If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you’ve probably been eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Crawley’s story since the show ended (sob!) in 2015. With the movie premiere fast approaching, the WGBH Drama Club has been counting down the days until we reunite with our favorite characters.
Now, most of the internet love for the Downton characters has been bestowed on everyone’s favorite sharp-tongued granny, The Dowager Countess. And while the Lady Violet love is beyond reproach — no one can resist Maggie Smith — there’s another snarky character who deserves no less adoration: Lady Mary Crawley. Portrayed beautifully by Michelle Dockery, Mary is everything one wants from the lady of the house. She is perfectly coiffed, delightfully petty, and (dare we say it) charmingly catty. Read on to relive some of the best Lady Mary moments before the movie premieres on September 20 (or revisit them on WGBH Passport).
Mary Accidentally Kills Mr. Pamuk
Ever find yourself panic-stricken and calling on your faithful lady’s maid to help you hide a body when la petite mort turns into the real thing? Yeah, we haven’t either, and this is exactly why Lady Mary deserves — at the very least — grudging respect. Obviously, accidentally killing a house guest isn't great, but Mary's reaction to the situation is pretty fun to watch. This plot line is bonkers, and it gives Dockery a chance to show off two key Mary character traits: her willingness to shirk the rules, and her clearheaded response to a really awkward crisis.
Mary Dumps Richard Carlisle
It doesn’t matter how sneaky you are, if you hide a body on Downton Abbey, someone is going to find out. And in Mary’s case, that person is her fiancé, Richard Carlisle, a newspaperman who originally is helpful in keeping the Pamuk matter under wraps. Unfortunately, he’s also a jerk and a blackmailer. By breaking off her engagement , Mary puts herself in danger of exposing her secret and ruining all future prospects. Thankfully for the future of the Crawley family, Mary cuts ties with Richard, choosing to stand up for herself and follow her heart.
Mary Supports Her Friends
Many of the Mary-haters out there will tell you that she’s not a particularly nice person. And while this isn't a completely unfair characterization, Mary can be incredibly devoted to people she cares about. Even more impressive for the setting, she's willing to cross class boundaries in her friendships. Most notably, Mary supports her lady's maid Anna throughout the series, including visiting her in prison and hooking her up with a special doctor who ultimately helps her have a baby. Mary is also a close confidant of her brother-in-law Tom Branson, despite his decidedly “downstairs” background.
Mary Reunites Edith and Bertie
How much proverbial ink has been spilled writing about the petty rivalry between Mary and Edith? A lot, because frankly, it’s pretty fun to watch. Mary and Edith barely get along and spend most of the series stabbing each other in the back, and that’s what makes Mary’s efforts to get Edith and Bertie back together all the more impressive. Ok, yes... Mary's jealousy-fueled reveal that Edith has a secret baby was the cause of the break up in the first place. But Bertie deserved to know, even if Mary told him for the wrong reasons. Helping a stuffy, well-meaning, hopelessly in love Bertie get out of his own way by setting up a dinner with Edith is the very last thing we would have expected from Season 1 Mary — and a lovely example of character growth.
Watch the Downton Abbey trailer: