Downton Abbey Season 6 Spoilers

Downton Abbey Stars Preview Mary and Edith's 'Rivalry,' Unexpected Final Arc

If you were hoping that Downton Abbey‘s culminating season (premiering Stateside Sunday, Jan. 3 on PBS) would usher in a time of sisterly peace and love, you might want to prepare yourself for a reignited competitive spirit between Mary and Edith.

“They remain true to their relationship,” star Laura Carmichael says. “There is an element of respect and love there. It’s just frosted in the guise of bitterness. There’s a lot of that this season, because they’re both becoming these successful women in different ways.”

With Edith managing the paper in the city and Mary overseeing the estate at home, “they’ll be like, ‘Who’s got it better?'” Carmichael continues. “Edith’s living in a house that Mary’s now running, which doesn’t feel great for Edith. And Edith swans in and out to London, going to fancy this and fancy that. They have moments of being tied with their lot and envious of the other. Therefore, the rivalry sparks up again.”

As Mary throws herself into business mode, romance takes a backseat for the widow. “She’s enjoying looking after the estate and making decisions, much to Violet’s dislike,” leading lady Michelle Dockery says. “I don’t think Violet’s gotten used to her two granddaughters being working girls. Her bond with [son] George is strengthening. He’s her priority. So her romantic life is quiet in the beginning.”

But then a familiar and very handsome face returns to remind Mary there’s hope of a happy ending. “Henry Talbot [played by Matthew Goode] comes back into her life,” Dockery reveals. “But it’s complicated, as it always is. It’s never plain sailing in her love life.”

Meanwhile, Edith is “staring middle age in the face, and she’s sort of written [love] off for herself,” Carmichael says. “But that doesn’t mean [series creator] Julian [Fellowes] has.”

So what did the show’s creative mastermind gift the Crawley sisters with during the series’ swan song?

“Just when I thought it was coming to an end and wrapping up for Mary, Julian threw a cat among the pigeons,” Dockery teases. “There is a really great arc. It’s something I wasn’t expecting, and it’s really clever what he does.”

Adds Carmichael: “It’s a really satisfying ending. It’s hard. It’s never going to be the way that you think it is. There’s going to be a lot of gasps and tears, but all in that classic Downton way!”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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16 Comments
  1. zac says:

    I literally just finished watching the final season. It’s really good. It’s funnier and also snarkier than ever haha. And yes, the ending was satisfying and a lot of call backs to the earlier seasons.

  2. JosiahBartlet4President says:

    I stopped watching Downton Abbey a few years ago because I was losing interest with the repeated plot line of Thomas Barrow trying to sabotage people and Edith being perpetually jilted.
    Is it worth getting back into it?

    • Kim R says:

      Yes! I don’t know how they did it but I was really feeling for Thomas by the end of it all. Trust me. Get back into it! :)

    • cjeffery7 says:

      weeeellllll…. if those are your only qualifiers for not wanting to watch anymore…. i won’t tell you there isn’t still plenty of that up until, say, the last half of the final season. that said, while i feel your feel your same frustrations, i personally find the other plot and character development compelling enough to keep slogging through the more repetitive ones.

  3. rita harris says:

    Regarding the dog, is the name Isis just a coincidence or was he/she named after the terrorist group?

    • JosiahBartlet4President says:

      Isis is an Egyptian goddess.

      • Red says:

        Back when my son was born, someone I knew then who had a daughter around the same time, named her daughter Isis after the Egyptian goddess.

        But at that point, Isis the terrorist group didn’t even exist.

    • Peggy says:

      Remember the true history of this home. The owner was very involved in Egypt including the opening of the King Tut tomb.

  4. Marci says:

    I’m so glad Matthew Goode went back to Downton instead of The Good Wife. I had gotten fed up with the latter show and didn’t want to watch it this season, but would have had to if Matthew had returned to it.
    I will never forgive Julian Fellows if Bates and Anna don’t get a happy ending. I’m angry enough about this pointless story line dragging on as long as it has.

  5. cogrady53 says:

    “I don’t think Violet’s gotten used to her two granddaughters being working girls”
    I laugh just imagining Michelle Dockery and her beautifully enunciated accent saying this (we don’t say GOTTEN in the UK, we say ‘got’)

    • SallyAshus says:

      Does Michelle Dockery not know what “working girl” means in American slang? The dowager Countess would indeed be VERY shocked if Lady Mary and Lady Edith became Yorkshire “working girls” of an evening!

  6. Al says:

    I was disappointed in the ending. Poor Edith can never catch a break; she was left shattered broken hearted and Mary, as usual, gets the happy ending.