Let’s start this “Downton Abbey” article with an admission: We first saw the series finale back in December when it aired on ITV, and it is with that in mind that we’ve had a little bit of distance on the way in which the show ended. Sometimes having that is very much a good thing in reviewing television, since it allows you to look at things at least a little more objectively than you would otherwise.
As a whole, we do think that if your objective from this episode was to feel as though most major storylines were wrapped up, we don’t see how you leave this feeling unhappy. Almost every major story was touched on in some way. Edith fixed things with Bertie, Mary has her happy ending with Henry Talbot, and while Mr. Carson’s starting to see his health debilitate, he is still involved at the Abbey with Thomas taking more of the day-to-day duties. Anna and Bates now have a child, and everyone seems ready for that new year and the new future. The way in which the story ends is certainly symbolic.
Now, let’s touch on the negative briefly. Was this perchance too neat of an ending? We know that there is a touch of idealism sometimes in this show, but this was an extremely idealistic ending that really put together everything in a way that was such that the show could wash its hands and feel happy if there were not any more episodes. It didn’t give itself a reason to make a movie down the road, something the producers have expressed an interest in. We feel like the ending is for the most part the sort that will leave you feeling smiling and satisfied, it is also not going to stick with you and redefine the way in which you watch television. It’s more sentimental and nostalgic as opposed to going out with any sort of big swing.