‘Downton Abbey’ EP Defends Season Finale Death: Why He ‘Had To Die’

Mon, February 18, 2013 11:00am EST by 36 Comments
Downton Abbey Matthew Death
Courtesy of PBS

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Sharifah Munirah

Posted at 12:56 PM on May 5, 2013  

First William, then Sybil, then Matthew. WHY DO ALL OF MY FAVOURITE DOWNTON ABBEY CHARACTERS HAVE TO DIE?!

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Kay

Posted at 9:49 AM on May 4, 2013  

I think it’s messed up to kill Mathew and leave Mary single we all ready lost Sybil now Mathew .!!!!! Director you just ruined down ton Abby for good now . And this is consign from a 14 year old girl . You should be ashamed of you self

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Barbara

Posted at 8:45 AM on April 23, 2013  

I won’t be watching season 4. Who will there be to watch with two people dead, two people widowed, two babies orphaned and all the family in grief? And if they just “get on with life” it will be all the more unbelievable and not worthy to watch. Shame on you for killing Matthew!

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Arkainin

Posted at 3:45 AM on April 2, 2013  

While depressing for sure I see some hope in the future. Keep in mind that in this very same episode they toyed around with Brandson having to move on with his life and finding some one to should the burden. Now with two greaving survivors with children living in the house it could take a new interesting turn.

-Matthew was my favorite character though. Considering it was the actor himself at fault and not the writing staff what can you really do. I do tend to agree with the way they ended it…. could not really see him just up and leaving of his own free will.

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DH

Posted at 5:57 PM on March 29, 2013  

I agree with Lizzie (comment below); it was shocking and disappointing that we cannot have even one loving couple continue a full life with a happy family, good parenting, successful marriage, productive children,……your have underestimated the commitments of your audience.

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lucy

Posted at 9:26 AM on March 29, 2013  

I was so bummed to Matthew to go!! I love his character someway he must come back!!!!

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Lizzie

Posted at 9:05 PM on March 24, 2013  

Like all the other fans of Downton, I could not have been more shocked and disappointed in the choice to kill Matthew (Dan Stevens). Poor, poor choice. There must have been a good reason why Dan Stevens did not renew his contract. If it was his request for more money, they should have increased his pay and extended his contract. If not, if there was another reason that Dan didn’t want to continue, they should replace him. We are not stupid. We all understand these are actors and we would come around to a new Matthew. It will never be the same and feels like it is going downhill from here. I think we’ve seen the best of Downton. This series will probably die a slow death from this point on. I prefer to think of it as it was up to the ending of season 3. I’ll try to put that last scene out of my mind. As for watching Season 4, no thanks.

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cheryl

Posted at 3:31 AM on March 21, 2013  

Maybe Mary and Tom should get together at some point?

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Pat Mernin

Posted at 7:41 AM on March 16, 2013  

Horrified & hated the ending . Ridiculous – Sybil dieing in childbirth & Matthew dieing the day his son is born. Should have found a replacement!

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youthleadergina (@youthleadergina)

Posted at 1:37 AM on February 27, 2013  

We just get the annoying young 18 year old cousin and lose Matthew. I am holding out hope until someone checks his pulse and puts him in the ground. Pay him more! Do whatever it takes. Enough is enough. SO done with this show w/o Matthew. He was my favorite!!!!

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Jillian

Posted at 11:09 AM on February 22, 2013  

The death of Sybil was enough, but Matthew as well in the same season made the whole series seem disappointing overall. What began as a very compelling, well acted, well thought out drama series that captured hearts on two continents, has turned into a stomach wrenching tale of death and loss that disappointed far too many fans. Am I watching next season? I’m still considering, but possibly not. There is enough depression around us, why take our free time to be driven further into that ditch.

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Jan L.

Posted at 2:51 PM on February 25, 2013  

Extreamly well said. Thank you.
TV and movies are for entertainment and fantasy, not reality. We live in reality everyday. The great period films have always shown a dreamy side of the story. That is what made Downton Abbey so popular to begin with. They have left that and turned it into a daytime soap opera.

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Ash

Posted at 4:58 PM on February 21, 2013  

I think Matthew really held the house together and I am so sad to see him killed off. Someone should have convinced Dan Stevens to renew his contract! It would have been worth it.

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Debi

Posted at 1:45 PM on February 21, 2013  

No! I’m not watching next season. Killing off two beloved characters in such a short time leaving two babies half orphans is more than I care to deal with. No more Downton for me. BOOOO!!

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Wendy

Posted at 1:07 PM on February 21, 2013  

I really don’t want to watch it any longer without Matthew. He took a pompous group of rich people and gave it more immediacy an purpose. Ridiculous to kill him. I’m done.

