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Season 6 Speculation WITH Spoilers (UK)

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I'm going to be deluded and hold out hope for Tom/Mary because I'm stubborn like that.

 

Just to confirm, there's nothing 100% guaranteeing it won't happen, right?

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Just to confirm, there's nothing 100% guaranteeing it won't happen, right?

Apart from an interview with Michelle Dockery where she says it isn't happening I think we're all good. ;)

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And to be fair, I don't know michelle and I am not making any judgments about her... but doesn't it behoove her to not say "Oh you guessed it!" at the right guess for where the season goes? 

 

I mean, is it really that significant? She is under contract for the show. I kinda think she doesn't have the ok to reveal the endgame if someone guesses it

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Actually someone pointed out to me that she didn't say it wouldn't happen, but just "we need to put that rumor to rest". We can make what we want out of that sentence. 

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I just don't assign that much significance to an actor attempting to not spoil a storyline. I mean, it was Michelle who said season 4 would be all about Mary fighting for her son like a mother tiger and fighting for the estate.

 

I do think Tom/Mary is unlikely but I wouldn't take the 'under contract not to reveal storylines to the press' actor at their word over what won't be happening simply because part of her job is to not tell

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I think Tom/Mary is really unlikely.  We know that Julian Fellowes is not a subtle storyteller so the fact that Mary's reaction to seeing Tom again was pretty similar to Edith's, I think tells us that they aren't slated to be a couple - I think we'd have seen a significantly stronger reaction from Mary, to foreshadow.   I think, also, on a shallow note, that Tom's weight gain makes this less likely - I just don't see JF pairing Mary off with someone who isn't more attractive.

 

I also just really dislike the idea personally - I know Tom's character is now all over the place and almost unrecognisable from how he was originally introduced but I just don't see someone who loved Sybil being able to love Mary.

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I think Tom/Mary is really unlikely.  We know that Julian Fellowes is not a subtle storyteller so the fact that Mary's reaction to seeing Tom again was pretty similar to Edith's, I think tells us that they aren't slated to be a couple - I think we'd have seen a significantly stronger reaction from Mary, to foreshadow.   I think, also, on a shallow note, that Tom's weight gain makes this less likely - I just don't see JF pairing Mary off with someone who isn't more attractive.

 

 

Oh how I disagree here. I think Tom is very handsome, added weight or not. And I didn't see Edith's reaction similar to Mary's. Not at all. Didn't you notice how he was looking at Mary the whole time while explaining that he came back? And at least three close ups from her beaming face looking at Tom, while we had none of Edith. 

 

I don't say "Brary" is going to happen. I'm actually pretty much resigned to the fact that it won't. But there is no denying IMO that there is a major difference in Tom's relationship with Mary and his relationship with Edith. 

 

I also just really dislike the idea personally - I know Tom's character is now all over the place and almost unrecognisable from how he was originally introduced but I just don't see someone who loved Sybil being able to love Mary.

 

Well, I love both... I always have.

 

 

BTW new synopis for episode 5 is out:

 

Violet invites Neville Chamberlain, minister of health, to dine at Downton Abbey as part of her scheme to quash plans for the takeover of the hospital. The evening proves distressing for everyone. Mrs Patmore, Daisy and Andy help Mr Mason to move into Yew Tree Farm and Andy finds an unexpected confidant in Thomas. Mary and Tom go to watch Henry Talbot test drive a new car, but Mary is not convinced she has met her match. Edith has a date with Bertie Pelham in London. Denker is in trouble with Violet and Spratt is forced to help her. Mrs Hughes is finding it difficult to please Mr Carson and Mary senses she has been kept in the dark about a family secret.

 

 

So it looks like Mary will finally find out about Marigold. It's about time! 

 

And it also looks like the "race" will be much earlier in the season than we expected. They shot the scenes in June, so we assumed it would be episode 7, but maybe they shot that out of sequence? Or maybe the race will be different to the "test drive". 

