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Downton Abbey Season Finale Recap: Bagpipes, Baby and Another Crawley Tragedy

Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey Giles Keyte/Carnival Film & Television

Our heroes at Downton Abbey have had quite the tumultuous third season and we've been with them every step of the way. With joy and heartbreak that might have had you reaching for a phone to call your therapist, Downton Abbey's season finale was no exception. Here's what happened:

WHAT WE LEARNED

Heir Apparent: Mary (Michelle Dockery) is not one to be left out of the fun and insists on going to the Highlands. She goes to remote picnics and dances until she's feeling very close popping a baby out. After Lady Sybil's tragic demise everyone is quite on edge when she enters the hospital, but she delivers a healthy baby boy. Yay a male heir! Downton is safe for yet another generation.

Another Tragedy: We think it must be a rule that no one can be born at Downton without someone dying. Therefore brand-new father, Matthew (Dan Stevens), is in terrible car accident while gleefully driving home after meeting his son. It's sad and horrifying and clear that the Crawleys have far surpassed bad luck and are now the embodiment of a Greek tragedy.

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Waking Up With Bagpipes: Shrimpie (Peter Egan) might just be our favorite person. Visiting him at Duneagle Castle is the highlight of Robert's (Hugh Bonneville) year. Alas, all is not ideal in the Scottish Highlands because it's soon obvious—to anyone with eyes—that Shrimpie and his wife Susan (Phoebe Nicholls) don't have the ideal marriage. A new Indian post and being forced to sell Duneagle, leaves former rebel daughter, Rose (Lily James), welcomed to live at Downton.

There's another surprise visitor to Duneagle Castle, conveniently Edith's (Laura Carmichael) editor, Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards), happens to be nearby doing some drawin' and fishin'. Really he is there to win over the family despite his wife in the attic an asylum. Must be all the fresh air because Edith certainly changes her mind regarding playing Jane Eyre to his Rochester.

Fair and Fun: Carson (Jim Carter) is a tough taskmaster even when the family is away, but he does allow the servants to go to the Thirsk fair. Fun is had, money is made, Thomas (Rob James-Collier) gets beaten up while trying to save Jimmy (Ed Speelers). Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) gets a proposal. You know, typical day.

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Medical Minds: Love is in the air and Dr. Clarkson (David Robb) has developed quite the crush on Isobel (Penelope Wilton). He awkwardly stumbles through an almost proposal before being put out of his misery—and shot down—by Isobel who never wishes to remarry. Probably a good idea. If she was married to him she might have to use him as her doctor!

Between Stairs: Not only is Tom (Allen Leech) left back at Downton to mind the dog, Isis, but he also is left vulnerable to the advances of a new scheming housemaid.  We can't completely blame Edna (MyAnna Buring) for barging into his room while Tom changes because we recognize just how good looking he is. But Tom is still so heartbroken a year after Lady Sybil's death. Thank god for Mrs. Hughes because she has a sharp eye for overstepping maids and tells him Tom shouldn't feel badly for his new life upstairs.  There, there, don't cry.

Bonus Scene: Grandpa Carson tending to little baby Sybbie just melted our hearts.

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ONE-LINERS

"Love is like riding or speaking French. If you don't learn it young, it's hard to get the trick of it later." —Shrimpie

"I know he's housebroken, more or less, but I don't want freedom to go to his head." —Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith)

"Unless you want her married to a third rate colonial official with no money and bad teeth, Susan better think again." —Dowager Countess

"What a disappointment he looks perfectly normal." —Matthew

"It puzzles me why you choose to employ amateurs like my daughter." —Robert

"No man has wanted to squire me since the Golden Jubilee and even then he expected me to buy the drinks." —Mrs. Patmore

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WHAT LIES AHEAD

Dead and Gone: In case you were hoping for a miraculous fourth season revival for Matthew, it's just not going to happen. Sadly for Matthew fans, Dan Stevens, was ready to move on from the big house. 

Mary Moving On: In season four you can expect to see Mary still grieving the loss of Matthew, but producer Gareth Neame isn't worried. He says that Lady Mary will attempt "to rebuild her life" and it will actually be a " great opportunity" for the show to take a turn in a whole different direction."

What do you think about Matthew's death? Heartbroken or used to Downton tragedy by now? Hug it out in the comments!

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