8.5
7,368 votes
Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

PBS 2010

Downton Abbey depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era—with great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey - S1E7

#1 - Episode 7

8.39

Season 1 - Episode 7

July 1914. In London former suitor Evelyn Napier assures Lady Mary that it was Edith, not he,who spread gossip about her and Kemal. Mary counters by wrecking her sister's marriage plans with Sir Anthony. Robert is reluctant to dismiss John even though O'Brien and Thomas have obtained a letter claiming that he stole from a previous employer. Anna accompanies Mrs. Patmore to London for eye tests,resulting in corrective surgery and whilst there,discovers that John took the blame for the theft for his ex-wife Vera, a fact which Robert is pleased to hear. Thomas, fed up at his failure to get John sacked,and sensing war on the way,joins the Army Medical Corps whilst Sybil finally gets Gwen her secretarial post. Cora is pregnant, a fact which puts the proposed marriage between Mary and Matthew in doubt, should the baby be a son and heir. However,thanks to O'Brien leaving a bar of soap on the floor, Cora slips and miscarries. All the staff except O'Brien cheer William on as he beats Thomas up for his unfeeling remarks on the loss. Matthew nonetheless feels that the engagement was only an act of pragmatism likely to be altered if an heir had been born and decides to leave Downton Abbey. But everybody's news is overshadowed as they hear that,as expected,Britain is at war with Germany.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1096 votes.

Downton Abbey - S2E8

#2 - Episode 8

8.33

Season 2 - Episode 8

As preparations are underway for Matthew and Lavinia's wedding, Lady Sybil's attempt to inform her parents of her wish to marry Branson is unsurprisingly met with shock and horror. Robert is violently opposed to the idea but his threats of social disgrace and disinheritance do not dissuade Sybil leading him to try buying off Branson but Branson's intentions are honourable and he refuses. Lady Grantham, Carson and Lavinia are taken ill by the Spanish flu. Thomas' black market venture was a spectacular failure, leaving him penniless and without a job but Carson's illness gives him a chance to become useful in the house. While Lavinia is resting upstairs, Matthew finds himself alone with Mary and tells her what Violet said to him: that he should marry her. Both of them acknowledge he could not as it would be terribly cruel to Lavinia. However, they then kiss just as Lavinia is coming down the stairs. When her illness delays the wedding, Lavinia tells Matthew that she heard and saw everything. She feels they should end their engagement but Matthew refuses. Fearing the outcome of Lavinia’s illness with regard to Matthew and Mary, Richard Carlisle comes to Downton. Daisy is distressed by William’s father’s request to visit him. Ethel is surprised to learn that Major Bryant’s parents want to see her but his father wants to take her child away permanently. Eventually she determines not to let him go as a mother's love is more important than a wealthy upbringing. Robert finds himself unable to control his desire for Jane, who willingly responds. However, their night-time encounter is interrupted and remains unconsummated; and Jane decides to leave. With the possibility of more trouble regarding Vera's death, Anna insists that she and Bates should marry that she may be able to support him through his difficulties as his wife. They marry in secret, with Lady Mary's permission and she arranges for them to spend their wedding night in a guest room. Cora becomes seriously

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1040 votes.

Downton Abbey - S3E5

#3 - Episode 5

8.29

Season 3 - Episode 5

An exciting offer for Edith divides opinion. Isobel throws Ethel a lifeline. New maid Ivy is attracting attention below stairs, and Alfred's interest is resented by Daisy.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1041 votes.

Downton Abbey - S2E1

#4 - Episode 1

8.26

Season 2 - Episode 1

Set in November 1916, the episode begins with the arrival of Ethel, a new housemaid, and the first appearance of John Bates' wife. With Matthew and Thomas fighting in France, those left behind at Downton organise a benefit concert to help fund the local hospital. Lady Mary receives shocking news. Branson reveals his feelings to Sybil who wants to train as a nurse

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1143 votes.

Downton Abbey - S3E8

#5 - Episode 8

8.24

Season 3 - Episode 8

There's excitement in the house and village as the annual cricket match approaches, and the event brings out Robert's competitive side. Violet's great-niece Rose shows up but a trip to London reveals there is more to her than meets the eye. Matthew and Mary look like they are keeping secrets from each other. Thomas finds out that his future lies in Carson's hands.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1045 votes.

Downton Abbey - S3E1

#6 - Episode 1

8.24

Season 3 - Episode 1

Cora’s mother arrives for Matthew and Mary’s wedding. New footman Alfred strives to meet Carson’s high standards, under the watchful eye of his aunt O’Brien.

