Sunday, August 5, 2012

Downton Abbey - Episode Summaries

I first heard about Downton Abbey from the head of our department. He asked us to watch the TV show as part of research, but I believe that he wanted us to watch the TV series because he was truly a fan of the show. After watching a few episodes, I understood why. Downton Abbey begins with the tragic death of its heirs that causes complication on the lives of its owners, the Crawleys. Lord Grantham, having all daughters as children, is left to pass on his title along with the estate and his family's fortune to a distant relative. His wife whose fortune is tied to the estate, and his mother fight to break the entail that unjustly prevents his eldest daughter from inheriting what is rightfully hers. What is to become of Downton Abbey and its inhabitants? I am as curious as you are. So many things happen in a single episode, that is why I hope these episode summaries would help guide us fans as to what happened.

Update: Added the episode summary for season 3 finale, A Journey to the Highlands. Follow Comprehensive Episode Guides for updates on newly added episode summaries. If you like Downton Abbey then you might also like Mad Men.

Downton Abbey Episode Summaries

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3


1.1 Episode 1 of Season 1
Episode 1 of Season 1In April 1912, the sinking of the Titanic claims the lives of the two heirs of Downton Abbey. News of their death breaks the heart of Lord Grantham, and also causes stir in his household. With no heir in sight, Lord Grantham’s daughter stands a chance to claim what is rightfully hers, but it would mean breaking the entail that unjustly prevents her from inheriting the title and the estate that comes along with it. Having tied their fortune to the estate, the Crawleys face losing their fortune to a complete stranger. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 1 of Season 1 episode summary

1.2 Episode 2 of Season 1
Episode 2 of Season 1 Downton AbbeyMatthew and Isobel Crawley arrive at Downton Abbey. With a comment that was regrettably said within the earshot of Lady Mary, Matthew starts off on the wrong foot with Lady Mary. Cousin Isobel, a trained nurse, begins asserting herself at the hospital suggesting an unorthodox treatment for one of its seriously ill patients. Her imposition annoys Lady Grantham who is the president of the institution. Meanwhile, someone from Mr. Carson’s past arrives at Downton Abbey, and this puts him on edge. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 2 of Season 1 episode summary

1.3 Episode 3 of Season 1
Downton Abbey Episode 3 of Season 1Lady Cora learns that Lord Branksome’s son, Evelyn Napier, will be dropping by at Downton and decides to invite him to stay at their house. Mr. Napier brings with him Mr. Pamuk, the son of one of the Turkish Sultan’s ministers who is vital in the peace talks in Albania. Lady Mary seeing the gorgeous, young man becomes quite taken with him, and the young man could not resist her as well. Their attraction leads to an incident that will change their lives forever. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 3 of Season 1 episode summary

1.4 Episode 4 of Season 1
Downton Abbey Episode 4 of Season 1Mrs. Hughes’ former boyfriend arrives at Downton Abbey and asks her to marry him. Lady Violet asks Matthew to find a way to challenge the entail putting him in an awkward position. Meanwhile, Lady Sybil is becoming vocal about her political beliefs as she voices her support for women’s rights. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 4 of Season 1 episode summary

1.5 Episode 5 of Season 1
Episode 5 of Season 1 2Unkind gossip has been floating around London about Lady Mary. This worries Lady Cora who knows very well that the rumors are true. She wastes no time to find another suitor for her daughter that she invites Sir Anthony Strallan to dinner. Meanwhile, Miss O’Brien sensing that Daisy knows something about the night Mr. Pamuk died convinces Lady Edith to speak to the kitchen maid. Moreover, she and Thomas come up with a plan to get Mr. Bates fired. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 5 of Season 1 episode summary

1.6 Episode 6 of Season 1
Lady Sybil knocked unconsciousThe by-election is causing a stir, and has enthused Lady Sybil’s political interests. Learning that his daughter has gone to a Liberal rally without his knowledge, Lord Grantham could not help but become furious. Meanwhile, a troubling letter reaches the hands of Mr. Carson and Lady Violet with the Dowager Countess learning the truth about the night Mr. Pamuk died. To add to Mr. Carson’s already preoccupied mind, Mr. Thomas accuses Mr. Bates of stealing wine. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 6 of Season 1 episode summary

