Downton Abbey Season Six Trailer Dissection/Pre-Season Anticipation Thread

So the teaser for the final season of Downton has dropped. Not much to tell from it, except that it’s loaded with seemingly portentous shots that, once revealed, will probably prove completely innocuous. So it goes with teasers.

Anyhoo, I thought I’d start the anticipation/predictions thread if anyone else is interested. My main purpose is because I’ve had a prediction burbling away for quite a while, and I want to get it on the record in case I’m right.

Here it is: Mary will not get married before the series ends.

For one thing, Mary doesn’t need to get married. She’ll never be Countess of Grantham with Matthew dead; getting married won’t change that. And she has a nice position as Downton’s manager while George grows up; with Tom gone, I expect she’ll basically run it on her own. Again, having a husband doesn’t improve on that situation.

Beyond that is a far more important meta-reason: There is no one* the audience cares about as much as Matthew — it’s not even close. They had Blake and Gillingham competing for her in season five and no one seriously considered she would end up with either of them. Blake is off the board, Gillingham is marrying someone else, and now some new guy entered the picture during the season five Christmas special. Too little, too late. There’s no time to make the audience fall in love with a suitor for Mary. She may make noises about it — she may even, in a weird echo of the Edith/Strallan fiasco, get right up to the altar with him — but it won’t happen. Plus we already know Carson and Mrs. Hughes are getting married, and do you really think Downton is going to have TWO happy weddings in one season? There’s no one the audience will accept seeing Mary tied down to.

*Except of course for Tom Branson.

Last we heard, Branson was heading for Boston with Sybbie. However, that is not to say they won’t contrive a way to bring him back; in fact:

Allen Leech is confirmed to be appearing in Season Six.

Mary and Tom getting married is not only plausible (by Downton standards) on a character level; it’s something the fans would eat up. So that’s my amended prediction: the only way Mary ties the knot is if it’s with Branson.

Thoughts? Predictions? How many episodes will the Dowager last before she kicks it? What else can possibly befall Edith before the clock runs out? What hot-button social issues can the show awkwardly tackle? And most pressing of all, which member of the Bates family will be accused of murder this time?

Presumably the Downton Estate has got too expensive to run to continue as a viable concern (particularly with Lord G’s mismanagement - “Oh blast, I’ve gone and lost all the family’s money again!”) and large parts of it are being split up and sold, if they can find a buyer. Likely the house will be demolished, as many country houses were, unless they can find a school or an government institution to take it on.

I think you’re right about Mary.

My fun and silly not serious predictions?

I don’t think Mary marries Tom. She looks at him like a bro not a husband. Mary runs for a seat in the British parliment and wins. She becomes a radical pol much admired by the British left.

Edith becomes a widely admired columnist and writes a satirical novel about her family that sells well. She has a number of lovers but does not marry. Marigold becomes a professor of history and discovers that her late father was a secret agent for the British secret service.

Violet finally dies in this season. She’s what? A hundred and five otherwise?

Tom makes a huge success of his American business. He marries a rich American and they travel back and forth to Europe to bring Sybee to see her grandparents.

Cora dies after a short illness. Lord Grantham remarries and fathers a son who takes over as heir from George. George dies in WWII.

Mrs. Whatserface the head cook retires. Daisy leaves to marry, have six kids and start a catering business of her own in her spare time. She later enjoys tremendous success as a writer about her time as a kitchen maid. something that completely astonishes her.

Anna and John Bates are killed by someone who hates them as much as Fellowes does.

Tom the gay valet moves to Australia where he starts a ranch in the outback and finds love.

Carson and Mrs. Hughes move to the countryside and spend their days growing flowers and raising Persian cats.

Downton Abbey is sold and turned into a hotel. Tom earns so much money that he buys it as a shrine to his late wife.

In which year is this season set? If it’s 1939, I can see the house being requisitioned.

I don’t think they’ll be leaping that far ahead (and most of the cast would be looking suspiciously well-preserved if they did). It’s probably a year or so after the last one.

The announced plan is to end the show with Christmas 1927.

Personally I like the idea of the show closing on a nonagenarian George, Earl of Grantham being wheeled around Downton Abbey complaining about the blasted tourists & film crews. Sure the odds are against them, but after all the Carnarvons have managed to hold on to Highclere Castle (granted it was mostly uninhabitable this jackpot landed in their laps). Either for skip ahead to the '70s and the whole place as been turned into an old age home with a senile Mary & Edith still bitterly snapping at each other.

I find this rather plausible, actually.

Previous thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=765192