Anyone who watched the final installment of Downton Abbey when it aired last December in the U.K. already knows exactly what’s going to go down during Sunday’s final U.S. broadcast of the show. No doubt those people are smugly sipping their tea with a Dowager Countess-esque look of superiority on their faces, while the rest of us writhe in a state of uncertainty because we can’t take the suspense. We must know.
We must know whether Edith ultimately finds happiness with Bertie, and whether Anna and Bates have a baby, and whether Robert gets the opportunity to spew additional blood all over the Downton dining room. Obviously we can’t find out until we tune into PBS on Sunday. But while we’re waiting, let us count all the things that really should happen in the final episode of Downton Abbey.
1. Edith and Bertie need to get married.
Obviously Edith doesn’t need a man to be complete; she has a thriving career and a lovely, albeit secret, daughter. But Edith was so close to finally achieving the hat trick of happiness — fine romance, fulfilling job, happy family — that having it stolen away by Mary just seems way too unfair. Robert promised in episode eight that his daughter would probably surprise us all somehow. Let’s hope she surprises us by getting back together with Bertie and having the most awesome wedding ever, complete with the 1920s version of a flash mob led by Molesley.
2. Give Thomas some damn job stability, would ya?
Thomas has had a very rough go of it lately. Really, he’s had a rough go of it throughout every season of Downton Abbey, though it’s been easy to overlook that since, at the same time, he’s often been doing the work of Beelzebub. But clearly Thomas has reached the point of permanent reform, and the poor, recently suicidal guy deserves to be able to know he can stay at Downton for the long term. I’d love to see Carson retire from his post, with full benefits from the Crawleys, so he can spend more time learning how to cook for Mrs. Hughes, thereby giving Thomas the opportunity to be head butler.
3. Anna and John Bates need to have their baby and that baby had better be healthy, do you hear me, Julian Fellowes?
After all their woes, it would not surprise me at all if Anna Bates went into labor, delivered a healthy child, then had to turn over the child to Sgt. Willis because, at five minutes old, the infant was already being unjustly framed for murder. But let’s hope that we get to see Anna and John welcome a son or daughter with no complications and nothing but joy. They deserve that, and so do we.
4. Isobel finally finds happiness with Lord Merton.
Isobel has never had a partner in the entire history of Downton Abbey, though she’s come close. If, as she requested, she gets the blessing from Lord Merton’s asshat of a son, Larry Grey, then she can finally be with a man who truly admires her in a way the Crawleys never have, quite.
5. Mrs. Patmore restores the reputation of her inn and becomes a frolicker with Mr. Mason.
Patmore is a hard worker and it would be nice to see her attempt at running a B&B fully succeed in the wake of House of Ill Repute-gate. But more importantly, I’d like to see confirmation that she and Mr. Mason are an item. After all those decades spent slaving away in the kitchen, yelling at Daisy, and practically going permanently blind, Patmore deserves half a shot at getting laid.
6. The whereabouts of Mrs. Hughes’s sister, Becky, are finally explained.
Remember when Carson and Mrs. Hughes were talking about buying a cottage together, before they decided to get married, and Mrs. Hughes said she couldn’t make that kind of commitment because she had spent all of her savings on Becky, her mentally challenged sister? Well, what the hell happened to Becky? Mrs. Hughes mentioned her in last season’s finale, for the first time, and has never mentioned her since. Are she and Carson both providing for Becky’s care? Did Becky come to their wedding, because I didn’t see her there, although, to be fair, I have no clue what the woman looks like. The point is: Won’t someone please think of Becky?
7. Mary finds out she’s pregnant.
After officially committing to a relationship with Henry Talbot, Mary Crawley decided to marry him about ten seconds later. I realize they just tied the knot an episode ago but, given the timeline of their relationship, she should be pregnant with their second child by the end of the finale. Or at least their first. Yes, it would be nice to see Mary expecting another baby in the finale, and finding a way to make peace with the notion that her second husband couldn’t possibly also die in a car accident after the birth of their child. That kind of thing doesn’t happen to a woman twice in one life. (Although this is Downton Abbey …)
8. The Dowager Countess and Cora reconcile.
Even though the Dowager Countess sent the Crawleys — but really Robert — a dog as a peace offering, she and Cora still have not reconciled since the fallout over the installation of Cora as president of the hospital. They need to bury the hatchet, though preferably not until they’ve had a tense conversation sprinkled liberally with wry comments from Dame Maggie Smith.
9. Tom sets up his repair shop and maybe starts to find romance.
Earlier this season, Tom expressed interest in setting up a repair shop on the edge of the village, which would allow him to keep one foot in the world of Downton and one foot in the work he was doing when we first met him. I suspect we’ll find him working toward that in the series conclusion. It also would be nice to see a hint that, maybe, he can find a new special someone to replace Sybil. May I suggest Laura Edmunds, the co-editor of Edith’s magazine and a smart woman who may have taken a shine to Tom when they were all watching Henry’s race at Brooklands?
10. Daisy leaves Downton … and maybe runs into an old friend?
Ever since she almost quit her job in a fit of fight-the-power rage that immediately dissipated when she realized the Crawleys were giving Mr. Mason the Drewes’s farm, Daisy’s obviously been itching to walk her feet out of the Downton kitchen. In the previous episode, she got word that she passed all of her exams with flying colors, so it seems like it’s time for her to find work elsewhere. Daisy was the first servant we saw bustling about the estate in the very first episode of Downton Abbey; it would be appropriate if the last thing the series shows us is Daisy, hard at work in a job that doesn’t require any menial labor. And wouldn’t it be nice if she’s confidently strolling through London, not far from the Ritz, and just happens to run into good ol’ Alfred?