Downton Abbey Recap: One Wedding and a Funeral

Ever since the cliffhanger World War I announcement at the end of last season, we the audience have been playing the most morbid (and obligatory) of Downton parlor games: which character will die? The smart money was on William, sweet, sympathetic, and disposable--and not fifteen minutes into this week's episode, our best guesses are confirmed. Fatally wounded in a shell attack, William is brought back to Downton to die, and the whole house pitches in to stage a wedding-slash-funeral in his final hours. It's not particularly surprising, nor is it subtle. (Those garlands on the bed? Overkill.) But the collective upstairs-downstairs grieving taps into what’s best about Downton--the triumph of emotion over propriety--and it makes for one of the more moving non-Matthew-and-Mary scenes this season. Pair that with Matthew's paralysis, Mary's determined bedside vigil, and the Ethel-baby situation, and you have the darkest Downton episode yet. That would be true of any episode in which Matthew Crawley is declared impotent, but still. The lips are no longer stiff at Downton Abbey; it's Tears and Feelings Central. Read More...


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