Downton Abbey: Will there ever be a happy ending?

The British period drama television show, Downton Abbey, has always been a drama, but in seasons 3 and 4 the situation the characters find themselves in seem to be becoming more and more dramatic and hopeless.

Warning: This article contains spoilers. Do NOT read on if you are currently watching Downton/or plan to and do not wish to have spoilers.

The war brought tragedy, but the kind of drama you would expect from this kind of show and by the end of the war, it seemed our characters were beginning to have happy endings. Mary and Mathew had finally married, to the joy of many fans, and were the couple many had hoped they would become. Sybil had married the dashing, revolutionary chauffeur, Tom Branson, after much struggle, and was settled in Ireland expecting a baby. Meanwhile, downstairs, Mr. and Mrs. Bates were happily married and going about their business as two of the favorite servants. But it was not to be.

The young, beautiful, revolutionary Lady Sybil had married the families Irish chauffeur, and was happily living in his home town, expecting a baby. Though she had been out of the picture since her marriage, the occasional mention of Sybil kept her on our minds. Her happiness did not last long, for a distraught and pregnant Sybil soon showed up at Downton, closely followed by her husband, who was forced to leave Ireland due to a revolutionary act. Not too long after her arrival at Downton, Sybil gave birth to a baby girl, and then died. Yes, Lady Sybil died, without much warning. This was just the beginning of more drama.

Lady Mary and Matthew had finally, after much “will they, won’t they”, married. Though there was some struggle, they were married and happily in love. Some time after, Mary began expecting and soon had a baby boy, the new heir to Downton. After seeing Mary, and meeting his son, Matthew raced home, but it was not to be, for Matthew was in an accident and died driving home. After the sweet, kind Matthew died on the finale of season 3 I was beginning to lose hope for the fate of these characters, after suffering so much loss, but decided to stick it out for season four.

Though we had had deaths at Downton before, the deaths of Sybil and Matthew were much more unexpected and upsetting.

Meanwhile, Downstairs all seemed well. Dear Anna was happily married to Mr. Bates, who was now out of jail, and the two of them lived cozily in a little cottage on the property. Unfortunately, season 4 took a bad turn for these two, as Anna was attacked by a servant of a guest. Anna then refused to tell Mr. Bates, and began shying away from him for much of the rest of the season.

Season 4 sees Tom and Mary struggling as windowed parents, but slowly beginning to return to the world. Though season 4 did end on a happy note, Anna’s attack prompts me to ask the question; Is Downton Abbey becoming a soap opera drama? Or will season 5 bring better things for these characters?

What are your thoughts on the drama of Downton Abbey?


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