Catch Up: Where We Left Off: The Ultimate Season 6 Primer
After five seasons of secrets and scandals, love and heartbreak, witticisms and will-they-won't-theys, Downton Abbey: The Final Season is about to begin. Before the Sunday, January 3 premiere, get a quick refresher on where our favorite characters left off, and where the drama might take them. #DowntonPBS
Where she left off: She sent her former flame, Russian Prince Kuragin, back into the arms of his cold-as-Siberia wife. Resigned to a future free of "indecent proposals," the Dowager Countess and Isobel can trade quips and confidences together into their golden years.
Where she might go: Given her advanced age, fans worry that the Dowager Countess might encounter an illness too powerful for even Isobel and a restorative broth to fight. But with luck, she will remain vigorous, and if so, no doubt will channel her energy toward steering Downton into the future…or holding it back.
Where he left off: At peace with Marigold's parentage and Mary's decision to send Gillingham packing, and committed to securing Downton's financial future, the Earl wrapped up Season 5 in a spirit of acceptance. And under the influence of spirits!
Where he might go: Because scandal never sleeps, and time marches on, Downton's patriarch may still have more than his share of work to do to secure his family's and his estate's future. And then there's that pesky ulcer, enemy of food, drink, and all-round merriment…
Where she left off: She cut her hair, cut Gillingham loose, bid her brother-in-law adieu, and reconciled herself to a life of managing pigs and pronouncing imperious quips.
Where she might go: Will she perform a bit of fan service and get together with said brother-in-law? Hitch a ride in the snappy chariot all the way to happily-ever-after? Or will she pack up her sketching supplies and eschew romance, focusing instead on fortifying Downton against an uncertain future?
Where she left off: Now that her "ward," Marigold, is safely ensconced in the nursery and her secret is disclosed to Robert—but safe from Mary—Edith can focus on her magazine and her daughter.
Where she might go: She could go to London, and find her purpose…and maybe even love. She could remain at Downton and embrace her lonely-heart lot. And she could go straight into the tabloids, should the secret of Marigold's birth come out.
Where he left off: He packed up Sybbie and his memories and shipped off to Boston, ready for a fresh start working in the farming machinery business with his cousin.
Where he might go: To a Red Sox game? Will Downton's celebrated fish out of water "love that dirty water" and make Boston his home? Or will he make his way back to Downton? And wherever he lands, will he finally find his happiness?
Carson & Mrs. Hughes
Where they left off: After a long road to romance, Carson has proposed ("I do want to be stuck with you.") and Mrs. Hughes, knock her down with a feather, has accepted!
Where they might go: They might seal the deal and take the plunge into marital bliss. They might encounter unforeseen, Bates-level adversity, and see their plans fall apart. Either way, fans can only hope that Charles Carson and Elsie Hughes will embrace the moniker "Chelsie" in their last chance, Downton's final season!
Anna & Bates
Where they left off: After Anna was imprisoned for Green's murder, Bates took the rap and got Anna off the hook, then promptly fled Downton. Molesley and Baxter went a'sleuthing in York and found Bates' needle-in-a-haystack alibi pub. Bates returned to Anna's arms and to their temporary reprieve from the law.
Where they might go: They might be exonerated and finally turn their efforts to the creation of a baby Bates. But these are the Bateses, people; are they really going to be allowed happiness? Either way it resolves, there's sure to be a "big house"—either prison, or Downton Abbey, involved.
Where he left off: Having injected himself all the way to death's door in an attempt to "cure" his sexual orientation, Thomas was forced to accept Baxter's help and urged to accept his lot in life. At the end of Season 5, he was back to plotting again at Brancaster Castle.
Where he might go: Thomas being Thomas, he could simply sabotage and sulk. But given the right circumstances, Thomas might realize his professional ambitions, or even (fingers crossed!) find love.
Where it left off: Heir? Check. Pig farm? Check. Della Francesca sold? Check. With its (relative!) austerity in place, Downton looks like it's on solid ground at the end of 1924.
Where it might go: Downton might go the way of so many of the era's grand houses: sold whole or piecemeal, requisitioned, or simply diminished into bleak oblivion. Or, in Lady Mary's capable hands, it might endure, survive, and remain one of England's great seats of heritage, aristocracy, and—of course—drama.