Downton Abbey: a surprise guest at Mrs Hughes' wedding

After blackmail scandals and murder trials, Downton Abbey finally rewarded viewers some far heartwarming developments. The romance between Mr Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan) culminated in a touching wedding that brought upstairs and downstairs together. There was also a surprise appearance on the happy day from Tom Branson back from America.

In a speech that had fans reaching for their handkerchiefs, the former chauffeur declared: "I had to go all the way to Boston to figure something out. I learned that Downton is my home and you are my family!"


Branson decided his heart still belongs at Downton

However, like all good families there was some very gentile bickering over the details of the reception, which Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) wanted to organise herself in the Great Hall. In the end, the bride got her own way with a much more discreet affair in the school hall and was given a magnificent evening coat for the occasion by Countess Cora.

The family were thrilled to see the little cousins reunited

Romance was also on the cards for Lady Edith who was invited out for a drink by an old acquaintance. She wasn't able to go because of a crisis at her magazine caused when she sacked her chauvinistic editor and decided to step in herself.

Rather than put a dampener on the budding love interest, her would be suitor showed just how keen he was by accompanying her to the office to help out.

Edith is becoming a thorougly modern woman with an increasingly snazzy wardrobe

Actress Laura Michael who portrays Edith has said it is a joy that her character has turned into such a feisty, snazzily dressed modern woman.

Viewers have yet to see whether Thomas will leave Downton or find love within its hall. For the moment his advances to the new footman Andy have been soundly rebuffed.

The butler and housekeeper are now Mr and Mrs Carson

Meanwhile, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) was on cracking form with some of her best one liners yet. When told by her son that he had been talking to his wife over a local village issue, she replied: "That was a mistake. I know several couples who haven't spoken for years who are perfectly happy".

Told that her adversary Lord Merton was in favour in reform at the local hospital she replied snootily: "A peer in favour of reform is like a turkey in favour of Christmas.

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