(Warning: If you have not watched the conclusion of “Downton Abbey” season 3 on PBS Sunday night, stop reading now. Otherwise, you will be both spoiled and very unhappy.)
After weeks of waiting, America finally knows what has caused British fans of the series to be upset to the point of being on the verge of tears: despite becoming a mom for the first time at the end of the episode, Lady Mary is going to be finding out some bad news rather soon: her husband Matthew got in a car accident on the way home to inform the family, and he is no longer among the living.
The death of Dan Stevens’ character is a huge moment that will change the series forever, as Mary will have to try and pick up the pieces of her life with a new child in tow. But why did it have to happen? This is what we are going to focus the rest of this article on. (You can read our full review of this episode over here, as we covered it when it first aired in Britain.)
It was early on during season 3 when Stevens realized that he was interested in moving on from the show, and he was quick to inform creator and writer Julian Fellowes of his decision. Fellowes remained interested for some time in trying to keep the actor on board, and even offered him the opportunity to change the ending of this episode at the last minute if he wanted to come back in some capacity.
While some may be angry at Stevens for his decision to do other things, there is no doubt that he is a busy man. The actor has been on “The Heiress” on Broadway for the past several months alongside Jessica Chastain, and he also is the Editor-at-Large for The Junket. It’s sad to see him go, but at least he informed the creator of the show long enough in advance for there to be an end to his character’s story that did not involve him being suspiciously absent when season 4 picks up.
What is your take on the finale at the moment, and are you upset at Stevens at all over his decision to leave? If you want to check out some more scoop on what is coming up for Mary next on the show, you can do so by visiting the story here.
Photo: ITV / PBS