Posted: 9:20 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013
By Elisabeth Kramer
Downton Abbey Season 4 continues to pick up steam after its debut in the UK! Whether you’re already watching the season or are waiting until next January, all fans of Downton Abbey can enjoy a good spoiler now and again. More details to come as we get the inside scoop on Season 4!The Season Beings in the UK!
Because Downton premieres in the UK months before it arrives in the US, we’ve already got informaiton on what goes down in the new series. If you’re interested in photos, videos, and recaps from the current season check back here for all the latest.
Episode 3 recap: Need to refresh your memory on what happened in part three? Short answer: a lot.
See photos from the third episode! There’s a party at Downton and it looks to be a grand one. See for yourself in these photos from the episode.
Episode 2 recap: Want to relive the latest installment or just get caught up on the details? Read our recap!
See photos from the first episode! Need your fix of upper-crust drama now, like, right now? We've got photos of the first installment of Season 4.Waiting for January? We've Still Got Spoilers Galore
The teaser trailer! If you missed it, ITV released a teaser trailer for Season 4 and it’s a one-minute reminder of why we love Downton.
Life after Matthew — Mary's new men: Downton creator Julian Fellowes said Matthew Crawley’s (Dan Stevens) death on the Season 3 finale would dominate future episodes, adding that “Mary trying to rebuild her life” would be a key theme of Season 4. We’ve already read that Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) will be getting a new boyfriend so who are the contenders? There are so many handsome men this season it’s anybody’s guess!
Lucky lad number one: Anthony Foyle, aka Lord Gillingham, (Tom Cullen) will appear in episode two during a lavish house party at the Abbey. However, he has a rumored fiancée! But that’s just a small hiccup in any romance that might spring up between him and Mary, right?
In the very next episode, Mary will venture out and meet Jack Ross (Gary Carr) when she, Tom Branson (Allen Leech), Rose MacClare (Lily James), and Aunt Rosamund Painswick (Samantha Bond) visit a London jazz club. However, we have our suspicions Jack will hit it off with another member of the party...
Finally, a new man will reportedly arrive at the Abbey in the form of Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden) who will “help Downton run more efficiently.” He’ll immediately butt heads with Mary. “Blake is someone she just doesn’t like,” says show producer Gareth Neame. “He’s modern-thinking but does not share the family’s sentimentality about the past.” We had heard this new character would appear in Episode 4 but Julian claims via Twitter he doesn’t appear until Episode 6. The sooner the better, Julian!
Time jump: Season 4 begins six months after we left Downton, which means babies Sybil and George are getting big! And although we’ll skip seeing Matthew’s funeral, we’ll still get an eyeful of Matthew's gravestone. Please, pass the tissues. Pass them now.
New characters! Out with the old, in with the new. We've been keeping tabs on the latest additions to the cast at Downton. Some of the highlights include, for the Christmas special only, Paul Giamatti as Countess Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) playboy brother. See photos of the new crew.
O'Brien leaves: Last season Thomas showed he’s willing to use the infamous Soap Story for his own gain (surprise, surprise) so it’s probably best Sarah O’Brien hightails it. And hightails it she does. Siobhan Finneran, the actress who portrayed O'Brien, decided to not renew her contract, and although we’re fairly certain she’s not killed off the show, she will be leaving us. Good riddance? The change does mean Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) will need to find a replacement for Lady Cora telling TV Guide, “Until we find a replacement, I have to step into the breach, which isn’t really part of my duties, but needs must. I don’t think it suits either of us really that well.” Do we detect a hint of upstairs drama?
Kitchen woes: In Downton’s ever-challenging mission to stay up with the times, Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) gets a new electric mixer and thankfully has up-and-coming assistant cook Daisy Lewis (Sophie McShera) to help. “Patmore is like, 'It’s the devil! Send it away!' But Daisy is like, 'I think it’s really good,'” Sophie told TV Guide. Sadly, her character’s love life doesn’t go as well with Sophie explaining, “She’s no Lady Mary. Nobody has come a-calling.” At least the expected cat fights with kitchen maid Ivy over charming footman Alfred Nugent (Matt Milne) should be good.
What's up with Branson? Now that Tom will be sticking around to keep the Abbey running, we can expect him to play a bigger role in day-to-day life. One of the upcoming plot twists includes a potential new love for the widower with Tom getting close to a new face at Downton. Sounds like the new nanny could use a friend with fellow downstairs maid Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) telling TV Guide, “She has her meals with the children, but she’s not one of the family either. So she’s kind of a midway person who is kind of on her own a lot really.”
Edith’s independence: At the end of Season 3, Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) was pushing the boundaries and, it seemed, starting to a new relationship with yet another emotionally unavailable man. She does appear to be blooming in the latest cast photos. Could Season 4 be the season of Edith?
Thomas gets a new O'Brien? Even without O'Brien on Season 4, Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) will have someone to spar with. “O’Brien’s replacement is quite interesting because Thomas has brought her in without a reference,” said Rob. “He, obviously, has some kind of hold on her, but what that is, who knows? He is using her, manipulating her with the secret he has on her to feed back to him the stories and goings on from upstairs so he can use it to his advantage.” And we have a feeling this “new O’Brien” won't be a new face at the Abbey.
What about Anna and Bates: Finally reunited at the end of last season, John (Brendan Coyle) and Anna were last seen sprucing up their new little cottage. But in case you’re worried we won’t be seeing as much of the beloved couple, Joanne told TV Guide the move “doesn’t really affect how you see Anna and Bates on the show because they would have spent so much time at work.” As for if life’s a little more kind to the couple, Joanne’s a bit more guarded. “Anna and Bates start the season in a very happy place, which is lovely,” she says, “but as always, there are some trials and tribulations for Anna and Bates.”
How will this season end? Producer Gareth Neame says Season 4 will be “very different” from Season 3’s ending, which we hope means no more sudden deaths. We hoped as much seeing as many major players just renewed their contracts. And judging from photos of the cast spotted out filming, we have a hunch the season will conclude not on Downton's rolling laws but among the academic halls of London. And so the plot thickens.
More spoilers will be coming soon! Tell us in the comments what you hope happens in Season 4!