Christmas came early! Well, technically it came right on time but for U.S. fans of Downton Abbey the holiday season has arrived once again. The two-hour season finale scheduled to hit PBS next Sunday (February 23) originally aired in the U.K. back on December 25, 2013, as the show’s traditional Christmas Special.
No matter when or where you watch the end to Season 4, however, we’ve got all the details about the episode. The special, which is set to air at 9 p.m. on the 23rd, will offer a breath of warm summer air as we follow our favorite upper crust family to London for Rose MacClare’s (Lily James) debutante ball.
The grand event will officially introduce Rose to high society (and to the Royal Family!). It will also presumably lead to new love interests for the feisty Scottish cousin. That is, if she’s over her one-time fiancé, the handsome American jazz singer Jack Ross (Gary Carr).
Downton spared no expense for the special, which executive producer Liz Trubridge has described as “the most spectacular” yet. Lady Rose’s coming out will be hosted at Buckingham Palace, as portrayed onscreen by the historic Lancaster House. Meanwhile, the family stays at Grantham House (our first ever look at it!) where they’ll be joined by the Dowager Countess’s very favorite people: Lady Cora’s American relatives, mother Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine) and brother Harold (Paul Giamatti) who supposedly crosses path with a lovely English lady.
The whole gang supposedly finds itself in a mess of trouble thanks to “a scandal that threatens to engulf the monarchy,” according to the episode’s official synopsis. What did the Dowager say this time?! Let’s just hope it doesn't have anything to do with the social misstep of one family member.
Royal drama aside, conflict continues for Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) as she “wrestles with a moral dilemma.” Based on where we left Edith in the February 16 episode — pregnant and alone — we have a hunch her dilemma has something to do with Aunt Rosamund’s (Samantha Bond) grand scheme to have the baby adopted abroad.
Meanwhile, Isobel (Penelope Wilton) “finds herself with an admirer.” Our guess: that nice elderly gentleman the Dowager just happened to know, Lord Merton (Douglas Reith). Meanwhile downstairs, Daisy “gets an unexpected invitation.” Could a relationship finally work out for the perpetually heartbroken assistant cook?
Speaking of heartbroken, two of Season 4’s star characters aren’t mentioned in the summary: Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) and Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery). Last week’s show ended with Anna dumbfounded by the sudden death of her attacker while the widowed Lady Mary was juggling several new suitors. And to think it was only a year ago Mary (and the world) lost Matthew (Dan Stevens). Thankfully, the show’s crew says the Grim Reaper won’t be hanging around the finale this year.
What do you hope to see happen during the finale? We can tell you everything seeing as we watched the show back in December but be warned, spoilers ahead. Tell us your hopes and dreams for Downton Abbey.