1.7 Episode 7 of Season 1
Downton Abbey Finale Season 1The Crawleys except for Lady Mary return to Downton Abbey after the end of the Season. Lady Mary has stayed in London with her aunt, and receives some bad advice from Lady Rosamund after learning that Lady Cora is with child. Mary returns to Downton Abbey, but decides, much to the dismay of everyone, to postpone accepting Matthew’s proposal until after her mother gives birth. A few people at Downton receive some news, but it is the one Lord Grantham announces that will change everyone’s lives. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 7 of Season 1 episode summary

Season 2 | Season 1 | Season 3

2.1 Episode 1 of Season 2
Episode 1 of Season 2 Downton Abbey
Lieutenant Matthew Crawley uses his leave to return to Downton Abbey to introduce his fiancĂ©e Lavinia Swire to his mother and the Granthams much to Lady Mary’s dismay. Mr. Bates returns from London following his mother’s death with good news for Anna unaware that something ominous is looming. Meanwhile, the war makes something of everyone including Lady Sybil who in her determination to help the war effort has decided to become a nurse. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 1 of Season 2 episode summary

2.2 Episode 2

2.3 Episode 3 of Season 2
Episode 3 of Season 2
Downton Abbey has been turned upside down with it being altered into a convalescent home for recuperating wounded soldiers. Lady Cora and Mrs. Crawley find themselves in shaky ground as they struggle to establish authority. Meanwhile, Lady Violet and Lady Rosamund have discovered something about Lavinia, and puts pressure on Lady Mary to divulge her secret to Matthew. Anna makes a discovery of her own, and learns that Mr. Bates had secretly returned to Downton. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 3 of Season 2 episode summary

2.4 Episode 4 of Season 2
Major Bryant and Ethel caught in bed
Mrs. Crawley leaves Downton, while Mr. Bates is found to have returned to Yorkshire to work in a pub. Daisy gets a letter from William informing her that he will be paying her a visit, and becomes concerned when William and Captain Crawley failed to show up at Downton during their leave. Ethel’s flirtation with Major Bryant becomes so noticeable that even Lady Edith though busy preparing for the concert found it difficult not to say anything. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 4 of Season 2 episode summary

2.5 Episode 5 of Season 2
Matthew Crawley and William Mason unconscious
William Mason and Captain Matthew Crawley were seriously injured in the war, and are sent back to Downton. William’s return forces Daisy to fulfill the promise she had no intention of keeping. Meanwhile, Mrs. Bates learns of Mr. Bates’ return to Downton Abbey, and has come to cause trouble to Mr. Bates and the Granthams. The woman’s threat has forced Lady Mary to reach out to Sir Richard Carlisle, and is left with no other choice but to divulge to him her secret. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 5 of Season 2 episode summary

2.6 Episode 6 of Season 2
End of the war at Downton AbbeyA disfigured officer arrives at Downton Abbey and claims himself to be Patrick Crawley. Sir Richard Carlisle notices that Lady Mary is spending too much time with Matthew, and persuades Lady Cora to bring Lavinia back into Matthew’s life. Mr. Bates learns that Vera has found a way to prevent him from getting a divorce. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 6 of Season 2 episode summary

2.7 Episode 7 of Season 2
Lady Sybil and Tom Branson elopeWith the war over, the Crawleys and their servants get on with their lives. An accident revealed a miraculous surprise for Matthew. Sir Richard makes a devious request to Anna that she refuses and informs Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson about. The Bryants have decided to drop by Downton to see and speak to the people who knew Major Bryant as part of their way of coping with losing their only son. Mrs. Hughes plans on speaking to Mrs. Bryant to appeal to her in Ethel’s behalf. Mr. Bates receives news of Vera sending a letter to a friend telling her that she is afraid for her life. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 7 of Season 2 episode summary

2.8 Episode 8 of Season 2
John Bates marries Anna May SmithThe preparations for Matthew and Lavinia’s wedding are underway, but masters and servants alike being hit with the Spanish flu causes the couple to delay their wedding. Moreover, Lavinia becomes witness to something she has been dreading. Lady Sybil’s decision to marry Tom Branson has been revealed infuriating Lord Grantham, and causing a stir in their family. Following Lady Sybil’s determination, Anna takes courage and tells Mr. Bates of her decision to marry him despite the trials and tribulations that are coming their way. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 8 of Season 2 episode summary

2.9 Christmas at Downton Abbey
Mr. Bates gets death verdictLord Grantham, Mrs. Hughes, and Miss O’Brien are called to testify in court and states facts that unwittingly lead to Mr. Bates’ guilt. Lady Mary is growing more and more tired of Sir Richard Carlisle so much so that everyone can see that she is on edge including her father. This prompts Lord Grantham to ask Lady Cora why their daughter feels obliged to marry such a man, and finally learns of Lady Mary’s secret. >>Read Christmas at Downton Abbey