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EFreeeky

Posted at 11:19 AM on February 21, 2013  

I wasn’t totally taken off guard because everything else was working out so relatively well and mary and matthew were so sickeningly happy that i was starting to get nauseous during their scenes alone.

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Grace

Posted at 10:19 AM on February 20, 2013  

like what? Matthew? Die? As in, never ever ever ever EVER coming back? Hating it and cursing it, but still uhhhhh…… new death means new changes, new changes means more fights! bring on the snacks! i’m gonna be lazy on the couch for a while!

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mandy

Posted at 12:36 AM on February 20, 2013  

I think losing matthew is sad but I also think it opened up a whole new storyline for everyone if the show became a 100% happy all the time people would eventually think its predictable and eventually stop watching this was a curveball nobody expected I for one can’t wait to see how it plays out.

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Kate

Posted at 10:45 PM on February 19, 2013  

If James Bond can be replaced with the same amount of success, they could have easily found someone else to play Matthew. Why they thought killing him off was a better solution than recasting just blows my mind. I would have been a little miffed with a different Matthew, but I won’t be watching the show now. I hope the show suffers as a result and they realize what a mistake this was.

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Albert A Webb

Posted at 1:02 PM on February 22, 2013  

Oh yeah? I have only two words to say about that — Dick Sargent!

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Ginger

Posted at 10:01 PM on February 19, 2013  

Nope, when such blatant disrespect for a storyline is shown by writers and actors,it is time to stop watching that show. Downton Abbey just “jumped the shark”! This kind of writing and actor disloyalty to the art is exactly what killed Dallas…the real Dallas, that is.

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Albert A Webb

Posted at 1:09 PM on February 22, 2013  

@ Ginger. So let me get this straight. Dan Stevens had already decided to leave the show. He dies so you can no longer watch it?

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Vicky

Posted at 6:38 PM on February 19, 2013  

Not happy at all with the departure of Matthew, show want be the same may have lost a viewer. He made the show so worth watching.

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Ellen McKeen

Posted at 7:55 AM on February 19, 2013  

Mary has an Irish widower in her future

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Marcia Thelemaque

Posted at 2:39 AM on February 19, 2013  

I was entirely hurt and disappointed at the death of Matthew after the beautiful, touching scene with Mary and their new baby. I thought, finally, we can catch a breath as everyone seems to be happy at last. Then BOOM! Totally unnecessary. I saw in coming as Matthew was driving in his excited state, but I just didn’t think you’d do it. Shame.

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Ken

Posted at 12:34 AM on February 19, 2013  

Recasting not an option…. Why that’s absurd. This would have saved the show.. It’s future is in grave doubt do to the creative pool clearly drying up.

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S.V.K.

Posted at 1:01 PM on February 18, 2013  

I think for Mary and Her irish brother-in – law fall in love and Mary I watched them together as she came to his aid ,at the dinner table supported him on the Baptism of her sisters baby. Cause if you remember all though the last part of 3 the head house keeper sat him down and told him in love and truth that he had a purpose in this family and he needed to find that out,before jumping into a relationship or something along that line, and I was touched how he cried it was so touching, and he listened as hard as it was to hear.(Wisdom) also Matthew’s mother praised him for how he had handled himself in the family that it wasn’t easy And from there what a story as the young irishman could take over managing the business of making money from The Downton Abby lands and leases, to Carry on Matthew’s dreams and to crave a place in the family for his daughter and wife and to open doors for the common people to have a chance to own there own land and prosper. Anyway that’s my idea. I mean Wow the drama of that would be really be a story. Of course that’s my idea. I am enjoying the beauty the acting is a breath of fresh air to watch, As today everything I watch is guns death monsters blue people and magic and you forget after awhile that life can be real.

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L Lane

Posted at 1:31 AM on February 24, 2013  

Wow, was sick all week so decided to watch all three seasons. Sorry it ended with Matthew’s death as I was looking forward to watching a fourth season. Not so now, too much death and stress in real life to have to add “pretend characters” into the mix. Too bad, good writing up to the last five minutes, then became a bit unbelievable. Thanks for the gift of great work, but I will end it on this sad note.

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abe is doing it!!

Posted at 12:01 PM on February 18, 2013  

because he had a secret boy-friend

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vickster

Posted at 12:38 AM on March 4, 2013  

I didn’t expect this and I was very upset. It did not upset me enough to no longer watch the show anymore. There are too many other actors on the show that I enjoy watching. I don’t however agree with killing Matthew off. He was a strong important character to the show. He should have been replaced with another actor. Too bad.

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