'Downton Abbey' Season 4 Finale Recap: Real-Life Hot Royal Scandal (VIDEO)

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downton abbey season 4 episode 8And just like that, it's already over. After waiting months and months (ahem, some of us a few more months than others of us) for Season 4 of Downton Abbey, we've already arrived at the finale. A.K.A. The Royal Episode. Not to be outdone by our current obsession with Kate Middleton and the new baby Prince, Downton trots out its own royal family for a scandal with roots in real history. You may have wondered as you were watching the show, how much of that really happened? Enough, DA fans. Enough. And before I get much further, better pull out the handy old SPOILER ALERT WARNING!

The Mrs. Dudley Ward whom Rose meets just before her coming out happens to be based on an actual historical figure -- a married woman who YES INDEED, had an affair with the Prince of Wales. And if you know your English history, this is the same Prince of Wales, soon-to-be King Edward VIII, who later fell in love with American divorcee Wallis Simpson and abdicated the throne. So that's a fun bit of history they threw in there.

As for the notorious letter that nearly revealed their secret affair, that's a bit of fiction, of course. But can't you see the same thing playing out today? Daily Mail salivating at the thought of catching Prince William in an affair with -- who would it be now? Maybe Pippa? Not that he'd ever! But it would be all about text messages instead of letters, and everything would happen much more quickly. 

Anyway, of course Rose's debut would involve this much glamour and intrigue -- we'd expect nothing less of her. And she certainly did turn around quickly, right? One minute, threatening to elope with Jack Ross, 8 months later she's a perfect lady curtsying before the throne. La-di-dah. Are her wild days behind her already?

I think they've just begun for Edith. While Rose has been cleaning up, Edith has been in Switzerland, birthin' a baby and breastfeeding her new daughter before handing her over to another family. Are you fucking kidding me? Like she can just do that without it ripping a giant hole in her heart, Aunt Rosamond?!? Poor Edith, and this time I really mean it. I can imagine how much excruciating pain she must be in.

I was proud of her for standing up for herself and plotting to bring her baby back to Downton, though I agree with Rosamond that it's risky. We'll see how that plays out. I predict that Michael will turn up after all and they'll get to be a happy family, but not before a few more close calls and disappointments. Because. This is Downton Abbey.

Moving on to the other Crawley sister, which are you -- Team Gillingham or Team Blake? I'm Team Blake all the way. I think he's hotter, has more sexual energy (hello, this is Mary we're talking about), and is all around much more fun. I love how she's keeping them both dangling while she decides, though.

You know who else is hot? Paul Giamatti. I might as well reveal my weirdest celeb crush here. What is it about that actor -- is it just me? He's so unattractive, superficially, and yet there's just something so sexy about Giamatti. Anyway, I loved his Uncle Harold character, and his flirtation with Madeleine Allsop. I hope we get to see them both again next season.

And my other favorite male character, Tom -- will he stick around, now that he's caught the attention of Miss Bunting? I'm not sure how I feel about her. I love her spunk, but I think she's insensitive to Tom's complicated social position and relationship with his in-laws. I hope she becomes more understanding.

Okay, enough with the upstairs crew. Did you see Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson holding hands on the beach? Clutching my bosom and gasping -- that could turn into something! Or no. Maybe Carson is simply incapable of romance at this point of his life. I guess we'll find out.

I was happy to see Daisy get some male attention for once, even if it's short-lived. Think the Levinsons are going to be disappointed with Ivy's cooking? 

And finally, there's Bates -- who is swiftly turning into one of those indispensable dirty-deeds-done-dirt-cheap employees rich people always seem to have at their disposal. Welcome to a lifetime of cleaning up the Grantham's messes, Bates! They'll never turn you in for murder, now. Did you love how he whipped out that forged letter? He's a man of many talents. (That's what Anna says...)

Fans, it's still winter and Downton Abbey Season 4 is already over. Will we survive the next few months? Here, I'll give you this video of Will Ferrell doing an "ice skating" routine to the Downton Abbey theme song to cheer you up.

What are your predictions for Season 5 of Downton Abbey?

 

Image via Masterpiece Theater

 

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