‘Downton Abbey’ season 4, episode 8 (finale) review: Who died, who got engaged, and Mary’s choice

More -Downton Abbey” felt at times like a marathon tonight, mostly because of the sole fact that you were watching an episode that, with commercials, you were looking at something that lasted for more than an hour and a half in length. There was also a ton that happened, whether you are speaking of engagements, reveals, possible new love interests, and a series of other events that all happened while Robert was away in America. It was almost like without Hugh Bonneville around, most of the other characters had the opportunity to really be proactive and not rely on his supervision.

For the servants – Most of the story was framed around a grand party that was held outdoors within the final minutes of the season, which had so many components from set-up to actually running the events. There was also a surprise courtesy of Alfred writing, hoping that he could get Ivy’s hand in marriage. She unsurprisingly declined, and this entire situation did almost nothing more than make Daisy angry that she did not get such an offer.

Daisy eventually did convince herself to show up to say goodbye to Alfred, who arrived at the Abbey just as he was preparing to move away. But, she couldn’t convince herself to say the truth. This was one of the sadder moments of the show, almost like she fumbled the football right before scoring the goal.

When we did eventually see Robert return to the show, Thomas did as well. Then, things got a little interesting when it turned out that Mr. Moseley may actually be the biggest threat to Mr. Barrow’s reign of terror over Baxter.

For the family – There was so much going on here that it is hard to know where to start. Lady Rose and Jack Ross are seemingly no more, but who knew that Jack would look like the saint in the end? While he loved her, we’re still quite sure that she did not love him in the same way. She loved the idea of him.

Meanwhile, Edith struggled to figure out the best way to ensure that she could have a child out there that would live a happy, healthy life. Switzerland for now appears to be a viable option, at least more so than a challenge involving raising the child near her and someone finding out.

As for Mary, we discovered through her own actions that Lord Gillingham was still very much available, as he broke off his engagement in order to begin a lengthy waiting game for Mary to become his eventual bride. That’s an admirable move on his part, but also a very risky one in the event that she never wants to be with him. She turned down Charles Blake as well in the episode at the bazaar, mostly because she was not ready.

The big shocker – The event that almost everyone were waiting for came with the news that Mr. Green died, and under some pretty suspicious circumstances: He seemingly fell out onto the street. Did Mr. Bates kill him? We don’t know, but he clearly is a man without an alibi. It also would not have been hard for him to figure it out. This probably sets up the biggest cliffhanger moving into the Christmas special, where you have to hope that no one is able to piece this together, and that Bates covered his tracks well.

We’re almost stunned now in how little has changed for the show. We still don’t have Lady Mary together with anyone, just as we don’t have Daisy or Edith’s plans figured out. It was still a stellar hour of TV, though, accented by the heartbreaking moments near the end where we started to wonder if any of these people will be happy anytime soon. Grade: A-.

What did you think about this “Downton Abbey” episode, and do you feel like the season proper ended on the right note? Be sure to share some of your thoughts below! Meanwhile, click here if you want to see why we believe the series should most likely come to a close following the end of its upcoming fifth season.

Photo: ITV

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