Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2012

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Highclere Castle

The convoy prepares to leave Downton Abbey

Upstairs and downstairs prepare for the annual pilgrimage to Duneagle, Scotland to spend time with family Susan, Rose and Shrimpy Flintshire. Everyone is worried about Mary making the trip since she is well and truly pregnant. The memory of Sybil’s childbirth tragedy lingers on…

Lady Mary pregnat

A very pregnant Lady Mary

Before the family leaves, Edith gets a phone call from her editor, Michael Gregson. He ‘happens’ to be in Scotland at the same time as the Granthams and want to meet up with Edith and her family. Mary is suspicious of this ‘coincidence’ and suspects he’s probably another one of Edith’s hard luck cases. Matthew is on Edith’s side, initially. At Duneagle, Michael is invited along to hunt, fish and dine with the Flintshires and the Granthams. After dinner one evening, the editor confesses his love to Edith. Over fly fishing, Matthew and Michael have a heart to heart about the complicated situation.  Matthew says Michael can’t expect Edith to be his employed mistress. Matthew isn’t prepared to let Edith slide into a life of scandal. Edith confesses her love to Michael at the Gillies Ball when he’s supposed to say goodbye to Edith for good, as Matthew strongly advised.

Lady Edith and Micheal Gregson

The scandalous couple in waiting

Lady Edith Downton

Modern Edith chats on the phone

The arrival at the Flintshires’ estate is awkward. Clearly there is tension between the couple. Rose and her mother Susan Flintshire are at each other’s throats. No one is happy in the house but divorce is out of the question. We also learn the Duneagle estate wasn’t modernized like Downton and they are broke.  It is eventually decided that Rose will come live at Downton where she will come out. Lord Grantham finally admits that Matthew’s vision of modernization saved Downton from collapse.

Carson and Baby Sybil

Carson takes a shine to baby Sybil

Branson stays home at Downton with Isis, baby Sybil and the servants. Edna, the new maid, puts her eye on Branson, much to the chagrin of Mrs Hughes. Edna doesn’t seem cut out for a life of indentured servitude. Edna stalks Branson at the local pub, waiting like a spider in a web. She asks him to join the servants for dinner one night instead of eating alone. She tries to make Branson feel ashamed of who he is and who he was. She finally kisses him in his room. Branson neither encouraged nor discouraged her. When Edna tells Carson and Mrs Hughes that her and Branson are meeting for lunch, she is fired. Mrs Hughes and Branson have a heart to heart. She tells him to be his own master.

Edna the maid Downton

Edna makes a play for Branson

Edna kisses Branson Downton

Edna is very forward

A fair full of food, games and modest dances arrives in Thursk and all the staff are eager to attend in light of the Granthams’ absence. Carson is anti-fun as usual. Branson drives everyone to the fair. Daisy and Ivy are now fast friends, off to take their chances on some games of skill. Daisy wins a gold sovereign.

Downton Abbey Tug of War

Team Downton tug of war

Thomas from Downton

Battered and bruised Thomas

The men of Downton win a tug of war. Jimmy placed a wager and invited the burly butcher Tufton onto the Downton team, ensuring their victory. Jimmy wins ten quid and gets drunk. Some muggers follow him and try to part him with his cash, but Thomas is also on Jimmy’s trail and steps in to take the beating for him. When Jimmy goes to visit the beaten and bruised Thomas later, they finally agree to be friends, without benefits.

Duneagle Estate Downton Abbey

Duneagle Estate

The new butcher takes a shine to Mrs. Patmore and she is flattered by his attentions.  He flirts up a storm with Mrs. Patmore to the amusement of the kitchen maids. The butcher sends Mrs Patmore a note and invites her to the fair where he wants to squire her around for the day. She asks for the afternoon off to attend. Mrs Patmore frets over what to wear, worrying her pink blouse is too girlish. She has a great time but doesn’t notice his bad behaviour at the fair. Mrs Hughes breaks the news to Mrs Patmore that Mr Tufton was making time with numerous women while on their ‘date’, even though Tufton proposed to Mrs. Patmore. It was the cooking he was after, not Mrs. Patmore. They have a good laugh over it in the end and Mrs Patmore is relieved not to end up chained to Mr Tufton’s stove.

Mrs Hughes and Mrs Patmore

Mrs Hughes and Mrs Patmore laugh it off

Isobel and Dr. Clarkson spend more time together and the doctor grows fond of Isobel. They also attend the fair where Dr. Clarkson has a few too many courage drinks and almost proposes to Isobel. She tactfully saves his pride.

Dr Clarkson and Isobel Crawley

Dr Clarkson makes a play for Isobel

Back at Duneagle, O’Brien seems to find a kindred spirit in the lady’s maid at Duneagle. The downstairs staff are rather sullen and reserved. But their differences emerge when O’Brien reveals she has a yen for a foreign posting whereas Duneagle’s lady maid Wilkens dreads going to Bombay. Things soon sour between O’Brien and Wilkens after Lady Flintshire takes a shine to O’Brien’s abilities.

O'Brien and Wilkens, Downton Abbey

Fast friends soon become rivals, Molesley dances in the background

Drunken Mr Mosely Downton Abbey

Molesley does it Gangnam style

At the Gillie’s Ball, Mr Molesley gets drunk on the drink Wilkens spiked to foil O’Brien.  Mr. Molesley dances like a banshee all night. And O’Brien is happy Wilkens tried to double cross her so she doesn’t have to be loyal. One gets the feeling O’Brien may be angling for Wilken’s job and the exotic posting in India. Anna learns to dance the ‘reel’ from Rose and enchants Bates at the Gillie’s Ball.

Mr Bates watches Anna dance

Mr Bates is entranced by Anna's dancing

Lady Mary and Anna head back to Downton after Mary feels some rumbling in her tummy. The entire family follows the next day. Mary goes straight to the hospital from the train station. She delivers a healthy baby boy with Isobel and Dr. Clarkson assisting.

The happy Crawley family

The Crawley family is complete

Matthew is first on the scene, back from Duneagle. He is beyond smitten with his wife and new heir at the hospital. After some heartwarming time together, he returns to Downton to let the others know it’s okay to visit Mary. An elated Matthew drives along the sunny road. A truck approaches in the opposite direction. The next thing we know, Matthew is dead by the side of the road following a fatal collision. He never saw it coming. Flash back to the hospital as Mary cuddles their baby, unbeknownst to her, now a single mother.

Matthew Crawley is dead

Matthew Crawley is dead