‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Matthew & Mary’s Wedding Day Finally Arrives

Prince Will-who? Kate Middle-what? The Crawleys threw the wedding of the millenium on the long-awaited season premiere. Tears were shed. Shade was thrown. Oh, Downton Abbey, how we've missed you. The show's Jan. 6 season premiere brought back the entire Crawley clan — along with a super-sassy Shirley MacLaine as Cora's mother — for a wedding event full of tears, drama, and of course, bitchy old-world asides from Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess. ("An aristocrat without servants is as useful to the county as a glass hammer.")

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Downton Abbey Season Premiere
Image Credit: Courtesy of PBS

Unfortunately, the splendor of Downton is being threatened in season three, as a serious of bad investments by Robert (Hugh Bonneville) has basically cost everyone their fortunes. This just reinforces what I’ve always believed about Robert: He’s the absolute worst. Edith (Laura Carmichael) clearly inherited all of his genes.

OK, let’s check in with what the rest of the Abbey crew was up to this week…

Matthew & Mary: 

After two long years of ‘courtship,’ it was so rewarding to finally see Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Mary (Michelle Dockery) — who are already related, but we’ll overlook that weirdness — become husband and wife. In fact, their nuptials were one fine Pippa Middleton ass away from outshining the Royal Wedding. The only hiccup with their big day came when Matthew learned he could be inheriting Lavinia’s family’s money — you remember Lavinia, the chick who died from that wicked cold in season two — and he didn’t want to use it to bail Downton out of debt. Mary delivered a powerful speech about being on her family’s side (Emmy please!), but the two eventually made nice. Thank God.

Tom & Sybill: 

My favorite part of the episode for my favorite couple was when Sybill’s former suitor Larry Grey — whose one giant cocky eyebrow rivals any of histories’ most cartoonish villains — slipped a pill into Tom’s drink, causing him to be drunker/sexier than everyone else at the dinner party. After a brief outburst, Edith’s ancient boyfriend called Larry out on it, and everyone lept to Tom’s defense. The Crawleys stick together, and no man can stop them. No matter how enormous and absurd his eyebrow is.

Edith & The One-Armed Man: 

It’s a shame Edith is living out her sad, awkward life in the 1920s, because you know what she really needs? A sassy gay friend, one who would force her to take a step back and analyze her extremely poor life choices. For example, why is she literally throwing herself at Sir Anthony, the 100-year-old man with one good arm? Like, I get that Edith is super-unfortunate in looks and personality, but at least she’s got money and a title. That goes a long way in her weird little world!

Anna & Bates:

Oh, these two. Anna spent much of the premiere visiting Bates — who could totally play Kyle Chandler‘s much-older brother in a movie — in prison after being convicted of killing his wife. (Personally, I think she sucked and killing her should have earned him a medal, but whatever.) Determined to prove his innocence, Anna collected a list of all his acquaintances to try and see if any of them could confirm that Vera was suicidal. Maybe it would help if Anna just went back and watched season two! God, what a dummy.

The Rest Of The Help:

Downton’s downstairs department was surprisingly quiet this week, considering the impending wedding, but we did get to meet one new recruit: O’Brien’s super-ginger nephew Alfred! The mistress of miscarriages finagled a job for her nephew, but Thomas (Rob-James Collier) wasn’t exactly eager to help him graduate to valet — a decision that will haunt him for the rest of the season, mark my words. If there’s one thing you must remember as the season unfolds, it’s that O’Brien is a dirty bitch who mustn’t be trusted. Also remember that Daisy is whiney and terrible… but that shouldn’t be hard to forget.

What did you think of the season premiere? Was Matthew and Mary’s wedding everything you dreamed it would be? Drop me a comment with your review of the episode!

— Andy Swift

More Downton Abbey on HollywoodLife.com:

  1. ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 3: Five Most Epic Moments To Look Forward To
  2. ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4 Scoop: How Mary Will ‘Move On’ From Matthew
  3. ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Reveals Prequel Plans For Robert & Cora