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That synopsis reminded me that one of my least favorite things about the later Downton seasons is the presence of Spratt and now Denker. They're unfunny, unsympathetic and uninteresting caricatures. O'Brien could be unsympathetic but she wasn't an idiot, she didn't exist only for jokes and she got a few genuine moments every now and then to make her feel more like a real person. Daisy can be dim but she also gets into trouble because she doesn't want to hurt people, like when she couldn't bring herself to tell William or his father that she hadn't loved him quite the same way that he loved her. Spratt and Denker? If I never saw them again I wouldn't feel the slightest regret. They're just one-dimensional annoyances whose acting and petty feuds belong in a comedy sketch.

 

Maybe there's a test drive that goes OK and then a race where something happens that makes Mary freak out. I wonder, will they still avoid mentioning Matthew's name or will it just be "my husband died in a car accident" when she has to explain things to Henry.

 

Despite the lack of buildup, could Daisy/Andy happen? Didn't he have some kind of line that made it sound like he thought living on a farm would be nice?

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See, I have to be honest, I really think the majority of the downstairs characters are one dimensional or have become one dimensional. Their lives and troubles are consistently presented for comedic value and my take away from watching them is that apparently house servants are generally a petty minded bunch of losers who get bitter and vicious over the smallest slight, and who are often as dumb as rocks. Could Daisy and Andy happen? Maybe but that would involve Daisy being smart enough to notice a guy is interested her and to not be obsessed with an entirely different guy who clearly has no interest... and I somehow doubt that will happen. Spratt and Denker are caricatures and I get it - servants are both conniving and stupid because you know... they're low class.

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Spratt and Denker are caricatures and I get it - servants are both conniving and stupid because you know... they're low class.

 

And the only servants who get rewarded are those who are good servants. Like Carson and Mrs Hughes. They never question their position and do their job and their duty without complain. I'm sure Anna and Bates will get rewarded in the end, too. They're loyal after all and loyal servants are good servants.

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I don't know about "good" servants being the only ones who are rewarded in the series. O'Brien certainly landed on her feet and is travelling around with the viceroy's wife. Thomas has been rewarded. More than he should have been IMO given his sordid history. Gwen was supposedly "wrong" for wanting to leave service and she got a job and a husband. Jimmy got a nice reference.

Spratt is quite possibly the biggest snob in the series so I mostly find his awful behavior to be funny. Mostly.

Denker is only tolerable to me when she's going out of her way to annoy Spratt. I would have been fine with her being written out in season 4 after her drunken shenanigans.

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O'Brien certainly landed on her feet and is travelling around with the viceroy's wife.

 

Sure but that wasn't the Crawleys doing. Most of the servants who do well, do so by leaving. O'Brien routinely viewed herself as mistreated. She wasn't the nicest person at all but she was publically castigated for the horror of having the same opinion of Matthew Crawley that Lady Cora had 

Gwen was supposedly "wrong" for wanting to leave service and she got a job and a husband.

 

Gwen was terrified of the Crawleys or Carson finding her course work and there was genuine debate from the Crawleys over whether she should be fired over not respecting the priveledge she had in working for them. The only person who helped her was Sybil and this was viewed as something that HAD to be kept secret because  Gwen's duty as a servant was to adore the opportunity the Crawleys gave her and never want more than what they wanted to employ her for.

 

Jimmy got a nice reference.

 

After being fired for screwing. Lady Mary and Lady Edith are guilty of the same crime... So is Robert if kissing Jane counts, and Jane had to leave her job because Robert couldn't deal with her.  

 

Meanwhile Thomas who steals and lies etc is promoted after attempting to jump into Jimmy's bed because he's momentarily in Robert's favor. Favored servants like Bates are allowed to vacate their jobs for a year of jail time and expect to come back to it, while unfavored servants like Mosesly have to humilate themselves to get work. These examples O'Brien, Gwen, Jimmy, are all presented as having done wrong in their actions on leaving. Any rewards they earned in leaving were not because the Crawleys as a whole were happy to see them bettering themselves and wanting to reward them with help into new positions.

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But there is no denying IMO that there is a major difference in Tom's relationship with Mary and his relationship with Edith.

 

I completely disagree - I don't see a major difference there at all.  I think Tom has been given a lot of moments with Mary but he has also been given a lot of moments with Edith.  I think his relationship with both is very strong.

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Another little moment of Robert not feeling well. In last year's Christmas episode he already had an illness that didn't turn out to be serious, they can't be redoing that storyline and so he must be the big death.

