Downton Abbey Season Finale Christmas Special 2013

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Set in 1923

Martha Levinson in London

Martha is already not amused and she just arrived in London

Everything is centred around Lady Rose’s debutante ball in London… The family and staff are at Grantham house in London. Americans Martha and Harold Levinson also arrive for the big event. Martha Levinson is dour because her maid quit suddenly, presumably for having her head bitten off one too many times. Uncle Harold is fresh on the heels of his American business scandal.

Cynical Uncle Harold arrives fresh from the "American Scandal"

Sampson the card shark shows up to a party at Grantham house with Lady Rosamund. He’s not the only grifter on the scene. Lord Ainsgarth and his daughter have their eyes on the Levinson fortune, hoping to arrange a father daughter double wedding with a title in exchange for money. While Lord Ainsgarth tries to woo Martha, Harold spends time with the Lord’s daughter, the more honest Madeline. Uncle Harold and Martha are wise to the scheming duo. In the end, Lord Ainsgarth proposes to Martha but receives a hearty no. She isn’t interested in a British title, but promises to set up Lord Ainsgarth with some wealthy willing widows.

Lord Ainsgarth tries to woo wily Martha Levinson at a picnic

Rose and her friend Frida enjoy a night out on the town with card shark Sampson in tow. Sampson steals a love letter from Frida’s purse – the letter is from the Prince of Wales. Sampson’s motive is extortion, lest a monarch scandal ensue. Lady Rose confides in Lord Grantham, who devises a plan to steal the letter back from Sampson’s flat while Sampson is diverted at an after dinner poker game.

Grifter Sampson almost brings down the monarchy by stealing a love letter

The Crawley monarchists get Bates involved in their plot because they need a forger. The forger turns out to be Bates, more hidden talents… Lord Grantham calls the whole affair a ghastly debacle! Lord Grantham and the girls try to send Violet, Isobel and Martha off to the theatre during their scheme, but Isobel is too tired to experience an evening of second hand emotions. Rose and Mary fail to find the love letter when they burglar Sampson’s flat. Their plain to protect the prince from his own recklessness is failed. But Bates saves the monarchy by pickpocketing Mr Sampson and the monarchy crisis is averted. The Prince of Wales shows up at Rose’s ball, ensuring she is the sweetheart of London. The Prince’s lover Frida lets him know he owes the Crawleys in a big way.

Rose dances with the Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales dances with Lady Rose at her ball

Lady Edith is back from eight months in Geneva, looking tired, says Ivy from the kitchen. We learn that Edith weaned her baby girl in Geneva, but is clearly saddened by the whole affair. The baby remains with its adoptive parents, the Schroders, in Geneva. Lady Rosamund remains Edith’s confidante. Michael Gregson is still missing, but news surfaces that he got into a fight with a ‘gang of toughs’ in Munich, presumably early Nazis. Edith is cracking under the weight of  it all. In the end, Edith sets up a secret agreement with the groundskeeper to raise the baby with the rest of his family.

A saddened Lady Edith returns to Downton sans secret baby

Lord Merton drops by unexpectedly to visit Isobel and see if she’ll attend Rose’s debutante ball. They exchange some witty banter and Isobel is clearly hot and bothered. Isobel decides not to eschew tradition after all and attends the ball to see the flirty and appreciative Lord Merton.

Finally, someone who appreciates Isobel

Carson tries to organize a fun outing for the staff in London at Lady Cora’s insistence. Mrs Hughes questions his idea of fun. They decide on a day by the seaside…

Carson and Mrs Hughes hold hands in the sea, what the hey?

Martha’s valet Mr. Slade takes a shine to Daisy, but she is still too preoccupied with Alfred to notice. There’s friction between Mr Slade and Carson. Mr Slade asks Carson if there’s anything going on between Alfred and Daisy. Awkward! Slade decides to throw his hat in the ring for Daisy’s affection. Harold Levinson is also enamoured, of Daisy’s cooking! Uncle Harold wants Daisy to move to America to cook for him. During the staff outing at the seaside, Mr. Slade makes his intentions clear. Daisy gracefully declines both offers of cooking and love, but is well chuffed someone finally wants to court her. Ivy is all too happy to fill Daisy’s position as a cook in America.

