Scandal! Downton's new femme fatale and an illicit kiss at the Blue Dragon: Dramatic plotline will bring third series to a close
01:23 GMT, 4 November 2012
She's off: Lady Rose is sent to Scotland at the end of this season's finale of Downton Abbey
A dramatic plotline involving a scandalous new character will bring the third series of Downton Abbey to a close tonight in a 90-minute special.
The Crawley clan are thrown into turmoil by the arrival of 18-year-old Lady Rose, the great-niece of the Dowager Countess of Grantham.
At first she appears beautiful and demure – but her shocked family discover she is having an affair with a married man.
Fans of the hit ITV drama will see Lady Rose, played by Lily James, 23, packed off to Scotland in shame by the Dowager Countess when the fling is exposed.
But although she has got off to a less than auspicious start, she will return to wreak havoc in the future.
Our exclusive pictures show Lady Rose locked in a passionate embrace with Terence Margadale, played by Edward Baker-Duly.
The couple are discovered in London’s notorious Blue Dragon nightclub by Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael), her brother-in-law Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), and their aunt Lady Rosamund Painswick (Samantha Bond).
The trio arrive after they are alerted to the teenager’s movements by a concerned taxi driver.
The family are stunned to see the transformation of Lady Rose, and a shocked Matthew likens the club’s heaving dance floor to ‘the outer circle of Dante’s inferno’.
Warning: Matthew Crawley urges Lady Rose to end the affair
Brazen: She kisses the married Terence Margadale
Shocking: Lady Rose plays her part in a dramatic scene at the Blue Dragon during an explosive Downton finale
He then takes Rose on to the dance
floor and urges her to end the affair. Unrepentant, she tells him: ‘He’s
terribly unhappy and it’s not his fault. His wife is absolutely
But Matthew tells her: ‘Married men who wish to seduce young women always have horrid wives.’
Only days earlier, Lady Rose arrived at Downton Abbey claiming she needed a retreat from London life. The Dowager Countess, played by Dame Maggie Smith, agrees to act as chaperone.
However, when Lady Rose insists on accompanying Matthew back to London, Lady Edith begins to have doubts about her motives.
Discovery: Lady Rosamund Painswick and Lady Edith are less than impressed with the discovery they make at the Blue Dragon
Yesterday, the Downton cast also spoke for the first time of the series’s most shocking storyline – the death of Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay) after giving birth. Miss Carmichael said she shed real tears alongside Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary.
‘When we had farewell drinks for Jess we had to make sure we weren’t giving the storyline away to anyone in the pub,’ she added. ‘We had to pretend it was her birthday. But we had just filmed these horrific scenes and so we had tear-stained drinks.’
Creator and writer Julian Fellowes added: ‘You grow to love the characters and they have a life of their own, so it is very hard to kill one of them. Hard for me and hard for the cast. The fact they were all so good in the scene only makes it worse.’
Hit: The dramatic plot will bring the third series of the hit show to an end