No one could have seen the tragic death of major character (spoiler alert!) coming in the final moments of the ‘Downton Abbey’s’ season finale. But instead of mourning, just think of the fascinating possibilities for next season as Mary Crawley suddenly becomes the family’s ultimate Queen Bee.
Just when we were still reeling from Lady Sybil‘s shocking death in Downton Abbey, the season finale revealed an even more unexpected tragedy and it’s going to be an unimaginable blow for Lady Mary. But what Lady Mary won’t fathom at first, is how this awful turn of events will dramatically change her destiny in hugely positive and exciting ways for both her and the viewers. Here’s how!
Poor Lady Mary has just lost the love of her life, Matthew Crawley, and it’s so unfair. The two had more road blocks in their long romance than LA’s 405 highway during Carmageddon. Just when she and Matthew were finally happily married, had saved the Grantham family from losing Downton Abbey, Mary had overcome her infertility and given birth to a son, Matthew has to go and get into a car accident and be instantly killed.
It’s enough to make you think the Crawley women suffer from a giant love curse. Sybil died during childbirth with adoring husband, Tom, at her bedside, Lady Edith gets left at the alter and now Lady Mary is a widow in deep mourning.
Matthew’s Terrible Mishap Actually Unleashes Mary — Here’s Why
But rather than get as depressed as Lady Mary will be for a while, think about how Matthew’s death changes her circumstances. She is now RICH, RICH, RICH. The fortune left to Matthew by Lavinia’s father, which is large enough to keep Downton Abbey well afloat — is now hers! Not only that, she is the mother of Downton’s next heir, since she gave birth to a son. This puts her in charge of all of Downton Abbey!
She, not Matthew, is now Downton’s savior and she can now run Downton at least until her son is 18! That’s a lot of time to be the empress in charge!
Think of the power dynamics. Will her father, Lord Grantham, recognize that she’s his new partner and can in fact over rule him on any and every aspect of running the estate. He had just finally adjusted and agreed to go along with Matthew’s modernizing plans. Will he now overcome his natural inclination to rule his daughters and see Lady Mary as an equal? It will be hard.
The relationship between these two should undergo some pretty interesting changes, and no doubt tussles. After all, Robert can barely cope with Lady Edith writing a newspaper column, and his wife and daughters consorting with Ethel, the maid, a former prostitute. How will he adjust to Lady Mary having an enormous inheritance and throughly modern ideas like Mathew? And will Lady Mary and Tom now form a powerful alliance in hauling Downton into the modern era?
Lady Mary Once Thought She’d Be Marital Kryptonite — But No More
On the personal side, Lady Mary who was once black balled as blemished marital material after a Turkish officer died in her bed, will now have an endless bevy of suitors. She’s a rich widow with an estate and the estate is dependent on her money, so even her son will never be able to kick her out. Furthermore, her marriage and World War I have completely wiped her racy romantic history clean.
Lady Mary will now be one of England’s most eligible women, with her wealth, beauty and proven fertility. She’ll be besieged by aristocratic English men and probably some fascinating American men, all coming out of the woodwork and after her hand. This could either help Lady Edith’s pitiful love life by bringing more men to the Downton dinner table or it could incite new nastiness between the sisters, if jealousy rears it’s head again.
Then again — could partnering with Sybil’s husband Tom on running the estate — lead to any in-law romance? Weirder things have happened.
In any case, Matthew’s death leads to all kinds of new dramatic possibilities that will make season four far more lively and unpredictable, than if he had lived. Plus, it allows Mary to have a job. She’s the one Crawley sister that had never felt compelled to be employed like Lady Sybil and Edith. Now, she can put her intelligence to great use – it would have been a waste, if she hadn’t. So instead of merely being Mathew’s supporter — she’s running the whole show and at a time — the 1920s — when British society would actually be more accepting of what she was doing.
So what do you think, Hollywoodlifers? Do you agree that there’s a lot to look forward to in season four? I can’t wait. Can you?
— Bonnie Fuller
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