As Downton Abbey season finale approaches us we still have a lot of unanswered questions, which at least indicates that we can expect an exciting last episode. Although I believe that some answers will come only in the Christmas special, which this year, besides having scenes filmed at Alnwick Castle, will take place surprisingly at Christmas time.
Time to make a correction: exactly when this post was published it was reported that a sixth season is confirmed, then it is no longer a speculation.
One of the questions that hangs in the air is whether there will be a sixth season. So far nothing has been said about it yet, but I believe so. There is no reason to believe otherwise since the series has done well so far, even with the ups and downs of this season. The big question for me is whether sixth season will be the last and that, my dear friend, only Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame are able to answer. But, if I were them I wouldn’t go beyond a seventh series.
Now, how about some guesses and speculations of what will happen by the end of this season?
1) Will Isobel marry Lord Merton? I must to confess that I have changed my mind about Lord Merton through the season, especially after his marriage proposal and the so honest way he had declared his love for Isobel. But then he let me down (and surely Isobel too) when he hadn’t defended her or even comforted her after the insults of their sons. I even understand that he should have refrained his actions because as an English Lord he couldn’t show his feelings openly and everything else, but it was Tom who had to take the lead and even Mr. Molesley seemed to be more outraged by Larry’s behavior than Lord Merton himself. Then his detachment when Isobel looked so dejected certainly left its mark on her and now I really doubt we’ll see this marriage happen, especially this season. My bet is that Isobel will put Lord Merton in the freezer until next season, what will surely bring the good Doctor back in the game.
2) And what about Rose? Will she marry the perfect Atticus? And is he really so perfect? I believe so, they will get married, but not without some drama. Don’t forget that nobody reaches the altar in Downton Abbey without pain and suffering along the way. And all the cards are already on the table for this. Lord Sinderby is not very anxious to see his son getting married to a non-Jew and I can bet that Susan’s endearing personality (Rose’s mother if you’ve forgotten her) won’t change his mind. Her presence in the next episode is guarantee of trouble ahead and I can only join the chorus of “poor old Shrimpie”. Not to mention Atticus’ perfection. Nobody is perfect, not even a fictional character and especially not in Downton Abbey. So it is certain that we will see very soon some of his flaws. But I truly believe that none of this will prevent him to became her husband and not even Susan’s grumpiness shouldn’t disrupt a happy ending to the young couple. In the case of a sixth season, I bet that Rose will appear much less than in the last two and I wonder who will play the role of the family’s young rebel with Rose settled down.
3) Is Lord Gillingham truly convinced to leave Mary alone? Well, Tony will be at Rose’s wedding, which is no surprise since he should have been invited as a family friend. But given what we had learned about Tony personality through this season anything is possible. He broke into Mary’s room in the middle of the night to convince her to go with him to Liverpool and I always had the impression that he would try to seduce her that night wouldn’t have been the fire; he never really showed any worries about Mary’s reputation since he used their real names at the hotel in Liverpool and, besides kicking and pouting when Mary dismissed him in front of Peter Pan, shouted from the rooftops what had happened between them. But more stranger than all this was his almost humble farewell after he saw Mary and Charles kissing. Anyway, I truly hope Mabel Lane Fox will be the one able to prove me wrong and rub in my face that she completely right to place her romantic hopes on Tony Gillingham. By the way, I can forgive everything if Tony brings Mabel with him to Rose’s wedding because despite Charles Blake’s absence, Mary and Mabel are always great to watch. Talking about Mabel, when can we start a petition to turn Mabel Lane Fox in a permanent character?
4) Will Isis the Labrador die? Judging by what Lord Grantham himself had said, yes, although I’m sure we won’t see it on the screen. It is more likely to occur sometime between the seventh and the eighth episode or at the very beginning of the eighth at most. So we really need to say our goodbyes to the cute yellow Labrador and her lovely eyes. By the way, there have been much speculation that the dog’s death is connected to the fact that it shared its name with a terrorist organization, what I personally think to be a completely wrong assumption, but this is just me, of course.
5) Will Anna Bates be arrested for Mr. Green’s murder? This is the story line that has upset me most and I really wanted to believe she won’t, but it looks like she will. In the next episode she will even be surprised by the police having to go through a identification session with a witness. There are many spoilers on the net and many talk about Anna’s absence at the inauguration ceremony of the memorial to the soldiers killed in the war, pointing out that Bates seems to be alone, which includes the last scene showed on the next episode teaser trailer where everyone walks back to the Abbey and… there is no sign of Anna. This simply means that either she stayed home to make a surprise to Mr. Bates or that she is unfortunately behind the bars. And prepare your tissues boxes because my guess (and of many people around the world) is that she will end this season in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. Fortunately, there are indications that this situation will be resolved in the Christmas special, although I have read a very disturbing interview with Brendan Coyle where he says there is a terrible plot twist ahead. But I still want to believe in a happy ending especially because I don’t believe that Fellowes would like to see the “Free Bates” campaign relived, now with a different Bates, for the next season. He wouldn’t go that far. Unless… Well, I don’t want to think about any other possibilities, Fellowes has the gift (and sometimes the pleasure) of torturing his audience (Does the names Lady Sybill and Matthew Crawley ring any bells?).
6) Is Tom Branson about to leave for America? That’s the decision he painfully Seems to have taken. But, unless Allen Leech has also decided to leave the show, I believe this is another story line that should have a plot twist reserved for Christmas episode. So in the next episode Tom will tell to his family that he will leave and there will be many tears, but something will change his mind and make him see that now his future is totally intertwined with Downton. Perhaps a new romantic interest? Or maybe a opportunity to develop a new business at Downton? Or his daughter’s heartbreak because she can’t accept to live away from the family she loves? Maybe all of this together? I can’t discard that he can even leave for America to return at the beginning of the next season, but I really think there’s a lot more cards on the table pointing out that Tom will stay. And a new romantic interest would be important and necessary for a new season, after all, even his father-in-law had already admitted that Tom Branson may not be alone for the rest of his days.
7) Who did kill Mr. Green? Obviously it wasn’t Mr. Bates. Not even Anna. Even though both have enough motives, he has already confessed that he didn’t and Anna is not the one for commit murder, it’s not who she is. Besides it would be completely ridiculous that she had spent the entire season in pain thinking about the possibility of Bates being the killer if she had done it. Unless she is a psycho. What she is not. Because sometime it would show some sign. So let’s leave the Bateses alone and find out for the killer elsewhere. In my opinion, there is no one among the other characters that has shown any aptitude for committing murder, except perhaps… Lord Gillilngham. Not that his actions prove him to be a potential killer, far from it, he is just a creepy suitor. But he’s the only one who has a behavior strange enough to raise suspicions about him. And then maybe it would be a little too obvious and perhaps we will be pushing the story too far. Unless Green had done something that had directly affected Gillingham and this is yet to be revealed. This would be a way to definitively move Tony away from Mary and out of her story line (but it will leave Mabel Lane Fox heartbroken…) Anyway, I can’t dismiss this possibility but surely it will need to be very well justified or it will make impossible to believe, ruining this story line completely. My guess then is that the killer is most likely to be someone new, probably one of Green’s victims who will be mistaken by Anna and whose identity will be revealed in the Christmas episode to free her from jail. Unless Tony is psycho… Oh, well, at least he would be a very charming one. So I will stick to some one new.
Please be aware that are just my speculations and personal opinions without any scientific basis unless the spoilers already circulating freely on the internet!