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I'm fairly certain that Robert's 'indigestion' (and perhaps death?) will end up being the thing that convinces Violet that they need to embrace change and update/modernize the hospital. It will be one of those come to Jesus moments where Dr Clarkson says."we don't have the proper equipment to save his life", etc.

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I still hope Lord Grantham's upset stomach is a red herring. Not because I'm particularly attached to the character but because this foreshadowing is as subtle as a shower of anvils. Another character dying would be a major surprise.

Edited by MissLucas
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i also thinks that he will die, i suspect that before his death he is going to plead to Mary and Edith to finaly become good sisters to each other; this will happen after the mayor fight betwen them in relation to Marigold origin and the marriage betwen Edith and Bertie. Also his death its important to Mary because if he is not going to be there, she alone has to take charge of the sole estate, and maybe in his will he gives his share to Edith and for that reason he asks that they put aside their bitternes and work as a family.

 

Maybe his death also produces the effect on Carson that is time to retire and leaves his position to Thomas, Andy maybe leaves also to work on the farm. 

 

 

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Okay, after watching 4 episodes here's my theory. I'm putting it out there even though it is probably completely off, but I just don't see any other logical outcome:

 

I'm pretty sure Talbot won't be the one. It's too obvious they have nothing in comon. Her aversion against cars will be a real obstacle and his non existent interest for her job will be another.

 

My theory is: In episode 6 we will see Mary getting on the brink of a relationship with Talbot, but then Talbot and Evelyn will get into a car crash in episode 7 and Evelyn will die or get seriously injured. Mary will then break up with Talbot and Tom will help her through her grief. It will be the shocking U-Turn in her life and the "dark place" Michelle mentioned for her character. We know that Matthew Goode was around in the CS. We don't know how much though. The only picture we had of the filming of the CS was... surprise! Of Tom and Mary. 

That's why I think Henry Talbot will not be the victim in the car accident, but Evelyn will be. In the production stills of Episode 6 he looks extremely jealous.

 

At the end of the show I think Mary and Tom will run the estate together, either romantically involved or not, I don't know for sure, but I think they will be and I think the interview with Michelle Dockery was trying to put us off the scent. But even if they won't beinvolved, there will be no other man in Mary's life and no woman in Tom's. Robert will probably die in the CS or at least hand over the reigns to them in a moving scene.

 

The things I think speak for this theory:

 

1. One thing I noticed: Hugh Bonneville first said in an interview that his last scene is with Michelle and Allen, but changed his story later at the press launch and said it was with Michelle. Why did he change that though? I think the reason is, because Allen wasn't officially back then and that he will indeed have the last scene with both of them.

 

2. Why haven't we seen Tom getting a love interest in 3 years? There would have plenty of time! It's not as if he had so many other interesting storylines!

 

3. Why didn't he come back with an American wife now?

 

4. Why is there no love interest for him hinted at in season 6 so far?

 

5. Why is he in every single scene with Mary? His whole storyline seems to evolve around Mary.  

 

6. Why are there so many pics of future scenes with him and Mary? Their relationship is established, everyone knows they're friends. Why isn't the screentime used to establish Mary's relationship with her endgame suitor? Next episode we know there will be at least 3 "Brary" scenes. She will tag him along to the test race, she will tag him along on a walk, she will tag him along to the Mason's farm. In Episode 6 she will tag him along to her dinner with Talbot!

 

7.  The preview? Two scenes with Brary, none with Talbot. Again Mary opened up to Tom about her fears not to anyone else.

 

8. Last Sunday's episode: Tom is the one who has to "handle" Mary. Not her father or mother. Tom offers and Tom can.  Tom is also the only one she confides in about Anna. Not her mother, not her father, not anyone else. 

 

9. She called him her "brother" in this scene in this office and I think that was foreshadowing. She will change her view of him after the Talbot/Evelyn accident.

 

Also foreshadowing:

- Robert's "I'm curious which man will meet your exeeding standards"

- Violet's: "Mary needs more than a handsome smile and a hand on a gear stick."

- Mary to Carson: "One day I will do something that will even shock you."

- Mary's sudden "Sybil was such a better person than I am."

Let's have a look back on Christmas. I'm really curious if I'm right or wrong.

Edited by Andorra
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Do we know Tom won't be in a car crash? He's already said both that he'd like to work with cars and that he envies Talbot his racing career. Just throwing it out there!

