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'Downton Abbey': What we need to see from the final season

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Nick Briggs/Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE

Downton Abbey fans knew that this day would come eventually, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Carnival Films and PBS have announced that Julian Fellowes’ beloved upstairs-downstairs drama will end after its upcoming sixth season.

Executive producer Gareth Neame offered some insight to the decision in an official statement. “Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end and Downton is no exception,” he said. “We wanted to close the doors of ‘Downton Abbey’ when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans. We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up.”

Since the fifth season’s finale (or the most recent Christmas special in the UK) ended with both Rose and Tom headed to America and with potential suitors for Mary and Edith introduced, the final set of episodes won’t have to do a ton of maneuvering to reach a satisfying conclusion, but there are a few things in particular that we’d like to see happen before the end.

Clear Anna’s name

When we last left the Bateses, Molesley and Baxter had done the detective work to clear Mr. Bates’ name after he sacrificed his own freedom to spring his wife from prison. But that still leaves Anna to take the fall for Mr. Green’s death. The assault on Anna has cast a dark shadow over the otherwise light-hearted series for two years, so maybe it’s time to give fans the version of the Bateses that we’ve always liked best: cute, while occasionally pranking Barrow.

Give us the Carson/Hughes wedding everyone’s dying for

Downton’s longtime loyal staff members agreed to get hitched in a surprising twist at the very end of the season five. Since Downton is prone to years-long time jumps between the seasons, it stands to reason that they’d skip over the actual nuptials of Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes (Mr. Carson and Mrs. Carson?)—but seeing the ceremony would make for some solid emotional payoff.

Bring on Matthew Goode

Henry Talbot, the sports car-driving gentleman from the season finale, certainly caught Mary’s eye. But what really matters is that following through with a full-fledged romantic storyline would give the world what it desperately needs: more Matthew Goode. If you don’t understand why, are allowed to see rated-R movies, and don’t mind a super twisted storyline, go check out Stoker. That’ll do the trick.

Finally hook up Isobel and Dr. Clarkson

In the world of Downton shipping, there is no stronger match than Matthew’s mother Isobel—who recently had to turn down a promising proposal from Lord Merton because his sons are, quite literally, the very worst—and Dr. Clarkson, the occasionally competent but always handsome town physician. He’s way into her, and she’s certainly open to the idea of marriage. Plainly stated: This better happen.

Adopt a puppy

Isis’ death last season was the second time a pup has passed on Downton, though Pharaoh didn’t get quite the same sort of send off. Since there’s still a Labrador Retriever-sized hole in our hearts, a new dog would be a welcome addition to the cast.

The final season of Downton Abbey will air in the U.S. in January.

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