While I rarely agreed with him, I did like Mr. Carson on Downton Abbey. He is the very tenured butler of the whole estate. Basically the boss of all the servants. He runs a strict ship and doesn’t tolerate much.
And it’s not shocking that Mr. Carson is very conservative, especially as he lives through Ramsay MacDonald being Prime Minister. MacDonald was a socialist, and he was initially hated by many in the upper-class and those who thought of the “old ways”. I was kind of amazed that Carson wasn’t willing to put Thomas Barrow behind bars after the incident with Jimmy Kent. Carson would often see some sense in the end.
I thought it was rather sweet how much he adored Lady Mary and she did the same. He was like a father to her and she was like a daughter to him. Mary’s greatest champion had always and will forever be Carson.
Near the end of the series, I was a little shocked to see him marry Ms. Hughes. She was basically the top-ranking servant among the women, so it kind of made sense the two ended up together. Also kind of odd to see him actually happy.
But his happiness sees a stumble when he realizes the disease (not ever confirmed, but appeared to be Parkinson’s Disease) that made the hands of his father and grandfather shake terribly had come for him at last. He realizes that his time as butler is running short and soon.
With a great deal of luck, they get Thomas Barrow to take his place. Mr. Carson wanted to stay on in a supervisor/mentor role part-time, and Mr. Barrow would have been one of the few men able to tolerate that as butler. So while Mr. Carson was sad his time was over, he couldn’t have gotten a better ending after his grim news.