In the season finale as aired in the United States, the Crawleys head to the Scottish highlands, to enjoy the hospitality of Rose's family. Amid the hunting, fishing, and fine dining, tensions bubble over and a new crisis unfolds. Meanwhile the downstairs staff are left behind at Downton, where a trip to the local fair leads to trouble for Carson.moreless
In this final episode of Season 3, Matthew and Mary are obviously keeping important secrets from each other, the question is, what is each of them holding back? Carson must decide what to do with Thomas, whose future employment at Downton rests in his hands but Thomas may be surprised to find support from an unexpected quarter.
A visit from Violet's great-niece could have more behind it after things are learned concerning her in London.
Everyone is very pleased at the prospect of the upcoming village cricket match, especially Robert, who shows everyone an unexpected competitive side to his nature.moreless
There may finally be some good news at Downton after all the recent trauma. Matthew continues to insist that his way of managing the estate is the correct one, but is he going to be able to do things the way he wants to or will he continue to meet resistence?
The arrival of one of Branson's relatives isn't the only problem surrounding him at Downton, and Edith is the recipient of admiration from a wholly unexpected source. Will something finally go her way in this second last episode of the season?moreless
Has Bates finally realised that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars for Vera's murder or does he have something up his sleeve that will set him free?
Isobel's well - intentioned efforts to assist others backfire and anger and frustration are the result.
Violet finds herself having to play peacemaker as Robert and Cora have difficulties in their relationship. Meanwhile, the hot-headed Branson makes decisions which could cause him even more trouble but he finds support from an unexpected corner.moreless
The new maid is managing to get quite a bit of attention from the servants and Daisy appears to be just a bit jealous at the direction some of it is coming from. How will Edith cope with all that has happened since being jilted? Is there something in the wind which might make for a brighter future?
After quite a few unsuccessful attempts at first, can Isobel finally find a way to help the desperate Ethel Parks? And as for Bates, will Anna have success at last in her efforts to assist him with his troubles, or will it again come to nothing?
As he has from the beginning, Matthew is taking an active interest in the running of Downton, but when he mentions some things which are troubling him, nobody seems to be listening.moreless
Trouble looms for Lady Sybil and her husband, Tom Branson as his strong views on political matters get him into all sorts of trouble which means that Sybil has her strong loyalties severely tested when she feels as though she is forced to take sides.
Anna cannot understand the change is Bates's attitude and wonders what it is he is hiding from her. Meanwhile, a new young footman by the name of Jimmy Sparks is causing quite a bit of interest below stairs as Carson decides whether or not to hire him.
Poor Ethel must decide what is best for little Charlie as she tries to make vital decisions regarding his future. A very difficult proposition indeed.moreless
Edith's happiness is overshadowed by her family's opposition to her plans regarding Anthony Strallan but will their disapproval change things? Meanwhile as the mounting financial pressures threaten to engulf the estate and everyone connected with it, Mary decides that she must make an urgent move before all is lost for good.
It looks as though Miss O'Brien may be about to make a very important decision with regard to her future while Mrs. Hughes awaits news concerning her own possibilities. Has Anna finally come across something which may help Bates be freed or will it come to nothing? How will the members of the Crawley family and the staff deal with all the changes which may be taking place in their once-perfect world?moreless
The financial situation for the Crawley family becomes even more precarious and Violet and Mary decide that something must be done. They decide to pretend all is well by throwing a large, formal party for family, friends and neighbours, while Mary is hopeful that Cora's wealthy mother, Martha Levison, may be persuaded to come to the rescue.
However, it is not only the family who are facing difficulties, as houekeeper, Mrs. Hughes, has some unpleasant personal news to deal with while Cora's maid, Miss O' Brien, is determined that her nephew shall rise quickly through the ranks, somethings which does not sit well with the ever-ambitious Thomas.moreless
It is 1920 and Matthew and Mary's wedding is fast approaching. Cora's mother, Martha, arrives from America for the nuptials, much to the displeasure of Violet as the two women have never seen eye to eye. There is some doubt as to whether the wedding itself will go ahead as the young couple are dealing with many stresses. Meanwhile, Miss O' Brien's nephew, Alfred, is employed at Downton as footman while Robert must shoulder a heavy burden as severe financial problems threaten the future of the estate and all who live and work there.moreless
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
Lady Sybil expresses her interest in politics to Lord Grantham, who isn't at all pleased to hear of her venture to the debate, and things take a drastic turn when she's injured at the bi-election results. Meanwhile, Lady Mary and Matthew continue to get closer, leading to a proposal of marriage, much to Cora and Violet's delight. However, the events surrounding Mr. Pamuk's death may put a spanner in the works.
Thomas continues his campaign to get rid of Mr. Bates from Downton with the help of O'Brien and a misguided Daisy by accusing him of stealing the wine from the cellar.
Two men vy for Daisy's affections, wanting to take her to the fair, while Sybil helps Gwen in her search for a new job. Violet has a favour to ask of Matthew. Mrs. Hughes takes an evening off to spend time with an old flame.moreless
News of the Titanic's sinking has just reached Downton Abbey, causing much chaos within the family as Lord Grantham has three daughters and no male heir. His only two heirs went down with the ship, including Patrick Crawley, who was to marry Lady Mary, the Earl's eldest daughter. With both heirs now dead, the Crawley girls must find husbands of their own as the entire estate is entailed away from the female line; however, perhaps there is hope after all as Matthew Crawley, a third cousin, once removed is now heir to the title and the estate. The Dowager Countess of Grantham and Mary's mother, Cora, make it quite clear that Mary is to try her hardest to secure cousin Matthew as a husband in order to save everything.moreless
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