It might look as if things are going pretty well for the Crawleys. but we, of course, know better. And for those who feel that the series ended on way-too-happy a note, here’s my assessment on what the future holds for them:
Downton Abbey, 1940 (not such a good year for Britain)
Lady Mary is now queen of the manor, her father, Robert succumbing to a heart attack from a few too many scotches. He is buried beside his trusted and loved Isis. Cora, soon after, died from an overdose of sweetness. Violet could have told her that a douse of vinegar once in a while would help her personality from its saccharine encumbrance.
Mary, long since bored with husband Henry, has formed a close relationship with Thomas Barrow. They venture to London every few weeks for some nightclubbing. Anna has given them matching hairdos (all that beautiful black hair not gone to waste), and Mary adores wearing men’s clothes. Thomas just smiles. Mary apparently has forgotten that she has two children, which turns out to be fine with them. George has joined the RAF, hoping that it will make a man of him. The second child wandered off somewhere in the late 1920s, but it wasn’t until 1932 that anyone noticed. And Mr. Bates. There was a murder somewhere in England, and it was thought best by the police to arrest him, just in case.
Meanwhile, Henry has tired of the used car business and simply roams around the grounds looking for a purpose, much like his late father-in-law, but without the uniform.
Branson, finding Thirsk a tad more to his taste than the hinterlands of Downton, has set up a bachelor apartment above the car works. He has realized that the smell of motor oil excites him more than perfume. Sibbie has gone to London, where she has found a job in an art gallery. Her main job is to look like a Lady. She is semi-successful at this, until the blitz comes a bit too close.
Daisy and Andy are happy on the pig farm. Mrs. Patmore has allied with Mr. Mason, although no wedding bells have pealed. They built a bed and breakfast on the farm, but soon learned that such a venture was best placed upwind of the stable. When the depression came, they were glad for the pigs.
After Isobel saved Lord Merton from his evil son and daughter-in-law and he miraculously recovered from his pernicious anemia, they embarked on a round-the-world cruise. They have not been heard from since 1926, and are living anonymously in Bali or Fiji or one of those places in the Pacific. There was talk to bringing charges against the Mertons, younger, for poisoning said father, but it was decided that it was too much trouble. The couple stayed in Yorkshire, but aren’t invited to any parties.
Now for Lady Edith. You really didn’t think that she was destined for happiness. No indeed. In fact, on her honeymoon, who should show up at the dinner table (she really needs to watch that) but Michael Gregson. Yes! She immediately left, before even ordering her entrée, and she and Marigold returned to Germany with him. She was so in love with her beloved Michael that she became a German citizen post haste. Well, what can I say?
You may be wondering about Carson and Mrs. Hughes. They are still living on the estate. Mrs. Hughes has learned to cook, and Carson has learned not to criticize it. Dear Molesley is now principal of the school in Thirsk, and misses teaching.
And the Dowager is still here, although slowed down a bit, still ably served by Spratt who in his spare time writes for Tattler. Denker is still trying to get him fired, also into bed.
1940 was not the best year for Britain, but through grit and fortitude they persevered. So, we can be sure, will the denizens of Downton Abbey.
Another Sunday, www.cynthiastrauff.com