Daisy is well chuffed to be courted

Thomas continues to bully Baxter. We still don’t know what he has on her, but with Molesley’s support, Baxter takes a chance and calls Thomas’ bluff.

Mrs Hughes finds a mysterious train ticket in Bates’ overcoat, a ticket that implicates him in the death of Anna’s rapist. She shows the train ticket to Lady Mary, but they both agree to leave well enough alone. But Mary makes a comment to Bates about regretting the things one can get up to in London. She talks to Mrs Hughes and isn’t sure whether she can live with the idea of murder. However, once Bates saves the monarchy with his expert pickpocketing, Mary burns the ticket and remains loyal to Bates.

Bates implicated in murder, again.

Lord Grantham misses Isis in London. He awaits her arrival with Branson.

Old anger surfaces for Thomas, having to serve Branson like a member of the family. Branson takes Miss Bunting the teacher for dinner at the pub. She wants a tour of Downton, which Branson nervously supplies after dinner. Thomas catches them upstairs and infers more went on than it did. Thomas lords this over Branson’s head, taking liberties.

Mr Blake and Mary visit an exhibition

Still no resolution on Mary’s love life, or as Violet calls them, “Mary’s men”. During a chat with Tony, Mary learns that Mr Blake is not an outsider after all. He comes with a title and a great inheritance. Tony Gillingham also vows to keep wooing Lady Mary, but wants a level playing field – that’s why he gave Mary the scoop on Mr. Blake.

Quotes from Downton Abbey Season Finale Christmas Special 2013

Radiant Lady Rose on her way to court

Mrs. Hughes: We’re all tired. But not as tired as we’re going to be.

Daisy: What difference does it make if you peel potatoes in London or peel them in Yorkshire?

Lady Mary: I’d rather sleep on the roof than share with Edith.

Lady Mary (about Rose): Your niece is a flapper, accept it.

Uncle Harold: To be honest, I don’t feel the need to leave America. To be honest, I don’t feel the need to leave it now.

Martha Levinson: Harold, we have travelled three and a half thousand miles so we could change the subject.

Carson: You’re a footman, not a travelling salesman. Please keep your opinions on the catering to yourself.

Carson sets the American valet straight on a few things

Lady Edith: I sometimes feel we should make more scenes about things that really matter to us.

Countess Violet (to Isobel): Can’t you even offer help without sounding like a trumpet on the peak of the moral high ground.

Mrs. Patmore: Mr Carson, all women need someone to show a bit of interest every now and then. Preferably in a manner that’s not entirely proper.

Uncle Harold: I like my food good, I don’t want it original.

Countess Violet: British peerage is a fountain of variety.

Uncle Harold: I would find it hard to respect any woman who wished to marry me.

Mrs Patmore (to Lady Rose): If the family is like sardines my Lady, the staff are like maggots

Mrs Hughes: So Mr Bates must be ruined or even hanged because a vile vicious monster is no longer with us?

Martha Levinson: Well the gang’s all here I see.
Countess Violet: Is that American for hello?

Countess Violet: The combination of open air picnics and after dinner poker make me feel as though I’ve fallen through a looking glass into the Dejeuner sur l’Herbe

Lady Rose: What could be more revolting than to rummage through a strange man’s socks.

Lady Mary: I’m a realist monarchist.

Bates and Anna frolic at the seaside

Martha Levinson: I don’t really want to spend the rest of my life among people who think me loud and opinionated and common.

Martha Levinson: Why don’t you come and visit Newport and I will rustle up rich widows who want titles much more than I do.

Martha Levinson: I have no wish to be a great lady.
Countess Violet: A decision that must be reenforced whenever you look in the glass.

Baxter: You’ve made me strong Mr. Molesley. Your strength has made me strong.