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  • Which one do you prefer? Overall I think Bertie and Edith were more interesting and had better chemistry.

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    • I personally prefer Henry and Mary, especially because I think the connection they made in the Series 5 Christmas episode was just sparkling (and certainly much better than Edith and Bertie's).

      However, in series 6 I do understand why you think Bertie and Edith may be more natural and fluid.  I think that's it the point though, there has never been a great emphasis on Edith finding anyone of a particular status or wealth but that was basically what most of Mary's love life has involved - finding someone who is suitably titled, wealthy AND to her personal liking.  In effect, Edith seems free to choose who she wants and so Bertie Pelham who, to his own admission, has not much to offer in status but she can choose him for personality.

      I think Mary and Henry's story is supposed to be pointing how difficult it is to let herself like him so there's chemistry but no fluidity.  She seems to find him charming and attractive, and I certainly think he sharp enough to keep her on her toes, but she is battling her instincts with her need to be sensible by choosing a good father figure and someone who "won't make her marry down."  It is still of some importance to the family that she marries someone with status because they're still talking about it (Violet gearstick comment, s6e4) so I think the relationship is way more hindered than Edith's.

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    • Think Mary and Talbot had some chemistry in the Xmas special last year but there is none between them in the latest series..  Matthew Goode is a great actor but he comes across as very wooden here.  He has more chemistry with Tom rather than Mary!!   On the other hand Edith and Bertie seem much more natural together.

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    • I titally agree with you on Talbot a wood stick here with no chemistry with Mary at all, vs. Edith and Bertie are so much more natrual and loving and all. 

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    • Bertie and Edith seem so very supporting of each other. It's interesting because Talbot and Mary had all thse people pushing it as well of all the effort in the car races, it just seemed overdone and forced. Edith and Bertie meanwhile were very simple, but the chemistry was great, Bertie was incredibly sweet and as a result they becamema very natural, very loving couple. When I saw Talbot and Mary I was aware I was watching actors, they simply didn't seem real. But Bertie and Edith could easily have been a real relationship. They  progressed as a real couple would and respected the other. Unlike Talbot who threatened Mary, Edith did and Berie would respect the other if the other broke up with them, even if they were heartbroken.

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    • 151.227.23.216 wrote:
      I personally prefer Henry and Mary, especially because I think the connection they made in the Series 5 Christmas episode was just sparkling (and certainly much better than Edith and Bertie's).

      However, in series 6 I do understand why you think Bertie and Edith may be more natural and fluid.  I think that's it the point though, there has never been a great emphasis on Edith finding anyone of a particular status or wealth but that was basically what most of Mary's love life has involved - finding someone who is suitably titled, wealthy AND to her personal liking.  In effect, Edith seems free to choose who she wants and so Bertie Pelham who, to his own admission, has not much to offer in status but she can choose him for personality.

      I think Mary and Henry's story is supposed to be pointing how difficult it is to let herself like him so there's chemistry but no fluidity.  She seems to find him charming and attractive, and I certainly think he sharp enough to keep her on her toes, but she is battling her instincts with her need to be sensible by choosing a good father figure and someone who "won't make her marry down."  It is still of some importance to the family that she marries someone with status because they're still talking about it (Violet gearstick comment, s6e4) so I think the relationship is way more hindered than Edith's.

      Actually only Edith and Bertie's relationship had a real obstacle, namely Marigol and whether Edith would dare to tell of her and whether Bertie would then marry her. The result was that the stakes were highest possible and how the characters would choose would tell us their qualities and values.

      Fellowes may have thought that Henry and Mary had an obstacle, though not difference of status (that was a red herring) but Mary's fear of cars because of Matthew's crash. But that never seemed real as Mary had never before felt that fear, and even if it were real, she never spoke of it to *Henry* but she married him without reavealing her real self. The result was that there was no stakes nor intimacy in this romance.

