But the tension growing on it about the possibility of the Earl's losing the whole enchilada hits close to home. Anyone who has been through the ordeal of economic dislocation fears for what the servants will have to endure as they search for work in the commercial sector.
After all, fewer elites at that time could afford to maintain a mansion. So, there are fewer of those kinds of jobs. Some will have an easier time of it than others.
For example, Mr. Bates has already considered his own hospitality enterprise. He could teach wife Anna the ropes. Those two will land on their feet.
But the rest such as the very loyal Mrs. Hughes will likely have a rough go of it. Conditions could mirror those which Charles Dickens chronicled in his novels. The bottom line is that employers, unlike the Earl, do not care about employees in a holistic way. If, for instance, they suspected Mrs. Hughes had a medical issue, they might begin figuring out how they could fire her or push her into early retirement.
As for the aristocrats, we know from history they manage to preserve their values and lifestyles. Despite limited financial resources, they will maintain the dress-up evening dinner and other elite rituals.
It will be interesting to observe if "Downton Abbey" shifts into a survival - financial, emotional and spiritual - drama for both classes. That could save it from jumping the shark.