‘Downton Abbey’ Season Finale Recap: Death Takes Another Crawley

Sun, February 17, 2013 10:43pm EST by 31 Comments
Downton Abbey Matthew Dies
Courtesy of PBS

The family experiences its most joyful occasion, and most tragic setback, as the season winds down.

The Crawleys made their annual trip to Scotland on the Feb. 17 season finale of Downton Abbey, but even though they got far away from home, they brought all of their baggage with them: Mary (Michelle Dockery) bickered with Edith about her relationship with that newspaper chap, Anna revealed her “racy” side to Bates, and the family officially decided to house Rose while her parents go to India — even though Rose sucks.

very pregnant Mary also had everyone concerned when she had to leave the Ghilles’ Ball early — oh, did I forget to mention there was another time jump and she’s pregnant now? — but she was able to get home and give birth to a healthy baby boy just in time.

Of course, the Crawleys’ celebration will likely be cut short when they learn of the tragedy that occurred just after the birth: While out on a joy ride through the countryside, Matthew (Dan Stevens) collided with another vehicle; his body was discovered in a ditch, and sadly, he didn’t survive.

Read: How Mary Will ‘Move On’ From Matthew In Season 4

The Drama At Home

As always, there was no shortage of drama back at Downton. Here’s a rundown of what happened to our favorite servants this week:

1. A saucy little maid named Edna played mind games with Tom (Allen Leech), trying to make him feel awkward for marrying into a higher class. Of course, this was all part of her plan to lure him in, which she did; she walked in on him naked — shirtless on Downton Abbey is basically naked — and kissed him. Needless to say, she got fired.

2. Dr. Clarkson tried to get all up in cousin Isobel this week by revealing interesting facts about himself, like: I always get drunk before bed. Unsurprisingly, she wasn’t feeling the good doctor, so she let him down gently — and pretty awkwardly. Then he diagnosed her as being a tease and went on his way.

3. A full-on creeper names Joss Tuftin paid a visit to the abbey with a ‘special package’ for Mrs. Patmore. She was so smitten by his incomprehensible accent, and his ability to eat soup with his hands, that she almost agreed to marry him — until he was revealed to have his eye on other laides. All other ladies, actually.

4. After a rowdy game of Tug-Of-War, a group of nogoodnicks ganged up on Jimmy (Ed Speleers.) Fortunately, Thomas (Rob James-Collier) was literally stalking him, so he was there to save the day. He took a beating so Jimmy could escape, which allowed Jimmy to see they really could be friends — just not the kind of friends that kiss each other when they’re asleep.

How do you feel about Matthew’s shocking death? Did you see it coming? How do you think it will affect the series moving forward? Watch the heartbreaking scene below, then drop a comment with your reactions.

— Andy Swift

More Downton Abbey:

  1. ‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Thomas Finally Puts The Moves On Jimmy
  2. ‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Robert & Cora Clash Over Sybil’s Death
  3. ‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Everyone Suffers Sybil’s Labor Pains

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Liz B

Posted at 9:18 AM on April 19, 2013  

Matthew was boring and far too tame for Mary. After a short gap they can write a new romance in for Mary with hopefully someone a bit more lively.

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Rosie

Posted at 6:42 AM on April 19, 2013  

I won’t watch it any more – why waste my time being depressed – thats what “Real Life” is for!! One main character has already been killed off, another is just too much. Were they asking for more money or something?

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mary

Posted at 11:25 AM on March 4, 2013  

I don’t have a heart to watch Downton Abbey anymore now that Mathew is gone!

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Cathy Roby

Posted at 12:20 AM on March 4, 2013  

I’m totally shocked–I have bought all three seasons and watching the last episode tonight where Matthew dies is unbelievable!! I can not believe that the writers could not come up with something besides Matthew being killed. I’m very heartbroken — Matthew and Mary was what made the series great–he was one of the main characters–the main heir to Downton. How could the writers possibly kill off the main storyline. I have no interest in this series now–Sybil dying was one thing which I didn’t agree on but Matthew dying after the birth of his son now that was too much. This series just lost a loyal viewer up until this night. I don’t trust the writers with my heart again–it won’t be broken a second time. Good bye Downton!!!

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Mira S (@MysticalMira)

Posted at 12:17 PM on February 23, 2013  

Horrible, he’s central to the series I mean come on Downton who do you think you are Game of Thrones? lol but seriously I’m so upset – they obviously did it because of issues with the actor, otherwise I can’t imagine how they’d just cut him out of the storyline especially in such a sudden and unimaginative way. I don’t think I’ll watch next season, as an audience member I feel sort of cheated. They should’ve handled it differently.

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lilly

Posted at 5:25 PM on March 3, 2013  

Mira, I so agreed with you…..
JF sucks and now , after 6 months, Lady Mary is open to a new love again? Really!
I watch season 4 only for Michelle Dockery as she is such a good actress that she will fill in all the bad writing JF throws out.
I am still mad wth DS for leaving and JF. for bad script. ( but I still love DS though).

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Lilian Rivera-Terreros

Posted at 9:45 PM on February 20, 2013  

One of the reasons for me to watch the series is Matthew’s character. It doesn’t make sense he was written off so suddenly. I didn’t expect it, and I do not want to watch Season 4 if he is not part of the story line anymore!

