Downton Abbey: Season 3, Episode 9

Christmas Special 2012 (17 Feb. 2013)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Romance
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 967 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

September 1921. The Crawleys head to a Scottish hunting lodge, while the downstairs staff stays behind at Downton Abbey. New romances flare up, and a crisis unfolds.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:


The Crawleys travel to Duneagle Castle in Scotland to holiday with Rose and her parents 'Shrimpie' and Susan, an unhappily married couple due to leave for Bombay in line with Shrimpie's posting with the Diplomatic Corps. Robert discovers the reason for the rift in the marriage and the move - Shrimpie's mismanagement has lost the family home. Edith's editor and lover Michael Gregson also turns up and is befriended by Matthew, who believes he should let Edith down gently as he is unable to divorce his mentally-ill wife. Edith, however, is not so willing to give him up. Back in Yorkshire the staff attend a fair in Thirsk at the invitation of Mrs Patmore's new admirer, grocer Jos Tufton. The Downton boys win a tug-of-war but a drunken Jimmy is robbed by locals and rescued by Thomas, who ends up injured. Also at the fair are Isobel and local doctor Clarkson. Forward new maid Edna tries to seduce Tom. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

17 February 2013 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


In learning to run the estate, Branson says that he's "on a learning curve". This phrase did not exist in the 1920s; it didn't come into use until the 1930s to describe productivity in the aircraft manufacturing industry. See more »


[Lady Rose comes downstairs in a ballgown with a low neckline]
Susan MacClare, Marchioness of Flintshire: Rose, you are not wearing that dress, and that is final.
Lady Rose MacClare: Oh! Daddy, please stick up for me.
Susan MacClare, Marchioness of Flintshire: She looks like a slut.
Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham: Heavens. That's not a word you often hear among the heather.
Lady Rose MacClare: But Princess Mary has one just like it. It's the fashion now.
Susan MacClare, Marchioness of Flintshire: Then it is a *mad* fashion. Aunt Violet, tell her.
Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham: Oh, my dear, in my time I wore the crinoline, the bustle and the leg-of-mutton sleeve. I'm not in a strong position to criticise.
Hugh 'Shrimpie' MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire: Rose, take Aunt ...
See more »


Featured in The Queen Latifah Show: John Travolta/Alicia Keys (2013) See more »


Reveille (Johnny Cope) / First Meal Pipes (Bundle And Co.)
Written by Seumas MacNeill
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User Reviews

The bridge between
26 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Branson Storyline was the most interesting and touching. A lonely widower/father in a new job/positon, trying to find himself, and deal with grief and fatherhood. Adding to the equation he is family yet not family when it came to his in-laws and the servants. Glad he did not fall under Edna's spell. Nice to have some long camera scenes of this handsome actor who plays the part. The scenes with Branson crying and Mrs Hughes holding his hands were so moving, you could feel his character's pain if you have ever lost someone close. The Branson/Sybil scenes were few,short and rushed this season. They were my favorite couple and my family had hi hopes for them.

This storyline made the episode; as his character was bridge between the Family(upstairs) and the servants(downstairs). The family being away most of the episode.

The story lines of the staff were fun and playful. Nice to see all getting along and have pleasant exchanges of conversations. The background of the fair was a wonderful touch and fun seeing the boys pulling at the tug of war and winning; as were having the girls on the rides was a nice touch.

Isobel and local doctor Clarkson was a nice by-line, yet I did see that coming and was not surprise by it.

The family's visit to the unhappy Scottish relatives home was a validation of how empty society life could be. The women wearing tiaras and presiding as queens over the estates. The men prancing about with guns.The main purpose of the storyline was to show an unhappy married couple in their societies trappings. It did that.

The joy of Downton Abbey came from the happy relations and conversations: Cora/Robert, Mary/Matthew; Anna/Bates, Carson/Hughes;Carson/Robert; Mary/Anna. Violet/Mary; Hughes/Patmore; Robert/Matthew. We know from historical record was not always the case.

Overall S3 was a let down. Very little of Sybil and Branson, then her death. Now Matthew's death. Hope the writers have learned from this season as not to kill off popular characters and write in silly new ones like Rose.

18 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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