'Downton Abbey' Season Three, Episode Nine (Season Finale) Recap

'Downton Abbey'  Season Three, Episode Nine (Season Finale) Recap Time has gone forward. The servants prepare for the household’s trip to Scotland. Tom watches on with baby Sybil, now larger. Tom and Jimmy walk beside each other in silence. Mary is pregnant, and largely so.

Edith gets a call from her editor, who will be in the same area as the family and would like to come visit.

Everyone leaves on the train—the family, and some of the servants.

Jimmy and Alfred, however, stay behind with Carson. They want to know if they have time off, but Carson shoots that down quickly.

 A new maid cleans Tom’s room. She asks Mrs. Hughes about Sybil, and gets put in her place pretty sharply.

Dr. Clarkson has tea with Isobel, worrying meanwhile about Mary. Isobel invites him to dinner.

The new maid interrupts Tom, who is finishing his meal alone, and waxes sympathetic over his loss. Her name is Edna.

The family arrives in Scotland, greeted happily by Robert’s family.

Downstairs, a delivery man comes looking for Mrs. Patmore. Thomas tries to deter him, but Mr. Tufton insists on seeing her. She looks over the order, and he chats with her. He hits on her and tells her he wants to hear from her.

During dinner, everyone is surprised to be serenaded by bagpipes before they eat.

Mrs. Patmore finds that Tufton has brought the wrong kind of ginger. Thomas offers to go get it the next day. Mrs. Patmore tells Alfred should go with him—but Mr. Carson says he will need servants for Tom’s luncheon. Mrs. Hughes talks him out of it and they agree to go to town.

Isobel talks to Tom, who seems lonely. He says he has friends there—but they’re all downstairs. Isobel encourages him to go and spend time with them, despite how Lady Grantham would disapprove. She reminds him he has a new identity as the agent of the estate. He has a right to talk to anyone he chooses.

Tom goes downstairs, and Mrs. Hughes asks permission to let the maids clean while the family is gone. He tells her she doesn’t need permission from him—but she reminds him that she does.

Anna brushes out Mary’s hair. She admits she’s worried about the upcoming ball. Mary says she loves reeling and wishes she could dance.

The bagpipes wake them bright and early. Robert goes to shoot with Shrimpy while Lady Grantham speaks with her niece. O’Brien chats with her Scottish counterpart.

However at the house, Alfred and Jimmy stare in horror at the piles of silver Carson has for them to shine.

Edith tells them that the editor, Gregson, wants to come visit, and Mary gets snide about his intentions.

Tom goes to the pub, and sees the new maid, Edna. She admits she knew he was coming in. She notes that now he dresses the part of Sybil’s husband. She also invites him to eat with them, rather than eat alone.

Alfred, Jimmy, and Thomas go to Tufton’s shop, which impresses them. He invites them to a fair they’ll be having. Tufton wants to put a note in the bag for Mrs. Patmore.

Mrs. Hughes asks Carson to let them go to the fair, but Carson doesn’t seem keen on it. Mrs. Patmore comes up and asks for the day off as well. Carson stomps off, and Mrs. Patmore tells Mrs. Hughes they should all go.

Gregson comes to meet everyone. Edith introduces him around.

Tom and Sybil are ready for dinner. Edna offers to take the baby to the nursery. She asks Tom if he’s ashamed of who he is—or who he was—and that’s why he won’t eat with them. He says no, but doesn’t elaborate.

Bates and Anna plan a picnic, and stumble across Rose, crying and smoking. They talk to her and Bates gives her a mint to hide her cigarette breath. She is clashing with her mother constantly, and unhappy. 

Dr. Clarkson goes back to see Isobel. He says it’s a relief to be able to talk to someone who understands him, as a former doctor’s wife.

Matthew asks Gregson out stalking (hunting) with him. Edith asks why he came, and he admits he wants to get to know her family. He wants them to be on his side.

“My basic fact is that I’m in love with you.”

She tells him she can’t see a future with him.

Mary has more snide remarks about him later in bed, but Matthew tells her to not be so judgmental.

