After the last episode many questions still remain unanswered. There is room for more changes in the Christmas Special, but I'm wondering about Tom's future. We've seen Mary and Edith's plot lines advancing very quickly (specially Mary's), but nothing about Tom. Nothing really happens to him (apart from the unpleasant Ms Bunting, of course), his story is stuck. I love the character and I do really think he brings fresh air from outside, but I've seen him lost since Sybil's death. I still see him as a fish out of water, although his comeback was quite emotional as we saw that they all love each other (including Robert). What will happen to him in the Christmas Special? Will there be room for him in Downton he finds another woman? What are your guesses?
I think Tom is completely lost since Sybil died. But I really love him : he's my favourite character.
It's really a shame that they didn't made his future more clear in the last episode. He seems to be the only character who's future is not sure : all right, he made a business with Henry, but what about his sentimental life ? It's a shame.
But, anyway, to me, it's obvious he is going to marry Laura Edmunds : Edith's bouquet makes it quite sure and the way he says to her that they like strong women here...
But whatever happens, I hope he'll be fine and that he'll be able to be who he really is.
I think we were led to believe there may be a Tom and Laura romance in the future by several things:
1. There is a frission of chemistry when they meet at the race.
2. She occupies a social strata above Edna and even Sarah, but is not aristocracy--she is not too far out of reach, but would be acceptable to the family. She is smart and sassy, but not strident and aggressive. I think Sybil would approve.
3. Edith thinks well of her, which would also smooth the transition.
4. He insists she sit closer, close to the family, at Edith's wedding, with a significant glance.
5. She catches the bouquet.
Extra: Other than Sybil, the other women who have shown an interest in him that he has somewhat returned (to varying degrees) have a similar look to them as Laura. Maybe it is the hat, but I think it is the coloring, too. Edna was an ambitous servent--had she been a kind and smart woman, like Gwen, it may have been a challenge, but one that could be overcome. Edna, while she had some genuine physical attraction to Tom, saw him as a step up the social ladder. Sarah was smart, educated, and out of the servant class, and with her work ethic and beliefs could have made a good match to him, maybe one the family would accept, had she not been in-your-face and hateful about the general class of the family and specifically to Robert. Laura has a good balance of strength, common sense, work ethic, and social standing.
I'd be more worried about Laura Edmunds' future. At the moment she is doing very well for herself as the editor of a successful magazine: how on earth could she combine that with marriage to a man running a business in Yorkshire? She couldn't. of course, and guess whose career would have to give way. Seems a shame.
Yes, Tom could give up his plans about the car firm, but is that very likely seeing how he has bonded with Henry and how dependent emotionally he is on the Downton lot?
(Seems to me some characters here end up rather overprovided with careers/homes: like the Carsons, who are now going to live out his retirement on the estate at the same time as having bought a B&B, and Mrs Patmore who has a retirement B&B but will presumably end up on the farm with Mr Mason.)
Don't suppose Edith's reinvention of herself as a career woman is going to last very long either: you may be able to commute (just) between Yorkshire and London but London to Northumberland is a long way.
Edith didn't really commute though. She will probably split her time between working at the Mag and doing a lot of the work over the phone and her duties as a Marchioness. Fellowes says that the reason her ending is so happy is that she will always have a purpose.
As for Laura, perhaps Tom will move to London. He can open another branch of his shop there. Such a fuss is made of Laura being a modern woman I can't imagine that all dissapearing.
Now that it's all over, I was so disappointed with Tom's ending. Yes, there was a hint of attraction between him and Laura at Edith's wedding (that dazzling smile he gave her made me weak-kneed!) but if they did get together, major changes would be in store. As someone pointed out, Laura would have to give up her job and move to Yorkshire. Tom would hate living in London and he couldn't run his car business or the estate from there.
Then there is the matter of where they would live. He'd have to leave Downton, of course, as he certainly couldn't bring a second wife to live with his first wife's family. Robert would likely grant him a life-time lease on a house or cottage. But Tom has grown accustomed to the lifestyle he once despised. He couldn't afford that lifestyle on his own, even with working two jobs. Laura seems to be from an upper middle class background and she'd expect to employ a few servants and a nanny for Sybbie. Tom would be hard-pressed to provide that.
The older Sybbie gets, the harder it will be for her to accept a stepmother. She has likely been told many nice things about her own mother. Even though she doesn't remember Sybil, she probably idolizes her. And if Laura and Tom have a family of their own, as they surely would, Sybbie might feel left out. I'm really overthinking all this!
