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9 March 1st, 2015 Downton Abbey Season 5 Finale: Matthew Goode Debuts, But Does Allen Leech Truly Bid Farewell?

Photo Credit: Getty images

Tonight in the U.S, it’s time to close the fifth installment on the fascinating lives of the characters of Julian Fellowes Downton Abbey.  The 90 minute conclusion to its fifth season airs starting at 9PMEST on PBS Masterpiece.

In story, look for the arrival of  the character of  Henry Talbot, played by Matthew Goode (The Good Wife and The Imitation Game).  Talbot catches the eye of none other than Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery).  Safe bet to say that this gent is going to be a truly viable love interest for Mary heading into season six.  Meanwhile, everyone is talking about the future of one of the series most beloved original cast members, Allen Leech (Branson).  The actor who also recently appeared in the motion picture, The Imitation Game as well as Goode, has been getting several offers to appear in other projects and tonight in the season finale, the action moves to Christmas 1924 and Branson keeps reminding everyone why they will miss him when he makes his planned relocation to Boston!

Leech recently told Huffington Post Canada: “I don’t know how long  I’ll be on the show. By the end of this season, you’ll know a lot more! Just tune in and you’ll be surprised. I was supposed to be on for two episodes, but Tom resonated with Julian and the audience because I think Tom is the audience.  He’s caught between two classes and worlds, but he’s remembering who he once was in this season.”

Another “Downton” outing is at the epicenter of the season five finale episode where Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), accompanied by Branson (Allen Leech) and Thomas (Rob James-Collier), head for a sporting week of shooting, no less, with Lord Sinderby (James Faulkner), who is now Lady Rose’s (Lily James) new father-in-law.  Many other principles are along for this recreational gathering, but will anything go extremely awry?  And, one of the other major questions for the season finale:  Will Anna (Golden Globe winner, Joanne Froggatt) remain in jail for the murder of her rapist?

Downton Abbey will return for a sixth season. And as Allen Leech reveals in this video interview with PEOPLE after the jump, no matter what, he would love to be part of the cast up until the very end, and that the creators and producers will know when its time to pull the plug on the series.

So, excited to hear about the arrival of Matthew Goode? Will you be sad if Branson leaves the canvas?  What did you think of season five of Downton Abbey?  Watch Leech’s interview clip below, and then weigh-in!

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  1. Llanviewer717 says:

    I so hope that Allen Leech says with the show to its end. Tom is wonderful and such an important part of the family. He helps give them some balance.

    I’m very happy about the arrival of Matthew Goode. He was wonderful in “The Imitation Game.” I hope his character will be a good match for Lady Mary. She needs something to occupy her mind instead of constantly belittling Lady Edith.


  2. TomBransonFan says:

    Tom Branson is the reason I’m still watching. With him in the show I’ll stick with it till the end. Without him: I’m out. He is the true heart of the show for me. The character that represents the audience, the man who is the bridge between the two worlds. I would be extremely disappointed if his storyline wouldn’t get the closure it deserves. He needs to find love again and he needs to find a place in the world again, not necessarily in the house, but at least close to the family. They need him!


  3. Michael Smith says:

    I adore Downton! It is wonderful, compelling drama; and in a television world where the quest for “edge” can assault good taste, it is welcome and refreshing.

    I hope Tom Branson and Allen Leech stay until the program ends its celebrated run.


  4. Carolyn says:

    The character of Tom is one of the reasons I continue to watch Downton. I’m waiting to see when, and with whom, he’ll find love again. If he leaves without an imminent return it would feel like his story went unfinished and would be a very unsatisfying end.

    Looking forward to the addition of Matthew Goode, although at this point I couldn’t care less if Mary found a new love or not… maybe she should join her American grandmother and go to the USA instead of Tom.


    Shay replied

    Oh, he’ll probably at least visit for the Christmas special again….with “Sibby” in tow! I’m just truly grateful that Branson didn’t end up with that Bolshie Bunting broad…..she was a real piece of work, and one of the most charmless, grating and rude characters ever introduced to the Downton canvas. It was a real relief to see the back of her!


  5. Shay says:

    If Branson goes, he goes. I can live with it. For me, the two most essential characters—although there are numerous other great ones!—at the Abbey are the Dowager Countess Violet and Lady Mary….I just adore them both! And while I do want to see the latter find happiness with another man after so tragically losing her husband, Matthew, I’m no more sold on this latest prospective suitor than the gushy, over-effusive Lord Gillingham….I was so happy to finally see the back of him and his clingy Mabel Lane Fox! Quite frankly, I thought that in terms of temperament, Charles Blake was more than a match for Mary, and I enjoyed their vibe….particularly since their bumpy beginning rang much like hers with the dearly departed Matthew. All I can add is that this program is such a quality, rewarding viewing experience, and with each season’s close, I am left sad and wanting more, so I hope that the rumors of next year being the last for Downton have been greatly exaggerated.


  6. Ravello says:

    I love Tom and his relationship with the family, what a heartwarming story. I saw lots of foreshadowing for next season, I’m guessing serious health problems are coming for the Lord of the manor. Could Edith have a suitor, she was dancing and conversing with someone. I’m over Lady Mary and her suitors.
    The show will go on for several more seasons, take it to the bank. January is a long time to wait. I think the short seasons keep everyone hooked, we want more.


  7. Andrew says:

    I wouldn’t mind if season six is the final one, I think every series has a shelf life and I’d rather this one leave before it gets repetitious. On the other hand, I could see a natural conclusion to this set of characters and then time jumping a couple decades to the 1940s post WW2 and where everyone is then. Or, I could see a huge jump to the 1980s when the grandkids are trying to restore the glory of Downton.

    But I’ll just enjoy it for as long as they make it


    Shay replied

    That just may be the case, Andrew. Today I read in the British press that Dame Maggie is about to throw in the towel after Season Six, and I cannot imagine the show without her! Plus, Mr. Fellowes, who is very hands on and writes all of the series’ dialogue, is set to begin work on an American version of the program…(which he cannot do simultaneously with another season of Downton.) While that gladdens my heart, I still shall terribly miss the original when its time comes to an end. Awhile back, there were rumors that a “pre-quel” with a young Cora and Robert was on the agenda, but I’ve heard nothing as of late regarding such a project…..yet I agree that there are many directions that future stories could take root. I’m for any and all of them, although if the show must end, I have always imagined a final scene with Miss Smith as an aged “Lady Mary” and a returning Dan Stevens as her now-grown son in his rightful place running the still-thriving Abbey. Makes me sad to even think of it, though. P.S. I would love to see some of the current cast imported to the US for the NBC version…especially Michelle Dockery, Phyllis Logan, Jim Carter and Joanne Froggatt!


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