Beautiful Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) has never had a shortage of suitors. Unfortunately, however, a lot of them seem to die young.
First there was Patrick, who supposedly met his end aboard the Titanic (or, if you’re of Edith’s thinking, returned to the Abbey so badly disfigured his own family didn’t recognize him). Then, of course, came Kemal Pamuk who spent his last few moments of life in Lady Mary’s bed.
Next up was her one-time fiancé/blackmailer Richard Carlisle, who was scrappy enough to escape alive if slightly worse for wear after Mary kicked him to the curb in favor of Matthew. Oh Matthew. Poor, poor Matthew. We all know how that ends and the result is a Season 4 starring the black-clad widow Mary.
Not that she lacks for company. Mary soon meets Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen), an old friend from childhood who’s, um, really grown-up. The two immediately hit it off with Tony so carried away by his feelings he asks for Mary’s hand in marriage just one episode after he makes his debut (so, you know, maybe a week in Downton time).
Mary declines his proposal saying her head is still “too full” of Matthew but sends Tony off with a passionate, lingering kiss. Although he said he’s off to marry another since Mary won’t have him, we have more than a hunch Tony will be back, which begs the question: Are you Team Matthew or Team Tony?
Compelling arguments can be made for both sides. Matthew was, well, he was Matthew. Handsome, caring, self-sacrificing. He melted Mary’s icy heart and showed her it was okay to love. And then he died. Tony, meanwhile, practically glows with good health. He comes from a similar background and is clearly madly in love with Mary who, for her part, is “very, very strongly physically attracted” to Tony, as helpfully explained by show creator Julian Fellowes.
It’s a tough choice and one we’ve wrangled with all season long. Do you have a favorite? Pick a team in our poll and then cast your vote for whether Mary gave Tony the right answer in the January 19 episode.
Source: PBS on YouTube