The episode was rated #6 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1088 votes.

Downton Abbey - S6E8

#7 - Episode 8

8.21

Season 6 - Episode 8

Bertie's circumstances change suddenly, leaving Edith uncertain whether to risk telling him the truth or keep her past a secret at all costs. Mary wonders if she can ever make peace with her sister as hostilities escalate, Spratt shows some hidden talents and Molesley's first day as a teacher does not go according to plan. Mrs Patmore's bed and breakfast attracts unwanted attention, leaving her in need of the Crawleys' help.

The episode was rated #7 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1558 votes.

Downton Abbey - S1E5

#8 - Episode 5

8.21

Season 1 - Episode 5

August 1913. O'Brien and Thomas continue to spread their malice,ensuring that Lady Edith learns from Daisy where Kemal died and attempting to frame John Bates for the theft of a snuff-box though Anna,clearly fond of John,ensures the plan backfires on them. Thomas's gossip also discredits Lady Mary's eligibility as a bride and the family must entertain the middle-aged Sir Anthony Strallen as a prospective husband. Mary is bored by him and it brings her closer to Matthew but Edith seems genuinely interested in him. Mrs. Patmore,the cook,must accept that her eye-sight is failing and Lady Sybil continues to encourage Gwen in her secretarial applications whilst Isobel actually teaches Lady Violet some altruism at the annual produce show.

The episode was rated #8 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1090 votes.

Downton Abbey - S5E8

#9 - Episode 8

8.21

Season 5 - Episode 8

Preparations are under way for Rose's wedding, but family tensions on both sides threaten to derail proceedings. Edith's arrangement with Marigold is happily working out, but how long can she and Cora conceal the truth from Robert? Denker reveals an unexpected side to her personality, which causes trouble for more than one of the servants. With the war memorial due to be unveiled, Mrs Patmore is still upset, but Robert has something up his sleeve. Branson comes to a heart-wrenching decision, and the storm clouds that have been gathering over Anna and Bates finally burst.

The episode was rated #9 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1097 votes.

Downton Abbey - S2E5

#10 - Episode 5

8.20

Season 2 - Episode 5

Set in mid 1918. 16 October 2011 Set in mid 1918. Robert receives some shocking news from the front. William has sustained serious damage to his lungs and is unable to recover, prompting him to ask Daisy to marry him before he dies. Meanwhile, Matthew has suffered damage to his spinal cord, causing him to lose mobility and feeling in his legs. Worse still, he subsequently learns that his injuries have made him impotent. Lavinia insists that this changes nothing and that she is not concerned about having a sexual relationship and children but only wants to care for him. However Matthew tells her to leave and forget him, while Mary attempts to nurse him back to health. Despite not truly loving William, Daisy is pushed into marrying him by Mrs Patmore, who wants William to die happy, and by William's wishes that Daisy is left with a widow's pension so that she can be looked after. They marry while William is bed-ridden, surrounded by the other staff, Edith and the Dowager Countess. William dies in his sleep, not long after, with Daisy by his side. Bates is taken aback when Vera threatens to expose old secrets about Mary and Pamuk's death. When Mary discovers this, she confesses everything to Richard Carlisle and asks him to help. While he accepts, he does so expecting her to marry him, as she is now in his debt, even going as far to announce their engagement in the newspaper without informing her, leaving Mary in a difficult position. Carlisle tricks Vera into signing a contract, preventing her from selling the story to anyone else, but on finding out she warns Bates that she will still bring him down. A new maid, Jane is hired

The episode was rated #10 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1054 votes.

Downton Abbey - S2E4
#11 - Episode 4
8.20
Season 2 - Episode 4

Set in early 1918. Ethel's flirting with Major Bryant lands her in trouble as preparations get under way for a concert at Downton. Tensions flare between Isobel and Cora, Edith receives worrying news about Matthew and William, while Branson declares his feelings for Sybil. Robert receives a letter from Carlisle, which causes him concern forcing an uncomfortable conversation with Mary. Mrs Bird's soup kitchen receives a helping hand from Daisy and Mrs Patmore. In the servants’ quarters Mrs Hughes makes a shocking discovery that ends in tears for one member of staff.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1038 votes.

