Good Grief, Downton Abbey

WARNING: If you haven’t watched the season 3 finale of Downton Abbey, you might want to hit that little x up there in the top right corner. SPOILER ALERT!

I know the pain is still fresh for those who sat staring in disbelief at their television screens Sunday night. But it has been a few days now, and it’s time to move on. We have to deal with our grief. They say the 5 stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. For me, denial lasted about 3.7 seconds, mainly because I couldn’t shake Matthew’s convincingly cold, blank stare. Anger lasted a little longer, though, and from the looks of my Facebook newsfeed, some of you are still there. It’s okay; I’m told we all work through the stages at a different pace.

250px-McgonagallI bargained for a little while, too, inwardly wishing Violet Crawley would use her expert transfiguration skills that she learned when she was McGonagall in Harry Potter to somehow turn the tragedy around. She didn’t. Then I was depressed. I mean, sure, that new haircut Matthew had needed to go, but couldn’t he have stayed?

Now that I’m sitting here comfortably at acceptance, I’ve decided that there should be a sixth stage to television grief: laughter. If you think about it, the whole thing is a little bit comical. You might not know this, but it was far less painful for us here in America. That episode was the Christmas special in the UK. THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, y’all. Seriously, who DOES that?  Who ends a season of a show that millions of women watch by killing off one of the series’ most loved characters, without any warning…to end the Christmas special? British TV does, that’s who. They didn’t even give him scurvy or tuberculosis to let us warm up to the idea.

You wouldn’t see that on American-produced television, I’ll tell ya’ that. In fact, if Downton Abbey were an American show, I think we’d see more changes than that.

Edith would caedith and jantch a break. Poor Edith. The middle-child syndrome is real, people. But even Jan Brady got a solo part in the Brady Kids’ hit Sunshine Day and avoided all the bad luck that tiki statue brought the rest of the family on their Hawaii vacation. Ease up, Masterpiece Theater.

Mary would smile more. So would Robert, Mr. Carson, O’Brien, Tom Branson, and probably about 20 other straight-faced characters I can’t think of right now. Don’t people laugh in Yorkshire?

Lord Grantham would have been thrown out of the cricket match for yelling at the ump. At least, that’s how Zeke Braverman would’ve handled things. Also, they would have won. How do you lose to the town when you own it? SMH.

9 months wouldn’t pass between episodes. What is up with that? We had an entire world war in just 6 episodes and an entire pregnancy in 2. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Jimmy would have punched Thomas square in the face. And I would have felt better about that whole thing.

Mrs. Patmore would get some lines with Violet Crawley. Because those two are the closest thing that show has to funny.


People wouldn’t die so often. Sure, they’d get sick, or shot like J.R. But then they’d get better and sign new contracts, because they would know that this is the best gig they’re gonna get. Unless, of course, you’re Violet Crawley, and Hogwarts is calling. So goodbye, Matthew. We’ll wish you the best, but must grieve you no more.



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Are you sure about the end of season 3 here being the Christmas episode in England? I read in the paper that the reason the writer put it at the end of this season because they didn’t want it to be in the Christmas episode.


I actually read about the episode several weeks ago when I googled Matthew to see what else he’d been in. All the first results were outrageous cries from people in England about how it ruined their Christmas:)

Janet Orr

My problem was I had read a spoiler at the beginning of the season- so I spent all 7 episodes wondering if that was the week and how they would do him in! Also trying to keep my lips zipped about it! Ha!


I had just started watching Season 3, and I had my DVR paused with Violet Crawley on the screen. Davis is in the other room, but sees her frozen on the screen and asks me if I’m watching Harry Potter. Ha!

Stephanie Midkiff

THANK YOU! I also thought Matthew’s hair was annoying this season.
Also the amount of DEATHS was annoying, but whatever.

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