Lucky Houston fans of Downton Abbey were in an excited mood earlier this week when they got to watch a sneak preview of the supersized season finale and attend a taping of Manor of Speaking, the locally-produced show that dissects every twist and turn of PBS's most popular series.
Some fans came to the Houston Public Media studios dressed in period costume — this season's episodes are set in 1924 — ready to dissect every plot point with a panel that included MOS host Ernie Manouse, regular panelists Helen Mann and St. John Flynn and special guests Joanne Herring and Evan Turner.
There was a lot to talk about because the season finale has a lot of twists and turns, including — spoiler alert! —a trek to a Scotland castle where all sorts of scandalous things happen, yet another new handsome suitor for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) — this time the dashing Finn Polmar (Matthew Goode) from The Good Wife — and the most heartwarming ending in Downton's five year history.
Actually, all of these things are alluded to in the previews of the season finale that followed the last episode, so we're not really giving any secrets away. To find out what happens, watch the season finale episode Sunday at 8 p.m. on Channel 8, followed by the season-ending episode of Manor of Speaking. (The local show used to be aired live but this season it is taped beforehand because more than 80 PBS stations across the nation have picked it up to run at various times throughout the week.)
Guests also got a chance to pose with life-sized cut-out characters from the show — either with the upstairs Crawley family or the downstairs servants — or both.