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Moment of Goodness

Moment of Goodness: Matthew Returns Alive and Well to Downton Abbey, Downton Abbey II Part 3 

There are so many great couples on PBS’ Downton Abbey but my favorite (next to Mr. Bates and Anna) has to be the seriously star-crossed pair of Matthew and Lady Mary. They want to be together. They should be together. But circumstances — and lots of pride — have prevented that from happening.

In Part III, Matthew is at war seeing a whole new brutal side to the world. Meanwhile, Mary is getting a taste of the war herself as Downton Abbey has been transformed into a convalescent hospital. She’s been taking care of wounded soldiers and making big decisions about what to do with that journalistic rogue — Sir Richard Carlisle — who has asked her to marry him. Plus, she’s looking out for her little sister, Lady Sybil, who just might find herself in a forbidden romance with Branson, the chauffeur. What has been great about Season 2 is that Mary has slowly been maturing. She’s not even fighting with Lady Edith so much anymore. In fact, the two came together in song for the soldiers. They even shared a funny moment while rehearsing. Edith voiced her concern that their song needed a little something more:

“I wish we had a man.” “Amen.”

While fighting the good fight, Matthew and William find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and are deemed missing in action. Word, of course, gets back to Downton Abbey and Mary. The Crawleys and the servants are all extremely worried that something bad has happened to them. Mary no longer wants to perform for the injured men but — as they say — the show must go on.

I love how Mary’s introduction to the song talks of how rare it is for Edith and her to work together. It’s so true. But with Edith at piano and Mary handling vocals, they sing for the soldiers. In the middle of the performance, Mary stops because she’s spotted an alive and well Matthew. Obviously everyone is happy to see them. But Matthew doesn’t let the reunion go on for long. He doesn’t want Edith and Mary to stop on account of him so he asks them to resume their song. And that’s when Matthew starts singing along with Mary. They got the male voice they needed. And while Matthew and Mary did their little duet while he walked down the aisle, I just melted. Yes, I’m a complete sap but that moment was simple and joyous and really showcased the chemistry that exists between the two.

Unfortunately, Matthew doesn’t stay at the Abbey for long. He’s off to London and his significant other, Lavinia Swire (Best. Name. Ever.). He mentions to Mary how he received her letter that told him of her impending marriage to Sir Richard. Alas, their soldier serenade didn’t go any further. But their continual looks of longing tell me their story isn’t over at all. I’m kind of addicted to those looks of longing, by the way.

Masterpiece: Downton Abbey II airs Sundays on PBS until February 19. Check your local listings.

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