 

Andorra, I like the case you're making. But you could have made a similar case for Mary/Tom last season and the season before, and they finished each season as faux-siblings. I don't fault your logic; I just don't think logic applies! On Downton, 1 + 1 = an escaped convict in the potting shed.

 

I'm pretty sure Talbot won't be the one. It's too obvious they have nothing in comon. Her aversion against cars will be a real obstacle and his non existent interest for her job will be another.

 

This part I disagree with. I don't think spouses were expected to have anything in common back then, except for class/status. Coming from one of "the right families" counts. Otherwise, a wife in Mary's class wasn't expected to have a job, and if she did, her husband certainly wouldn't need to be remotely interested in it nor she in his work and hobbies. So the only obstacle I see is her fear of losing him in a car accident the way she lost her first husband. And that sounds more like the basis of a story arc than an insurmountable obstacle.

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Do we know Tom won't be in a car crash? He's already said both that he'd like to work with cars and that he envies Talbot his racing career. Just throwing it out there!

 

Yes, we know that, because Tom won't be driving. He was seen at the car race (yet another event where he gets tagged along by Mary) and he wasn't wearing racing clothes. Just a regular suit and hat. IMO he will be there to pick Mary's pieces from the floor when tragedy strikes. 

 

 

But you could have made a similar case for Mary/Tom last season and the season before, and they finished each season as faux-siblings.

 

Yes, because Julian Fellows wanted to keep it till the very end.

 

I think he always had Tom in mind as his security kit for Mary and tested the waters with Gillingham and Blake. Since neither of the suitors gained a real support in the audience though, I think he decided to go with Tom. 

 

Why did the dynamic between Mary and Blake change completely in season 5? At the end of season 4 it was all "I love you" from him and then in season 5 he mutated to her gay best buddy to have mischief with and the feelings were completely off the table. 

 

When I saw Talbot and Mary together last episode, I compared it to her and Matthew. And there was really no comparision. There was no dept at all in Talbot. He seemed shallow and dull and only interested in cars. Also a lack of warmth. He was stiff as stick IMO. Matthew teased Mary, but he was always smart and gentle at the same time. 

 

I also forgot that in my "case" that Tom is the only character who has said similar things to Mary as Matthew did. Like "you're so much nicer than people think". That comes very close to Matthew's "I see the real you" IMO: 

Edited by Andorra

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I don't think you cast Matthew Goode - and by some accounts, put a whole storyline on hold waiting for him to be available - just to have him as an obstacle.  An obstacle to a couple that they've done nothing in six years (IMO) to build beyond "brother-and-sister".  They already have obstacles - Matthew and Sybil.  That would be a real story to write.

 

I could be wrong, and I'm sure I'm influenced by my dislike of a potential Tom/Mary romantic pairing, but I don't see it.  I can understand the urge to put them together, because people know and love them and want to see them happy.  And it's hard to build that in a short time with a new character.  So why not have them be happy together?  But I don't think there's anything JF can write that will convince me this story (if it happens) is anything beyond an act of expediency.  If it happens, I think it will be ONLY because the loves JF had planned for both characters tanked, and he ran out of time to write them someone new.  That feels unearned to me, and will make me very sad for both characters.

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If it happens, I think it will be ONLY because the loves JF had planned for both characters tanked, and he ran out of time to write them someone new.

 

Ehh... he's had two seasons to work on it. I mean, there's a point where saying he "ran out of time" starts to not be an excuse. Still hoping it pulls out but really Sybil's been gone since the middle of season three and Matthew's been gone since the end of season three and we're in the middle of season six.

 

Andorra is making a very good case for Fellowes to pop Mary/Tom in at the end after failing to launch Blake/Tony/Henry and say "I planned it all along" but it feels a bit desperately random . If it goes there, I hope there's more lead in than Tom and Mary suddenly falling into each other's arms in the last five minutes of the CS

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Ehh... he's had two seasons to work on it. I mean, there's a point where saying he "ran out of time" starts to not be an excuse.

 

<snip> it feels a bit desperately random . If it goes there, I hope there's more lead in than Tom and Mary suddenly falling into each other's arms in the last five minutes of the CS

 

Oh, ITA.  By "ran out of time" I mean, "failed to plan" and "pulling something out of his ass".

