‘Downton Abbey’ Spoilers: Mrs. Hughes Finally Weds And Speculation About Thomas

Episode 3 of Downton Abbey‘s final season airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Spoilers for this episode have emerged this week that are sure to bring viewers tears of joy. Theories as to what the last five episodes may hold are also being discussed. Some are happy, and some are downright tragic. Let’s talk.

Do not read any further if you do not wish to read spoilers.

First, PBS‘s official Downton Abbey Season 6 Episode 3 preview.

The Downton Abbey preview begins with the Dowager and Isobel in one of their arguments that Downton Abbey fans have come to enjoy watching. The Dowager asks Isobel if she was drinking at lunch. The assumption is that there is a lunch about possible changes at the hospital that have been under discussion the previous two episodes and about which the two continue to hold opposite views. Speculation is that the Dowager’s snide remark is due to Isobel expressing her views at the lunch.

This is followed by Thomas’ comment about how easily discarded he feels employees of Downton Abbey are at this time of great change in both the world and the household in which he’s employed, immediately followed by a shot that we saw in last week’s episode in which Thomas had a painful interview with a potential employer. This brings us to one theory that is circulating.

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Downton Abbey‘s Thomas Barrow is a character about whom many viewers are conflicted. In the first couple of seasons, he was conniving and ruthless and we couldn’t stand him. We learned early on, when he made an advance on Kemal Pamuk, that Thomas is homosexual. As the series progressed we began to see the pain, suffering, and self-hate he experiences because of it, and found ourselves feeling sorry for himself from time to time.

In earlier seasons of Downton Abbey, Thomas even tried a very risky purported cure for his homosexuality that left him very ill. He has had to hide his homosexuality throughout the series, and the few times he has tried to have a relationship with another male character, he has been soundly degraded and made to feel filthy and repugnant. The interview he had in the second episode of this season of Downton Abbey was heartbreaking, as his interviewer implied that he knew Thomas was homosexual and that he was repulsed by it. As Thomas senses the impending changes at Downton Abbey that may leave him unemployed, he feels the pressure like no one else in the household because of his homosexuality.

In a wonderful discussion of tonight’s episode, AfterBuzz TV talks about Thomas further separating him from the rest of the Downton Abbey household. One of the hosts proposes that Thomas may end up committing suicide. We’ve seen a pattern of self-hatred and withdrawal from him through the seasons and as he deals with the possibility of losing Downton Abbey, the one thing he could always count on, he may make this final tragic decision. He is even quoted as saying in tonight’s episode, “I can’t see the future.”

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Downton Abbey‘s Lady Edith is also seen speaking with Bertie Pelham in what we hope is the beginning of a successful relationship for her. This is followed by a clip of Lady Grantham chiding Mrs. Hughes for trying on her clothes. According to Zap2It, this ends well, as it was Lady Mary’s suggestion, a sort of peace offering and her contribution to Mrs. Hughes’ wedding as she relents and acquiesces to Mrs. Hughes’ desire not to have the wedding reception at Downton.

We also see Miss Denker telling the Dowager that Spratt seems preoccupied lately, something that ends up with mixed results according to the AfterBuzz TV video mentioned earlier. She apparently learns that he has a stamp collection, but why the secrecy, we can’t tell.

The final scene in the official Downton Abbey preview is Mrs. Hughes on her wedding morning. Fans can’t wait to see this happy couple wed, and word has it that Carson has words for his bride following the wedding that will bring a tear to every eye. But that isn’t the only reason you better have the tissues nearby in this episode. The biggest spoiler of this episode is the joyous return of Tom Branson and Sibbie. They return at the wedding and indicate that they intend to stay. In one more theory that’s proposed in the AfterBuzz TV video, Mary seems especially happy to see him return, leaving us to wonder if she and Tom will end up together, running whatever future there will be for our beloved Downton Abbey.

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]