A period drama set in 1920s England and filmed in a historical stone castle struggles with a tendency to be gloomy anyway. However, this episode was really very unpleasant; there was little joy or frivolity to be found despite the two festive scenes: the ball and the fair.
The grotesque death of Mathew Crowley at the end of the episode was already known to many. Actor Dan Stevens who played Mathew Crowley is leaving "Downton Abbey," so they killed him off in a car accident on the day that his son is born.
The emotional intensity of the scene immediately after Mary has her baby, followed by the abrupt and bloody death scene, was an emotional roller coaster ride.
The viewers now can't help but dread the grieving of Mathew Crawley that will surely be waiting for them next season. The plot line in "Downton Abbey" Season 3 had already been emotionally exhausting with the death of Sybil in childbirth. The sadness had hung over the remaining episodes like a dark pall. Viewers had earned a well-deserved bit of happiness on “Downton Abbey,” and it feels like we were cheated.
If you missed the "Downton Abbey" Season 3 finale," you can view it on PBS.org.