BWW Recap: Schemes, Revenge & More on DOWNTON ABBEY Season Finale
The following day, Rose approaches Robert about the letter ordeal, and her suspicion of Sampson. Robert feels that if the Prince's affair were to go public, the family would be responsible, for they introduced Sampson to Freda and Rose mentioned the love letter in front of him. Therefore, he believes it is their duty to keep the Prince's secret under wraps, and steal back the letter from Sampson before he goes to the papers with the story. Robert suggests they somehow go to Sampson's flat and search the place for the letter. To do so, Robert asks Bates to hire a forger to write a note in Sampson's handwriting to his landlord that allows the family into his flat. To get Sampson away from his flat for the night, Robert will host an after-dinner card game, all the while Mary, Rose, and Charles Blake will search his place. To avoid having Edith, Violet, Martha, and Isobel discover their plan, they plan for Rosamund to take them to the theatre.
Meanwhile, Edith visits Rosamund to give her some news about Michael's whereabouts. Apparently, Michael had been attacked by a gang of sorts in Germany, but nothing else is known. Edith says that if he is dead and money has been willed to her, she feels she must give half of it to the baby. Rosamund continues to urge her to forget about the child, but it is clear Edith will not abandon the situation for some time.
That same day, Harold and Madeleine have their picnic, and are joined by Violet, Isobel, and Martha. Over lunch, Harold laments about his love life to Madeleine- it seems he only has brief entanglements with women who are only after his money, and then lets them go without another thought. Madeleine is sympathetic towards him, and the two strike up an unlikely friendship.
Back at the Grantham House, Robert's plan is in full swing. Bates gives the landlord's note, which he forged himself, to Rose, and the invited gentlemen arrive for the card game. Rose, Mary, and Blake have no problems getting into Sampson's apartment, but are unable to locate the note. When they return to the house, Mary gives Robert the thumbs down.
Tom finally shows up at the Grantham House, with Ivy and Mr. Barrow in tow. He attends the card game that evening. However, Mr. Barrow pulls Robert aside and tells him that Tom had Sarah over at the estate, and he found the two in the upstairs bedroom wing together. During the card game, Robert makes a crack about Tom having "friends" over to the estate, but he never mentions the situation again. Looks like Barrow's plan didn't effect Robert as much as he'd hoped.
Carson approaches Bates and gives him a message from Robert: they were not able to retrieve the letter. Bates, deciding to take matter into his own hands, offers to help Carson check coats at the end of the card game. He immediately goes for Sampson's coat, and finds the letter tucked away in his upper breast pocket. Bates slyly gives the letter to Robert, claiming that if he had stolen something of importance, he would always keep it on his person.
The family is more than grateful to Bates. As Anna helps Mary get ready for bed that night, Mary tells Anna to thank Bates again for his kindness. Anna remarks that Bates will always be loyal to the family, Mary replies that in Turn the family will always be loyal to him. She then realizes that she could never Turn Bates in assuming he had killed Mr. Green, and burns the London train ticket.
At long last, the day of the ball has arrived. The Prince of Wales makes a shocking appearance, and asks Rose if she would honor him with the first dance of the evening. Rose now already has an incredible reputation as a debutante! Freda later admits to her that while the Prince doesn't know of the situation surrounding the letter, she told him that he owes this family greatly.
On the other side of the room, Lord Asygarth is still heavily pursuing Martha. He asks her to move to America and marry him, which she refuses. The last thing she wants to do is join a society where everyone thinks she's loud and obnoxious. But, she does promise to fix him up with some rich American widows. Harold and Madeleine also say their goodbyes, but it appears the two are parting as good friends.
Lord Gillingham takes Mary into the library so that they can talk privately. He and Charles Blake have been attempting to woo her for almost a year now, and he wants the battle to be a fair fight; therefore, he tells her that Charles is heir to his cousin's estate, which is one of the largest in Oster. Mary is shocked by this information, and admits that this changes some of the stakes. She also proudly states that she is ready to continue living her life fully for the first time since Matthew's death, and will devote her every minute to preserving Downton.
During the ball, Edith has a spark of courage and returns back to Downton before the rest of the family. She speaks with Mr. Drewe, a long-time tenant at the estate, about adopting her baby, for she wants to be close to her child. Her and Mr. Drewe devise a plan in which Mr. Drewe will tell his wife that the baby's parents were old friends of his, but are now deceased. The pair agree that this secret will remain between them.
After the ball has ended, Mary walks Charles Blake to his car. She tells him that she knows of his future inheritance, and inquires as to why he kept this secret from her. It turns out he wanted Mary to fall for him for himself, and not his inheritance. Mary is visibly touched by this.
After a few failed (and slightly boring) suggestions to the staff, Carson decides that the staff outing will be a trip to the beach. Ethan speaks with Daisy about moving to America to cook for Harold, who has loved her food during his visit and now desires an English cook. Daisy denies him, but Ivy steps in and asks if she could go to America in Daisy's place. She insists that she knows the same dishes that Daisy does, and that Harold will not notice the difference. Ethan agrees, and it appears we will lose Ivy in the upcoming season.
On the beach, Baxter makes a stand against Mr. Barrow. She has befriended Mr. Molesley, who has shown her more kindness than Mr. Barrow ever had. She tells Barrow that she will not be passing information along to him any longer, and spends the remainder of the afternoon with Mr. Molesley.
The season closes with a heartwarming scene between Carson and Mrs. Hughes. Carson is afraid to go into the sea, and Mrs. Hugh tells him that he can hold her hand for support, adding that he can hold her hand anytime he needs a friend. The season ends on a lighthearted note, although we can expect more drama to return in season 5!