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The Best Episodes of Downton Abbey

Every episode of Downton Abbey ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Downton Abbey!

A chronicle of the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era—with great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.

Genre:Drama
Networks:ITV1PBS

Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Downton Abbey" is "Episode 5", rated 9/10 from 2300 user votes. It was directed by N/A and written by N/A. "Episode 5" aired on 10/14/2012 and is rated 0.0 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "Episode 8".

  • Episode 5
    9.0/10 2,300 votes

    #1 - Episode 5

    Season 3 Episode 5 - Aired 2012-10-14

    An exciting offer for Edith divides opinion in the house. Isobel ends up throwing Ethel a lifeline. Ivy is attracting plenty of attention below stairs. Anna’s perseverance finally pays off for her.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 8
    9.0/10 1,826 votes

    #2 - Episode 8

    Season 6 Episode 8 - Aired 2015-11-08

    Bertie's circumstances change suddenly, leaving Edith uncertain whether to risk telling him the truth or keep her past a secret at all costs. Mary wonders if she can ever make peace with her sister as hostilities escalate, Spratt shows some hidden talents and Molesley's first day as a teacher does not go according to plan. Mrs Patmore's bed and breakfast attracts unwanted attention, leaving her in need of the Crawleys' help.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 7
    8.8/10 2,416 votes

    #3 - Episode 7

    Season 1 Episode 7 - Aired 2010-11-07

    Cora's pregnancy throws the inheritance issue into doubt. Matthew must wait for an answer to his wedding proposal. O'Brien discovers more compromising information about Bates. Thomas leaves.

    Director: Brian Percival

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 8
    8.7/10 2,153 votes

    #4 - Episode 8

    Season 2 Episode 8 - Aired 2011-11-06

    With the wedding approaching there is excitement in the air, but will Branson's plans rattle everyone? A decisive Anna forces Bates to think about their future.

    Director: James Strong

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 1
    8.6/10 2,399 votes

    #5 - Episode 1

    Season 3 Episode 1 - Aired 2012-09-16

    Cora’s mother sweeps into Downton for Matthew and Mary’s wedding, but with the couple’s relationship under strain will they even make it to the altar? New footman Alfred strives to meet Carson’s high standards, under the watchful eye of his aunt O’Brien. Robert’s shocking news brings financial worries to the fore, on an unprecedented scale. Might he lose Downton itself and all it stands for?

    Director: Brian Percival

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 8
    8.6/10 1,595 votes

    #6 - Episode 8

    Season 5 Episode 8 - Aired 2014-11-09

    Preparations are under way for Rose's wedding, but family tensions on both sides threaten to derail proceedings. Edith's arrangement with Marigold is happily working out, but how long can she and Cora conceal the truth from Robert? Denker reveals an unexpected side to her personality, which causes trouble for more than one of the servants. With the war memorial due to be unveiled, Mrs Patmore is still upset, but Robert has something up his sleeve. Branson comes to a heart-wrenching decision, and the storm clouds that have been gathering over Anna and Bates finally burst.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 3
    8.6/10 1,562 votes

    #7 - Episode 3

    Season 6 Episode 3 - Aired 2015-10-04

    Preparations for the wedding of Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes are under way. Edith meets up with an old acquaintance. Spratt has something to hide.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 6
    8.5/10 2,312 votes

    #8 - Episode 6

    Season 1 Episode 6 - Aired 2010-10-31

    Sybil puts herself in danger when a fight breaks out. Sybil's sisters notice Matthew's feelings for her. Mary is surprised by a marriage proposal. Bates clears his name over the missing wine but resigns rather than name the real culprit.

    Director: Brian Percival

    Writer: Julian Fellowes, Tina Pepler

  • Episode 1
    8.5/10 2,360 votes

    #9 - Episode 1

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2011-09-18

    The Great War unsettles life at Downton and surprising news about Matthew rocks the family. New maid Ethel irritates O'Brien - and Bates returns with devastating news for Anna.

    Director: Ashley Pearce

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 5
    8.5/10 2,049 votes

    #10 - Episode 5

    Season 2 Episode 5 - Aired 2011-10-16

    Robert receives some shocking news from the front. Daisy's relationship with William moves faster than she would like. Vera threatens to expose old secrets.

    Director: Brian Kelly

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 5
    8.5/10 1,493 votes

    #11 - Episode 5

    Season 6 Episode 5 - Aired 2015-10-18

    Neville Chamberlain visits Downton for dinner, and is drawn into Violet’s plan to save the hospital, with distressing consequences for everyone. Andy finds an unexpected confidante while helping Mr Mason move into Yew Tree Farm, Mary is uncertain if she has met her match, Edith meets Bertie Pelham in London, and Spratt comes to Denker’s aid. Mrs Hughes struggles to keep Carson happy, while Mary thinks secrets are being kept from her.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 7
    8.5/10 1,465 votes

    #12 - Episode 7

    Season 6 Episode 7 - Aired 2015-11-01

    The Crawleys watch Henry compete in a motor racing event, an occasion that leaves Mary reeling. Violet hatches a plan which surprises the family and delights Miss Denker, and learns more about Amelia's intentions in befriending Isobel. Molesley and Daisy rise to the challenges of examination day, Andy's secret is brought to light, Thomas feels isolated, and Mrs Patmore and Mrs Hughes teach Carson a lesson.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 3
    8.4/10 2,590 votes

    #13 - Episode 3

    Season 1 Episode 3 - Aired 2010-10-10

    Cora's tries to set up Mary with Evelyn Napier, who falls for his friend instead, with significant consequences for the household. Bates takes action to help cure his limp.

