Season 4 of Downton Abbey hasn't even premiered in the U.S. yet, but it's already coming to an end in Britain.
Downton Abbey's fourth season, premiering on PBS in January, will say goodbye to Lady Cora's personal maid, O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran, who will appear in one episode to wrap up her story). O'Brien's exit will reverberate through the staff, affecting, among others, head housekeeper Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) and recently promoted cook's assistant Daisy (Sophie McShera).
On the upcoming fourth season of Downton Abbey, the Crawleys upstairs may be mourning the recent death of their heir, but those downstairs are suffering from an additional loss: O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran). Beyond the absence of the scheming lady's maid, the servants will also have to contend with new-fangled kitchen gadgets, a familiar face returning and ongoing internal strife (we blame Thomas!).
Pull out your dancing shoes, because Downton Abbey will be entering the Jazz Age.
[Warning: The following contains major spoilers from the past three seasons of Downton Abbey. If you haven't caught up yet, read at your own risk!]
It's been months since fans reeled from that shocking Christmas episode that also rocked the Crawley family, and now they're moving into the 1920s with new babies, suitors and even a musician or two. The story picks up in February 1922, when Downton Abbey is still in deep mourning for the loss of heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) from an auto accident.
13 reasons we want to grow up to be Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess
"Both the audience and the characters have experienced some passage of time," executive producer Gareth Neame said at PBS' Television Critics Association fall preview on Tuesday.
"You know the trouble with you lot? You're all in love with the wrong people." -- the wisdom of Mrs. Patmore
Not every servant on Downton Abbey can have the fairy tale romance of Bates and Anna (false murder rap and imprisonment aside), and a servant in the 1920s is further constrained by his/her status. For every Gwen (Rose Leslie) who opened up her romantic prospects by becoming a secretary, sadly there's a fallen Ethel (Amy Nuttall) who's forced into prostitution after having an affair with a military man. What's one of the serving class to do but flirt awkwardly with one of their own in hopes of safely pairing off?