      In addition, Henry and Mary were seldom alone whereas most scenes were about Tom trying to persuade Mary that Henry was the one - obviously Fellowes felt that the audience needed persuasion.

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    • There was once an article comparing Talbot to bread. And a tumblr post saying that it's an insult to bread. I'm inclined to agree. Henry/Mary are the 'Twilight' to Bertie/Edith's 'Harry Potter'. And if you don't think that's appropriate, bare in mind that Edith and Bertie end up living at Hogwarts.

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    • I found the relation betwen Mary and Henry boring, no chemistry, like anothers had said is like a relation betwen teenagers, we only saw only flirting or a "power" play betwen them, in the end a very inmature relation. In the other hand Bertie and Edith always behaved natural with each other, without the secret about Marigold both were honest. Also the personalities of Bertie and Henry were soo different, for example Bertie was ALWAYS a gentleman, never went uninvited to somewhere; in the other hand Henry wasnt invited to Brancaster in the CS, neither to dinner with the family in Rosamound´s house, neither when he came to the house in the finale episode. Also the attitude towards the interest of each woman, Bertie in the first moment was interest in Edith´s magazine and even in Marigold; Henry never showed real interest for Mary´s work at Downton or George in the beggining.

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    • 188.223.63.236 wrote:
      There was once an article comparing Talbot to bread. And a tumblr post saying that it's an insult to bread. I'm inclined to agree. Henry/Mary are the 'Twilight' to Bertie/Edith's 'Harry Potter'. And if you don't think that's appropriate, bare in mind that Edith and Bertie end up living at Hogwarts.

      LOL, sometimes I felt Bella and Edward had more chemistry and romance than Mary and Henry... The problem with their characters is that both of them are cold and keep their feelings hidden... Matthew took out the coldness from Mary, Henry didn't...

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    • Why does it have to be a competition?  I liked them both.  Henry and Mary were more interesting as a pairing though and I really liked Henry as a character. He brought something different to the table. I've noticed from watching this site that it seems to be populated by people with agendas to squash any positive comments about Henry. You see them make the same points over and over like they are trying to convince themselves it's true. This all seems at odds with what I read in other places. The US reviews are very positive about Henry and his growing relationship with Mary and as we know they end up as what looks like a very happy couple, yet, as usual, there will be a string of replies telling me I'm wrong or that Bertie is better!  Give the guy a break!    

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    • Agenda! It's a discussion. People give their opinions and other people give theirs two. If Bertie and Edith has more people supporting them then that simply means that they are more popular. No one is trying to convince anyone, let alone themselves. When people are making the same points over, it is because they are glorying in the fact that they love the couple. It isn't glorying, it's squeeing!

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    • It means they are more popular on this site, not that they are more popular in general. Nothing more. I'm just trying to balance things out that's all.

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    • To be honest, I've seen more support for Bertie and Edith on every site than Henry and Mary. At worst, people are unintersted in Bertie, although most agree he is very sweet, but Henry is outright hated by some.

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    • To be quite honest, I quite liked Henry, although that could be due to my head-canon. When I saw him at the end of s5, I just pictured (an older) Charles Ryder from Brideshead Revisited, so I imagined he left Brideshead, somehow ended up at Alnwick Castle at the end of s5, fell for Mary and got over his feelings for Julia Flyte :) I found that giving him a backstory (beyond being a race car driver) made him more likeable for me, but that's just my two cents.

      However, I will add that I wholeheartedly agree with those who said that Edith and Bertie's relationship felt more natural and believable - although that could also be because I always go for the underdog and have been rooting for Edith since that awful disaster with Strallan in s3 :)

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    • 86.149.136.54 wrote: I really liked Henry as a character.   

      But what is Henry's character? Droving race cars and flirting in a cold way doesn't tell anything about his basic character and whether he would be suited more than a mere fling.

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    • I think Henry and Mary's relationship could be interesting, because I think their dynamic would be fascinating to explore, but the dynamic was probably unintentional.

