(original image credit: PBS)
Last night marked the end of an era: the final episode of Downton Abbey aired in the U.S. Like many others, I’ve followed the lives of the Granthams, Crawleys and their servants for the past few years. The historical setting, impeccable costuming and nuanced writing drew me into another era each week. From Lady Violet’s snark to Mary’s insufferable snobbery, the drama of Downton has been the highlight of my Sunday nights. As we say #FarewellDownton, I’ve been thinking about some of the unforgettable moments from the series. These may not necessarily be happy or inspiring, but here are 10 of the most memorable moments from Downton Abbey:
- That time someone died while being intimate with Lady Mary. Not only was she compromising her virtue, but he died in the middle of it! There are no words.
- When Anna was raped. I declared Julian Fellowes dead to me when this happened, and I nearly stopped watching. It was unbearably cruel and unfair. I guess that’s life sometimes, right? Nevertheless, my heart broke for Anna. The redeeming part of this plot element was that it highlighted that rape is a reality for all women. We’ve heard rhetoric about how women “ask for it” by their dress or conduct, but Anna’s rape shows us that even the kindest, purest, most innocent women are victimized.
- Lady Sybil’s labor and birth complications. Y’all, I was 37 weeks pregnant with my first child when this episode aired. I could not handle all the feels. My hormone levels were THROUGH THE ROOF and I bawled through the whole thing. As Sybil fought for her life, all I could see was my upcoming labor and delivery. It was overwhelming; thankfully, my birth story is much less dramatic.
- Lord Grantham’s shocking blood vomit. I literally gasped aloud when this happen, with so much effect that my husband was concerned and came running into the room. It was startling and intense, and I was about to freak out if we were witnessing Robert’s death. I’m happy that was not the case.
- Thomas’ suicide attempt. Poor misunderstood Mr. Barrows. Even though he was reaping what he’s sown for 5 seasons, I still felt for him. He’s a complicated character with many layers, and I appreciate that about him. Underneath the conniving and manipulative outer layer, you’ve got a man struggling with his identity during a time in history when it was lethal to be a homosexual. I admire Julian Fellowes for highlighting the emotional struggle for those who are different or outcasts in their cultural context.
- Matthew’s car crash. It just wasn’t fair. With that said, I appreciate the character development in Mary that came as a result.
- When Lady Edith called Lady Mary a B. Because, IT WAS ABOUT TIME. I don’t generally advocate foul language, because, as Lady Violet would say, “vulgarity is no substitute for wit.” But, Edith had been a doormat for too long, and Mary needed a reality check.
- Lady Mary and Matthew’s romantic proposal in the snow. Swoon. That’s all.
- Anna’s arrest. See #2 above. Why must you keep adding insult to injury, Mr. Fellowes?!
- Mr. Carson making dinner for his new bride. My husband appreciates what I do around the house and for that I’m thankful, but I still found this to be side-cramp-laugh-out-loud hilarious.
There are so many memorable moments from Downton, it was hard to narrow it to ten. Thankfully, PBS compiled this video of 50 0f the most memorable moments from Downton Abbey. If you’re grieving the show’s end like I am, you’ll want to check it out.
Now I’ve got to figure out another show to fill the Downton-shaped hole in my life. I’ve heard good things about The People vs. OJ Simpson. Got another suggestion? Share it in the comments!