I'm sure Julian Fellows feels as if he, and his phenomenally successful Downton Abbey have one of the most responsive followings in television. Upon releasing details of Downton Abbey Season 6 to select journalists, Fellows had to follow up by stating that he indeed had not even finished the script for the season finale. Nothing is set in stone, but that didn't stop fans wondering what kind of ending they were in for.
While concrete details have not been released, Fellows' opening up to the fan-base and media alike reveals a few select themes that Downton Abbey Season 6 will hinge on.
A focus on Maggie Smith's Lady Violet Crawley
I can't say that a desire to end Downton Abbey with a focus on Violet Crawley surprises me. Although she isn't immediately involved in many of the more dramatic arcs in the show, she still embodies what Downton Abbey is for many people. There would be a nice sense of poetic finality if the series ended from her perspective, for it should be the viewpoint of an older character that reacts to the changing world that Downton covers.
While Violet Crawley's specific storylines have largely been solved, she could still play a significant role in Season 6. Perhaps it's a decision of hers that decides the future of Downton itself, or perhaps she greatly influences Isobel Crawley's future for better or for worse.
Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes
The romance between Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes being a focal point of Downton Abbey Season 6 is no surprise to anyone. Their agreement to marry was perhaps the emotional crux of the most recent Christmas special. Theirs is the little romance storyline that just keeps going, devoid of the drama and turmoil that plagues the arcs of so many others characters. Julian Fellows actually described quite nicely why he retains the focus on older characters in the show.
I like older characters to have emotional lives, because I think it’s truthful. In movieland, everyone stops being a sexual creature at about 32, or at least the women do. The men are allowed to keep going until they are 78 -- I’ve never worked that out. In my world, on the whole older people have emotions like everybody else, and I think the show demonstrates that.
Fellows seems to have the admirable intent of giving older characters exposure both emotionally and visually. It may also explain why this next plot detail is a little up in the air.
Lady Mary and Henry Talbot
So this is the glamorous relationship that everyone's excited for, because it would wrap up Lady Mary's arc and would involve Matthew Goode. It's also a plot line that fans aren't even sure they're going to get! This isn't because Fellows doesn't have an interest in Lady Mary's love life (he knows that her storyline is the most spangly Downton has), but Matthew Goode's input just isn't certain unless he can find time around shooting The Good Wife. It would be a shame if Lady Mary's happy ending had to be dropped just because of a casting complication, but we will have to wait and see if Michelle Dockery will get the chance to round off her character at the end of Downton Abbey Season 6.
No cliff hangers
Fans of well rounded characters and self contained storylines should be happy about this. Despite not having written the finale for Downton Abbey Season 6, Julian Fellows has disclosed that he will not end the show with huge narrative questions left up in the air. I'm not even sure how Downton could end with a cliff hanger. It sure ain't no Sopranos. It's simply encouraging that Julian Fellows seems to be approaching Downton Abbey Season 6 with the utmost intent and clarity. It seems to be a promise that we will receive a satisfying conclusion to a beloved show that has stuck around and grown for so long.