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    • I liked Henry as a character as well and contrary to what others have said above, we do know a lot about him.  I will return to this when I have more time.  I've seen a few 'hate' him as well but they seem to be the same people popping up on multiple websites (you see the same user names or spelling mistakes so they are very easy to spot - I recognise them here too) and it is obvious from reading those that they are from fans of Henry's 'rival' suitors! I'm sad to admit that I have spent a lot of time reading these sort of sites recently and each seems to have a predominance of one or another fanbase so it's not as clear cut as some people above have said. 

      Back to the topic, I'm not going to shift from saying that both couples look like successful matches to me.  Both sisters have husbands who adore them.  Henry has bonded with George and no doubt Bertie will love Marigold too.  The sisters are making efforts to get on better and their husbands seem to like each other as well.  Both couples are happy - what more can we ask for? 



        

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    • Honestly i like more Bertie, even i think that he is fun i mean a easy person to talk about everything, and for the words of Tom "he seems to know a lot of everything", so i bet that is a person who can give you good advices. But Henry is also a good guy, i liked him in the CS, when he was more relaxed. The thing that i didnt liked was when he was with Mary in the first dates, i think that was a mistake put Tom in those scenes, and the "power games" betwen him and Mary were overextended. In the end the characther of Henry was good, but the relation with Mary was poorly written (the presence of Tom,   excessively flirting, lack of honest talk), but i think that with the little time in this season he was better that previous suitors. 

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    • The problem with Henry and Mary was it felt like two teenagers playing at love. In comparison Bertie and Edith felt like a functioning and loving couple who supported each other. You could see them working together and being a pair. They were friends as well as husband and wife. With Mary and Henry I felt like they were both showing off to each other, their was too much pretence. Did they really know each other? I mean, Henry clearly gets on very well with Edith, so would he really be ok with what Mary did to her? I honestly can't tell. From what we've seen it would probably be a big shock to him, but that would only mean he doesn't really know the woman he has married. Or does he know and simply doesn't care. Because we haven't seen him react to the nastier side of Mary we have no idea how it will affect their relationship if it came to the surface again. And this sort of relationship isn't bad for TV in itself, but it was unintentional.

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    • 86.149.136.54 wrote:

      and it is obvious from reading those that they are from fans of Henry's 'rival' suitors!

      Actually neither Gillingham nor Blake had much support, but looking back both were better than Talbot. Mary talked honestly about her past with Gilligham and Blake made her laugh (the pig scene where she was vivacious again the only time after Matthew's death).

      Of course Matthew has been the only man Mary has ever had real chemistry, save Tom but that relationship lacked sexual tension.

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    • 86.149.136.54 wrote:

      Back to the topic, I'm not going to shift from saying that both couples look like successful matches to me.  Both sisters have husbands who adore them.  Henry has bonded with George and no doubt Bertie will love Marigold too.  The sisters are making efforts to get on better and their husbands seem to like each other as well.  Both couples are happy - what more can we ask for? 

      A lot of more, in fact the most important things. The successful relationships demands that the couple is honest with other, that they see the other as she/he in reality is, accept her/his weaknesses, forgive her/his mistakes, support her/his growth to a better person, don't try force her/him to anything but solve the disagreements together.

      Mary and Henry's relationship lacked all this.    

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    • Mary's romances more resemble pre-war notions, whereas Edith, who couldn't make it in that kind of romance, follows post-war modern ones based more on intellectual attraction.

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    • As well as comparing Henry/Mary to Edith/Bertie, the scene at the Cotilion made me compare them to Edith/Michael's scene. Mary and Henry's scene felt a bit too showy, they had a crowd of people watching and Mary made a big show of showing her dress; which reminded me of a flashier version of the one Edith wore, and then they sort of made a diplay of flirting. In comparison Edith and Michael were very intimate, they had a proper converation and even Edith's green dres felt more natural. Just lighter and effortlesly beautiful.