 

Frankly, it's getting down to the wire to think there's time to launch any realistic pairings.  Either with new characters or existing ones!

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Sybil and Matthew could only be considered 'obstacles' had Mary/Tom been planned as endgame from the get-go. Since both characters died because their actors wanted to leave the show whatever follows romantically speaking for Tom and Mary can only have been set in motion after season 3. Before that Mary and Matthew were clearly the OTP.

 

After the season of death both Tom and Mary had to be given a certain time-period for mourning during which the writers could have a think about what to do with them once romance would be acceptable again (that was season 4). In season 5 we got Miss Bunting for Tom and the look-a-like suitors for Mary. Not sure if at least Mary's various suitors were ever considered as serious endgame material by Sir Julia (pig guy maybe). I refuse to think anybody would ever have considered Miss Bunting more than a joke.

 

I think the Mary/Tom pairing only became an option during last season - whether it's a red herring or not remains to be seen. But Andorra makes a couple of good points that those two could end up together. And if not - then well played. The show certainly managed to keep us guessing.

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Oh, I didn't mean the characters were truly obstacles when they were alive.  Tom/Sybil and Matthew/Mary were clearly end game.  Just that a lot of people would have a hard time moving on romantically with their late wife's sister or late husband's best friend, or vice versa.  No matter how much time had passed.  I think showing them working through those feelings could have actually been interesting.  Having Mary in a pseudo-relationship with someone else, only to realize at the last minute that Tom was her STP (second true pairing) all along just isn't compelling to me.  I realize I'm apparently in the minority.  ;-)

Edited by photo fox

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Oh, I see! Apologies! You are right, seeing the characters working through the psychological issues of falling for your deceased sister's husband/deceased wife's sister would be interesting. But I don't think that sort of complex story-telling is in the show's wheelhouse - for better or worse.

 

Well since I've seen a spark between Mary and Tom since last season I think the pairing isn't rushed. But I better stop before I sound like a total shipper. Let's change the subject: I just noticed Mrs Patmore and Mr Mason in some of those production stills. Is Sir Julian going to pair off Daisy's Ersatz-parents? What about the poor Constable?

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Of course Mary/Tom would be controversial, but I agree with all of Andorra's points. In terms of the narrative it's the only thing that makes sense to me. It's one of those love it or hate it decisions but it would be an impactful one and poignant if written well.

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Do we know Tom won't be in a car crash? He's already said both that he'd like to work with cars and that he envies Talbot his racing career. Just throwing it out there!

 

Andorra, I like the case you're making. But you could have made a similar case for Mary/Tom last season and the season before, and they finished each season as faux-siblings. I don't fault your logic; I just don't think logic applies! On Downton, 1 + 1 = an escaped convict in the potting shed.

 

 

This part I disagree with. I don't think spouses were expected to have anything in common back then, except for class/status. Coming from one of "the right families" counts. Otherwise, a wife in Mary's class wasn't expected to have a job, and if she did, her husband certainly wouldn't need to be remotely interested in it nor she in his work and hobbies. So the only obstacle I see is her fear of losing him in a car accident the way she lost her first husband. And that sounds more like the basis of a story arc than an insurmountable obstacle.

While I agree that back then spouses were not expected to "be remotely interested" in each others work and hobbies. I think Mary, after being married to Matthew and working with Tom and Robert on the estate, will want her next relationship to be based on partnership, communication, and love. I think they both will need to be interested enough in each others work and hobbies to have conversations and discussions or Henry/Mary will get bored and/or feel ignored in the relationship.

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Of course Mary/Tom would be controversial, but I agree with all of Andorra's points. In terms of the narrative it's the only thing that makes sense to me. It's one of those love it or hate it decisions but it would be an impactful one and poignant if written well.

Which reminds me of what Liz Trubridge said "We have to do what we feel is right and the audience will either love or loathe us for that, but I'm hoping that we will end up where we all feel would be the great place to end". IMO if they want us to believe that Talbot is end game they need to have him in more scenes with Mary and she needs to open up to him. When all the scenes where she is open, honest, and her mask is lowered are with Tom it is kind of hard to get behind any of her suitors.

