed in a crash during the race. Later, after dinner, Mary receives a telephone call from Henry, who implores her to give him an answer regarding his romantic intentions; she says he is not the right man for her.

Daisy and Molesley sit for their exams; the latter does so well that the headmaster offers him a teaching job at the school. When Andy is asked to read at a small picnic, his illiteracy is revealed and he admits that Thomas has been helping him learn, although Andy is discouraged. Mrs Hughes pretends to have injured her hand, forcing Mr Carson to do the cooking and housekeeping at the cottage. As he discovers the difficulties of cooking and coordinating household tasks, Carson is exhausted and gains a new respect for his wife's efforts. Mrs Patmore's B&B opens with its first guests. Bertie proposes to Edith, who mentions Marigold and asks for time to consider. Upon returning to Downton, the family is surprised to learn that Violet has departed to the south of France for a month in an effort to clear the air following the hospital conflict. As a parting goodwill gesture, she gives Robert a new dog.
51 8 "Episode Eight" David Evans Julian Fellowes 8 November 2015 (2015-11-08) 11.15

August 1925. When his cousin dies, Bertie becomes a Marquess; Robert is delighted, as this makes him a more suitable match for Edith. However, she hesitates to tell him that little Marigold is her illegitimate daughter. When Mary spitefully reveals it at breakfast, Bertie walks out, saying he cannot trust Edith anymore. After having a heated row with Mary, a dejected Edith goes to London, where she and her editor are startled to discover that the magazine's agony aunt, believed to be a female, is in fact Spratt, the Dowager Countess' butler. When it is revealed that the first couple to stay at Mrs Patmore's B&B were adulterers, she finds bookings are being cancelled. To show support – and ignoring Carson's objection to the family getting involved – Rosamund, Cora, and Robert go there for tea, taking a newspaper photographer to record their visit. Molesley begins teaching at the school. He encourages his students to always keep learning, whatever their future. Thomas attempts suicide by slashing his wrists, but is saved by Andy, Baxter, and Mrs Hughes.

Mary is still confused over her romantic feelings for Henry; Tom challenges her, and argues that she loves him. Henry calls again, claiming she rejected him due to his lack of money. Tom challenges Mary over her negative attitude, and also has Violet return from France to talk to Mary. Mary reveals her fear that Henry will die in a car crash like her late husband, Matthew. Violet helps her realize that she does really love him. Henry is invited back, and Mary agrees to marry him; she visits Matthew's grave to tell him what she is doing but that she will always love him. Luckily, Henry already has a marriage license, so they marry quickly in the village church. Mary and Edith reconcile to an extent – acknowledging that they will always be sisters.

2015 Christmas special[edit]

No.
overall
Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
(millions) [4]
52 "The Finale" Michael Engler Julian Fellowes 25 December 2015 (2015-12-25) 11.22

29 September–31 December 1925: Carson fumbles serving dinner when his hands begin shaking, suffering from an unspecified hereditary disease his family called 'the palsy'. Thomas secures a job with an elderly couple with a staff of only three, but is unhappy there. Edith offers to expand Spratt's magazine column to a whole page; Denker discovers Spratt's secret, and tries to get him dismissed by revealing it to the Dowager Countess, but she finds the column jolly amusing and keeps him on.

Molesley leaves service when the Headmaster offers him a teaching position, plus a cottage; upon parting, he and Baxter finally express their mutual romantic affection. Lord Merton tells Isobel he suffers from pernicious anaemia, but still wants to marry her. Sensing his impending death, and her own loss of control, his cruel daughter-in-law, Amelia, prevents Isobel from seeing him. An indignant Violet intervenes, and he enthusiastically agrees to marry Isobel. Andy falls for Daisy, who is uninterested, but she gradually grows to like him when he spends time helping at her father-in-law's farm. Eventually she decides to live at the farm.

Robert tells Cora how proud he is after watching her preside over a hospital meeting; they reaffirm their love for each other. Mary and Rosamund arrange for Edith to have dinner with Bertie, who proposes, and she accepts. At Brancaster Castle to announce the engagement, the Crawleys' meet Bertie's moralistic mother Miranda. Edith tells her about her having borne an illegitimate child, Marigold, winning over Mrs Pelham with her honesty. Henry and Tom go into business together selling cars, and Mary tells Henry she is pregnant with his child.