      I think that is the main problem with Mary's relationships, too much effort is put into making the pairing appear attractive without actually showing the development of the characters feelings for each other. It's all style and no substance.

      (P.S, why did Mary's line about being a war widow set my teeth on edge? There was something about it that rankled me, but I'm not completely sure why.)

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    • I think portraying Mary and Henry in the last series is not worked out in detail, like the relationship between Bertie and Edith and their characters, which is done with great care and empathy. This underexposure (in a way) of Mary and Henry is probably on purpose and could mean they are put on a sidetrack, like the whole of Downton Abbey. That part is definitely over. 

      The careful work-out of Bertie and Edith could be the overture to a spin-off about and around them. Just like Hadden-Paton said last week (see youtube) that there are enough ideas about a spin off around Bertie and Edith. He surely will not make such a remark if there is not a chance such will happen.  I think a great deal of the Downton Abbey fans would like to see a follow-up at Brancaster, with elements (like Mary and Henry) of the old Downton Abbey popping up now and then. If so many people want the story to be prolonged I think producers, Fellowes and ITV would be silly not to meet with this wish as it is the most succesful series ever. (money makes the world go around !) 

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    • I thought that the spin-off was a joke, but I would be delighted if it happened. Although I think they should do something different with it, instead of a Soap opera it could be a miniseries, just a few special episodes. And the story would be a crime or a horror! I would love it if it were a Jonathon Creek type story. A mystery with a hint of supernatural. It would be a good chance to try something new with the characters, and if it were a miniseries it wouldn't drag too much.

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    • 188.223.63.236 wrote:
      I thought that the spin-off was a joke, but I would be delighted if it happened. Although I think they should do something different with it, instead of a Soap opera it could be a miniseries, just a few special episodes. And the story would be a crime or a horror! I would love it if it were a Jonathon Creek type story. A mystery with a hint of supernatural. It would be a good chance to try something new with the characters, and if it were a miniseries it wouldn't drag too much.

      Given the track, it will the extended version or #PoorEdith XD

      But Lady Edith, the prominent journalist investigating a crime sounds promising to me

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    • The successful relationships demands that the couple is honest with other, that they see the other as she/he in reality is, accept her/his weaknesses, forgive her/his mistakes, support her/his growth to a better person, don't try force her/him to anything but solve the disagreements together.

      I'm hesitating to say this but that comment brings up this in my mind - Edith was not honest; Bertie did not understand the impossible situation she was in; he left her on a point of principle about trust and then that principle was all forgotten in the next episode.  Just throwing that out there!  

      Henry was consistent.  He accepted Mary's faults - see below for an example. He was honest with her about how he felt and what he wanted.  He understood how difficult his profession was for her - although he was niave about the risks. He made efforts to discuss it at least twice. Mary accepted Henry as her husband even though he was still a driver at that stage, despite her fears, she accepted him. Mary was supportive of Henry's ambition to change his life - to be worthy of her. They discussed it and she wholeheartedly supported his choice and the new business.  Henry didn't force Mary to do  anything, if you are referring to the conversation on the stairs that people always seem to bring up. He backed off and left the next move up to Mary - hardly forcing it.

      I think both husbands are 'works in progress'.  They are not perfect but they are both making efforts to be good husbands to the sisters - Henry has changed his life completely and Bertie has hopefully freed himself from that overbearing mother so that he can be his own man.  We have seen that Henry and Mary are happy in the Xmas Special and although we haven't seen Edith and Bertie as a married couple we have no reason to doubt they will be happy too - mother permitting!

      On Mary's 'dark side', I think Henry sees Mary clearly and has no illusions about how she is with Edith, hence the "Your Mary is not my Mary" line, but he sees another side to her.  I think he showed that he has a way of gently teasing her about her faults - her scowling; her 'snobbishness'; 'being friends' with Edith now and so on - and that was a clever way of reflecting back her behaviour.  

      Bertie and Henry are both affable, friendly men and they seem to get on well.  There is a sympathy and understaning between them.  This may be a stretch, (I know it is!) but if the sisters quarrelled again I think their husband's would help them work things out.

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    • The relationship wouldn't have been to bad if it weren't for that fact we were asked to care about it so much. Other characters constantly talked about it and made a big deal of how perfect Henry is, without us actually been shown why. All they did was flirt. And we were told Henry was strong but when did he actually do something strong? Just like the rest of Mary's men he begged her to be with him. Every decision in the relationship was Mary's. He left when she told him to leave and came running when she called. He never questioned her or disagreed. And he may know Mary and Edith aren't close, but does he know what she did to the two of them? Did he care? He liked them both and so would he really not give a damn that she hurt them both so much. But if he did care then why didn't we see his reaction? And Bertie isn't just affable. He's kind. And kindness just doesn't get the recognition it deserves. He doesn't care that Edith has to call off their date, he comes to help. He puts on puppet shows for children and just radiates kindness. But he also has his insecurities, which makes him more realistic but also gives Edith the chance to show that their relationship was a give and take one. She encouraged him and supported him. It was a proper, mature relationship.

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    • Bertie and Edith absolutely take the prize. They have the sweetest love story in all of Downton Abbey series history. He developed a genuine interest in Edith at Brancaster Castle when she had nothing to offer than her personality. Then he purused her when he had nothing to offer but the station of a land agent with no prospects. When he revealed how much he loved her, Edith admitted that she was not worthy of his love, even though it didn't come with a position. 

      I think we were all devastated when Mary ruined their plans with her untimely reveal that Marigold was Ediths daughter. It seems like we all knew Edith was on the verge of telling Pelham about her past but she didn't have the chance once Mary gave away the big secret.

      My heart was broken when Bertie gave up on Edith for dishonetsy. 

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    • Aren't they showing the episode where Edith and Bertie kiss tonight in America? And the Red Dinner? I'm looking forward to seeing the audience's reaction to both, especially the Red Dinner. That was hilarious. On another note, I loved the two sister' reactions to their dates in this episode. Edith was "Oh! We're going to a swanky dance club? Yippee!" and Mary was like "He wants me to look at him... look at cars...?"

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    • 86.159.246.193 wrote:
      Aren't they showing the episode where Edith and Bertie kiss tonight in America? And the Red Dinner? I'm looking forward to seeing the audience's reaction to both, especially the Red Dinner. That was hilarious.

      On another note, I loved the two sister' reactions to their dates in this episode. Edith was "Oh! We're going to a swanky dance club? Yippee!" and Mary was like "He wants me to look at him... look at cars...?"

      The Red Dinner. Love it

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    • What was hilarious about the "red dinner"? That was a chocking and gruesome moment to Me.

      Sitter way, here is yet another vote for Edith and Bertie.

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    • I think people find it funny because is was shocking and gruesome, and just not what people expect from Downton Abbey. However, in this instanceI think the humor comes from the Game of Thrones reference.

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    • 81.232.21.126 wrote:
      What was hilarious about the "red dinner"? That was a chocking and gruesome moment to Me.

      Sitter way, here is yet another vote for Edith and Bertie.

      The point is how it was really over-the-top. Like the dead Turk, it was a tragedy, but... XDDDD Black comedy category winner?

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    • I like both couples, although I think Fellowes made more mistakes with the Mary and Henry relationship (many noted above already). With Bertie and Edith, the biggest issue was the over-drawn-out way they extended the "will Edith tell him about Marigold?" plotline and there were so many opportunities for her to do so even before his cousin's death. But I get that that was just a build-up for when Mary exposed it at breakfast.

      As far as chemistry between the Mary and Henry goes, or Henry being wooden, they were supposed to "match" and both be cool collected types, only showing their fiery sides to few. Other weaknesses: Your best friend has just died in the same way that your love's first husband did, and you think that is the time to propose to her-- over the phone? Or, just as bad, your love interest just had his best friend die, so that makes it a good time to break up with him--over the phone? Really?