Mrs. Hughes tries to convince Carson to come to the fair, but he thinks he’ll ruin their fun. Daisy doesn’t think she’ll go; it’ll cost too much. Thomas offers to buy everyone a bottle of pop, exciting everyone but Jimmy.

Rose goes to find Mary, but sees Anna instead. Rose thanks her for cheering her up, and offers to return the favor if she ever can. Anna says there is something.

The men go stalking, hunting elk on the hills. The go in two groups—Robert and Shrimpy in one. Robert prepares to take a shot, but doesn’t.

Mrs. Patmore brings Mrs. Hughes in to ask her opinion on her new dress. Tufton has asked to “squire” her at the fair.

Anna and Bates have their picnic—she has brought beer, which he calls “racy.” He asks her what she’s up to. She giggles and insists nothing.

The men head home, a dead elk strapped on the horse. Robert asks Shrimpy if everything is all right with his wife, and he says no. And Susan is stuck going with him to his new post. She’ll be diplomatic, he says. But they don’t like each other.

Tom goes downstairs, surprising the servants. He asks if he may eat with them, and Mrs. Hughes agrees.

The men interrupt the women, who are eating a lady’s lunch outdoors. There is clear tension between Shrimpy and Susan.

The other group of men, including Matthew and Gregson, aren’t doing as well. Matthew invites Gregson fly fishing the following day.

O’Brien gets called in to see Susan. She asks her to help her maid, Wilkins, shape her hair like Lady Grantham’s. Wilkins doesn’t seem to feel any more camaraderie toward O'Brien, who she previously liked. 

In the evening, Edith asks Matthew if he liked Gregson, and he says he does. Mary continues to be rude about him.

Tom goes down to dinner, horrifying Carson. They eat, and discuss the fair. Tom says he’ll keep an eye on the place, but Edna wants him to drive them. Carson says he will stay, and Tom can go.

Dr. Clarkson goes to see Isobel one more time. He tells her he has an idea—he invites her to the fair.

Anna asks Mary about her day, and admits she’s looking forward to the ball now. She’s planning a surprise for Bates—and Mary. Mary complains about being rattled about and Anna makes her promise to rest.

Matthew comes in and Mary asks if he’s going to propose to Edith. He thinks yes.

Rose is teaching Anna how to dance the reel. They’re having a marvelous time.

Jimmy and Alfred put the silver back around the house. Alfred warns him to be kind to Thomas at the fair. Jimmy sits on the couch, and Alfred slowly follows suit. Alfred tells him Thomas won’t ever let a bad word be said against him. Mrs. Hughes comes in and yells at them for sitting on the sofas.

Tom offers to drive to the fairs. Mrs. Hughes catches Edna staring and smiling at him.

The servants go to the fair. The men decide to participate in the tug of war. Everyone splits up, and Mrs. Patmore goes to meet up with her date.

They prepare to do the tug of war. Tufton joins the Downton team. Bets are made, and there’s a lot riding on it. The Downton men win. Jimmy takes his bet money, angrily given.

While fishing, Gregson confesses his problem to Matthew—that he can’t marry Edith because he is married to madwoman. Matthew sympathizes but doesn’t see a future… or Robert’s acceptance.

At the fair, Edna uses every opportunity to touch Tom, which Mrs. Hughes observes in anger.

Jimmy sees Daisy and Ivy playing a game and pays for it, but Daisy warns for him not to flash all his new money around. Daisy wins the game unexpectedly.

Alfred thanks Mrs. Hughes for not tattling on him and Jimmy. They see Isobel and Dr. Clarkson. He tells her has something to ask her, and drinks punch quickly before bringing her a glass. He asks her if she’s ever thought of marrying again. She tells him she likes her life, and her good friends like him, as it is and wouldn’t want to change it.

As drunk Jimmy tries to walk off, he is attacked. Thomas comes on them, and frees Jimmy. Jimmy runs while Thomas takes the beating. Jimmy runs back to the fair and gets help.

Susan won’t let Rose wear her new dress downstairs. Her father stands up for her and lets her wear it down to the ball. Susan and Shrimpy argue. He tells her to stop making everyone so unhappy all the time.

