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New years always bring new starts, but this January has brought in the beginning of an end that is certain to reduce viewers to tears. The excitement surrounding the Season 6 premiere of Downton Abbey on PBS is tampered somewhat by the knowledge that the sixth is the final season. Although the show has finished its run across the pond in Britain, American viewers have yet to see how the series will be leaving off the characters that we've grown to know and love. According to Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame, some of those characters will have more closure than others.
All of the characters have got something flying around that needs to be resolved and some of them have very definite, clear endings, either positive or otherwise. Other characters won’t necessarily. The camera will just sort of move away from them.
Disappointing as it may be to imagine that some of the characters whose lives and dirty laundry have been on display over the years on Downton might not get a clear ending, the show has such a massive cast that there’s no way that everybody could have gotten a special swan song in the handful of episodes that are left. Luckily, Neame had a set plan in mind when it come to crafting the conclusion to the show. He also told this to Entertainment Weekly.
I wanted it to feel complete. I wanted it to feel like you could go back and rewatch all the sesasons and it would feel like a complete beginning, middle, and end, so having that shape was really important.
Neame carefully planning the ends for each of the characters bodes well for the final episodes. At the very least, it helps to know that the lack of a definitive ending for certain characters will be deliberate rather than because Neame and Co. ran out of time to fit in farewells for everybody. Neame wanting folks to rewatch the series may also mean that the series finale won’t be a How I Met Your Mother-esque ending that kind of ruins everything that came before.
There are some characters whose plots we’re likely to see definitively addressed. Most of the upstairs folks have had such major storylines that it’s difficult to imagine that Downton would let questions about the Crawleys go unanswered forever. Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson’s relationship will likely come to a climax of sorts, and we can really only hope that poor Anna and Mr. Bates don’t end the series wrongfully imprisoned for the latest murder.
Season 6 has only just premiered in the United States, so we still have a bit of time before we see what Gareth Neame has in store for us by the series finale. Downton Abbey airs at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS. Here's a look at when the rest of your favorite shows will be back in 2016.