The Spanish Flu disrupts plans for Matthew's wedding when Cora, Lavinia, Carson, Molesley, and other staff members fall ill. Ethel elects to keep her son, and Jane resigns from Downton.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Barrow (as Rob James-Collier)


April 1919. As Downton Abbey prepares for Lavinia and Matthew's wedding, Sybil and Tom shock the family by announcing their intention to move to Dublin, where he has work, and marry. However, events are overtaken and the marriage is put on hold when Carson, Cora, Lavinia and others fall sick with the Spanish flu. Thomas uses the situation as an excuse to get his job back but Lavinia, aware of Matthew's feelings for Mary, suggests that the marriage be called off. After admitting their mutual feelings, Jane gives Robert her resignation, her young son's future assured thanks to the earl, whilst Ethel decides to keep her son Charlie rather than give him to the Bryants, who would raise him to forget her. The flu goes away, having claimed one victim, and Robert finally gives Sybil and Tom his blessing as they leave for Ireland. Anna and John also marry, by special license. However, the day after the wedding they receive unwelcome visitors. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | Romance


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 February 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The deadly 1918-1919 Spanish Flu is a misnomer. It did not begin in Spain. Although there are allegations that it made the jump to humans in places as diverse as Austria and China, the first bona fide, verifiable outbreak occurred in Kansas. Because of Wartime censorship, it was not publicized because it primarily affected the military base in Fort Riley, Kansas. The soldiers from Kansas carried it to Europe where British, French, and German troops were infected. It was not reported in those countries either because of Wartime censorship. It was only after it spread to neutral Spain, that other news sources picked it up. As this constituted the first reporting of the pandemic, it became known as the Spanish Flu in the eyes of the public. Initially it was thought to have killed between 20 and 40 million people worldwide, recent research has taken into account Third World and more accurate demographic sources and raised the possible death toll to 50 to 100 million. After mutating several times during a little over a year, by early 1919 the greatest modern pandemic had mutated again into a much less virulent strain of influenza. See more »


The dowager countess is 75 and claims to not know what a gramophone is. This would have been impossible in 1919. The phonograph was invented in 1877 and by 1900 was in every prominent household in the world. The countess was an educated, well traveled woman, she would have seen and heard one scores of times. There was no radio yet, phonographs exactly like the one she saw were everywhere. In movies, in magazine ads, in peoples homes. See more »


Anna: [to John Bates] I know only that I am now who I was meant to be.
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Crazy Credits

Closing credits acknowledgement: "The red cross emblem used with kind permission of the UK Ministry of Defence and British Red Cross Society". See more »


References Upstairs, Downstairs: Peace out of Pain (1974) See more »


Downton Abbey - The Suite
Written by John Lunn
Performed by The Chamber Orchestra of London
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