Home Television “Downton Abbey” Gets A Perfect Finale, and Send Off– For Now

What can you say? Julian Fellowes really deserves all kudos and accolades. The finale of “Downton Abbey” couldn’t have been better. The show gets a fitting ending–at least for now, because there will most certainly be a movie that brings it all to an end.

But everyone got a happy ending, even miserable Barrow. (I kept thinking Miss O’Brien would return at the last minute and blow it all up.) Edith married into quite a scene with Bertie, didn’t she? An actual castle trumps Downton Abbey. Even her new mother in law got with the program.

All of the “Downton” characters were so well developed over time, and never ever stepped out of their personas. Even Isobel, at the very end, gave a kind of kick to Violet. Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton were really the super couple of the show. We could watch them bicker into the next century.

I do think my favorite story arc was that of Mr. Molesley. Remember when he was sweeping up in the village, unemployed and bereft? His life became a triumph. You can only imagine that he marries Baxter. His life wasn’t over, after all.

And while the whole cast is superb, special mention always goes to Maggie Smith. The scene two weeks ago with Lord Merton’s daughter in law, and then the conversation in her drawing room tonight with Isobel– in which she revealed that she will reveal nothing– were beyond sublime.

We’ve seen in this and in the penultimate episode the probable winner of the Emmy award for Best Drama. I don’t think there’s anything on TV or any other “platform” that could touch the production, writing, acting, etc. Just wait now til the ratings come out. What a night for PBS.

I met Julian Fellowes back around 2000, when he wrote (with Bob Balaban) Robert Altman’s movie “Gosford Park.” That movie is sort of the template for “Downton.” And just think– he wrote the book for the hit Broadway show “School of Rock” in the last couple of years while he was writing every single episode of “Downton Abbey.” He and his beautiful wife Emma two of the loveliest people you could hope to meet or write about it. All we can do is thank him for such a great addition to the culture.

And PS– we learned something: the hand held hair dryer went on sale around 1915. By 1925, it was not uncommon to have one.

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