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I think it's a massive stretch to see "you're my brother" as foreshadowing a romance.

 

I think JF never intended for people to see Tom/Mary - I think what happened was that the departure of Matthew left a bit of a gap for JF.  There were some stories he wanted to tell about modernising the estate that he had in mind for Matthew but rewrote for Tom (that's why Tom suddenly decides that he's interested in farming rather than journalism/politics).  And, also, I think JF realises that Mary is more than usually unsympathetic without a Matthew type figure for her to open up to, so he put Tom in that role too.  That plus them naturally being paired on estate storylines is making people see it as a romance but I really think that was an accidental byproduct of a writing problem that JF found himself in.

 

On the same writing problem basis, JF has also used Tom to give Edith someone who takes her side in the family (as well as building up Rosamund's role)

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Of course Mary/Tom would be controversial, but I agree with all of Andorra's points. In terms of the narrative it's the only thing that makes sense to me. It's one of those love it or hate it decisions but it would be an impactful one and poignant if written well.

 

I must say, I'm not even a "shipper". If someone had told me at the beginning of season 4 that there was even a remote chance of Tom and Mary ending up together, I would have laughed in his face!

 

I always would have thought it extremely out of character for Mary to fall in love with a former chauffeuer. Also I couldn't have imagined Tom changing to a point where he announces his love for capitalism and his ambition to go to the top!

 

But both characters have changed. The narrative has changed and if I take the story as Julian Fellows writes it, I can see no other outcome besides maybe leaving it open ended, having Tom and Mary run the estate, but without digging deeper wether there's love in the books for them or not.

 

I also remember an interview where Allen Leech said that Julian Fellows showed them, that it happened indeed quite a lot these days, that widowed relatives married in the family. He joked about it, clearly not thinking it would happen himself. But we know that the actors have no clue before they get the scripts what is going to happen with their characters. Allen has said repeatedly, that it makes it difficult. Sometimes the actors see a script and think "Oh, had I known about that before, I might have played the arc differently."

 

There was also a lot of speculation about Allen's and Michelle's chemistry. Both said after season 5, that it was involuntary and that they didn't really play it. This might be the case, but maybe Julian Fellows just thought: "Why not go with it?"

 

My strongest clue is the lack of romance for Tom in 3 seasons. Why is that? Even the Dowager got a romantic interest and the only, young, male character who also very clearly was a person who was longing for love, was completely out of the race. Historically it was incorrect, too. There was a distinct lack of men in Tom's age group. He would have had his pick of interested women and yet he only got one "love interest" who so very clearly was not intended to be liked by the audience? Why this?

 

I thought at the end of season 5 that he would come back with an American wife. That would save Julian Fellows of writing yet another romantic storyline (when he had so many to tie up) and it would have given a satisfying ending to Tom's storyline. 

 

But he came back single again. And now is only running around Mary? What other explanation could there be, seriously?

 

 

And, also, I think JF realises that Mary is more than usually unsympathetic without a Matthew type figure for her to open up to, so he put Tom in that role too.  That plus them naturally being paired on estate storylines is making people see it as a romance but I really think that was an accidental byproduct of a writing problem that JF found himself in.

 

But why is he deepening this "accidental byproduct" more and more? Why doesn't he just give Tom a storyline besides being there for Mary and being her confidante and close companion? 

It would have been more than easy to squish the accidental byproduct into the ground by just giving Tom a love interest. Why didn't he?

 

Because Tom was his life jacket for Mary and now he's going for it.

Edited by Andorra
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There was also a lot of speculation about Allen's and Michelle's chemistry. Both said after season 5, that it was involuntary and that they didn't really play it. This might be the case, but maybe Julian Fellows just thought: "Why not go with it?"

Interesting - I remember commenting on another board during last season that Fellows should limit their scenes together if they're not endgame.

 

If they're not supposed to end up together then we need a better arc for Tom. From the spoilers I've seen so far there's no potential love-interest cast for him nor does it seem likely that he'll become Edith's new editor (the show has conveniently forgotten that he once was a journalist). So what's in store for the character? Being a singleton estate manager at Downton while Lady Mary cruises across the the continent to watch Talbot racing at Le Mans and Spa-Francochamps? I doubt it.