Downton Abbey - S1E6
#12 - Episode 6
8.19
Season 1 - Episode 6

May 1914. Encouraged by politically aware chauffeur Tom Branson, the socially conscious Lady Sybil espouses politics as a means of aiding equality for women and the lower classes, to her father's anger. At a political meeting she is injured in a scuffle and rescued by Matthew. A grateful Lady Mary accepts Matthew's proposal of marriage but tells her mother she feels she should come clean about Kemal to him. Rumours about this indiscretion are now rife and Cora tells her mother-in-law how she helped Mary move the body. Edith continues to see more and more of Sir Anthony whilst O'Brien and Thomas continue to persecute John. They tell Carson they saw him steal wine and get Daisy to support them. However Daisy does the decent thing and admits she was put up to it. Bizarrely, John, though he knows Thomas to be the wine thief, offers no explanation, confessing to being a former alcoholic and offering his resignation.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1077 votes.

Downton Abbey - S2E7
#13 - Episode 7
8.17
Season 2 - Episode 7

Set in 1919. As the residents try to return to normal life following the armistice, Matthew begins to suspect that he can feel his legs. Then one day, seeing Lavinia drop a heavy tray, he suddenly gets up from his chair. Major Clarkson admits that he had been informed of this possibility by another physician but was sceptical about it himself and didn't want to raise their hopes. As a result of his recovery Matthew announces that he and Lavinia intend to be married soon. This Violet to inform him that Mary is still in love with him but Matthew feels obliged to marry Lavinia as she was prepared to sacrifice her life for him. Meanwhile, Richard Carlisle distresses Anna by asking her to spy on Mary and his behaviour leads Carson to reject his offer of employment. Bates reels from the news about Vera after it appears that she committed suicide in order to frame him. Thomas embarks on a new money-making scheme in the post-war black market. Robert is attracted to the new maid Jane and illicitly kisses her. Contemplating life after the war, Sybil makes the drastic decision to elope with Branson. However, Mary discovers her plan and, along with Edith and Anna, seeks them out and persuades Sybil to return and plead her cause openly to their parents.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1023 votes.

Downton Abbey - S2E6
#14 - Episode 6
8.16
Season 2 - Episode 6

Set in November 1918. A Canadian officer is brought to Downton for recuperation and disrupts everything. Ethel hears distressing news, Bates makes another attempt to settle matters with Vera, while Carson receives a tempting offer. Matthew gets used to life in a wheelchair with Mary as his round-the-clock carer. The war ends with Armistice not long after.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1019 votes.

Downton Abbey - S3E3
#15 - Episode 3
8.13
Season 3 - Episode 3

Edith's big day finally arrives, but will the family be convinced that Strallan's age does not matter? Mary takes matters into her own hands - but the price could be high.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1021 votes.

Downton Abbey - S4E8
#16 - Episode 8
8.13
Season 4 - Episode 8

Rosamund comes up with a plan to help Edith deal with her problem, but Violet may be about to see right through it. Isobel is the object of someone's attention, while Mary asks Gillingham for a favour. Rose is frustrated when things do not go her way and Alfred realises too late that he may have made a mistake. Just as Bates and Anna seem to be getting over the worst, some unexpected news shakes her up.

The episode was rated #6 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1103 votes.

Downton Abbey - S4E7
#17 - Episode 7
8.11
Season 4 - Episode 7

Cora's playboy brother has got himself into a spot of bother and Robert has to make a trip to America to bail him out. Blake and Mary are forced to put aside their differences to deal with a new farming venture on the estate. When Violet is taken ill, help comes from an unlikely quarter. In spite of Mrs Hughes, Mrs Patmore and Carson's attempts to keep the peace, romantic tensions below stairs cause problems.

The episode was rated #7 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1148 votes.

Downton Abbey - S4E1
#18 - Episode 1
8.09
Season 4 - Episode 1

Mary is finding it hard to come to terms with Matthew's death. Robert and Violet fall out over how to handle the situation. Jimmy takes an interest in Ivy, while Carson receives an unwelcome reminder from his past.

The episode was rated #8 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1243 votes.

Downton Abbey - S1E2
#19 - Episode 2
8.09
Season 1 - Episode 2

September 1912. Designated heir Matthew Crawley and his mother Isobel arrive and move into a house in the grounds of Downton Abbey but Matthew is uncomfortable with having servants and is not keen on an arranged marriage - something he has in common with Lady Mary. Robert's mother Violet looks down on them as they are not from her class - Matthew is a working solicitor and Isobel,a trained nurse and doctor's widow,who nonetheless impresses when she helps at the local hospital and saves the life of one of Robert's tenants. Cora upbraids the two nastiest servants,O'Brien and Thomas,for sneering at the Crawleys but impresses upon Mary the financial need for the marriage. Carson is blackmailed by Grigg, a man with whom he once had a music-hall act but Robert takes his part and sees Grigg off. Whilst Carson feels foolish for having a less than aristocratic past he is supported by Bates and the two men become friends

The episode was rated #9 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1301 votes.