Edith and Bertie are married on New Year's Eve and leave to return to Brancaster Castle, where young Marigold is waiting with her step-grandmother. Dr Clarkson informs Lord Merton that he has only a mild form of anemia. During the reception, Anna suddenly goes into labour and gives birth to a healthy son. Carson realizes his illness will ultimately prevent him from performing his duties, and tenders his resignation; Robert reluctantly accepts, and suggests that Thomas return as Butler; Carson can retire with a pension, retaining an oversight role, which pleases all three. Violet accepts that Cora has taken over her prime position within the family, and they reconcile.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 10.245 million on ITV1,[5] 919,000 on ITV1 HD,[6] and 601,000 on ITV1+1.[7]
  2. ^ 9.824 million on ITV1,[8] 978,000 on ITV1 HD,[9] and 531,000 on ITV1+1.[10]
  3. ^ 9.880 million on ITV1,[11] 814,000 on ITV1 HD,[12] and 606,000 on ITV1+1.[13]
  4. ^ 10.155 million on ITV1,[14] 945,000 on ITV1 HD,[15] and 486,000 on ITV1+1.[16]
  5. ^ 9.867 million on ITV1,[17] 955,000 on ITV1 HD,[18] and 504,000 on ITV1+1.[19]
  6. ^ 10.811 million on ITV1,[20] 1.086 million on ITV1 HD,[21] and 383,000 on ITV1+1.[22]
  7. ^ 11.180 million on ITV1,[23] 968,000 on ITV1 HD,[24] and 297,000 on ITV1+1.[25]
  8. ^ 10.672 million on ITV1,[26] 922,000 on ITV1 HD,[27] and 513,000 on ITV1+1.[28]
  9. ^ 9.952 million on ITV1,[31] 1.104m on ITV1 HD,[32] 544,000 on ITV1+1.[33]
  10. ^ 10.606 million on ITV1,[35] 1.071m on ITV1 HD,[36] 404,000 on ITV1+1.[37]
  11. ^ 10.425 million on ITV1,[38] 1.097m on ITV1 HD,[39] 439,000 on ITV1+1.[40]
  12. ^ 10.219 million on ITV1,[41] 1.115m on ITV1 HD,[42] 495,000 on ITV1+1.[43]
  13. ^ 10.31 million on ITV1,[44] 1.156m on ITV1 HD,[45] 460,000 on ITV1+1.[46]
  14. ^ 10.478 million on ITV1,[47] 1.154m on ITV1 HD,[48] 424,000 on ITV1+1.[49]
  15. ^ 10.167 million on ITV1,[50] 1.210m on ITV1 HD,[51] 447,000 on ITV1+1.[52]
  16. ^ 10.574 million on ITV1,[53] 1.193m on ITV1 HD,[54] 385,000 on ITV1+1.[55]
  17. ^ 8.561 million on ITV1,[59] 1.127m on ITV1 HD,[60] 588,000 on ITV1+1.[61]
  18. ^ 10.124 million on ITV,[62] 1.344m on ITV HD,[63] 484,000 on ITV +1.[64]
  19. ^ 10.256 million on ITV,[65] 1.295m on ITV HD,[66] 548,000 on ITV +1.[67]
  20. ^ 9.891 million on ITV,[68] 1.396m on ITV HD,[69] 576,000 on ITV +1.[70]
  21. ^ 9.922 million on ITV,[71] 1.219m on ITV HD,[72] 608,000 on ITV +1.[73]
  22. ^ 9.659 million on ITV,[74] 1.204m on ITV HD,[75] 529,000 on ITV +1.[76]
  23. ^ 7.752 million on ITV,[77] 1.201m on ITV HD,[78] 454,000 on ITV +1.[79]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)". Emmys.com. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Duncan, Amy (29 January 2015). "Downton Abbey 'to be axed after the sixth series in 2015 with cast members already looking for jobs in the US'". Metro (British newspaper). Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Series 1 – 5 based on 7 day consolidated ratings data from BARB. Christmas Special (2014) – Christmas Special (2015) based on 28 day consolidated ratings data from BARB.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Weekly Top 10 Programmes Broadcasters' Audience Research Board
  5. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV1 w/e 25 September 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV1 HD w/e 25 September 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV1+1 w/e 25 September 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV1 w/e 2 October 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV1 HD w/e 2 October 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV1+1 w/e 2 October 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV1 w/e 9 October 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV1 HD w/e 9 October 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes: ITV1+1 w/e 9 October 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes: ITV1 w/e 16 October 2011". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
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