 

It may be that both Mary and Tom realize that you can find true love only once in your life and so they both remain single and manage Downton together. Seems unlikely but still more likely than Mary marrying Talbot, who does not come across as someone who would be happy living the life of a country squire.

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It may be that both Mary and Tom realize that you can find true love only once in your life and so they both remain single and manage Downton together. Seems unlikely but still more likely than Mary marrying Talbot, who does not come across as someone who would be happy living the life of a country squire.

 

Yes, that is the only possible outcome I can see besides them ending up together romantically. I don't see her marrying Talbot and -even though there are a few excited Napier fans - I can't see her marrying Evelyn Napier all of the sudden either. After rolling her eyes over his devotion and after letting him disappear for the whole of series 5, I really don't think he will turn out to be her one true love. 

 

And it still wouldn't explain Tom's lack of storyline or romantic interest for 3! seasons.

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To be fair - there was the indomitable Miss Bunting! She does not have much going for her but at least I did not have to resort to a picture search to remember her like I had to do for Evelyn Napier.

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To be fair - there was the indomitable Miss Bunting! She does not have much going for her but at least I did not have to resort to a picture search to remember her like I had to do for Evelyn Napier.

But she wasn't even believable as a love interest. Yes she agreed with Tom in his politics, but she didn't really listen to him. In one episode He told her that he loved the Crawley's and then in the very next episode she asks him "Don't you despise them?" totally disregarding the previous conversation. If she really loved him she should have actually listened to what he had to say and been a little nicer to his family instead of always having to have the last word.

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I was kidding - she was an awfully written character, full of clichés - more a caricature than anything resembling a real human being (I felt sorry for the actress). Little Sybil would have faced a fate similar to the last Dauphin's had Tom married this lady. She easily gets the 'worst character ever on this show'-award. But I do think we were supposed to think of her as a love-interest nevertheless. Poor Tom.

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I must say, I'm not even a "shipper". If someone had told me at the beginning of season 4 that there was even a remote chance of Tom and Mary ending up together, I would have laughed in his face!

 

I always would have thought it extremely out of character for Mary to fall in love with a former chauffeuer. Also I couldn't have imagined Tom changing to a point where he announces his love for capitalism and his ambition to go to the top!

 

But both characters have changed. The narrative has changed and if I take the story as Julian Fellows writes it, I can see no other outcome besides maybe leaving it open ended, having Tom and Mary run the estate, but without digging deeper wether there's love in the books for them or not.

 

That's what I'm thinking. It didn't have to be written this way but it was, and now nothing else makes sense. Are they really going to pair Mary with Henry Talbot? Matthew Goode is handsome but the writing has done nothing for him in terms of establishing him as more than another one of the many 'suitors' of seasons past. His defining character trait is clearly a vehicle for conflict so he's obviously serving a purpose in the story. It just doesn't seem to be a romantic one. Mary's love life is important to the series not just for emotional purposes but for plot, and the man she chooses to marry is important (if she chooses to marry). The writing has yet to convince me that Talbot has anything to offer that position at all; in fact the only importance he has so far is his probable role as a catalyst for Mary and her trauma over Matthew's death.

So many of the narrative choices seem directionless unless put in the context of Mary/Tom and I think that's probably why at this point in the game some people are starting to rally for it.

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I think Robert is going to need major surgery that can't be done at Dr. Clarkson's hospital and there'll be some plot contrivance involving whether or not they get to London in time.  That will convince Violet to change her mind because she'll almost lose her son or she will lose him.

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Has any one noticed if Tom has ever danced with Mary or Cora wether in the back or foreground?  I do think that Robert is a possibility as the death this series.

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I was sure there would be a new dog, but there's been no sign of an Isis replacement. Another little thing in support of the theory that Robert dies? He was the one who liked dogs and maybe they didn't want to waste any screentime on giving him a new one if the puppy would be left an orphan after a couple of episodes.

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These are such compelling arguments for Mary/Tom! I remain on the fence, and may stick with my "ambiguous" ending for Mary. I think she may be single at the end of the series, but with options.

 

The only thing that tips the scale in Henry's favor would be the fact that I feel it's almost certain at this point (I also think that's why the increased focus on George) that Robert will die. When Fellowes does death, he usually puts it in big, screaming neon letters, and that's certainly been the case with Robert's illness. He's never done a "surprise" death other than Pamuk and possibly Vera. When it's someone beloved, he drops hint after hint after hint, IMO. Robert's death would push forward the "life's too short" idea for Mary, and that no obstacle is insurmountable when love is involved.