    Director: Ben Bolt

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 5
    8.4/10 2,313 votes

    #14 - Episode 5

    Season 1 Episode 5 - Aired 2010-10-24

    Isobel finds herself at odds with Violet. Mary is introduced to a potential suitor but wants to be with Matthew. Anna works out who stole a valuable snuff box. O'Brien plans a way for Edith to get even with Mary.

    Director: Brian Kelly

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 3
    8.4/10 1,896 votes

    #15 - Episode 3

    Season 3 Episode 3 - Aired 2012-09-30

    Edith's wedding day arrives but will her enthusiasm be able to convince the family that Strallan's age doesn't really matter. Mrs Hughes awaits her results. Anna manages to make a breakthrough as she tries to help Bates. Mary decides to take matters into her own hands to secure the estate's future.

    Director: Andy Goddard

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 8
    8.4/10 1,888 votes

    #16 - Episode 8

    Season 3 Episode 8 - Aired 2012-11-04

    There's excitement in the house and village as the annual cricket match approaches, and the event brings out Robert's competitive side. Violet's great-niece Rose shows up but a trip to London reveals there is more to her than meets the eye. Matthew and Mary look like they are keeping secrets from each other. Thomas finds out that his future lies in Carson's hands.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 4
    8.4/10 1,494 votes

    #17 - Episode 4

    Season 6 Episode 4 - Aired 2015-10-11

    As Tom and Sybbie settle back into life at Downton, the family and servants are surprised by the return of another old friend in unexpected circumstances.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 1
    8.3/10 3,336 votes

    #18 - Episode 1

    Season 1 Episode 1 - Aired 2010-09-26

    After the death of the heir, Violet wishes that Robert's daughter Mary could inherit Downton Abbey.

    Director: Brian Percival

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 2
    8.3/10 2,657 votes

    #19 - Episode 2

    Season 1 Episode 2 - Aired 2010-10-03

    Matthew Crawley and his mother Isobel arrive at Downton, and have difficulty settling in. Carson is mortified when confronted by his past. Violet attempts to promote a match between Matthew and Mary. Isobel is elected to serve on the hospital board.

    Director: Ben Bolt

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 4
    8.3/10 2,023 votes

    #20 - Episode 4

    Season 2 Episode 4 - Aired 2011-10-09

    Tensions flare between Isobel and Cora. Ethel's flirtation with Major Bryant lands her in hot water. There is worrying news about Matthew. Branson declares his feelings for Sybil.

    Director: Brian Kelly

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 8
    8.3/10 1,615 votes

    #21 - Episode 8

    Season 4 Episode 8 - Aired 2013-11-10

    Rosamund comes up with a plan to help Edith deal with her problem, but Violet may be about to see right through it. Isobel is the object of someone's attention, while Mary asks Gillingham for a favour. Rose is frustrated when things do not go her way and Alfred realises too late that he may have made a mistake. Just as Bates and Anna seem to be getting over the worst, some unexpected news shakes her up.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 7
    8.3/10 1,516 votes

    #22 - Episode 7

    Season 5 Episode 7 - Aired 2014-11-02

    Rosamund shows up at Downton following Edith's surprise departure. Rose is pleased to introduce Atticus and his parents to everyone. Anna and Bates think about a fresh start, now that that their problems seem to be behind them. Molesley is worried after Daisy becoming disillusioned with her studies. Mary and Blake seize a chance to send Gillingham a strong message.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 1
    8.3/10 1,683 votes

    #23 - Episode 1

    Season 6 Episode 1 - Aired 2015-09-20

    It is now 1925, when secrets and rifts threaten the unity of the family, while those below stairs are faced with social changes.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Episode 7
    8.2/10 1,995 votes

    #24 - Episode 7

    Season 2 Episode 7 - Aired 2011-10-30

    How long can Sybil and Branson keep their secret? Carlisle puts Anna in a difficult position, Bates is left reeling from the news about Vera, and Thomas embarks on a new scheme.

    Director: James Strong

    Writer: Julian Fellowes

  • Episode 6
    8.2/10 1,809 votes

    #25 - Episode 6

    Season 3 Episode 6 - Aired 2012-10-21

    Tempers are left on edge after a kind gesture by Isobel backfires. Mary attempts to fight Branson's corner after his decisions are put under scrutiny. Robert and Cora's relationship feels the strain and Violet attempts to make them see things differently. Some extreme measures are taken by Bates.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A