Season 3 | Season 1 | Season 2

3.1 Episode 1 of Season 3
Lady Mary's wedding dress
All are busy preparing for Matthew and Mary’s imminent wedding. Lady Cora’s mother, Martha Levinson, arrives at Downton, but her arrival did not cause as much of a stir as Tom Branson’s return to Downton as a member of the Crawley family. Lord Grantham receives news that could mean the end of Downton Abbey, while Matthew learns that he stands to inherit Reggie Swire’s fortune. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 1 of Season 3 episode summary

3.2 Episode 2 of Season 3
Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley in bed as husband and wife
The honeymoon is over, and Lady Mary must face the fact of losing her home. She and Lady Grantham turn their sights to the wealthy American, Mrs. Levinson. They plan to use the dinner party for the distinguished citizens of Downton Abbey as a means to their end. Meanwhile, Anna manages to get a hold of the new address of Vera’s close friend, Mrs. Bartlett. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 2 of Season 3

3.3 Episode 3 of Season 3
Lady Edith jilted at the alter
The Crawleys have accepted the fact that they must leave Downton Abbey and set their eyes on a smaller estate in Eryholme that they are to call Downton Place. Matthew Crawley receives confirmation that he is going to inherit Reggie Swire’s inheritance and along with it a letter from the late Mr. Swire. Matthew and Lady Mary have news to share, but decide to forego the announcement until after the wedding of Lady Edith. Lady Edith walks down the aisle to meet his groom, Sir Anthony Strallan. >> Read Downton Abbey's Episode 3 of Season 3

3.4 Episode 4 of Season 3
Ethel Parks bids goodbye to her son
A soaking wet Tom Branson arrives unexpectedly at Downton Abbey without Lady Sybil by his side. Mrs. Crawley and Mrs. Hughes learn at last what Ethel Parks wants from them. Anna becomes concerned after Mr. Bates stopped receiving visitors and ceased sending her letters. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 4 of Season 3

3.5 Episode 5 of Season 3

3.6 Episode 6 of Season 3
Ethel Parks serves luncheon at the Crawley House
All of Downton mourn the death of Lady Sybil. Lady Cora holds Lord Grantham responsible for the death of their youngest daughter. To show her sympathy, Mrs. Crawley invites the Crawley women to a luncheon at her house prompting Ethel to seek the help of Mrs. Patmore. Mr. Bates hears that Mrs. Bartlett reversed her original statement after learning that her testimony can overturn the case against him. He puts together a plan to get the woman to tell the truth. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 6 of Season 3

3.7 Episode 7 of Season 3
Mr. Barrow kisses Jimmy Kent
Mr. Bates is released from prison and returns to Downton Abbey. His reinstatement as valet to Lord Grantham is still up in the air since Thomas still fulfills that position. Thomas attraction towards Jimmy continues to grow and it consumes him. Meanwhile, Tom’s brother, Kieran arrives to attend Sybil’s christening causing a stir at Downton and signaling Tom’s imminent departure. Matthew becomes frustrated with his father-in-law’s stubbornness about the management of Downton Abbey, but finds a supporter in Tom. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 7 of Season 3

3.8 Episode 8 of Season 3
Miss O'Brien's secret
Jimmy through Miss O’Brien’s instigation threatens to report Mr. Barrow to the police if Mr. Carson gives him a good reference. Hearing of the injustice done to Mr. Barrow, Mr. Bates curiously comes to his rescue. Lord Grantham becomes furious upon hearing of Matthew’s vision for Downton Abbey, and becomes even more upset to learn that all are against him. He, however, looks forward to the cricket match against the villagers and desires to win more than anything else. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 8 of Season 3

3.9 A Journey to the Highlands
Matthew Crawley dies in a car crash
The Crawleys spend a few days at Duneagle and look forward to the ghillies’ ball. While their masters are in the Highlands, the servants left in Downton Abbey attend a fair at Thirsk. Mr. Gregson arrives at Duneagle and meets Lady Edith’s family with the goal of charming them. After attending activities strenuous for a pregnant woman, Lady Mary becomes tired and returns to Downton Abbey earlier than planned. >>Read Downton Abbey's Episode 9 of Season 3

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