Downton Abbey Finale Recap: R.I.P. [Spoiler]

Downton Abbey Season 3 Matthew DeathIn Sunday’s Downton Abbey season finale — set a year after last week’s episode — everything’s coming up roses. Well, except for the fact that yet another Crawley ends the episode pushing up daisies. Must one of them always be contrary?

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KILL OR BE KILT | When the Crawleys visit Rose’s parents — Violet’s shrewish niece, Susan, and her husband, Shrimpy — in Scotland, the discord in their marriage is even louder than the bagpipes that signal the start of every day. At least the holiday provides Robert with an overdue reality check: Learning that Shrimpy will soon lose his estate, the Earl of Grantham at last concedes that “Downton will survive because of Matthew’s vision.” (There — was that so hard to admit? Sheesh.)

AT YOUR SERVICE | Left behind at home with Sybil 2.0, Tom falls prey to the charms of new maid Edna, who somehow manages to be alluring even though her voice brings to mind Bubble from AbFab. Naturally, Mrs. Hughes is onto the social climber at once and issues her her walking papers before a second Edith situation can develop.

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THE MARRYING KIND | After a coupla enjoyable dates with Isobel, Dr. Clarkson pops the question… that is, he tries to. But, to save him the embarrassment of a rejection, she pretends she doesn’t understand what he’s up to. Meanwhile, Mrs. Patmore receives a proposal of her own — from new shopkeep Tufton — and is relieved to learn from Mrs. Hughes that he’s an incorrigible flirt, therefore she can turn him down.

THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE | When a soused James is mugged at a much-ballyhooed fair, Thomas rides to the rescue and takes a beating for which the twink is so grateful, he offers his friendship. Though Michael reluctantly accepts that his situation is hopeless, Lady Edith digs in her heels and informs him that their relationship is only just beginning. And finally, to wow Bates at the big dance in Scotland, Anna gets Rose to teach her how to reel. (Mission: accomplished. The look on his face for the umpteenth time redefines “besotted.”)

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BUZZKILL | After pushing herself at every turn in Scotland — primarily to be as nasty as humanly possible to Edith — Lady Mary returns home early… just in time to go into premature labor! “We’ve done our duty,” she tells Matthew afterward. Since they’ve produced a male heir, “Downton is safe.” Unfortunately, Matthew himself is anything but safe. Driving to the estate to tell tales of his offspring’s magnificence, BLAMMO! His ear-to-ear smile is wiped off by a fatal car crash.

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the season finale? Did you cry more when Matthew bought the farm or when Tom told Mrs. Hughes how much he missed Sybil? Are you glad that Rose will be coming to live with Robert and Cora? How funny was it to see Mrs. O’Brien dealing with Susan’s maid — the only person in existence with a sourer disposition? Are you hoping Alfred will get his wish and be moved into the kitchen with Mrs. Patmore? How adorable was Carson with Sybil 2.0? He damn near lost his permascowl for a second there! Sound off below!