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'Downton Abbey' gears up for season four finale on PBS

Lady Rose - MASTERPIECE CLASSIC "Downton Abbey, Season 4: Part Seven"
Lady Rose - MASTERPIECE CLASSIC "Downton Abbey, Season 4: Part Seven"
PBS ©Nick Briggs/Carnival Film and Television Limited 2013 for MASTERPIECE

"Downton Abbey: geared up for the season four finale with the seventh episode, which aired on Masterpiece Theatre on PBS on Feb. 16, 2014. Set in 1922, the story of the aristocrats and servants of the English country manor is written by Julian Fellowes.

The final episode of the fourth season airs on PBS on Sun., Feb. 23, 2014. The finale includes appearances by Shirley MacClaine and Paul Giamatti. Lady Rose has her coming out at Buckingham Palace, meets the Prince of Wales and faces a dilemma. Trouble also plagues Cora’s mother (MacClaine), Herald (Giamatti), Edith and almost everyone else at Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey closes season four with royal ball

"Downton Abbey" will return for its fifth season in the U.S. market in Jan., 2015.

Romance has been in the air on "Downton Abbey" this season, but no weddings are on the horizon. Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) has three suitors in spite of politely refusing their advances by honestly telling them that she is still mourning the late Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) she is not ready. Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen) is so devoted to Lady Mary that he has broken his engagement and intends to wait for her as long as it takes. Blakely, who helped Mary in last week's pig pen debacle, also proclaims his feelings of love. Somehow, Mary is able to brush off her suitor's proposals and remain friends, forming a rather strange menage.

When Anna tells Mary that she was raped by Gillingham's valet Green, Mary decides to tell Gillingham to fire Green. They meet at a restaurant where she tells him to fire Green but cannot give him a reason. Gillingham trusts Mary and fires Green, only to learn later that Green fell under a bus and died. Bates (Brendon Coyle) is the likely culprit, but so far foul play does not seem to be suspected. Perhaps Bates will get away with murder, if he really is guilty.

Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), is still hiding her pregnancy well, even though she must be about five months pregant. She worries about her missing fiance Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards) while pondering about her baby. Edith wants to give her unborn baby to a local pig farmer to raise so she can watch her child grow. Aunt Rosamund (Samantha Bond), who thinks that is a bad idea, plans to whisk Edith away for four months in Switzerland, where she can give birth and adopt the baby out to a nice clean Swiss couple.

Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) thinks a Swiss vacation is a great idea, never suspecting the ulterior motive. Lady Violet (Maggie Smith) wisely guesses her granddaughter's secret and invites Edith and Rosamond over for tea and confrontation. Violet shows more understanding then many would expects and offers to pay for Edith's expenses.

Widower Tom Branson (Allen Leech) makes a new female friend at a political meeting, but her little digs about the aristocracy reveal a rather narrow-minded and unpleasant perspective of the war between the classes. Is there a relationship in the future?

Jazz-age party girl Lady Rose (Lily James) has been romancing black jazz singer Jack Ross, hoping to shock and enrage her family, particularly her hated mother. She went to the extent of getting engaged, but a visit and talk by Lady Mary helped Jack to decide that it is right end the engagement.

Lady Cora planned the Downton Abbey Bazaar, a gathering for the townspeople. Lord Robert (Hugh Bonneville) surprises everyone by returning home from America unexpectedly. He tells Bates that he really missed him, so what does that mean for Barrow, who went to America in place of Bates?

Barrow (Rob James-Collier) seeks out his unwilling spy, Baxter (Raquel Cassidy), to find out what what happened while he was away, but Baxter put him off and walked off arm and arm with Moseley (Kevin Doyle). Could this be a new downstairs romance in the offing?

Alfred (Matt Milne) said good-bye for good after proposing to Ivy (Cara Theobald), who rejected the footman turned chef-in-training. Daisy (Sophie McShera) received very good advise from the best father-in-law ever and gave Alfred a basket of food as a good-bye present and telling him that she no longer loved him, but they were friends forever. Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) was teary as she told Daisy that she could not be more proud if she was her own daughter.

Isobel (Penelope Wilton)met Mary's godfather at the Countess Dowager's and there seemed to be sparks. They took a walk and he sent her a large bouqet through Lady Vi, who pointedly looked at Isobel's big bouquet and then at her own smaller bouquet.

The ensemble cast of "Downton Abbey" includes: Hugh Bonneville as Lord Robert, Earl of Grantham; Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley; Jim Carter as Mr. Carson; Brendan Coyle as John Bates; Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley; Kevin Doyle as Molesley; Charles Edwards as Michael Gregson; Joanne Froggatt as Anna; Lily James as Lady Rose McClare; Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow; Allen Leech as Tom Branson; Phyllis Logan as Mrs. Hughes; Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Cora, Countess of Grantham; Sophie McShera as Daisy; Matt Milne as Alfred Nugent; Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore; David Robb as Dr. Clarkson; Maggie Smith as Lady Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham; Ed Speleers as Jimmy Kent; Cara Theobald as Ivy Stuart; and Penelope Wilton as Isobel Crawley.

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