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In the season finale coming up Sunday, which I've seen but won't give away, these dual acts of mercy lead Thomas to a brave and heroic act of self-sacrifice, and to a genuine friendship with Jimmy that begins in one of the most moving scenes in the series so far.

Judging by the track we're on, not to mention the stupendous ratings, it would appear that Fellowes finally feels free enough to go anywhere—and a fine, fine thing that is.

This is Todd Dorman's second article about Downton Abbey for CT. He also wrote yesterday's article on Mumford & Sons.

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