      Michelle Dockery and Matthew Goode did admirably given some of the atrocious dialogue they were handed, except it seemed even they knew they couldn't pull off the horribly written library reconciliation scene. I have enjoyed reading fan works on other sites with alternative resolutions (which I would have never even gone to if I hadn't been so dissatisfied).

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    • 188.223.63.236 wrote: I think people find it funny because is was shocking and gruesome, and just not what people expect from Downton Abbey. However, in this instanceI think the humor comes from the Game of Thrones reference.

      Okay... I guess I get it a Little bit better now.

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    • As far as chemistry between the Mary and Henry goes, or Henry being wooden, they were supposed to "match" and both be cool collected types, only showing their fiery sides to few.

      Exactly. He might be wooden, but that is also why he's a match for ice queen Mary.

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    • eh I think they are both happy in there own ways. Mary find someone to boss around and be sarcastic daredevil with and edith and bertie found someone that knew all their secrets and still loved them anyway.

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    • I think one problem is that Mary and Henry never had a "couch scene". Bertie and Edith had two. The first in the editor's office, after the long night or work, sitting together on that battered leather thing, completely relaxed with each other. For the first time Edith is with a man and doesn't seem nervous or with a sense of inferiority--he's not commanding her. And if you find a still, there's that business of their feet pointing at each's but not quite touching. JF said about Gregson that he let Edith be herself; that scene is that in spades.

      And of course, the second couch scene, after the fatal race. In a quiet way, the sexiest scene in the series.

      Mary and Henry never had anything like that; all their scenes have one kind of an edge or another.

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    • To me, what it fails is all the characters around saying "they love each other" constantly. it felt forced. "Show, don't tell" is like the first rule to write something

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    • At the end of the series I was just happy that Edith and Mary found somebody in Henry and Bertie. 

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    • Bertie and Edith were beautiful. They started off as friends, and then grew to love each other. They looked so natural together, and they didn't need words to show that they were in love with each other. Besides being in love, they also relied on each other to make them better people. Their relationship brought out the best in each other. Also, in this show there is a lot of kissing and saying "I love you" to express love, when really I prefer the casual gestures and looks that express the love and connection between people, like with Edith and Bertie. When Bertie learns about Marigold and is breaking with Edith, throughout the whole conversation you can see how much they love each other, even though they are dissapointed in each other and themselves. Though they are both crying, they also clearly show that they wanted to kiss each other. When they got back together, they had both learned lessons about trust and truth. And Edith's mistake in not trusting Bertie in the beginning leads her to choose truth and confess the truth of Marigold's parentage to Bertie's mother. Also, Edith who is always the underdog with star-crossed love and bad luck end up being a Marchioness, outranking the rest of her family. As the character with some of the most character development, progressing from a shallow, vindictive girl with no purpose, to a modern women with kindness and bravery, she certainly deserved this happy ending.

      Henry and Mary... they were okay. I'm glad that she got down from her high horse to marry him, but it didn't really seem in her character. With them, they were a power struggle, and it seemed that they were attracted to each other, but maybe didn't have a lasting love that would sustain their relationship. Their relationship seemed based on passion, rather than lasting love and trust. They were both powerful and arrogant, so they balanced each other out, but it just didn't seem natural. They had to say "I love you" to show that they were in love with each other when their acting didn't really express it. Mary and Matthew were natural, and seemed like good chums as well as being in love with each other. Matthew brought out the goodness in Mary, but with Henry, Mary didn't really change much, other than a few really out of character moments like when she, the stuffiest person in the show, said she was proud of her husband's second hand car shop. The whole thing just felt kind of forced after the natural way that Mary interacted with Matthew. 

      Henry and Mary seemed a little forced, and attracted to each other rather than in love. Edith and Bertie grew and developed together, brought out the best in each other, and worked together naturally and beautifully, so I would say that they are a much better and more convincing couple than Henry and Mary.

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