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Angie

Posted at 9:01 PM on February 20, 2013  

Are we certain he’s dead?

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Shelly

Posted at 4:39 PM on February 19, 2013  

I too agree with everyones else. You did not have to kill the character Matthew off. Just replace him. It is sad to watch a show for almost 2yrs fall in love with the relationship’s and then you just write them out. You could do better. Not so sure I want to watch the 4th season :(

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Priscilla

Posted at 11:44 AM on February 19, 2013  

Very sad to watch Matthew have to be killed. I agree that if the actor wanted to pursue a career in America that they could have had him replaced or put into a coma or something until he could return. I’ll probably still watch but I will miss his part very much.

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Maurine Fronckowiak

Posted at 7:26 PM on February 18, 2013  

I would feel much better about the series if they could find a way to jujst replace Matthew with another actor, and let the series go on. The Downton father needs Matthew, the son-in-law needs Matthew, Mary finally has him and has borne him a son, and Isobel needs him. The ending we saw was just too abrupt. We have all come to love all the characters, even the pompous gay guy, and it’s not right for you to kill off Matthew. He is too central to the show. How about a coma, and then let him heal and come back (a different actor, blondish and with a great smile)? Please –

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Rjk

Posted at 5:03 PM on February 18, 2013  

shocked by the death , did not seem to be necessary . I don’t like emotionally manipulated like this. Not watching any longer !

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Karla

Posted at 4:18 PM on February 18, 2013  

Shocked and disappointed …

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Elizabeth Somer

Posted at 3:04 PM on February 18, 2013  

Downton you have lost a loyal fan. Soap Opera antics like having Matthew die ruins the show for me.

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teri jones

Posted at 2:58 PM on February 18, 2013  

I was totally shocked that Matthew died. It took he and Mary so long to get together and now why let his character die.

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jim johnsen

Posted at 10:16 AM on February 18, 2013  

i wiil not watch now that matthew is off the show bad move

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Krista

Posted at 9:46 AM on February 18, 2013  

Unimaginative. Have they never watched Batman or James Bond? It doesn’t matter: Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger, Sean Connery or Roger Moore. The character doesn’t have to die because the actor wants to move on. Put another sandy-haired, Redford type with a British accent in there. Let him say, “Oh Mary, I adore you.” Let everyone call him Matthew, and two episodes later, we can barely remember the first Matthew. He was Hope, and they killed it.

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S.V.K.

Posted at 10:40 PM on February 18, 2013  

Well said!

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Jason Deiso

Posted at 8:01 AM on February 18, 2013  

he was a sanctimonious twit

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Delilah

Posted at 6:53 AM on February 18, 2013  

Matthew played by actor Dan Stevens decided to leave the series, so don’t blame the Downton Abbey writers for his exit. He’s currently on Broadway with Jessica Chastain in The Heiress.

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Susie K

Posted at 5:54 AM on February 18, 2013  

Oh for goodness’s sakes!…the actor Dan Stevens who played Matthew wanted to leave to oursue a film career in the USA!…….thats why they killed him off!

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Kay

Posted at 1:56 AM on February 18, 2013  

This is a terrible way to end the season. What were they thinking! I am not sure I in for season 4.

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wanda

Posted at 1:29 AM on February 18, 2013  

I will not watch serie now that they killed matthew

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Carole Bolton

Posted at 1:21 AM on February 18, 2013  

I read where “Matthew” wanted to leave the show to try other things. Did’nt think it would be this quick.

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S.V.K.

Posted at 1:19 AM on February 18, 2013  

What a horrible way to end the season. I hate the way they left it. And I liked the actor. OH! Well

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dervanda

Posted at 1:11 AM on February 18, 2013  

I am so sad and furious. Two of the best and most interesting characters you kill off
in the same family. Please, just let Matthew be in a coma, and return to Mary and
the baby!

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abe is doing it!!

Posted at 12:03 AM on February 18, 2013  

stay close: THERE WILL BE A NEW KID INTOWN.
(just watch)

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vickiejom

Posted at 12:56 AM on February 18, 2013  

why cut such a talented person. im sad to see him go. THey were having a wonderful life.

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Cathi Gross, Ventura, CA

Posted at 3:05 AM on February 18, 2013  

Don’t get, why did the writers had to kill off Matthew. He was such a loveable character, and helped the Crawley family to grow, especially his wife, Mary. He brought out the best in her. It’s so strange that the writer’s of this show every season so far has ended the season with a death in the family. First Season, Mother Crawley slips on soap and looses the boy they were going to have. 2nd Season ending, Their daughter Sible dies and now in the 3rd season ending the writers kill off Matthew. Can’t these wirters be more clever than killing someone off in the family at the end of the season. There are so many tradgedys besides death that could be used to hold an audience in hold till the new season. Well, maybe the writers will pay Matthew more money to come back next season and will find out that he was only knocked out and in a comma when the season returns. That what be a nice relief. It’s going to be hard to watch the show without him. As others have written before me, I just don’t get why he had to die. I guess we can pretty much plan for another death at the end of the seasons 4, because that’s all the writers seem to know how to do to end each season. Who will be killed of next season?

 
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