 

However, the main reason that I feel Mary/Tom may not happen is that I don't think Fellowes has much interest in Tom, except as a Matthew surrogate for the estate. With the exception of Carson/Hughes, he doesn't do "hiding in plain sight" romance. People don't just fall in love over conversation -- there's a clear attraction: a touch, a romantic gesture, something that makes it clear somebody's heart has been set a-fluttering. It was that way with Mary/Matthew, Sybil/Tom, Anna/Bates and Rose/Atticus -- heck, even Isobel/Lord Merton, and now Edith/Bernie. Romance doesn't just happen one day, as I feel it would for Mary/Tom. There's always a progression.

 

I wouldn't hate the idea of Mary/Tom, but it would shock me. I also think Fellowes is too much of a snob to write it. Mary starting out as questing for a rich husband with a title and ending up either single or involved with a purely middle class guy who races cars I think Fellowes would see as progress. Mary ending up with the family's former chauffeur I think Fellowes would see as anarchy.

Edited by Eolivet
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I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that none of the possibilities discussed seem more obvious than the others (in terms of Mary’s story). There aren’t any strong narrative cues - actually it feels like there isn’t any strong direction at all. After so much meandering I really wanted something to root for. You could root for Mary/Matthew, Sybil/Tom, Anna/Bates, Hughes/Carson etc.
That’s Mary/Tom now for me because it feels the most organic, but it’s still a story that hasn’t really started. And with so little time to tell a compelling story, I hope we see some real development in the next episodes. Whether that’s with Henry, Tom, Evelyn, someone else, no one, it doesn’t matter. Just make me care!
I hope the ending doesn’t feel like a footnote.

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I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that none of the possibilities discussed seem more obvious than the others (in terms of Mary’s story). There aren’t any strong narrative cues - actually it feels like there isn’t any strong direction at all. After so much meandering I really wanted something to root for. You could root for Mary/Matthew, Sybil/Tom, Anna/Bates, Hughes/Carson etc.

That’s Mary/Tom now for me because it feels the most organic, but it’s still a story that hasn’t really started. And with so little time to tell a compelling story, I hope we see some real development in the next episodes. Whether that’s with Henry, Tom, Evelyn, someone else, no one, it doesn’t matter. Just make me care!

I hope the ending doesn’t feel like a footnote.

 

I think that's why the show isn't trying very hard to sell Mary/Henry. They know they can't make it as interesting as any of the long-running couples - how would they - so they aren't going to try. They learned with Gillingham and Blake that doesn't work. So instead, they're going to have Henry in the background and the drama (such as it is) will come from Mary worrying about his car racing, Mary deciding to marry again, and so on. Then towards the end she'll marry him and settle down at Downton and that will be her happily ever after. The actual person doesn't matter so much as the fact that Mary has the picture-perfect life she chose, with a good-looking, devoted husband, Downton thriving (Robert will probably die so she's actually the one legally in charge of the estate). Henry is basically a prop. And the less the audience sees of him the less chance they have to be disappointed in him. 

 

He won't be as exciting to dramatic as Matthew, and Fellowes is smart enough (I hope) not to try. 

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I think that's why the show isn't trying very hard to sell Mary/Henry. They know they can't make it as interesting as any of the long-running couples - how would they - so they aren't going to try. They learned with Gillingham and Blake that doesn't work. So instead, they're going to have Henry in the background and the drama (such as it is) will come from Mary worrying about his car racing, Mary deciding to marry again, and so on. Then towards the end she'll marry him and settle down at Downton and that will be her happily ever after. The actual person doesn't matter so much as the fact that Mary has the picture-perfect life she chose, with a good-looking, devoted husband, Downton thriving (Robert will probably die so she's actually the one legally in charge of the estate). 

I think you might very well be right but crap, this reminds of what happened at the end of True Blood. (I hate watched that show during most of its run anyway but damn it if I wasn't still pissed over that crap finale.)

 

I really hope that Mary/Henry can be compelling if it isn't going to be Mary/Tom. 

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