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It is now Christmas, 1919, just a little over a year since the end of WWI. The Crawley family intend to make it a lavish affair for themselves and their guests, even though the arrest of John Bates, for the murder of his wife, Vera, causes a lot of tension in the household as everyone awaits the outcome of his trial, especially his new wife, Anna.
Problems are brewing for Violet as she is more than a little unsure of her daughter, Rosamund's new beau, who seems almost a little too good to be true and strife continues for Lady Mary and Sir Richard after yet another confrontation between the two.moreless
In this final regular episode of Series 2, a wedding is fast approaching. Unfortunately, so is the dreaded Spanish Influenza, both of which have the potential to cause difficulties for some residents of Downton Abbey. Things are not going well for Thomas either and Branson could pose quite a problem.
For Ethel, there are considerations of a different kind concerning the Bryants and Anna forces Bates to finally make some decisions.moreless
It is now early 1919, and with the war over, the residents of Downton Abbey slowly start to get their lives back in order. Just as it is thought that there cannot be more problems concerning Vera, Bates learns that something else has arisen and he's not sure how to deal with it. Meanwhile, Sir Richard Carlisle uses Anna in a manner which puts her in a very difficult position. For Thomas, the end of the war means yet more ways to make money. And, for Sybil and Branson, they must try to keep their secret for as long as possibles when some totally unexpected news leaves everyone reeling.moreless
It is 1918, and with the end of the war in sight, it looks as though it won't be too long before life can return to relative normality at Downton Abbey, however, Cora and Isobel clash once more over what is to be done with the house when the Armistice is declared.
A Canadian officer arrives at Downton to assist in his return to health but some of the things he imparts to Lady Edith could cause problems for the Crawley family. Meanwhile, Bates once again finds that he has to deal with Vera and must travel to London to do so. His Lordship tells him to keep calm, but will he be able to do so?
Ethel is struggling as a new mother but is receiving a lot of help and support from Mrs. Hughes until Mr. Carson finds out, which may possibly be problematic for all concerned.moreless
Lord Grantham receives some terrible news from the front line which will impact on everyone at Downton.
It looks as though the future of the entire family could be under threat as the greedy Vera Bates threatens to expose all the secrets that she knows about the Crawley family. Can Lady Mary stop her, using her connection with Sir Richard Carlisle before it's too late and what will happen if she doesn't?
For Daisy, life is complicated enough without everything else that is going on as she feels caught up in a whirlwind with regard to her relationship with William.moreless
It is now 1918. While a concert is being planned to cheer up the soldiers recovering their health at Downton, members of the family are trying to overcome several personal issues. Isobel and Cora cannot see eye to eye on how things should be done and Mary is determined to forget Matthew and get on with the rest of her life, possibly using Sir Richard Carlisle to make it possible. Neither Violet nor Lord Grantham are at all pleased with this possibility and His Lordship decides to have an important discussion with Mary.
Meanwhile, Thomas, who has been made manager of the convalescent men, makes life extremely difficult for poor Carson, who is used to having things done his way and not being upstaged by a former footman. Branson promises Carson to behave in future, but can he be trusted? Lord Grantham decides that he must speak to Bates in person and Mrs. Hughes is in for a shock which effects herself as well as other staff members. Mrs. Bird and Molesley decide to do their part to help everyone with the war effort.moreless
The village hospital is not large enough to accomodate the large influx of wounded soldiers coming back from the front and so, Downton is turned into a convalescent home for many of them. O'Brien is shocked that Isobel Crawley seems to be giving most of the orders while Cora is relegated to the background and suggests that Thomas might be able to aide her from his position at the hospital.
Violet strongly believes that Mary and Matthew are still very much in love and so, with the help of Rosamund, tries her best to undo Matthew's engagement to Lavinia in order for Matthew to be free. She is also still convinced that there is much more to Lavinia's relationship with Sir Richard than meets the eye.
Meanwhile, Anna runs into Mr. Bates in the village and they feel they may have hope of a future together but back at Downton, things are far more highly charged as William asks a question of Daisy just before heading off to war and Mrs. Patmore reacts very badly to a chance remark. And what exactly is Branson up to? Whatever it is, it looks like it may cause trouble for Lord Grantham.moreless
It is now April, 1917. The First World War thunders on and Mr. Carson finds himself under extreme pressure at Downton trying to run the household with so many of the male staff absent in the service of their country.
Lord Grantham's new valet, Lang, has recently returned from active duty and is suffering in a way that only the harsh Miss O' Brien seems to understand. Meanwhile, former footman, Thomas, wishes to return to the household and finds himself working alongside Lady Sybil, now a nurse, at the local hospital.
Sir Richard Carlisle makes himself unknown enemies out of Violet and her daughter, Rosamund. Their mistrust of him is magnified when they overhear a conversation between himself and Lavinia. Do this relatively unknown pair have a secret which they are trying to hide or is it something else entirely?moreless
The first episode of the second series picks up the story in 1916 during World War I. Many changes have taken place at Downton Abbey because of the conflict which has greatly unsettled all the occupants. A new maid proves difficult and an announcement from Matthew Crawley stuns everybody, particularly Mary. Meanwhile, there are dramas and surprises for everyone from both above and below stairs as the war rages on and all are caught up in it in some way.moreless