Reunited at the gala held at Downton in Season 4 Episode 3, the two childhood friends immediately hit it off as adults (really good-looking adults, mind you). Riding around the estate, reminiscing about their comfortable posh upbringings, talking about their respective places in society — Mary and Tony appeared to have all the makings of Downton’s new power couple.
Lord Gillingham saw the potential, too. After enjoying a night out with the eldest Crawley daughter during her trip to London in Episode 4, he rushed back to Downton and asked Mary the big question: Will you be my wife?
It was romantic. It was passionate. It was really, really fast. In fact, the whole thing was just too fast for the recently widowed Mary who, mind you, only made the decision not to give up on life completely a few episodes ago. After receiving Mary’s refusal and getting a single goodbye kiss, Tony heads off into the sunset to, we presume, wed the Hon. Mabel Lane Fox and have a sad, loveless life.
But what if Lord Gillingham returns? Rumor has it Tom is slated to reprise his role in two more episodes this season: number eight and, even more exciting, the Christmas special. We well remember the kind of magic, both good and evil, Julian Fellowes can work come December 25. Let’s just not try another proposal in the snow, shall we, Jules? Some things are sacred.
As for what brings Tony back to Downton, what could be the reason except to try one more time to win Mary’s heart? Seeing as she’s already voiced her doubts that maybe she should have told him “yes,” would Tony asking for her hand a second time lead to wedding bells? We wouldn’t be opposed to this if the lovebirds took their time and had a long engagement.
Then again, Tony might just stop by to pay a holiday visit to the Crawleys with his new wife. Yuck.
Unfortunately, if Lord Gillingham returns, we can only assume that so will his valet, the evil Mr. Green (Nigel Harman). We only hope that Green resurfacing would end in Anna (Joanne Froggatt) getting the justice she so deserves.
What would you make of Lord Gillingham coming back to Downton Abbey? Share your thoughts in the comments below.