Downton Abbey - S2E2
#20 - Episode 2
8.09
Season 2 - Episode 2

Set in April 1917 and with many of the male staff serving in the war, Carson finds himself under pressure to make sure that duties are carried out to his exacting standard. He ends up finding himself forced to accept female staff serving in the dining room. Robert needs to hire a new valet and ends up employing Lang, who has just returned from the war. William is happy after he receives an important letter. Mrs Patmore finds out some devastating news about her soldier nephew. Thomas returns from the war and begins work alongside Lady Sybil in the local hospital. After a patient is brought in suffering with gas blindness Thomas finds himself becoming attached to the young Lieutenant. Molesley takes an interest in Anna. Matthew learns of his temporary transfer back to England for a recruitment drive in the north whilst fighting in the trenches. Carson advises Mary that if she still loves Matthew she needs to tell him before it is too late. [4] Meanwhile Lavinia is reunited with an unwelcome face from her past.

The episode was rated #10 Best episode of Downton Abbey from 1091 votes.

Last updated: apr 10, 2021

Comments

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I can't believe I've had this show in my library for more than a year and I've only recently started watching it... One of my biggest mistake regarding tv shows... This show is just amazing! You just care about all the characters, nothing is black and white, a character you hate one instant can become your favorite in an episode time, you can go from laughter to tears in a matter of minutes. The stories are so well written they just seem so real. And the actors are just perfect. I don't think there is one I don't like, not event one with room for improvement. This is one of the best casting I've seen in a lot of time. Everyone should just watch it, it is one of the best show I've ever seen and I've seen a lot of them. And I'm normally not a big fan of tv shows set in the past. It's really hard after watching it to go back to newer and lighter shows. They just seem dull...

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A surprisingly gripping show. Highly recommended.

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I enjoyed the first season, but after that it turned into a mediocre primetime soap... lost interest early on in season 2. As the show aired on public television in the states, I found the implied quality rather humorous. Fine if you like it, but watching it doesn't exactly impart an air of sophistication. For those who enjoyed this series, take a peek at Australia's "A Place to Call Home", orgasmic by comparison. Downton is TV melodrama, nothing more... nothing less -- "A Place to Call Home" is genre-similar, knows what it is and does it so much better ;-) A Place to Call Home: https://trakt.tv/shows/a-place-to-call-home

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Seems slow at first but you get hooked to it once you catch the drift. Easy-to-relate-to characters and realistic story lines coupled with excellent videography can make all the difference. Who knew? Fun fact that I'm pretty sure everyone knows: In Iron Man 3, it is revealed that Happy enjoys Downton Abbey. They even show a scene from it towards the end.

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One of a kind as a show. Although I am British I despise the class system but this show depicts the royalty through WWI and its aftermath beautifully. Feminism and job opportunities for all dominate this show as ideas for the characters. Great acting especially from Mr. Carson, costumes, shooting locations north in Yorkshire and overall a great series. Still, there are some boring episodes and that is the reason I give it a 9.

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Thomas Barrow is the best part of this show.

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Arghh s3e1 isnt until September 23rd!!!

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Actually I found the last three seasons more interesting and funny_unlike most people_ than the earlier ones.

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the british aristocratic culture. no wonder why some pedantic guy always love it. 英式貴族文化,優雅主婦,自鳴得意,美化咗的,紅樓夢般,難怪陶傑like 第二季編劇實在太頹廢了,基本上隨便把配角弄死,然便把主角美化,再狗血地離離合合而已

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I've been wanting to watch this series since its debut, but somehow it's always eluded me when looking for something to watch. I completely binge-watched the whole series over the holidays and, I almost want to do it again, I liked it so much. I didn't think I was going to continue watching it, from the first episode but gave it a chance, then I couldn't STOP watching it. I enjoyed the character development throughout the series. I was amazed at how interested I was in each story of each character. It was very engaging for me. Another brilliant anthology series from Masterpiece Theater. A real treat from the usual drudgery of today's lineups in the US. If you like period dramas, this might be for you, was definitely worth it for me.

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