I can see Edith selling the magazine soon after her marriage. She will probably get pregnant right away and with her new responsibilities, the magazine won't interest her that much. Someone will make her an offer and she'll accept, putting Laura out of a job because the new owner will bring in his/her own editor.
My family doesn't want to hear anymore about Downton Abbey for at least 10 years, so they say.
The only plausible way that Tom could end with Laura is if they open a sucursal in London, maybe bought some uper middle class house, they had more than enough contacts in London to do that (Rosamound manly), and Marigold would go to a school there, like Edith said there are schools for girls in that moment. Money is not the problem, they always can trust in Edith, Rosamound, in fact if we see Rosamound life i dont think that she would be too upset of admiting Tom and Laura in her house.
In the other hand, Edith is the owner of the magazine, and as such she is not "obligated" to stay 24/7 there, that is Laura´s job, in the same way that Turner doesnt know everything about what is happening in CNN. Ovbiously those people have a eye on her things but it is imposible know everything.
And being Marchioness and rich, in fact Edith not only is going to spend time in Northumberland, the big and rich aristocrats like the Devonshires, Westminstersm Norhumberlands (owners of Alnwick Castle, the place used as Brancaster), Salisbury, etc, had a few houses and estates and they rotate through the year, and one of the big part of the season was staying in London, so Edith is going to stay in London a lot of the time. I think that Bertie is molded as such type of aristocrat in terms of money and power, for that reason, all in the family were so surprised, even that they themselves are aristocrats. So, Edith in fact married one the few really powerful aristocrats of that time, and we all know that money and power make things easier. Even, Brancaster is so big, that she easily can invite 10 or 15 people of the magazine and do some work there.
That is a good point about Edith and her new position. Also, her father is not the only type of middling aristocrat Fellowes could have depicted: he never seems to go anywhere and gives very few house parties. I suppose travelling in many ways was just as easy in the 1920's as it is today: trains were not much slower (once you take into account delays caused by modern overcrowding on the railways) and a good deal more comfortable if you could afford first class. And, as pointed out, Edith doesn't have to be in every day.
As for Tom and Laura, yes they could settle in London, open a subsidiary car showroom there and send Sybbie (not Marigold) to school to be picked up and delivered by a nanny. The only difficulty seems to be psychological: Tom seems to have such a huge man crush on Henry and has become very emotionally dependent on his father figure, Robert. And once Laura is pregnant it will be harder for her to maintain that she also needs to keep her job as editor.
He's the only one who won't have real troubles when the world change again (29 Crash and II War), since he's the only one who had a real job outside the abbey and having another... Maybe he could be made rich mading cars for the war... what an irony
Henry Talbot has as much of a real job as Tom does, and Mary runs the estate: if she can keep that afloat that will survive both the crash and the war. Between them they will support Robert and Cora. Cora will get well known and respected for her hospital work but not, of course, paid.
People will still read newspapers so Edith is settled as long as she doesn't sell the rag. And Bertie is a big landowner so they should be all right.
Not sure what Atticus does (banking?), I suppose that could be at risk (though not necessarily).
Of the servants, Molesley is settled, and that means Miss Baxter is too: teaching will not go out of fashion.
Carson and Mrs Hughes have their cottage and a pension (though presumably Mrs Hughes won't retire quite yet). When she does either Anna or Miss Baxter will take over and the other will combine all ladies maids duties. Bates will probably keep his job as long as Robert is alive and end up as a kind of nursemaid.
Mrs Patmore will end up on the farm and Daisy will combine being the farmer's wife (Andy) and cooking at the big house.
Thomas will probably have to merge into a general factotum, learn how to drive (he was rather evasive on that subject at his first job interview), and be a combined butler/chauffeur/anything else that needs doing. Once he has decided that this is not a demotion but an opportunity to show off, he might well enjoy it. He and Molesley can take it in turns to do guided tours of the house. Have I forgotten anyone?
Tom's character is definitely likeable. We like his strong values but also his softer side and like Edith said "Tom the peacemaker is back." Tom was always an unusual character because while he was a strong Irish independence suppporter in words he never really showed this in his deeds until he returned to Ireland with Sybil and then he seemed to be against any personal violence and so he seemed to change after seeing the reality of what it might involve. Tom at his heart is a lover not a fighter. He was a practical working class man who worked hard as a chauffer/mechanic but at the end of the day he was working for the aristocracy in England. If he really wanted to fight for Ireland's freedom what was he doing in England in the first place?
I think Tom changes after he becomes a husband and father as he realises he probably can't live out his political beliefs in the same way a single man could. I think if Sybil had stayed alive they would have had a large family and been a wonderful example of a loving husband, wife and great parents.
What do you think?