Everyone finds Thomas, very hurt, and robbed. They help him up to take him home. He doesn’t tell them about Jimmy’s involvement.

Carson walks the halls. He hears baby Sybil crying. He goes in to her and comforts her.

The ball begins. Wilkins is kind to O’Brien, but in a crafty way. She goes to get her a drink, and pours whiskey into it. O’Brien tries it but doesn’t like it. Molesley takes it and downs it.

Robert goes to find Shrimpy, who is playing pool and “licking his wounds.” He admit to Robert that the money has drained away.

The reel comes on and Rose grabs Anna, who joins the dance. Bates stares at her lovingly.

Mrs. Patmore comes in and tells Mrs. Hughes that Tufton has confessed his love. Mrs. Hughes reluctantly tells her that she noticed him flirting and eyeing the women all over the fair, and “chewing the mouth off some poor woman.” Mrs. Patmore realizes it was the cooking he was after. She puts her hands over her face—but she admits she’s more relieved than she’s ever been.

Edith dances with Gregson, reassuring him that it is not their last evening.

Molesley, meanwhile, is drunk, and dancing like a fool. O’Brien cuts down Wilkins, and goes to speak to Susan about her hair.

Tom, shirtless, is in his room when Edna comes in without a knock. She tells him Thomas is doing better, and she had a lovely day. She asks him for lunch, and kisses him.

During the dance, Mary joins. Afterwards she admits to Matthew she shouldn’t have done it, and she says she will go home the next day. She makes Matthew stay as planned.

Carson and Mrs. Hughes come to tell the servants that Anna and Mary are on their way home. Mrs. Hughes asks Edna to clean the room, but she says she has plans with “Tom” Branson. Mrs. Hughes and Carson agree she has to go.

Susan goes to talk to Cora, admitting she is struggling with Rose, and that she and her husband may need a rest from one another. She asks if Cora can take Rose to Downton.

Mrs. Hughes speaks to Tom about Edna. He tells her he didn’t encourage her, but Mrs. Hughes points out he didn’t discourage her either. She tells him not to let Edna make him ashamed of his new life. Sybil would be proud of him. Tom cries.

“I can’t bear to be without her.”

As Mary gets ready to board the train, she asks Anna to take her straight to the hospital and send someone for Matthew.

Edna is dismissed, though she isn’t happy. Mrs. Hughes reminds her there are rules to this way of life.

Cora and Robert prepare to go see Mary. Robert tells her he realizes now how lucky he is that Matthew has been changing Downton. He is grateful for his family. The family prepares to leave, Rose happy that she will be joining them soon.

Mary is at the hospital, in labor. Dr. Clarkson thanks Isobel for stopping him from making a fool of himself. Mary tells Isobel to ring Carson and let him know how things are. She is angry at herself for going up north, but Isobel tells her the baby is only a little early, and all should be well.

Jimmy goes to see Thomas, who looks terrible. He tells him he is brave, and he feels badly for running off. He asks if Thomas was following him, and Thomas admits he saw he was drunk and was keeping an eye on him. Jimmy asks why, and Thomas says he knows why. Jimmy sits.

“I can never give you what you want.”

Thomas understands, but he would like to be friends. Jimmy says he can manage it.

Carson comes in with the news—Mary is fine, and the baby is fine.

Matthew gets to the room.

“Can this hot and dusty traveler come in?”

He holds his son and heir. Mary tells them they’ve done their duty. Downton is safe. He tells her she will be a wonderful mother. They all share a happy moment. Mary tells them to go tell everyone—but first, she has earned a decent kiss.

Isobel tells Robert and Cora they’ll soon be able to say hello to their grandson.

Matthew, elated, drives down the road to bring the news.

Robert comments on how strange life is. He wonders what he has done to deserve all the good news lately.

As Matthew speeds down the road, his eyes upward, he misses the truck. Matthew’s car goes into the ditch, and Matthew stares without seeing, blood on his head, in the leaf litter.

Mary talks about her excitement for her family to see the baby…while her husband lies dead.