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Downton Abbey: Our Favourite Moments, Part 2

While we await the premiere of Season 5 of Downton Abbey, on Sunday, January 4, we thought we’d revisit some of our favourite moments from the previous seasons. Guest blogger Amie Simon takes us through the scandals, heartbreaks and joys that have been visited upon the Crawleys and their staff to date. SPOILER ALERT: these recaps tell all, so if you haven't reached a certain episode or season, you enter at your own risk. 

Read Amie's previous post, Downton Abbey: Our Favourite Moments, Part 1, covering favorite moments from Season 1 and 2. 

In which Matthew and Mary finally wed, the family and staff at Downton expands, Robert loses ALL the money, and we all lose two major characters: our sweet, lovely Sybil and poor Matthew.

Mary and Matthew’s Wedding
How could you not love this moment? It took FOREVER AND A DAY to arrive, Mary’s gown is super gorgeous, and even though they have one last little tiff before the ceremony, Matthew gives the best, most romantic speech ever and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest while I watched them take their vows. 

Edith meets “The Editor” 
Finally some good news for Lady Edith—after the devastation of Strallen, she finds a more independent voice and a hobby, writing! Which eventually leads her straight into the waiting arms of Michael Gregson, who brings out the beauty—and the rebel—in Edith over the season. 

Bates is FREE! 
Everyone raise a glass of cold beer, because season three was the one where Bates is freed from the most boring storyline prison sentence ever. I don’t even want to remember the details of his sentence, because it was that dreary. I felt so bad for Anna, who had to wait it out. And wait. And wait. And wait and wait and wait and wait…but I was so excited when it was over! 

Romantic kitchen follies
As if season one’s William > Daisy > Thomas triangle wasn’t complicated enough, the arrival of Alfred and Ivy threw the young staff of Downton into angst-land, with Daisy falling for Alfred, Alfred falling for Ivy, Ivy (and Thomas!) falling for Jimmy, and Jimmy falling for his own reflection … which you could barely see under that ridiculously coifed hair. It’s too bad no one listened to Mrs. Patmore when she bluntly told them: “You’re all in love with the wrong people!” Still, it provided much entertainment. 

In which the family takes a trip to Cousin “Shrimpy’s” Highlands, Mary and Branson bond over heartbreak, Edith spirals into tragedy (again), and the staff gets a vacation—kind-of. 

Mary and her men   
We all know that a lady of Downton can’t be single for long, even if she’s a widow—and it looks like Lady Mary’s charms have netted the interest of three men! One of them drops out early, leaving Anthony Foyle (Lord Gillingham) and Charles Blake to duke it out for her affections. Fickle Mary can’t decide whom she likes more … or if she’s even worthy of such attention from either one. But as she said at the end of the season, “Let the battle commence!” I’m rooting for Blake because he seems like a more exciting prospect, and I can’t wait to see whom she chooses. 

Daisy grows up  
After years of pining after the wrong men Daisy extricated herself from the kitchen staff love quad of doom by pressing Mrs. Patmore for a promotion and proving she had the skills to carry the planning and execution of a complicated meal—not to mention land a job as head chef at another house—all by herself. She also had an enthusiastic admirer that she let down as gently as she could, and managed to dispatch her rival Ivy in the process. Way to go, Dais! 

The Levinsons take a vacation
When rich Americans Martha and Harold Levinson arrived at Downton and caused some upheaval with their demanding natures, but we quickly took to Harold once we realized he had a soft, fuzzy interior beneath his droll behavior. Nothing proved this more than his friendship with young Lady Madeleine Allsop, which blossomed after he confronted her about pursuing him for his money. I’m hoping they find each other again in the new season and make a stronger romantic connection.  

Mr. Carson & Mrs. Hughes 
We saw glimpse of something more romantic between the two head of households all through the first three seasons, but the fourth is the only one that actually showed they might be starting something! The very last shot of the season showed Elsie grabbing Carson’s hand and pulling him down the beach into the surf, playfully suggesting that they weren’t getting any younger. (wink wink, nudge nudge) I LOVE THIS SO MUCH AND I WANT IT TO HAPPEN SO BADLY!  

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Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2013, 2014 for Masterpiece


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Best moment, hands down, was when Mr. Hughes and Mrs. Carson waded ankle-deep into the sea on the staff's holiday break.

Best moment: Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes at the seaside, ankle-deep in the saltwater.